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Tours & Cruises

The Bronx Is Up; the Battery Is Down


A five-night escorted tour of New York City departs May 13.

Participants will take a tour of the New York Stock Exchange and the Forbes Museum. Also included is a full day tour to Franklin D. Roosevelt's Hyde Park estate and the Pepsico sculpture gardens. Optional tours include a ride on a reconditioned barge with on-board chamber orchestra concerts against the background of Manhattan's skyline. An optional trip to Ellis Island is also planned.

Cost: $1,277 per person, double occupancy, including hotel, five breakfasts and one lunch, round-trip airport transfers in New York and sightseeing. Not included: air fare to New York. Contact: Barbara Gross, Bryan International Travel, 98 Battery St., Suite 302, San Francisco, CA 94111-5592; telephone (415) 986-0967.

Prague Spring

Visit Prague in the Czech Republic May 9-20, while it's in full bloom, and attend the Prague Spring Music Festival. The group is led by a Prague-born Czech-American tour director, joined in Prague by local experts, and is limited to 20 participants. Walking tours of Prague explore Old Town, the Jewish Quarter, Prague Castle, Lesser Town, Wenceslas Square and many hidden gardens in the city.

Day trips include visits to the spa town of Carlsbad, the UNESCO-recognized cities of Kutna Hora and Cesky Krumlov and the Karlstejn castle. Evening entertainment includes performances of the Prague Spring International Music Festival.

Cost: $2,700 per person, double occupancy, accommodations, private coach transportation, all sightseeing and entrance fees, local guides, concert and theater tickets, two meals daily, luggage handling, transfers and porterage. Not included: air fare.

Contact: Corliss Tours, 436 W. Foothill Blvd., Monrovia, CA 91016; tel. (800) 456-5717.

More in Prague

A tour to Prague, Czech Republic; Budapest, Hungary, and Zurich, Switzerland, departs Sept. 25 to Oct. 10 and will be led by Czech-born tour guide Eva Haight. Participants start off with a full day rest stop and city tour in Zurich. Two days in Budapest follow, including a gypsy music dinner in nearby Puzata.

The group then cruises the Danube River by hydrofoil to Bratislava, capital of the new Slovak Republic. The Czech Republic is entered by motor coach, where trips are made to the Punkva Caves, the medieval city of Telc, Prage, the medieval mining town of Kutna Hora, and to castles and spas. Also visited are Karlovy Vary and Marianske Lasne, a beer factory, and Lidice, a site of Nazi cruelty during World War II.

Cost: $3,465 per person, double occupancy, including air fare, hotels, some meals and sightseeing. Contact: Eva's Tours, 27485 Paseo Mimosa, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675; tel. (714) 489-0488.

Death Valley Focus

A spring photography and sightseeing tour of Death Valley begins the evening of March 14 for three nights. The tour will be conducted by Dave Wyman, who teaches photography for the Death Valley Natural History Assn. He will instruct participants in landscape, wildflower and travel photography techniques. Tour members will visit Zabriskie Point, the giant sand dunes, Twenty Mule Team Canyon and Badwater, the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere.

Cost: $125 per person, including campground site and lunch at Scotty's Castle. Not included: transportation to Death Valley, meals or camping equipment. Contact: Image Quest Tours, 1164 Alvira St., Los Angeles, CA 90035; tel. (213) 939-2819.

Credit to China

Saddleback College in Mission Viejo is sponsoring a 17-day, for-credit study program to China, June 17-July 3. Participants will attend classes in Chinese history and culture at host universities in Beijing, Xi'an, Kunming and Shanghai. Lectures will also be conducted on site during field trips.

Participants will be able to interact with Chinese university students, visit local families, and have discussions with host-country professors and field experts.

Cost: $2,550 per person, including air fare, lodging, three meals a day, field trips and guest lectures. Upon completion of the tour, participants will receive six units of transferable college credit.

Contact: Danile Rivas, Saddleback College, 28000 Marguerite Parkway, Mission Viejo, CA 92692; tel. (714) 582-4788.

Syria and Jordan

The Pasadena Art Alliance is hosting a journey through Syria and Jordan, April 22 to May 7. Guest lecturer Joseph Greene, an expert in Near Eastern languages and civilizations, is joining the tour.

The trip begins with a two-night stay in Damascus, where visits with contemporary artists and a briefing at the U.S. Embassy have been arranged. Participants will explore the winding alleys of the old city, and visit the National Museum and the great Umayyad Mosque before setting out for a drive across the desert, past beehive-shaped houses and Bedouin tents to the oasis city of Palmyra. The tour continues to Aleppo, an exotic city that maintains much of its traditional character. Guests see its medieval citadel, the largest remaining example of Arab military architecture.

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