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EGYPT

Tours & Cruises

September 14, 2003|Rosemary McClure | Times Staff Writer

Take a good look at the life and times of the pharaohs

Break new ground on an insiders' trip to Egypt with a UCLA archeologist who will introduce participants to fieldwork at the school's Egyptian Lab near Giza.

The tour includes two segments, Nov. 5 to 15 and Nov. 16 to 22, which can be taken separately or combined. The Nov. 5 tour is designed for first-time visitors to Egypt; the Nov. 16 segment is planned as an intensive look at the pyramids and ancient Egyptian civilization.

The first segment visits Upper Egypt and includes stops in Abu Simbel, where the group will tour the Temple of Ramses II; Aswan, departure site for a four-night Nile River cruise; Luxor, where participants will take a private tour of tombs not open to the public; and Cairo.

In the second segment, Willeke Wendrich, assistant professor of Egyptian archeology at UCLA, will trace the development of the pyramids, leading the group as it visits various tombs in the Giza area. Participants also will visit UCLA's excavation project in the Fayum Oasis along the north shore of Lake Qarun.

Cost: Nov. 5 to 15 segment, $3,350 per person, double occupancy (single surcharge $600); Nov. 16 to 22 segment, $2,400 (single surcharge $500); both, $4,750 (single surcharge $1,150). Included are accommodations, two meals daily, all transfers, lectures, sightseeing, special access to the pyramids and other sites; round-trip airfare from LAX to Cairo is not included. The price includes a $1,000 tax-deductible donation and membership in the Director's Circle of Cotsen Institute of Archeology at UCLA.

Contact: Joy Travel International, Los Angeles; (800) 538-8746, www.joytravelinternatio al.com.

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NEW YORK

Manhattan for theater lovers

at New Year's

Sing "Auld Lang Syne" in the Big Apple on a Broadway theater tour from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1.

The tour, led by Ron Scarlata, a theater professor at El Camino College in Torrance, will include three Broadway shows, post-performance seminars and a tour of Manhattan.

"It's a wonderful opportunity for participants to spend the post-holiday season with a group of culturally minded travelers," said Scarlata, who has led theater tours to London and Broadway for 30 years.

Cost: $1,795 per person, double occupancy (single surcharge $750), including round-trip transportation on American Airlines from LAX, accommodations in midtown Manhattan, tour guides, sightseeing, theater tickets and airport transfers.

Contact: Ron Scarlata; (310) 660-3704.

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U.S. AND CANADA

Lots of stops in

a trip down the Eastern Seaboard

Set sail on a fall colors journey along the Eastern Seaboard, traveling from Canada to Florida by ship and train.

The 19-day trip, which departs Oct. 10, begins with an overnight stay in the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York City, before beginning a daylong train trip from New York City to Montreal via Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains. Tour participants spend two nights in Montreal, then board the Holland America ship Prinsendam, which calls at Quebec City and sails on the St. Lawrence River before heading south on the Atlantic Ocean to Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Among port stops: Halifax, Nova Scotia; Bar Harbor and Portland, Maine; Martha's Vineyard, Mass.; Newport, R.I.; New York City; Norfolk, Va.; Charleston, S.C.; and Savannah, Ga.

Cost: From $3,895 per person, double occupancy (single surcharge $2,000), including accommodations, cruise, rail transportation to Montreal, most meals, sightseeing and activities. Airfare from LAX to New York City and from Fort Lauderdale to LAX is not included.

Contact: Uncommon Journeys; (800) 323-5893, www.uncommonjourneys.com.

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THAILAND

Two weeks in Thailand for an unusually slim sum

Explore the ruins, temples and art of Bangkok and Thailand's Golden Triangle on a low-cost 14-day tour of the Southeast Asian nation.

The $999 trip includes airfare from Los Angeles and departs Nov. 2, 16 and 30, Jan. 11, Feb. 15 and March 7. The price is based on double occupancy, with a single surcharge of $150.

Included are four days in the capital, Bangkok, with a tour of area Buddhist temples. Other stops include the ancient capitals of Sukhothai and Ayutthaya and the northern towns of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai.

The trip includes accommodations, daily buffet breakfast, a welcome dinner, sightseeing tours and services of a tour director.

Contact: New York-based SmarTours; (800) 337-7773, www.smartours.net.

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MEXICO

An outdoorsy singles tour at Thanksgiving

Ramble along a Baja beach at sunrise -- or go snorkeling in the Gulf of California -- on a laid-back singles tour to La Paz over the Thanksgiving holiday.

The four-night trip, which departs Nov. 25, includes a fishing expedition and time for shopping, sightseeing, kayaking or diving.

Cost: $599 per person, double occupancy (single surcharge $175), including round-trip airfare from LAX, accommodations, buffet breakfasts and one dinner, evening social hour and the services of a tour director.

Contact: Society of Single Professionals and Singles Cruises and Tours, Los Gatos, Calif.; (888) 286-8687, www.singles-cruises-tours.com.

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

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