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TOURS & CRUISES

Air Shows, Spitfire Rides in Three Trips to Britain

March 12, 2000|KARIN ESTERHAMMER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A British professor of history and expert on World War II will be the featured lecturer on three aviation/history tours this summer in England and Scotland. The first tour, June 30 to July 11, features two days at the Duxford Flying Legends Air Show. Tour participants will also visit Windsor Castle, Cambridge, the American Cemetery in Maddingly, the Shuttleworth Collection, the RAF Uxbridge Underground Battle Station, Portsmouth and London.

Cost: $2,798 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare to London from Los Angeles, hotels, daily breakfast, entry fees and air show.

The second tour, July 24 to Aug. 5, features the Farnborough Air Show and the Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Scotland. The tour also includes a visit to Stratford-on-Avon, a steam engine ride on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and the Elvington Air Museum in York. Four nights are spent in Edinburgh to attend the Tattoo and see the royal yacht Britannia.

Cost: $3,125 per person, double occupancy, including air fare, hotels, breakfasts and entrance fees.

The third trip coincides with the 60th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. The tour runs Sept. 4 to 12 and has the same itinerary as the first tour, including the Duxford air show.

Cost: $2,678 per person, double occupancy, including air fare from Los Angeles, hotels, breakfasts, sightseeing and land transportation.

Each tour offers an optional chance to ride in a rare World War II Spitfire.

Contact: Jerren Travel Service, 2 Hidalgo, Irvine, CA 92620; telephone (714) 731-8020.

Warsaw and Prague

Norvista has introduced an eight-day tour to Warsaw and Prague, Czech Republic. Travelers can choose any departure date. The tour provides round-trip Finn-air transatlantic flights from New York, a three-night stay and a sightseeing tour in each city, breakfast daily, a day train ride from Warsaw to Prague and airport transfers. The choice of budget, first-class and deluxe accommodations includes the Grand, Mercury and Bristol in Warsaw and the Denisa, Charles and Radisson hotels in Prague.

Cost: from $799 for budget, $1,129 for first-class and $1,699 for deluxe hotels. Prices are good through April 27.

Contact: Norvista Inc., 228 E. 45th St., New York, NY 10017; tel. (800) 677-6454 or (212) 818-1198.

Greece and Turkey

Christmas 2000 in Greece (on the island of Skopelos) and New Year's 2001 in Istanbul, Turkey, are part of a tour to be led by USC Classics Professor Dick Caldwell. Half of the 24-day tour, which begins Dec. 18, is in Greece and half is in Turkey. Participants can take either or both halves. Besides Skopelos, the Greek segment visits Athens, Santorini, the Peloponnese and northern Greece (including two days in the ski resort of Metsovo). The Turkish segment visits Istanbul and the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts from Ephesus to Antalya.

Cost: $1,640 for either half, or $2,960 for both, per person, double occupancy, including lodging, ground transportation, admissions, guides and most meals. Air fare is extra.

Contact: Sporades Tours, 13101 Laurinda Way, Santa Ana, CA 92705; tel. (800) 695-7176 or (714) 744-9188.

Japan: Sushi, Sake

A tour to Japan from April 6 to 14 will focus on the tastes and sights of Tokyo. Guests will sample sushi at the Tokyo Fish Market. Then they will try sake at a 300-year-old family-owned local brewery. Participants will also learn how to make soba noodles from scratch and can relax in a spa with a panoramic mountain view, take a subway to go shopping and have a sake party under blossoming cherry trees.

Cost: $1,980 per person, double occupancy, including hotel, sightseeing and some meals. Air fare is extra. Optional Kabuki or No theater tickets can be arranged in advance.

Contact: Makiko/South Coast International Travel; tel. (714) 432-8747.

China: Bicycling

Discover China at the same pace as the locals--bicycling in small groups (usually 10 to 14 participants) through scenic countryside. The 16-day tour starts in Hong Kong, then goes up the Pearl River delta by catamaran to Guangzhou (formerly known as Canton). Cycling through Guangdong and Guanxi provinces takes the group to Guilin, known for its quartz formations set amid lush green hills. At the end of the 16-day tour, travelers can select a four-day extension to Beijing or Xian. Tour dates are April 27 or Sept. 14.

Cost: $1,780 per person, double occupancy, including deluxe hotels, all meals, sightseeing fees, guides, air transportation within China and 21-speed mountain bike rental. Air fare is extra.

Contact: CYTS/Guangdong Travel; tel. (619) 294-4535, Internet http://www.channel21.com/Asia/CYTS.

Utah: Dinosaurs

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