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Tours & Cruises

March 22, 2009|Avital Binshtock


Floating wine festival

Imbibe to your heart's content aboard Gary Vaynerchuk's seven-day "Thunder Cruise," which Vaynerchuk, founder of Wine Library TV, bills as "the ultimate floating wine festival."

Itinerary: Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Cayo Levantado, Dominican Republic; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. John's, Antigua and Nassau, Bahamas.

Dates: April 18 to 25.

Price: Starting at $899 per person, including all the wine you can drink, overnight accommodations on the new MSC Orchestra, meals, Champagne parties, wine tastings and seminars, Q&A sessions with Vaynerchuk and a beach bash. Children younger than 17 are free when accompanied by two full fare-paying guests.

Info: MSC Cruises, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; (877) 865-9714,


Island cruising

Spend eight days island-hopping Greece aboard the 50-passenger M/S Galileo while taking advantage of Variety Cruises' summer sale. The "Jewels of the Cyclades" voyage is the least expensive.

Itinerary: Athens to Poros, Kimolos, Santorini, Paros, Mykonos, Kea and Sounion.

Dates: Departures between April 24 and Oct. 23.

Price: Starting at $1,160 per person (single supplement 50%), including meals, drinks and some excursions but not $180 in port charges.

Info: Variety Cruises, New York; (800) 319-7776,


Shipboard stay

Take the kids to experience the Queen Mary's "Southern California Adventure" package, which rolls an array of engaging local activities into one low price.

Dates: Through April 26.

Price: $149, including a one-night stay aboard the Hotel Queen Mary (additional nights $99), a welcome card and autographed photo of Radio Disney personality Ernie D. upon arrival, a disposable camera, two tickets to the Queen Mary's "Ghosts & Legends" show, two children's tickets to the Aquarium of the Pacific (and a discount on adult tickets to the aquarium), two tickets to the Los Angeles Zoo, two tickets to an L.A. Galaxy soccer game, two tickets to the San Diego Wild Animal Park, a discount coupon for a hotel stay in San Diego and a coffee-table book about the Queen Mary.

Info: Queen Mary, Long Beach; (800) 437-2934, (promotion code SOCAL)


Whirlwind adventure

Chase a twister -- yes, really -- on Tempest Tours' five-night "Mini Tornado Tour," which takes you on a storm-intercept vehicle equipped with satellite radar to run toward (instead of away from) severe weather.

Itinerary: Depends on the weather.

Date: June 8 to 13.

Price: $1,445 single, $1,295 double, including overnight accommodations but not airfare. A $100 discount applies for referring a friend.

Info: Tempest Tours, Arlington, Texas; (817) 274-9313,


Palawan eco-tour

Explore the culture of Manila and the wilderness of Palawan, an eco-tourism destination, on Pacific Asia Leisure's six-day "Palawan Adventure Tour."

Itinerary: Manila to Palawan and back.

Dates: Open-ended.

Price: Starting at $1,809 per person from Los Angeles, Seattle and San Francisco. Prices include all airfare, taxes and service charges, two nights at Manila's Dusit Thani Hotel, three nights at the Legend Hotel Palawan; daily breakfast; guided tours; land-only insurance; the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center; the Palawan Museum; an adventure through wilderness, including a tour of one of the world's longest underground rivers; and a visit to Honda Bay.

Info: Pacific Asia Leisure, New York; (212) 661-3270.

-- Avital Binshtock


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