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TOURS & CRUISES

An England Excursion That's Really Looking Up

April 22, 2001|KARIN ESTERHAMMER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A trip to England from July 1 to 12 features a day of vintage airplanes at the Duxford Flying Legends Air Show and a private meeting with aviation artist Robert Taylor in his gallery in Bath.

Guests will hear history lectures from World War II experts as they visit Cambridge, the American Cemetery in Maddingly, Salisbury Cathedral and the Battle of Britain Underground Operations Center in Uxbridge. A full day is scheduled for sightseeing and shopping in London.

Cost: $2,998 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare from Los Angeles, hotels, daily breakfast, scheduled sightseeing and entrance fees and land transfers to and from the airport.

Contact: Jerren Travel Service; tel. (714) 731-8020, Internet http://www.jerrentravel.com.

Europe: Via Coach

Educator Paula Freimund will lead the National Educational Travel Council's trip to Europe July 7 to 21, and non-teachers are also invited.

The tour will include Berlin, Dresden, Munich and Heidelberg in Germany; Prague, Czech Republic; Vienna and Salzburg, Austria; and Lucerne, Switzerland. Transportation is on a deluxe motor coach. The schedule is full but includes time for leisure and shopping.

Participants also can have an optional Rhine River cruise, take waltz lessons in Vienna or join a Swiss folk night where performers play traditional instruments such as alphorn and zither.

Cost: $2,669 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare from Los Angeles, hotels, daily breakfast and dinner, ground transportation and guide services.

Contact: Paula Freimund at (310) 314-7778.

Fiji: Eco-Village

Join an eco-tour on a small island in Fiji where the only high-rise is a nearby mountain peak. The 144-acre Kuata Island Nature Conservancy is 26 nautical miles from the main island of Viti Levu.

Pathways to Paradise, in cooperation with a Fijian village in the southern Yasawa Islands, arranges for guests to sleep in traditional yet comfortable thatch-roofed bungalows; take guided hikes to waterfalls; enjoy walks along white sand beaches; make cultural visits to a village; and snorkel, dive and sea kayak in clear waters along soft-coral reefs. The first tour departs June 28; the last, Sept. 27.

Cost: $1,950 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare from Los Angeles; seven nights' accommodations; land and sea transfers; three meals daily; guides; yoga classes; and use of windsurfing, snorkeling and kayaking equipment. Extras include massage, diving equipment and drinks. Two-week stays are available for $2,250 per person, double occupancy on selected dates.

Contact: Debra Conkey at Pathways to Paradise; tel. (888) 771-2852, http://www.pathwaystoparadise.com.

Colorado: On Horseback

San Juan Outfitting of Colorado specializes in horse pack trips for small groups. All trips incorporate horseback riding with scenery, knowledgeable guides and mountain-wise horses. Group sizes are limited to eight, with custom trips built for groups of six or more.

Weeklong summer fishing trips, archery and muzzleloader hunts take place in the Weminuche Wilderness in southwest Colorado. A horseback adventure to travel along the Continental Divide is available in August.

Camps are well equipped with dining and kitchen tents and cabin tents large enough to sleep two to three people comfortably on cots and foam pads.

Cost: $190 per person per day, double occupancy, including guide, camping equipment and all meals. Transportation to Durango is extra.

Contact: Tom or Cheri Van Soelen; tel. (970) 259-6259, http://www.san juanoutfitting.com.

Italy: Architecture

Architectour, a New York-based tour company, is offering architectural tours to Rome. The guides have access to a variety of cultural monuments not readily available to the average tourist. Private after-hours tours include the Vatican Museums, some embassies, palaces and archeological excavations.

After a week's stay in Rome, participants will spend three days on the Isle of Capri at the Quisisana resort and spa.

Tour dates are Sept. 6 to 16, Sept. 20 to 30 and Oct. 4 to 14. The tours are limited to eight to 10. Accommodations are in a newly refurbished 18th century palace converted into a deluxe hotel overlooking the Pantheon in the heart of Rome's historic center.

Cost: $4,995 per person, double occupancy, including lodging, breakfast, all transfers in Italy and air fare from New York. Air fare is extra.

Contact: Architectour; tel. (877) 727-ROMA (7662), http://www.architectour.com.

Turkey: Archeology

The Collectors' Council of the Bowers Museum of Cultural Art in Santa Ana is hosting an archeological history and cultural arts tour of Turkey from June 2 to 25.

An archeologist will lead the trip into many Greek, Hellenistic and Roman cities, including Troy, Ephesus, Bodrum (formerly known as Halicarnassus) and the ancient Roman spa of Pamukkale.

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