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TOURS & CRUISES

Alaskan journeys on sale

February 22, 2009|Avital Binshtock

ANCHORAGE

Adventure just the tip of iceberg

Head north on a Princess Cruise, which is offering a sale on 11-night Alaska wilderness vacations.

Itinerary: Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay National Park, College Fjord and Denali.

Dates: Book through Saturday for travel between May 9 and Sept. 14.

Price: Starting at $1,099, including round-trip airfare between Seattle and Anchorage, a stateroom upgrade, a seven-night "Voyage of the Glaciers" between Vancouver and Whittier, rail transportation and stays at Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge and Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge.

Info: Princess Cruises, Santa Clarita; (800) 774-6237, www.princesscruises.com.

GUATEMALA AND HONDURAS

Art and nature in Mayan setting

Stroll through colorful Mayan markets, dip a toe into the famous waters of Lake Atitlan and explore the baroque architecture of Antigua, the ancient capital of Guatemala, on a 12-day art and nature tour. The excursion, led by art history professor Mary Drobny, visits five cities known for their settings, history and the indigenous Maya who still live there. Participants visit the homes of local craftsmen and artists. An optional three-day extension to see the Mayan ruins and lush jungle of Tikal is available.

Itinerary: Antigua, Nebaj, Chichicastenango, Santiago de Atitlan, and Coban in Guatemala and Copan, Honduras.

Dates: July 29 to Aug. 9. Tikal extension Aug. 9 to 11.

Price: $1,550 per person, double occupancy, includes hotel accommodations, some meals, transportation within Guatemala and Copan, airport transfers, guides and a donation to PAVA, a Mayan aid program; does not include airfare from L.A. to Guatemala City, airport taxes, fees or tips.

Contact: Mary Drobny, (562) 439-2828, e-mail mdrobny@earthlink.com or see www.rutahsa.com/guate-md-09.html for full itinerary.

CHINA

Immersion in the East

Take Pacific Delight's 13-day "Golden Route Gold Experience," an extensive tour of China that includes Tiananmen Square, the Great Wall, Shanghai Museum, a Li River cruise and Hong Kong's Stanley Market -- and do it at a discount with the company's early-bird savings offer.

Itinerary: Beijing to Shanghai, Xian, Guilin and Hong Kong.

Dates: Departures through March 2010; book by Saturday to get $500 off.

Price: Starting at $3,999 (single supplement, $1,299), including all airfare within China, land transit and transfers; 12 nights in luxury hotels such as the Ritz-Carlton Beijing, the Sheraton Guilin and the InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong; 12 breakfasts, seven lunches and eight dinners; sightseeing tours; cultural activities; and hotel taxes. The price does not include international airfare, other taxes and fees (up to $100), the China visa fee ($175) or arrival and departure transfers.

Info: Pacific Delight Tours, New York City; (800) 221-7179, www.pacificdelighttours.com.

SAN SIMEON, CALIF.

Hearst anniversary tour

Celebrate Hearst Castle's 50th year as a California State Park by taking an evening or garden tour.

Itinerary: The evening tour re-creates the 1930s glamour that once suffused this Julia Morgan-designed estate. Costumed docents will make you feel like one of the Hearsts' elite guests. The garden tour highlights the impressive botanical gardens, plus some of Hearst Castle's lesser-known features, including the North Esplanade, the largest guesthouse (Casa del Mar), the Hidden Terrace, the wine cellar and Neptune Pool's dressing room.

Dates: Evening tour: Most Friday and Saturday evenings, from March 6 until May 30; garden tour: April 1 until Oct. 31.

Price: Evening tour: $30, $15 for children younger than 17; garden tour: $20, $10 for children younger than 17.

Info: Hearst Castle, San Simeon; (800) 444-4445, www.hearstcastle.com.

FRANCE, MONACO AND ITALY

From film to the fast track

Bask in the glitz of two of the world's most prestigious events aboard a sailing yacht during Windstar's eight-day Cannes Film Festival and Monaco Grand Prix Cruise.

Itinerary: Nice to St. Tropez, Cannes, San Remo, Monte Carlo and back to Nice.

Dates: May 17 to 25.

Price: Starting at $2,999, double occupancy, including an overnight stay during the Cannes Film Festival and three nights in Monaco during the Formula One Grand Prix race. Price does not include taxes and security fees.

Info: Windstar Cruises, Seattle; (800) 258-7245, www.windstarcruises.com.

-- Avital Binshtock

--

itinerary@latimes.com

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