EF Educational Tours and El Camino College geography professor Matt Ebiner will lead a tour to Europe from April 6 to 15. European capital cities are the focal point of "European Quintet," from the canals of Amsterdam to Cologne (not the capital) in Germany's Rhine River Valley. A day will be spent in Brussels, capital of Belgium and the European Union. Three nights will be spent in Paris, and the trip will conclude in England with a visit to Canterbury and two nights in London.
Cost: $1,928 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare from Los Angeles, hotel accommodations, ground transportation, continental breakfast and dinner daily, guides, some entry fees and taxes.
Contact: Matt Ebiner, group leader; telephone (310) 660-3369, Internet http://www.edtours.com.
The South: By Train
The American Orient Express has added Vicksburg, Miss., to its 2001 "Antebellum South" trip.
Passengers will journey from Washington, D.C., to New Orleans. En route they will experience the rich history of the South with sights such as Ft. Pulaski in Georgia, Thomas Jefferson's Monticello and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, the Tidewater region of Virginia and the Carolinas as well as the coastal plains and plantations of the Deep South.
This seven-night journey runs weekly through March and April.
Cost: from $2,290 per person, double occupancy, including hotels, all meals, baggage handling and guides. Transportation to Washington, D.C., and home from New Orleans is extra.
Contact: American Orient Express Tours; tel. (877) 854-3545, Internet http://www.americanorientexpress.com.
Travel Times is offering "Christmas in the English Countryside" (Dec. 23 to 28) and "New Year in London" (Dec. 28 to Jan. 2). The first tour includes five nights in the English countryside at Hunstrete House, a Georgian manor near Bath, and the second tour offers five nights at the Ritz.
Highlights of the Christmas trip include caroling parties, a traditional English Christmas pantomime show, a Boxing Day hunt meet and sightseeing in Bath to view the Roman Baths, the Pump Room, Bath Abbey and Guildhall.
For the New Year's trip, theatrical performances in London and visits to Windsor Castle, Salisbury Cathedral, the Courtauld Institute of Art, the new Tate Modern and the Wallace Collection in Hertford House are scheduled. Two black-tie evenings include ringing in 2001 at a formal ball at the Ritz.
Cost: $2,930 for the Christmas tour and $2,995 for the New Year's tour per person, double occupancy, including hotels, sightseeing, many meals and guides. Air fare is extra.
Contact: William D. Buckman's Travel Time; tel. (800) 621-4725, Internet http://www.w-d-b-travel-time.com.
Yosemite: New Year's
Family Adventure Tours will conduct a family ski trip to Yosemite National Park from Dec. 28 to Jan. 1. The trip includes accommodations in cabins in Yosemite Valley, cross-country ski lessons and tours, and brunch at the Ahwahnee Hotel on New Year's Day.
Cost: $285 for adults and $100 for children. Transportation to Yosemite is not included.
Contact: Family Adventure Tours, 1164 Alvira St., Los Angeles, CA 90035; tel. (323) 377-7565.
Turkey: St. Paul's Path
Tursem Tours' 15-day "In the Footsteps of St. Paul" journey will depart Los Angeles March 1 and 20 for Istanbul.
The tour focuses on Turkey's ancient Christian heritage. It takes participants to all the destinations of Paul's missionary journeys cited in the Bible. The tour also visits Hellenistic and Roman sites, including Hierapolis, Aphrodisias, Perga and Troy.
A highlight of the tour is a visit to St. Paul's birth city of Tarsus, whose history reaches back 34 centuries. There tour members visit the Sacred Well, St. Paul's Arch and the Gate where Antony first greeted Cleopatra. Also scheduled are Cappadocia, Antioch, Pergamum and Ephesus.
A two-day stay in Istanbul includes a cruise on the Bosporus and visits to the Blue Mosque of Sultan Ahmet, the Hippodrome, Topkapi Palace, the Spice Market, Justinian's Basilica Cistern and the Grand Covered Bazaar.
Cost: from $1,795 per person, including round-trip air fare from LAX, first-class lodging with daily breakfast, 15 dinners, expert guides, transfers and deluxe ground transportation.
Contact: Tursem Tours; tel. (800) 223-9169, Internet http://www.tursemtours.com.
A tour to Italy to celebrate Carnival will take place Feb. 18 to March 1. The Italians have celebrated the changing of the seasons from winter to spring for centuries with elaborate and sometimes boisterous festivities.
In the small villages of Sardinia there are street processions with floats, bands and locals dressed in medieval costume. In Venice, guests will attend the celebrations and performances.
Cost: $3,160, per person, including round-trip air fare to Venice from the West Coast, transfers to Sardinia, accommodations, excursion by rail to Carnevale in Verona, some meals and guides.
Contact: Danu Enterprises; tel. (888) 476-0543.