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Tours & Cruises

Leafing Way Through New England's Color


Early October is optimum fall foliage season in New England. See the leaves on a six-day tour that begins Oct. 1 in Boston, where participants stroll the Freedom Trail and visit the Boston Common, the Old State House, Beacon Hill, Faneuil Hall, the Paul Revere House and Old North Church. The next day the group heads southward to Rhode Island and the shipbuilding center of Newport, where they will tour Easton's Beach Cliff walk in front of such mansions as the Rosemont and the Breakers.

Guests visit the Mystic Seaport Museum on the Mystic River in southeastern Connecticut, Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts and Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire for a cruise to view the mountain colors. On the last full day, participants ride along the Kancamagus Highway into Franconia Notch (part of the White Mountain National Forest), with stops at such places as Woodstock, the Flume, the Old Man in the Mountain, Bretton Woods and North Conway at the bottom of Crawford Notch. Guests will see several covered bridges, take several short walks and ride the aerial tramway up Cannon Mountain for more foliage views.

Cost: $1,195 per person, double occupancy, including accommodations, full breakfast every day, entrance fees, transfers, a chauffeured motor coach and escort. Tour is limited to 18 guests. Air fare is not included. Contact: Jim Gurnham at the Gurnham Group; telephone (800) 475-0004.

O'Keeffe's Santa Fe

A trip to see Santa Fe's new Georgia O'Keeffe Museum and private art collections runs July 22 to 27. Led by Lynn Robert Matteson, a USC art history professor, the trip coincides with the Spanish Market, an annual juried event that brings together artisans producing Spanish Colonial-style art.

The curator of Spanish Colonial art will lead the group on a special tour of the Hispanic Heritage Wing at the Museum of International Folk Art. The group will attend the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, and optional Santa Fe Opera tickets will be available. In addition to viewing private collections that are not open to the public, the group also will visit artists in their homes, including a carver and weaver who have built and decorated their own Spanish Colonial-style chapel.

The trip also includes a day in Taos, where participants will visit the Millicent Rogers Museum, Taos Pueblo, the Fechin Institute and San Francisco de Asis (the church made famous by O'Keeffe's paintings). Another day trip will be made to the Chimayo Valley, where participants will see two private homes, as well visit the pilgrimage church of El Santuario de Chimayo.

Cost: $1,795 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare from Los Angeles to Albuquerque, first-class hotel accommodations, some meals, concert, transportation by chartered motor coach, museum admissions, gratuities and a tax-deductible contribution to USC.

Contact: Spectrum Tours, P.O. Box 50608, Santa Barbara, CA 93150; tel. (805) 969-9665.

Italy Wine Harvest

Join wine expert Robert Lawrence Balzer on a wine tour of Italy during the harvest season, Sept. 14 to 27. Participants will visit vineyards, taste wines and learn about the art of Italian winemaking. The tour covers the regions of Umbria, Tuscany, Emilia Romagna, Veneto and Piedmont. Guests also have time to explore castles, cathedrals and museums.

Cost: $3,995 per person, double occupancy, including hotels, ground transportation and some meals. Air fare is additional. Contact: Frances E. Reps, Presidential Worldwide Travel, 24411 Ridge Route, No. 130, Laguna Hills, CA 92653; tel. (714) 380-0849.

South Africa Focus

Explore South Africa with photographer Michele Burgess on a tour Oct. 7 to 25 that begins in Cape Town, with visits to Table Mountain, the colorful Malay Quarter, Cape Peninsula, Cape of Good Hope, the penguin colony at Boulders and the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens. Guests meet the peoples of Kagga Kamma and learn about their traditional way of life. The group will meander through the Cape Winelands and along the Garden Route. They will visit Oudtshoorn, known as the "Feather Capital of the World" because of its ostrich industry, and explore the Cango Caves. In Zululand, guests will encounter Zulu culture and customs and can photograph the wildlife at the private game reserves of Zulu Nyala and Sabi Sabi. Participants also visit the De Wildt Cheetah Station and Sun City.

Cost: $6,175 per person, double occupancy, including air fare from Los Angeles, accommodations, some meals, special entertainment and sightseeing. An optional Victoria Falls extension is available for $998. Contact: In Focus With Michele Burgess, 20741 Catamaran Lane, Huntington Beach, CA 92646; tel. (714) 536-6104.

Zimbabwe's Beauty

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