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Tours & Cruises

Shooting Yellowstone Wildlife--With Camera

July 07, 1996|KARIN DOMINELLO | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The Los Angeles Zoo will conduct a wildlife photography tour of Yellowstone National Park, Sept. 9 to 14. Guests stay at the Old Faithful Lodge and vans take participants around the park in search of photo opportunities. Cost: $875 per person, double occupancy, including air fare, ground transportation, accommodations and one group meal. Contact: Los Angeles Zoo, 5333 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90027; telephone (213) 666-4650, Ext. 403.

Stepping Into Scotland

A walking tour focusing on the legend, lore, drama and scenery of Scotland is being offered by European Walking Tours from Sept. 19 to 28. Participants will take guided two- to three-hour walks each morning and afternoon through the Scottish countryside to learn about the geology, culture and people of the Highlands and Borders regions.

Home base for the first half of the trip is the secluded town of Braemar in the Grampian Highlands. Braemar and Balmoral Castles, Loch Muick and Cariton Farms are seen on walks in this area. Lodging will be at the Invercauld Arms, an inn that has been open since the 1700s.

The final four days of the tour, in the medieval village of Melrose in the Borders region, south of Edinburgh, will be spent ambling through abbeys, ruins and moors. Visits are made to Neidpath Castle and Waverly Mills along the Tweed River, and the Roman ruins of Eildon Hill. Also planned is a walk through historic Melrose, noted for its Roman influences. There is also a short bus trip to Selkirk for a coastal walk.

Most routes are on gently rolling countryside with some uphill walking.

Cost: $1,995 per person, double occupancy including hotels, all breakfasts and dinners, two picnic lunches, motor-coach transportation, taxes and gratuities. Air fare is not included. Contact: European Walking Tours, P.O. Box 4765, Culver City, CA 90231; tel. (800) 231-8448.

Dracula's Feast

Eat dinner at Dracula's house in Romania on Halloween night on a tour that leaves Los Angeles on Oct. 26 and returns Nov. 3. The tour focuses on the life and sites of the cruel 15th century prince Vlad the Impaler, the basis for Bram Stoker's Dracula character. Participants will begin the tour in Bucharest and stay in an 18th century hotel on Pantelimon Lake. After a city tour, the group travels to Tirgoviste, where 33 kings ruled; Sibiu, Vlad's family headquarters; and Sighisoara, a well-preserved medieval city and Vlad's birthplace. Halloween dinner is in this city, near the scaffolding where he impaled his enemies. The last stop will be at Bran to visit Dracula's Castle, built in 1382 and now a museum with exhibits of medieval weapons, furniture and hunting trophies.

Cost: $2,387 per person, double occupancy, including air fare, hotels, porterage, all meals, entrance fees, ground transportation and guides. Contact: Destination World, P.O. Box 1077, Santa Barbara, CA 93102; tel. (800) 426-3644.

Greece and Turkey

Visit the Greek Islands of Samos, Mykonos, Santorini, Astipalaia, Symi and Rhodes on a 13-day cruise aboard the Star Clippers on Sept. 19 to Oct. 1. Other ports of call include Kusadasi and Bodrum on Turkey's Aegean Coast, as well as a city tour of Istanbul. Included is sightseeing at the famous ruins of Ephesus.

The Star Clippers is a 360-foot sailing vessel that accommodates 170 passengers. Amenities on the ship include two outdoor pools, two lounges, a library, a dining room accommodating all 170 passengers in one seating, ship's store and anti-rolling tanks. Water sports equipment include sailing dinghies, windsurfers, underwater viewing crafts and snorkeling apparatus.

Cost: from $2,990 per person, double occupancy, including air fare from New York, cabin, meals on board and sightseeing. Contact: Troy Tours, 6151 W. Century Blvd., Suite 1118, Los Angeles, CA 90045; tel. (800) 748-6878.

Insider's Prague

Meet accomplished local Czech artists on a comprehensive tour of Prague and the Czech Republic from Sept. 12 to 23. The group is led by a Prague-born Czech-American, joined in Prague by local guides and experts. Guided walking tours of Prague are structured along the ancient divisions of the city and explore the Old Town, the Jewish Quarter, Prague Castle, Lesser Town and the Vysehrad fortress. Also included is an evening Ghosts and Legends tour and visits to art galleries and private lofts.

Stops include the historical UNESCO-recognized city of Cesky Krumlov, a private tour of the art school and open-air gallery in Horice, and the Karlstejn and Konopiste castles.

Evening performances include an opera at the National Theater, a black-light theater performance at Laterna Magika and a classical concert in the medieval convent of St. Agnes.

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