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Tours & cruises

September 06, 2009|Avital Binshtock

Take a last-minute, five-day white-water-rafting trip with river outfitter OARS along the Snake River's Class 3 rapids in Hells Canyon, North America's deepest gorge. The twist? In the evenings you will be on the banks sipping wines presented by the former editor of Food & Wine and enjoying meals prepared by chef Adam Bernstein, owner of Adam's Place restaurant in Eugene, Ore. Ask for the "Wine on the River" trip when booking.

Dates: Departs Sept. 14

Price: $1,665, including a private sightseeing flight of the canyon, a rafting lesson and expert guidance for rafting and hiking. A $250 deposit is required.


Water and wine

Info: OARS, Angels Camp, Calif.; (800) 346-6277,


Gourmet ship

Prepare your palate for Latour's four-day "Tasting Chile" gourmet cruise, which highlights not only Patagonia's pristine natural wonders but also its gastronomic ones. On the small ship, you'll savor the cuisine of master chef Guillermo Rodriguez and other culinary stars, including a sommelier serving Chilean wines. Off it, you'll be surrounded by mountains, glaciers and fiords.

Dates: Departures Oct. 29, Nov. 5 and Dec. 3

Price: $3,900 per couple, including shipboard accommodations, all meals and wines.

Info: Latour, New York, N.Y.; (800) 223-7460, and


Disney voyage

Awaken your inner child on Disney Cruise Line's seven-night Eastern Caribbean voyage aboard Disney Magic, a ship that incorporates the family-friendly design, food, service and shows that are Disney's signature.

Itinerary: Port Canaveral, Fla., to St. Croix and St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Castaway Cay, Bahamas, and back to Port Canaveral

Dates: Nov. 7 to 14

Price: From $1,854, including taxes, insurance, ground transportation, shipboard accommodations, dining, entertainment and most onboard activities

Info: Disney Cruise Vacations, Lake Buena Vista, Fla., (800) 951-3532,


Opera celebration

Indulge your musical sensibilities by booking Ebright Travel's "Nabucco & Jessye Norman at Masada and Musical Israel," which celebrates the New Israeli Opera's 25th anniversary and takes advantage of appearances by Grammy-winning soprano Jessye Norman and maestro Daniel Oren -- at Masada, one of Israel's most majestic sites. From a performance space overlooking the Dead Sea, Norman will sing pieces from opera to Broadway on June 4; the next day, Oren conducts Verdi's "Nabucco."

Dates: May 28 to June 10. (A shortened itinerary is available May 30 to June 7.)

Price: Starting at $6,795 (for the longer tour), including international airfare, hotel stays, visits to historical and cultural sites, plus stops for those interested in music, including the two performances, a backstage tour of the Israeli Opera, a piano recital by Issak Tavior at his home, a concert featuring youth performers and a concert of Israeli folk songs performed by Yael Badihi.

Info: Ebright Travel, Glendale; (800) 853-4380,


Romantic journey

Reconnect with your significant other during Iceland Experience's "Romantic Icelandic Interlude," a four-day chance to explore Iceland's beaches, countryside and capital. The itinerary includes two nights at Hotel Budir, on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, and one night at elegant Hotel Odinsve in Reykjavik, plus a soaking dip in the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal mineral pool in a lava field, on your way back to the airport.

Dates: Departures year-round.

Price: Starting at $565 per person, double occupancy, including hotel stays, daily breakfast and a three-day car rental with unlimited mileage and basic insurance but not including international airfare.

Info: Iceland Experience, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; (800) 661-3830,

-- Avital Binshtock


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