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Tours & cruises

July 26, 2009|Avital Binshtock

See the best of provincial Europe by booking Royal Caribbean's five-night Western Europe Cruise, then hopping aboard the decked-out Navigator of the Seas. (Ice skating, anyone?)

Itinerary: Malaga, Spain, to Ajaccio, Corsica, and Provence, France, returning to Malaga

Dates: Oct. 20 to 25

SPAIN AND FRANCE

On the Mediterranean

Price: From $499 (single pricing

starts at $879), not including airfare or taxes.

Info: ECruises.com, Danbury, Conn.; (800) 223-6868, https://res.ecruises.com/ssl/travel/cruise/sailplan.rvlx?

MEXICO

Liquid vacation

Glide through the waves beside some of the planet's largest animals during Sea Kayak Adventures' family-friendly Baja Whale Tour in Loreto Bay National Park, then recall the day's adventures over sunset margaritas while floating on the Gulf of California.

Dates: Multiple six-, seven- or eight-day excursions are available starting Oct. 25; see website for details.

Price: From $995 (single supplement from $75). Ages 18 and younger get a 10% discount. Book for spring dates by Saturday to nab free travel for one child. The rate includes two nights in a hotel, three camping nights, ground transportation, all necessary gear, guidance and instruction, meals during the kayaking part, as well as taxes. The price excludes airfare, meals in town and national park fees.

Info: Sea Kayak Adventures, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho; (800) 616-1943, www.seakayakadventures.com/cortez

BHUTAN

An inside look

Myths & Mountains promises that its comprehensive Across Bhutan tour offers unforgettable cultural experiences and sights of this South Asian nation. The isolated country, which has instituted a "gross happiness average," accepts travelers only if they're part of an organized tour.

Itinerary: Paro to Thimphu, Punakha, Jambay Lhakhang, Kunzangdra, Mongar, Tashigang, Samdrup Jongkhar and Guwahati

Dates: From Nov. 16 to 28; custom dates are possible.

Price: From $4,195 (single supplement from $462) land-only, including ground transportation, overnight hotel accommodations, most meals, guide and porter services, entrance fees and a Bhutan visa.

Info: Myths & Mountains, Incline Village, Calif.; (800) 670-6984, www.mythsandmountains.com

AUSTRALIA

Town and country by rail

Cover southwestern Australia's sweeping natural landscapes and urban

spaces during a luxury rail tour. The Southern Spirit's Coastal Epic itinerary stops at the opal capital of the world, metropolises such as Melbourne and Sydney and the great monolith Ayers Rock.

Itinerary: Brisbane to Coffs Harbour, Sydney, Parkes, Glenrowan, Melbourne, Phillip Island, Kangaroo Island, Coober Pedy, Alice Springs, Kings Canyon and Uluru

Dates: Jan. 24 to Feb. 6

Price: Starting at $8,400 (single supplement $4,200). Book by Sept. 30 to get 10% off and a free domestic flight. Rates includes travel and lodging aboard the train, stays at hotels as described by the itinerary, meals, beverages, select tours and excursions but not international airfare.

Info: The Southern Spirit, Adelaide, South Australia; 011-61-8-8213-4592, www.thesouthernspirit.com.au

-- Avital Binshtock

itinerary@latimes.com

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