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A Rockin' Good Time Exploring Stonehenge

TOURS & CRUISES

November 29, 1998|KARIN ESTERHAMMER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Learn about the legends of Stonehenge on a spring trip to England May 27 to June 10. Led by an archeologist and art historian, 16 tour members will have the opportunity to go behind the gates of Stonehenge for a private tour at sunset. Guests will also visit the museums, theaters, manor houses and gardens of London, Bath, the Cotswolds, Canterbury and the Devon coast.

Cost: $3,750 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare, hotels, some meals and entrance fees.

Contact: Byron Tours; telephone (831) 688-1325.

Vietnam: A Sampler

See the mist-covered mountains, emerald rice fields, French architecture and beaches of Vietnam on a 15-day tour that visits Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Hue, Danang and Ho Chi Minh City. Departures are throughout the year.

After a full day of sightseeing in Hanoi, guests will drive through the port city of Haiphong to Ha Long Bay to cruise in traditional sailing junks. Next, guests will fly to Hue, the old imperial capital of Vietnam, to visit the citadel, the Forbidden City and the elaborate tombs and palaces of Vietnam's last emperors. In Danang the Marble Mountains are explored before a visit to the seaport village of Hoi An. The tour ends in Ho Chi Minh City with a city tour and a tour of the Cu Chi Tunnels, a complex of underground bunkers near the Cambodian border.

Cost: $1,790 per person, double occupancy, including lodging, ground transportation, some meals and entrance fees. Air fare is extra.

Contact: Asian Pacific Adventures, 826 S. Sierra Bonita Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036; tel. (323) 935-3156 or (800) 825-1680.

Norway: Art

A 12-day "Norwegian Art and Culture" voyage, aboard the Richard With will sail up and down the country's west coast. The cruise departs from Bergen March 26, goes as far north as Kirkenes, above the Arctic Circle, and returns to Bergen on April 6.

The itinerary includes a walking tour of the Art Nouveau city of Alesund, a classical concert in the ship's lounge and introductions to the art and crafts of the Sami people who inhabit Lapland.

A cultural activity is scheduled every day of the cruise. The Richard With makes calls at Trondheim, once the Viking capital and later the capital of Norway. Passengers tour Nidaros Cathedral and the recently restored 12th century archbishop's estate, stroll through the city's medieval quarter and visit the Museum of Decorative Arts.

The ship stops at Bodo, reached after crossing the Arctic Circle, and in the rugged Lofoten Islands for visits to the galleries of Kare Espolin Johnson and Dagfinn Bakke.

An excursion goes from Honnigavag to the North Cape, Europe's northernmost point, for a panoramic view of the Arctic Ocean and a visit to the museum built into the cliff's rock face. Also visited are Hammerfest (the world's northernmost city) and Helgeland.

Cost: from $1,735 per person, double occupancy, including outside cabins, meals, port taxes and all lectures and shore excursions. Air fare is extra.

Contact: Bergen Line, 405 Park Ave., New York, NY 10022; tel. (800) 323-7436; Internet http:// www.bergenline.com.

Japan: Walking Kyoto

A 12-day visit to temples, monasteries, nunneries, gardens and villas in Kyoto, Japan, is designed to be a "meditative walk." Riding public transport and strolling--in "short increments"--are the means of travel so that the visitor is "immersed in the sights, sounds, tastes and sensations of Japan." Guides broadcast via lapel microphone to the headphone-wearing participants. There are nine departures, beginning March 22.

Cost: $3,000 per person, including air fare from Los Angeles, 11 nights' lodging, all breakfasts, nearly all dinners and all entrance fees. Similar trips in rural Japan and Tokyo and an art tour also are available.

Contact: Esprit Travel; tel. (800) 377-7481 or (310) 829-6060.

Spain: On Foot

Hike through Spain to the city of Santiago de Compostela with "Spanish Steps and Roman Roads," hosted by the Adventure Walking Tour based in Aspen, Colo. Eight- and 12-day treks, on various dates this spring, summer and fall, offer a comfortable daily hiking pace of eight to 12 miles for the novice hiker. Guests will join in festivities surrounding the patron saint, Santiago.

The Camino de Santiago is an ancient route that winds through culturally rich villages, vineyards and scenic terrain from the Pyrenees to Galicia in the northwest corner of the Iberian Peninsula. Guests will sample the cuisines and wines of each region.

Cost: from $1,695 including guides, lodging, all meals and ground transportation. Air fare is extra.

Contact: Judy Colaneri at Spanish Steps and Roman Roads; tel. (970) 923-6859.

Monte Carlo: Tennis

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