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TOURS & CRUISES

Flying in the Face of History in Britain

August 08, 1999|KARIN ESTERHAMMER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The "European Resale Shopping Tour" is designed to help shoppers find bargains in London and Paris. Clothing store owner Nicole Christ and Carolyn Schneider, author of "The Ultimate Consignment & Thrift Store Guide," will lead the tour Sept. 30 to Oct. 7. In Paris, guests will peruse the racks of Dior, Chanel and others in Paris' finest resale shops. There is also time to visit the sights of Paris. In London, guests will tour Buckingham Palace, take a cruise down the River Thames and visit secondhand stores throughout the city.

Contact: Carolyn Schneider; tel. (908) 781-2589, Internet http://www.consignmentguide.com.

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Italy: Po River Cruise

Spend seven nights cruising the Po River in Italy aboard the Venezia on a trip that runs Oct. 1 to 15. Starting with a morning city tour, guests will spend two days in Venice before sailing across the lagoon of Venice to the town of Chioggia, Italy's largest fishing port. Next, guests will leave the Adriatic Coast and sail to Ferrara and Revere. They will disembark for an excursion to the walled city of Mantua, with its many 15th and 16th century buildings. After the short sail to Boretto, passengers will take an excursion to Parma, known for its Parmesan cheese. Next is a morning cruise to Cremona to visit a violin maker's workshop and explore the city. Then a scenic tour to Pisa, with its leaning tower, is followed by a three-day stay in Florence. Driving through Tuscany, the group will tour Siena, then continue to Rome for a two-night stay with guided tours of the city and the Vatican.

Cost: $3,538 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare, all shore excursions, hotels for two nights in Florence and two nights in Rome with daily buffet breakfast.

Contact: Claudette Crowther at Carlson-Wagonlit Travel; tel. (800) 549-7233.

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Japan: Fine Arts

Ceramic and fine arts, festivals and hot springs are highlights of a tour to Japan, beginning Oct. 6, hosted by Yoshino Japanese Antiques in Pasadena. The 10-day tour will begin in Nagoya and travel northward to Takayama to experience the Hachiman Shrine Festival. During the festival, large, decorated floats called yatai are paraded through the streets. After all the partying, the tour will spend the evening at the Gero Spa, a hot springs area. Guests will stay at a ryokan overnight and sleep on the traditional tatami, straw floor mats, or futon, padded bedding. The following several days the group will be visiting the Tajimi, Seto and Minoo areas visiting various museums and learning about the ceramics of those regions. The last several days will be spent sightseeing in Kyoto, Japan's ancient capital. There will be an excursion to Shigaraki, one of Japan's oldest pottery areas, for a lecture by one of the local potters, an exhibition at his gallery and a chance for the group to make their own ceramics.

Cost: $3,400 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare from Los Angeles, accommodations, ground transportation, daily breakfasts and some meals

Contact: Gary Myers at Yoshino Japanese Antiques; tel. (626) 356-0588.

The Times is not responsible for changes in prices, dates or itineraries. These should be confirmed with travel agents or tour operators.

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