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Cruise provides a secret service

January 12, 2003|Jane Engle | Times Staff Writer

A security consulting company that offers spy-themed tours of Washington, D.C., is expanding its web of intrigue.

The Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies, or CI Centre, in Alexandria, Va., which has run SpyDrive bus tours in the U.S. capital for two years through its SpyTrek affiliate company, will offer two SpyCruises this year.

The cruises will include Oleg Kalugin, former chief of KGB foreign intelligence. Kalugin last year was convicted by Russia of treason and sentenced in absentia to 15 years in prison.

The first program, "Denial, Deception and Illusion," will take place aboard Royal Caribbean's Legend of the Seas, sailing March 28 to April 7 from Ensenada, Mexico, to Hawaii. Lectures will cover how the KGB protected its sources, "Mission Impossible"-style disguise artists at the CIA and other topics.

Prices start at $1,749 per person, double occupancy, including one night in San Diego, transfer to Ensenada, two nights in Honolulu and the flight back to San Diego.

"British Traitors and Espionage" will be Sept. 1 to 12. It includes six nights aboard Cunard's Queen Elizabeth 2, sailing from New York to Southampton, England. Among participants will be author Christopher Andrew, recently appointed official historian of Britain's MI5 security service. Five nights in London will feature tours of Westminster, former Prime Minister Winston Churchill's war room and other sites.

Prices begin at $2,548 per person, double occupancy, including air fare to New York and back from London ($50 extra for air from cities west of the Mississippi).

A CI Centre adjunct professor is also leading a spy-themed tour of Moscow from May 26 through 28. Guided by Dan Mulvenna, a retired Canadian counterintelligence officer, participants in SpyMoscow will visit the KGB museum, "dead drop" sites used to secretly pass along information, graves of spies such as Britain's Kim Philby and other espionage touchstones. They also will hobnob with former KGB officers at dinners, receptions and briefings.

Tour prices were still being negotiated as of last week, Mulvenna said.

Centre co-founder David Major, a retired FBI executive who once headed intelligence and counterintelligence programs for the National Security Council, said the center's tours were originally offered only to government security officials. But the officials wanted to take friends and family, so the roster expanded.

For information and links to tour offerings, visit www.spytrek.com. The three-hour bus tour is offered the second Saturday of each month; call (800) 551-7328 (Ticketmaster) for tickets, which are $55 per person. For SpyCruises, call (800) 741-1770 (All Aboard Travel).

There's no reservation phone for SpyMoscow, but you can e-mail requests to info@spymoscow.com.

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