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Tours & Cruises

Fall Colors Beckon From Canada, New England

July 29, 2001|KARIN ESTERHAMMER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Autumn colors can be viewed from the Cunard liner Caronia and by train along the St. Lawrence and Hudson rivers on an excursion Oct. 3 to 12. The ocean sector calls at Martha's Vineyard, Mass., and includes passage through the Cape Cod Canal, sails along the Saguenay River and disembarks at Quebec City. From there, passengers travel by rail to Montreal and, after a two-night stopover, take the train back to New York, the origin point. A reverse trip, Oct. 7 to 16, is available with cruise stops in Canada at Sydney and Halifax Nova Scotia, and at Newport, R.I.

Cost: $1,995 to $5,945 per person, double occupancy. Air fare is extra.

Contact: Train Holidays of Walnut Creek, Calif.; telephone (800) 323-5893 or (925) 938-0456, Internet http://www.trainholidays.com.

Spain: Two Itineraries

Two tours to Spain will give travelers an overview of the country this fall. "Splendors of Northern Spain," offered Oct. 10 to 23, includes Madrid, Barcelona, Pamplona, Bilbao, Zaragoza, Gijon, Santander and Santiago.

A "Spain Discovery Tour," with overnights in Madrid, Seville, Granada and the Costa del Sol, is planned Nov. 9 to 19.

Cost: $1,995 ("Splendors of Northern Spain") and $1,595 ("Spain Discovery") per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare, hotels, daily breakfasts, some meals, guides and transfers.

Contact: Doreen Adams at Lido Travel, 3403 Via Lido, Newport Beach, CA 92663; tel. (800) 843-6679 or (949) 673-3310.

Kenya: Safari

The Santa Ana Zoo is hosting a 13-day safari to Kenya beginning Nov. 2. The tour visits the country's premier game-viewing national parks, including Masai Mara and Samburu. Accommodations will be at first-class lodges and luxury tented camps.

Sweetwaters tent camp will let travelers relax in style and visit a chimpanzee rehabilitation center, see endangered rhino and go on a night drive if they choose. Mountain Lodge Tree Hotel at the base of Mt. Kenya provides day and night viewing of wildlife.

Cost: $3,995 per person, double occupancy, including air fare from Los Angeles, hotels, all meals while on safari and guides. An optional eight-day extension to Tanzania includes the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Manyara national parks.

Contact: Ron Glazier, Santa Ana Zoo; tel. (714) 647-6598.

Florence: Literary Sites

From Oct. 6 to 15, you can visit the homes of writers and artists who lived in Florence, Italy, and explore the city through their eyes. Sites include the Duomo and the Baptistry, where Dante was baptized; the library that Michelangelo created for the Medici family; the tombs of Galileo, Machiavelli and Michelangelo; the home of Carlo Collodi, who created Pinocchio; and Dostoevsky's and Elizabeth Barrett Browning's homes.

Day trips will be made to the countryside and places immortalized by Lord Byron. Siena, Pisa and Lucca (birthplace of the composer Puccini) also are scheduled.

Cost: $3,370 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare from New York, hotel, breakfast and either lunch or dinner daily, motor-coach transportation, entrance fees and an expert literary guide. A four-day Rome extension includes visits to the Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museums, Colosseum and other sites.

Contact: Specialty World Travel; tel. (800) 242-2346, http://www.specialtyworldtravel.com.

Arizona: Ballooning

Jeanne and Ray Ritzke of the Northrop Grumman Retirement Club of Rancho Palos Verdes are leading a motor-coach tour to the Albuquerque Balloon Festival for seven nights starting Oct. 8. The tour itinerary includes the Balloon Festival "Mass Ascension," tours of Albuquerque and Santa Fe, N.M., the Silverton & Durango Railroad, Petrified Forest National Park, Colorado National Monument and Valley of Fire State Park.

Cost: $999 per person, including transportation from Los Angeles, hotels and 11 meals.

Contact: Ray Ritzke; tel. (310) 831-6085.

Ireland: Photography

Making art of your photography by day and by night is the object of an Oct. 10-to-24 ramble in western Ireland. The instructors are Tim Baskerville of San Francisco and Lance Keimig of Pembroke, Mass., both specialists in after-dark picture-taking. The guide will be Olcan Masterson, a regional historian.

The group will be based at Hillcrest House, five miles from West port, in County Mayo. Among the sites to be visited are Ballintubber and Murrisk abbeys, the village ofCong (setting for the 1952 movie "The Quiet Man"), Ceide Fields, Galway, Connemara and Achill Island.

Cost: $2,795 per person, double occupancy, including 12 nights' lodging, daily breakfast and dinner, lunch at Ashford Castle and van transportation. Air fare to Shannon is extra.

Contact: Voyagers International of Ithaca, N.Y.; tel. (800) 633-0299, http://www.voyagers.com.

Turkey: History

The Claremont Institute will sponsor a trip to Istanbul and Izmir from Oct. 5 to 15. Sites will include the 6th century Hagia Sophia church, Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque and the Hippodrome, scene of ancient chariot races.

From Izmir, the birthplace of Homer, the group will visit Ephesus to see one of the most completely preserved ancient cities in the Mediterranean and the place, by tradition, where the Virgin Mary lived her last years. The institute also will arrange briefings on current political issues.

Cost: $3,450 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare from Los Angeles, all breakfasts, some lunches and dinners and all entrance fees.

Contact: Chuck Caramelli at Lakeside Travel; tel. (800) 782-4898.

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

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