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Tours & Cruises

Save Up for Hong Kong, London Shopping Sprees


When you've exhausted the local malls, you can join two shopping trips abroad: one to London from Jan. 8 to 15, which includes Harrods' renowned annual sale, and another to Hong Kong and Beijing from May 8 to 26, which includes a 12-day luxury cruise on the Crystal Harmony.

Both trips will be hosted by Phyllis Brown, a retired retail executive who knows where the hot shopping spots are in each country. The London excursion is limited to 25 participants.

The Asian shopping odyssey includes one night in a Hong Kong hotel before the cruise departs, an escorted shopping tour in Hong Kong and a three-day tour of Beijing. The cruise itinerary includes Taipei, Taiwan; Kagoshima, Japan; and Shanghai, China.

Cost: for London, $1,590 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare from Los Angeles, transfers, accommodations, breakfast, a London Pass for museums and attractions, a citywide transportation pass, tea at Harrods, escorted shopping in London, porterage and trip cancellation/interruption insurance. For Asia, from $5,570 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air from Los Angeles, transfers, a shopping tour and the Crystal cruise.

Contact: Hager Travel Group; (800) 537-5743,

Belize: Fly-fishing

"Fly Fishing for Life," a series of weeklong outdoor fishing adventures, will begin the winter fishing season with a trip to Belize. The trip, from Feb. 16 to 23, is open to anglers who want to catch bonefish, tarpon and snook, which populate the tidal flats and Caribbean coastal waters off Belize. Fishermen will stay aboard two yachts. Kenny Fischer, an avid fly fisherman, will lead the tour, which will be limited to eight anglers. Beginners, spouses and business associates are invited.

Cost: $4,900 per person, including transfers from Belize City airport; use of a high-quality fly rod, reel and line; accommodations; and meals. Air fare to Belize is extra.

Contact: Fischer at (310) 826-5875,

East Coast: Study

The Atlantic Coast from Bar Harbor, Maine, to Newport, R.I., can be studied on three tours arranged by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The first, June 2 to 8, focuses on Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket in Massachusetts. From Providence, R.I., participants will ferry to Martha's Vineyard for two days of walking tours. They then go to Nantucket, where they will visit the Whaling Museum and the Egan Institute of Maritime Studies.

Cost: $2,495 per person, double occupancy.

From July 19 to 23, the second tour includes Newport mansions and museums, three concerts at the annual Classical Music Festival and Old Sturbridge Village, Mass. This outing will be based at Newport and costs $3,445.

Maine's Mt. Desert Island will be toured Sept. 25 to 29. The trip includes tours of seaside homes and gardens and the Rockefeller Carriage Roads. The starting point will be Bangor, Maine; the tariff is $1,495.

Rates include lodging in historic hotels, daily breakfast and most lunches and dinners. Air fare to the East Coast is extra.

Contact: National Trust for Historic Preservation; (800) 944-6847,

California: Blossoms

Travel California's 85-mile "Blossom Trail" (California Highway 99 south of Sequoia National Park) from Feb. 17 to 20 to see the pink petals of apricot trees, the pinks and reds of peaches and nectarines, and the white blossoms of almond and plum trees. Other points of interest include lunch at the historic 1903 Reedley Opera House in Reedley, the Mennonite Quilting Center, a visit to the Sun-Maid raisin factory in Fresno and a guided tour and box lunch in Sequoia National Park.

The tour includes motor coach transportation and three nights at one of California's oldest dude ranches, Wonder Valley Ranch in the Sierra foothills. The ranch has a swimming pool, horseshoe pits, meals and entertainment each evening.

Cost: $515 per person, double occupancy, including ranch accommodations, all meals, baggage handling and gratuities for driver and guides.

Contact: Main Street Tours; (800) 300-6246,

New Zealand: Two Islands

From Auckland to Queenstown to Christchurch and beyond, travelers can soak up scenes of New Zealand and its Maori culture on a trip offered by ATS Tours. On departures through Dec. 16, the 12-night "New Zealand Spectacular" tour visits the North and South islands.

Three nights each will be spent in Auckland, Rotorua, Queenstown and Christchurch. From Auckland, a motor coach will take travelers to Rotorua, known for its hot springs and spas. A tour of the Waitomo Caves for an up-close look at the stalactite formations and the glowworm grotto is included. Another motor coach will take travelers from Queenstown, site of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables mountain range, to Christchurch, passing Mt. Cook, New Zealand's highest mountain.

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