Archeoastronomy is the study of the heavens as interpreted by archeological discoveries. If you can wrap your mind around that, a cruise on the Universe Explorer with an astronomy and anthropology professor promises to be enlightening.
Passengers will hear lectures about Mayan ruins and other historic sites on the 18-day cruise, which stops in Nassau, Bahamas; Belize City, Belize; the Panama Canal; and Acapulco, Cozumel and Cabo San Lucas in Mexico. Departures are scheduled for Dec. 12 and 30.
Cost: from $2,450 per person, double occupancy. Air fare is extra. Contact: World Explorer Cruises; tel. (415) 820-9200, http://www.wecruise.com.
Easter Island: Festival
Far Horizons of Albuquerque is really going the distance on a trip to Easter Island, which is 2,300 miles west of Santiago, Chile. Nearly 1,000 immense stone statues are scattered over the island's rolling hills.
The trip is planned to coincide with the Tapati Festival, a celebration of Rapa Nui culture with contests of strength and skill, Polynesian music and feasting. The tour will be led by Steven Fisher, author of six books on eastern Polynesia. A nine-day extension to northern Chile precedes the trip. Easter Island dates are Jan. 25 to Feb. 3.
Cost: $4,295 per person, double occupancy, including air fare from Santiago to Easter Island, hotels, most meals and guide. International air fare is extra. The extension begins Jan. 18 and costs $2,295.
Contact: Far Horizons; tel. (800) 552-4575, http://www.farhorizon.com.
The art department of Cal Poly Pomona is planning its eighth annual "Christmas in Venice" tour from Dec. 19 to 28. The tour, which will be led by two university professors, focuses on the art, architecture, history and cuisine of Venice.
The group will tour the Accademia, Guggenheim and Correr museums. A seven-course Christmas banquet in the Danieli Renaissance Palace will be followed by midnight Mass at St. Mark's Basilica. Other activities include a Vivaldi concert and drinks at Harry's Bar.
Cost: $3,595 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare from Los Angeles, hotels, daily breakfast, some meals, admission fees and guides.
Contact: Cal Poly Pomona Art Department; tel. (909) 869-3512.
Put some twang into life by joining members of the Grand Ole Opry on a seven-night cruise to the Caribbean from Dec. 2 to 9.
The Carnival Victory will depart from Florida and call at four ports: San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Croix and St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands; and St. John's, capital of Antigua and Barbuda. Musicians Charley Pride, Bill Anderson, Jimmy Dickens and Jean Shepard will perform, have question-and-answer sessions and host autograph parties.
Cost: $899 per person, double occupancy. Air fare and taxes are extra. Contact: Corporate Travel Service; tel. (877) 927-9777.
The Times is not responsible for changes in prices, dates or itineraries. These should be confirmed with travel agents or tour operators.