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TOURS & CRUISES

Ditching the City and Pitching a Tent at Pismo

May 23, 1999|KARIN ESTERHAMMER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Celebrate Memorial Day weekend and the start of summer with a two-night family camping trip to Pismo Beach, Saturday through Monday, May 29 to 31. Guided hikes and other campsite activities are planned. All meals are prepared, so guests don't have to cook.

Cost: $100 for adults and $65 for children to age 17, including campground reservations for two nights, all meals and activities. Guests bring tents and sleeping bags. Transportation to Pismo Beach is not included.

Contact: Family Adventure Trips, 1164 Alvira St., Los Angeles, CA 90035; telephone (323) 939- 2819.

Danube: Cruise

A classical guitarist will lead an 11-day Danube music cruise-tour featuring a seven-day sailing on the Mozart river barge. Ballet, opera and concert performances in Munich, Germany, and Vienna and Budapest, Hungary, are included. The musical tour begins with a three-day program in Munich and then cruises on the Danube River to Austria, Hungary and Slovakia. The tour runs Sept. 22 to Oct. 3.

Sightseeing in Munich includes a private visit to the National Theater, the Bavarian State Opera, Oktoberfest activities and a guided tour of the Alte Pinakothek museum. In Vienna, guests will see the Museum of Fine Arts and Schonbrunn Palace.

The Danube cruise on the Mozart sails from Passau, an old-world Bavarian town in southeastern Germany. The itinerary in Austria includes the wine village of Durnstein, the baroque Benedictine abbey at Melk and the city of Vienna; Budapest and the cathedral of Esztergom in Hungary; and Bratislava, capital of Slovakia.

Cost: $5,890 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare to Munich from Los Angeles; the seven-night cruise with all meals; hotel accommodations with daily buffet breakfast and a welcome dinner; tickets to concerts, opera and ballet performances; talks and lectures; sightseeing; entrance fees; airport transfers; motor-coach transportation; and taxes.

Contact: IST Cultural Tours; tel. (800) 833-2111.

Greece: Archeology

"Following Footsteps of the Gods," June 18 to July 4, is a tour focusing on the art and archeology of Greece sponsored by the Cal Poly University Art Department. Directed and led by art professors Joseph Hannibal and Luisa Cohrs, the program includes visits to the Acropolis and the National Archeological Museum in Athens; the ancient site of Delphi, which in antiquity was considered the center of the world; the temple of Apollo at Bassae; the Byzantine city of Mistra, with a medieval town with ruins; the ancient theater of Epidaurus; Corinth and Sparta; the Minoan palaces of Knossos and Phaistos on the island of Crete; and ancient Thera and Akrotiri on Santorini.

A Greek scholar guides tour participants through a series of excursions through remote and forgotten Minoan temples and ruins throughout Crete.

Cost: $3,395 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare from Los Angeles, first-class hotel accommodations, inter-island flights and cruises, breakfast daily and most dinners, transfers, transportation by private air-conditioned coach, all admission fees and guides.

Contact: UET Tours; tel. (800) 525-0525.

Midwest: Lincoln

The History Channel and HistoryAmerica Tours are offering "Abraham Lincoln: A Portrait in the Heartland," a six-night motor-coach tour commencing July 17. The learning vacation, led by Lincoln scholar Gerald Prokopowicz, will start in Chicago. Among the highlights will be the Lincoln Museum in Fort Wayne, Ind.; the Lincoln family farm; the old courthouse in Vandalia, Ill., where Lincoln served as a state representative; a state park and all the Lincoln sites in Springfield, Ill., including the state capitol building and the Lincoln home, law offices and tomb. The final day will be spent in Chicago and will include the "House Divided" exhibit at the Chicago Historical Society.

Cost: $1,495 per person, double occupancy, including six nights' hotel accommodations, transportation via deluxe motor coach and 10 meals. Air fare to Chicago is extra.

Contact: HistoryAmerica Tours, P.O. Box 797687, Dallas, TX 75379; tel. (800) 628-8542.

Mexico: Mystery Cruise

Whodunit Productions, an L.A. murder mystery theater company, is offering a "Murder on the High Seas" cruise aboard Royal Caribbean's Viking Serenade. This three-night trip is scheduled to leave July 16 out of San Pedro, sailing to Ensenada, Mexico. There will be specific periods when guests follow the mystery tour, but the rest of the time is open to enjoy the cruise.

Passengers will get mysterious phone calls in their cabins, secret notes slid under their doors and other surprises.

Cost: from $499 per person, double occupancy, with special cocktail parties.

Contact: Whodunit Productions; tel. (805) 297-3208 or (661) 297-3208.

Peru: Inca Millennium

Witness the ancient Inca-Andean traditional New Year celebration on June 21 when the first day of the Inca New Millennium begins in Cuzco, Peru.

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