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Tours & Cruises

Orchestrating a Path Into Composers' Lives


Follow the footsteps of Europe's great composers--Mozart, Bach and Schubert--on a 17-night tour that begins in Berlin June 15 and ends in Salzburg July 2. The itinerary will include Berlin, Potsdam, Leipzig, Dresden, Weimar, Wurzburg in Germany, Prague in the Czech Republic, and Feldkirch and Salzburg in Austria.

Among the first stops are Bach's birthplace, the church where he married, the church for which he worked most of his adult life and the inn where the Bach family held reunions. Guests will attend private concerts at some of these sites.

Mozart's life and journeys will be revisited with an in-depth tour of Salzburg as Mozart knew it; a special demonstration on the only known authentic Mozart pianoforte that's in the room where Mozart was born, and attendance at the International Mozart Festival in Wurzburg. There will also be a special private performance of a piece Mozart improvised in Prague, to be given by a Czech organist/composer who has completed it.

Nine concerts are scheduled, including an opera in Berlin. Other tours within Germany include an excursion to Potsdam to visit Frederick the Great's Sans Souci palace and the Cecilienhof, where Truman, Stalin and Churchill met at the end of World War II; an excursion to the medieval town of Rothenburg on the "Romantic Highway," and an excursion to the island town of Lindau on Lake Constance.

Cost: $3,860 per person, double occupancy, including hotels, ground transportation, some meals, concerts and entrance fees. Not included: air fare to Europe. Contact: Norm Eagle, Now Voyager Tours, Deer Lane, Pawlet, VT 05761; telephone (802) 325-3656.

Icebergs, Whales

Escape from summer's heat on several yacht trips available this summer along the coast of southeast Alaska. Available cruise dates are June 16 and 27, Aug. 15 and 30 and Sept. 9 and 20 and range from six to 13 days, depending on beginning and ending destinations, which include Juneau, Ketchikan and Petersburg.

Calm inland waters are explored with opportunities to hike through rain forests, watch humpback whales and sea lions, kayak among icebergs and glaciers, or just sit on the deck and watch the scenery go by. The 65-foot vessel Princeton Hall takes nine passengers plus crew members, including a full-time chef and Denali park rangers who will give lectures on the area's natural history and biology.

Cost: from $2,295 per person, including all meals, use of sea kayaks or inflatable motorboat. Not included: air fare to Alaska. Contact: Educational Adventure Charters, 444 Pine St., Boulder, CO 80302; tel. (303) 442-0808.

Mideast Crossing

A tour of Syria, Jordan and Israel leaves Oct. 16 and returns Oct. 30. (Spring tours depart March 26 and April 9.) This itinerary originates in London with a flight to Amman for an overnight stay. After visiting Damascus, Maaloula, Aleppo, Palmyra and Bosra, with sightseeing in each city, guests return to Amman for three nights before crossing from Jordan to Israel over the River Jordan. Participants will stop at Jericho to see the excavated walls and view the Mount of Temptations as well as Elishe's Fountain. The group will proceed to Jerusalem by way of Bethany and the Church of Mary and Martha. Days spent in Jerusalem will be a mix of leisure time and planned sightseeing and an optional full day excursion to the shores of the Dead Sea and the site of Masada.

Cost: $2,390 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip flight from London to Amman, hotels, motor-coach transportation and local guides.

Contact: Esplanade Tours, 581 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02116; tel. (800) 426-5492.

France by Barge

Visit the upper Loire Valley on the river barge Anaclouthe on a six-night cruise exploring the Seine and Yonne rivers in France Sept. 19. Participants stroll through picturesque villages and visit Giverny to see Monet's home and gardens.

Guests also take a dinner cruise to see Paris by night, visit the ancient town of Sens and walk through Barbizon, an artist's village in the Fontainebleau forest.

After visiting Joigny, guests enjoy a wine tasting in an 11th century wine cellar in the Chablis district, and tour Anexore, the ancient capital of the region.

Cost: $3,195 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare from Los Angeles to Paris, some meals and hotels, including three nights at the Regina Hotel opposite the Louvre. The tour ends Sept. 29.

Contact: Claudette Crowther, Your Travel Center, 1005 Casitas Pass Road, Carpenteria, CA 93013; tel. (805) 684-6685.

Indonesian Adventure

A tour of Sulawesi to explore the central part of the island is scheduled for Aug. 3 to 20. The trip includes a four-day trek through the forests of Lore Lindu National Park, staying overnight in the homes of villagers, arriving finally in the Badu Valley to see prehistoric megalithic sculptures whose origin is unknown.

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