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TOURS & CRUISES

Chefs' Special on Cruise Around Society Islands

March 11, 2001|KARIN ESTERHAMMER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Radisson Cruises' Paul Gauguin, which sails the Society Islands, is offering a "Celebration of Chefs" on two summer departures with guest chefs Linda Steidel, a Williams-Sonoma cooking instructor, and Christine Brown and Jordan Funk, owners of Restaurant Christine in the South Bay.

Each sailing will feature cuisine inspired by two-star Michelin chef Jean-Pierre Vigato of the Paris restaurant Apicius, as well as culinary classes, special chef events and an evening with the chef in the ship's private dining room. Each cruise lasts a week. Join Steidel on June 23 or Brown and Funk for the Sept. 22 sailing.

Cost: from $2,095 per person, double occupancy. Port charges and air fare are extra.

Contact: Sharon Ryan, Robinson Travel; telephone (310) 379-2495 or (800) 379-2495, Internet http://www.robinsonstravel.com.

France: Sketching

Art & Architectural Tours & Seminars (AATS) of Sarasota, Fla., will lead a "Sketching and Painting in Provence" tour May 3 to 13.

The trip allows participants to explore drafting and painting in such southern French towns as Avignon, Les Baux and Roussillon.

During the trip, tour leader and artist Kevin Costello gives instruction in watercolor, acrylic, pencil, charcoal and pastels.

Cost: $2,345 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip train tickets from Paris, lodging, daily breakfast and some meals. Art supplies and air fare are not included.

Contact: Art & Architectural Tours & Seminars; tel. (800) 240-1194, http://www.art-architecttours.com.

Africa: Safari

Kenya Study Safaris is offering two 21-day luxury safaris to the game parks of Kenya and Tanzania departing June 7 and July 12.

In Kenya, participants will visit the Mount Kenya Safari Club; the chimpanzee sanctuary at Sweetwaters private game reserve; Treetops Lodge; and the game parks of Samburu, Nakuru and Masai Mara. Itineraries for Tanzania include the game parks of Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti via Olduvai Gorge.

Kenya-born tour leader Leonard Moite has planned visits to museums, villages and markets, and tea and coffee plantations.

Cost: from $5,780 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare to Nairobi, ground transportation, hotels, most meals, and museum and park entrance fees.

Contact: Kenya Study Safaris, 30037 Via Borica, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275; tel. (310) 377-6790.

Germany: Bavaria

Nonstop Travel, a specialist for travel to Germany, is offering five 14-day tours between May and September. The tours include the best of Bavaria by making day trips from the hotel.

The hotel is in the lower Bavarian countryside among cornfields and forests, with an award-winning restaurant with its own butcher shop and sausage kitchen. The itinerary includes well-known sites and castles.

Cost: $2,745 per person, double occupancy, including air fare, ground transportation, breakfasts and travel insurance.

Contact: Nonstop Travel; tel. (800) 949-6362.

Wyoming: Wildlife

Wildlife Expeditions is offering a weeklong expedition to view North America's large birds and wild horses in Jackson Hole, Wyo.; southwest Wyoming; and southeast Idaho from April 21 to 28.

Guests will focus on eagles, grouse cranes, swans and falcons.

The expedition travels to the Seedskadee and Grays Lake national wildlife refuges, the Red Desert and Grand Teton National Park.

The tour includes such historical and geological highlights as the first mountain-man rendezvous site and a Native American buffalo jump.

The tour returns to Grays Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

Groups range from four to eight people, and they will travel by custom safari vehicle. Each group will be led by a biologist guide and will include discussions about the cultural and geologic history.

Cost: from $1,450 per person, double occupancy, including all transportation from Jackson, a biologist guide, seven nights' lodging in hotels, most meals, private river float and park entrance fees.

Contact: Wildlife Expeditions; tel. (307) 733-2623, http://www.teton science.org/wildlife/index.htm.

China: Photography

Photographer-videographer and veteran China traveler Frank Logan will lead a 22-day small group tour to China departing Los Angeles on Sept. 21.

Participants will visit Beijing to see the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, the Summer Palace, the Temple of Heaven and the Ming Tombs. In Xian, visits are scheduled to see the tomb of China's first emperor and the Terra Cotta Army Museum.

Designed for lovers of art, architecture and history, the trip is highlighted by a weeklong exploration of Yunnan.

Travelers will visit Kunming's Stone Forest, the ancient village of Dayan in Lijiang and tropical Xishuangbanna near China's borders with Myanmar (formerly Burma) and Laos.

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