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Tours & Cruises

July 12, 2009|Avital Binshtock


'Exotic Asia' experience

Stand at the bridge over the River Kwai on Ritz Tours' "Exotic Asia." In Thailand, you'll experience Phuket's exotic beaches and Bangkok's rich culture; in Hong Kong, the cosmopolitan bustle, and in Singapore, the hyper-manicured sights.

Itinerary: Hong Kong to Bangkok, Phuket and Singapore.

Dates: Multiple 16-day departures between July 22 and Feb. 17.

Price: From $2,615 (double; single supplement from $900), including round-trip airfare from Los Angeles or San Francisco, taxes, fuel surcharges, flights between destinations, lodging, some meals, entertainment and insurance.

Info: Ritz Tours, Alhambra, Calif.; (888) 345-7489,





Volunteer on vacay

Give and receive on this volunteer-while-you-travel opportunity: Jake's "Goodwill Jamaica" package invites guests who stay at least four nights at the 30-room, family-run resort to help Treasure Beach and its people by participating in guided activities benefiting schools, farms and development projects.

Dates: Through Dec. 14.

Price: Starting at $95 per two-person room per night (minimum four nights), including participation in the volunteer projects and a small charitable donation but excluding an 18.25% surcharge.

Info: Island Outpost, St. Elizabeth, Jamaica; (800) 688-7678,


Get cooking -- no, really

Indulge in a week of culinary delights planned for you by TourCrafters. A highlight is a four-hour cooking course at La Vecchia Scuola Bolognese.

Dates: Multiple weeklong departures between Sept. 1 and March 31.

Price: From $1,109 per person (double; single supplement from $425), including round-trip airfare from New York, hotel accommodations, the cooking class with lunch, daily breakfast, a guided city tour, an open-bus sightseeing tour, and hotel service charges and taxes. Airport taxes and fuel surcharges are not included. A two-night Tuscany extension is $160 per person.

Info: TourCrafters, Libertyville, Ill.; (800) 482-5995,



An island adventure

Step aboard the historic S.S. Lane Victory for a daylong exploration of the waters surrounding Catalina Island.

Dates: July 18, Aug. 15, 16, Sept. 26, 27.

Price: $125 per person ($75 for children younger than 16), including the cruise ticket, a continental breakfast, a buffet lunch, live music, onboard tours, an aerial-dogfight show and four drinks (wine, beer or soda).

Info: S.S. Lane Victory, San Pedro, Calif.; (310) 519-9545,


Educational climate

Head to the world's southern extreme in comfort on Abercrombie & Kent's "Fighting Climate Change in Antarctica" cruise aboard the upscale MV Minerva. The itinerary is meant to highlight global warming's deleterious effects. Expert-led excursions include traversing Drake Passage, taking Zodiac rides to see wildlife and visiting a working scientific station.

Itinerary: Buenos Aires to Ushuaia and the Antarctic Peninsula.

Dates: Dec. 7 to 20.

Price: Starting at $8,795 per person (double; single supplement $4,000), including onboard accommodations, guidance from an academic expert, most meals, a mostly open bar, gratuities and more. The price does not include international airfare, internal flights, taxes and some meals.

Info: Abercrombie & Kent, Downers Grove, Ill.; (800) 554-7016, www.aber .cfm?tid=4347

-- Avital Binshtock


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