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TOURS & CRUISES

Days of Wine and Rafting on a River

April 04, 1999|KARIN ESTERHAMMER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Rafting on the South Fork of the American River is planned July 9 to 11 on a tour called "Wine Water Rafting." The trip combines two days of rafting with a Saturday evening wine tasting. Rafting includes instruction, equipment and experienced guides. The tasting takes place overlooking the river with wines from local wineries, such as Gold Hill and Charles Mitchell. The evening is accompanied by hors d'oeuvres and a slide show of that day's rafting.

Optional round-trip air transportation from LAX to Sacramento, including transfers to the river (about 45 minutes), is also available for a package price of $429.

Cost: $299 per person including bus transportation from Los Angeles (with refreshments and movies on the bus), two nights' camping at a private campground (including tent and sleeping pad) and five meals, including riverside picnic lunches.

Contact: Pacific Sports Tours of Redondo Beach, 212 Yacht Club Way, Suite A-7, Redondo Beach, CA; telephone (310) 798-1234.

Scotland: Highlands

Adventure Vacations is conducting a two-week tour of the Scottish Highlands following in the footsteps of Rob Roy, Bonnie Prince Charlie and William Wallace of "Braveheart" fame. The "Highlander Tour," Aug. 9 to 23, includes tickets to the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Local guides and a private coach will take travelers to Edinburgh, Inverness, Isle of Skye, Fort William, Loch Lomond, Glasgow, Loch Ness and other places steeped in the history of the Highlands.

Cost: $2,499 per person, double occupancy, including air fare from San Diego or Los Angeles on British Airways; lodging in hotels, farm stays, guest houses and home stays; and full Scottish breakfasts.

Contact: Adventure Vacations, P.O. Box 1836, La Jolla, CA 92038; tel. (619) 459-1065 or (800) 600- 5587.

Europe: Cruise

Travel from Budapest to Amsterdam Sept. 11 to 25 aboard the 142-passenger river barge Prussian Princess. Guests will cruise from Budapest, Hungary, on the Danube, to the Main-Danube canal and then on the Rhine to Amsterdam. Along the way, passengers will stop in Vienna, then cruise past baroque palaces and medieval castles and through the towns of southern Germany. Guests will see Bamberg, noted for its old town hall standing on an island in the river, and Rothenberg, a medieval walled town.

Cost: from $3,468 per person, including all meals aboard the ship, 12 guided shore excursions and two escorted overland tours. Air fare is not included.

Jennifer Luckow at Elmes Travel, P.O. Box 50640, Montecito, CA; tel. (800) 795-5963.

Michigan: Tulip Festival

Feel like you're in the Netherlands in Holland, Mich., May 13 to 19. The group will arrive in Holland at the height of the Tulip Festival to visit Veldheer Tulip Gardens, the DeKlomp Wooden Shoe and Delft Factory and Windmill Island. Then they will tour Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and stay overnight at the Island House on Mackinac Island. Visits are also planned to Ft. Mackinac and historic Mill Creek, Frankenmuth and the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village in Dearborn.

Cost: $1,395 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare from Los Angeles, six nights' deluxe accommodations, motor coach transportation, gratuity for the motor coach driver and 13 meals.

Contact: Main Street Tours, 1751 W. Torrance Blvd., Suite N, Torrance, CA 90501; tel. (800) 300- 6246.

Spain: Barcelona

The University of Barcelona has created a weeklong cultural tour called "Walking Through Barcelona." The program, Oct. 24 to 31, combines academic activities with tourism. Members will follow a trail through the history of Barcelona.

Morning lectures are given in the Aula Magna, the university's main building, a historical landmark in the city center. Each day has a particular theme. The lectures are given by University of Barcelona professors who are specialists in their fields. Lectures are followed by visits to places associated with the lectures. The private visits, led by the professors, include many places not open to the public. There will also be meals in restaurants associated with the day's theme.

Cost: $2,695 per person, double occupancy, including hotel, all breakfasts, some meals and sightseeing. Air fare is extra.

Contact: Saranjan Tours, 12865 N.E. 85th St., No. 102, Kirkland, WA 98033; tel. (800) 858-9594.

France: Cycling

Historical Cycling International is offering a Jewish heritage cycling tour through Provence Sept. 24 to Oct. 1. Guests will rendezvous in Avignon.

The biking route takes travelers through Co^te du Rho^ne vineyards and along tree-lined roads to historic cha^teaux. Members will explore the largest Jewish communities in southern France through visits to synagogues and museums.

Cost: $2,950 per person, double occupancy, including luxury accommodations, most meals, guide services, a 21-speed bicycle, van support and baggage transfers. Air fare to France is not included.

Contact: Historical Cycling International; tel. (949) 499-0342, Internet http://www.historicalcycling.com.

China: Martial Arts

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