Explore the countryside of China and Vietnam on two wheels.
A "Cycling in China" tour departs Sept. 12, Oct. 31 and Dec. 26 for a 15-day adventure in Guanzhou province and other areas. Starting in Hong Kong, guests will travel by train to China and spend the next days on their bikes exploring Zhaoqing, Lianxian, Babu, Yanshao and Guilin.
Cost: $1,875 per person, double occupancy. Air fare is extra. Extensions to Beijing and Xian can also be organized.
"Vietnam by Bike" has six departures from October to March for an 18-day tour from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi. Bicyclists will spend 10 days cycling through the rural countryside. The itineraries are flexible, allowing for shopping or relaxing. The accommodations are simple but authentic.
Cost: $2,285 per person, double occupancy. Air fare is extra.
Both tours include accommodations, most meals, bicycles, guide services, van support, translators and luggage transfers.
Contact: Active Journeys; telephone (800) 597-5594.
Peru: Rain Forests
The Massachusetts Audubon Society is sponsoring a wildlife tour to Peru Dec. 26 to Jan. 4. The tour includes a close-up look at one of the world's largest assemblies of brilliantly colored parrots. Local naturalists will guide participants on rain forest walks and jungle river boat rides. Guests can join an optional tour to the legendary "Lost City of the Incas"--Machu Picchu--and the colonial city of Cuzco.
Cost: $2,895 per person, double occupancy, including air fare from New York, most meals and hotels. The three-day extension is $620.
Contact: Cindy Gabriel at the Massachusetts Audubon Society Natural History Travel Program, tel. (800) 289-9504, Ext. 7411.
An annual "Opulent Christmas in Venice" tour, from Dec. 18 to 27, will be directed this year by Luisa Cohrs, an art professor, and sponsored by the Cal Poly University Art Department.
The 10-day program includes a seven-course traditional Christmas banquet in the penthouse dining room of the Renaissance Danieli Palace, followed by the pageantry of midnight Mass at St. Mark's Basilica. After a Christmas Day ascent to the snow-covered Alps, the group will indulge in a traditional country dinner at a restaurant. Another feature is a tour of the museums and synagogues of the historic Jewish ghetto with a Jewish scholar. Also included is a Vivaldi concert, performed with 18th century instruments and costumes in the church where Vivaldi was choirmaster; and drinks at the famous Harry's Bar, frequented by Hemingway and Fitzgerald.
Cost: $3,395 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare, accommodations at the deluxe Europa and Regina Hotel, full breakfast daily and some dinners, transfers, all admission fees and guides.
Contact: Cal Poly Art Department, tel. (909) 869-3512 or (800) 525-0525.
"The Arizona Sampler" (Nov. 1 to 6) lets participants explore Arizona's scenery by foot, mountain bike and horseback on secluded paths laden with cascading waterfalls, swimming holes, dramatic canyon walls and wildflowers. Participants will walk trails among the volcanic pinnacles of the Chiricahua Mountains and the gigantic towering cactuses in Saguaro National Park. The group may see 15 types of hummingbirds in the bird sanctuary of Ramsey Canyon, and take one of the Sonoran Desert's prettiest hikes among the cliffs of Ventano Canyon.
Cost: $1,295 per person, double occupancy, including meals and accommodations, van support and guides. Air fare to Arizona is extra.
Contact: Roads Less Traveled; tel. (800) 488-8483.
Drive yourself or be chauffeur-driven in a 15-day tour through the Arabian Peninsula visiting United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar. The itinerary includes overnight stops at Hilton hotels as well as some prearranged city tours.
The Arabian adventure begins with delivery of a rental car (or chauffeur-driven auto) in Abu Dhabi and continues along the Arabian Gulf to Dubai.
Cost: $5,400 per person, double occupancy, or $6,300 each with chauffeur-driven car, including air fare from New York, inter-country flights, hotels and daily American breakfast. Contact: Universal Travel System; tel. (800) 255-4338.
China: Clinton Paths
Japan & Orient Tours is offering a 13-day, 11-night tour of China that copies some of the itinerary of the Clintons' recent trip. The independent, unescorted tour includes visits to Shanghai, Beijing, Xian, Guilin and Hong Kong. Participants will see the Great Wall, the Forbidden Palace in Beijing, the terra-cotta warriors of Xian and the Guilin Peaks along the Li River. Departures are daily through the month of December.
Cost: $2,398 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare, hotels, airport transfers, all breakfasts and some lunches.
Contact: J&O Tours; tel. (800) 377-1080.
The eighth annual Irish Festival Cruise to the Caribbean focuses on the joyous sounds of Irish music and dancing. The cruise departs Fort Lauderdale on Jan. 16 for a weeklong celebration of Celtic tradition.