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Tours & Cruises

The Yen and Yangtze for a River Excursion

December 08, 1996|KARIN DOMINELLO | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A 15-day tour to China, including a Yangtze River cruise, is scheduled for March 31 to April 15. The tour will visit Beijing, Shanghai, Xian and end in Hong Kong. The program offers a five-day cruise on the Yangtze River from Wuhan to Chongqing through the Three Gorges and includes shore excursions. The tour is escorted by Bob Feldman, retired professor of history from California State University, Fullerton, who will provide a series of lecture-discussions on Chinese history. The group will explore Beijing's Forbidden City, walk the Great Wall and see the terra-cotta army in Xian. In Shanghai, the group will be greeted by students at the Children's Palace. Two performances, an acrobatics show and a Tang Dynasty music and dance program, are included.

Cost: $3,795 per person, double occupancy, including air fare from Los Angeles, all ground transportation, hotels, meals, cruise excursions, guided tours, two theater performances, all taxes and portage. Contact: East-West International Tours, 1248 Montevideo Ave., Placentia, CA 92870: telephone (800) 359-6719.

Mediterranean Cruise

Explore the highlights of the western Mediterranean on a cruise that departs April 26 for 16 nights. The first stop is Lisbon, with a two-night stay at the five-star Estoril Sol Resort on the Portuguese Riviera. The cruise is on Holland America's Maasdam, with ports including Tangier, Barcelona, Livorno (for Florence), Tunis, Sardinia and Malta, en route to Rome. Sites include Monte Carlo, the Rock of Gibraltar, the Straits of Messina, and Mt. Etna and Stromboli volcanoes.

Following the cruise, passengers will spend two nights at a hotel in Rome before returning May 13.

Cost: from $3,695 per person for an inside double, and $3,995 per person for an outside double. The price includes air fare from Los Angeles. The 12-night Maasdam cruise also includes the hotel stay in Lisbon and Rome, porterage and transfers. Contact: Don Ton Cruise Tours, 3151 Airway Ave., Costa Mesa, CA 92626; tel. (800) 318-1818.

Classical Italy

The Southern California Travel Assn. is offering three Italy tours that emphasize museums, churches, palaces, opera houses, and birthplaces of great artists and composers. The tours will be escorted by Albert Benzie, philosophy and humanities professor at Mesa College in San Diego. Lectures will also be offered by Umberto Lecci of Rome University.

The Classical Italy tour runs June 23 to July 8. Participants will visit Rome, Florence, Venice, Padoa, Siena, Pisa, Assisi, Sorrento, Positano, Almalfi, Ravello, the Amalfi Drive--first by bus then by motorboat--the Palladian Villas along the River Brenta, and the Roman castles of Castel Gandolfo, Frascati and Tivoli.

Cost: $3,195 per person, double occupancy, including air fare, first-class hotels, daily breakfast and dinner, transportation, entrance to main museums, motorboat ride in Venice, luggage handling and tips.

Classical Italy With France, Spain and Portugal runs June 6 to 21. The 16-day cruise and land tour includes Rome, Livorno, with an optional one-day excursion to Florence and Pisa; Cannes and Vallauris, the island of Mallorca, Madrid, Barcelona, Granada, Seville and Lisbon. One day is spent in Portofino, Italy.

Cost: $2,945 per person, double occupancy, including air fare from Los Angeles, five-day cruise, two nights in Rome, seven-day tour of Spain and Portugal, first-class hotels, all meals during the cruise and some during the tour.

Classical Italy With Turkey and the Greek Isles runs July 16 to 29. The 14-day cruise and land tour includes Rome, Sorrento, the Greek islands of Santorini, Delos and Mykonos, Ephesus and Istanbul in Turkey.

Cost: $2,875 per person, double occupancy, including air fare, seven-day cruise, all meals during the cruise and some during the tour, three nights in Istanbul and two in Rome in first-class hotels. Contact: Albert A. Benzie, Philosophy Department, Mesa College, 7250 Mesa College Drive, San Diego, CA 92111; tel. (619) 454-1434.

Through the Tulips

Holland in the spring means tulip bulbs. Springtime in Holland: Tulips and Van Gogh is an 11-day tour beginning April 24 led by Dutch art-historian Frans Pijnenburg. In Amsterdam, travelers are based at the Pulitzer, a historic hotel. While in Delft, group members stay in individual apartments at the Museumhotel. Day trips include several castles, Utrecht, Amersfoort, The Hague, Keukenhof Gardens, Amsterdam's 17th century Botanical Gardens and the bulb fields near Leiden.

Cost: $3,595 per person, double occupancy, including nine nights' accommodations, daily continental breakfasts, five dinners, two lunches, cocktail reception party, luxury motor-coach transportation, entrance fees, transfers, porterage, taxes and service charges. Air fare is not included. Contact: Coopersmith England; tel. (415) 669-1914.

Victorian England

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