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Tours & Cruises

September 20, 2009|Avital Binshtock

Get cooking and get healthy onboard Norwegian Cruise Line's seven-day "Cooking Light Cruise" on the Norwegian Dawn. The magazine's experts lead cooking demonstrations and seminars, fitness activities, wine tastings and cocktail receptions.

Itinerary: New York City to Bermuda and back

Dates: Oct. 4 to 11


Healthy habits

Price: From $880 double occupancy. Includes all Cooking Light activities but not port charges of $165, taxes of $146 and mandatory gratuities of $84. A $250 deposit is due within a week of booking.

Contact: Brownell Travel, Birmingham, Ala.; (888) 258-7477,


Ancient marvels

Marvel at marine and cultural jewels during Variety Cruises' eight-day "Red Sea Wonders" trip aboard the Harmony V. Sightseeing highlights include Luxor, Petra, the Sinai Mountains, St. Catherine's monastery and the Ras Muhammad nature preserve; activities include diving and snorkeling the rich waters, trying Arabian foods, taking belly-dancing lessons, partaking in the local night life, learning about Bedouin ways and surveying the mountainous desert landscape.

Itinerary: Hurghada (Egypt), to Sharm el Sheikh (Egypt), Ras Muhammad (Egypt), Aqaba (Jordan), Taba (Egypt), Safaga (Egypt) and back to Hurghada.

Dates: Departures Nov. 13, 20 and 27; Dec. 11; Jan. 8 and 22; Feb. 19 and 26; March 19 and 26; and April 2

Price: Starting at $1,990 per week, double occupancy (single supplement 50%). Choose the Dec. 11 or Jan. 8 departure and mention the "Best of Egypt" offer to get two free nights in a Cairo hotel, a half-day Cairo sightseeing tour and airport transfers. Rates do not include a $250 port charge.

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


Pearl Jam tour

Rock out down south with Pearl Jam; the band's official fan club partnered with a travel company to offer custom packages to coincide with the musicians' first tour through the region in a decade. When not grooving to Eddie Vedder's gravelly voice, partake in sightseeing tours of Melbourne, Sydney (including the Opera House and a harbor cruise), Yarra Valley and the Sunshine Coast, including a visit to Steve Irwin's zoo.

Itinerary: Los Angeles to Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Auckland, Christchurch and back to Los Angeles

Dates: Departs Nov. 17 for eight nights in Australia, then four optional nights in New Zealand

Price: Starting at $2,945 for Australia, plus $1,615 for the New Zealand option, including airfare. Rates are double occupancy (single supplement $799) and include round-trip airfare from Los Angeles on V Australia, all accommodations, daily breakfast, VIP tickets to five Pearl Jam concerts and all touring and transportation, including to and from concerts. Taxes of about $300 are additional.

Info: Down Under Answers, Bellevue, Wash.; (800) 788-6685,


Christmas scenes

Escape to Europe during the holidays on the four-day Fred. Olsen "Yuletide Amsterdam & Bruges Cruise." Enjoy British amenities on a four-night cruise aboard the 856-passenger Boudicca. Christmas lights and decor reflect on the water while holiday markets and festive celebrations come alive in the historic, fairy-tale canal towns of Bruges, Belgium, and Amsterdam.

Itinerary: Portsmouth, England, to Bruges, Amsterdam and back to Portsmouth.

Dates: Departs Dec. 18

Price: Starting at $565, double occupancy, including taxes, port charges, onboard meals and entertainment.

Info: Borton Overseas, Minneapolis; (800) 843-0602,

-- Avital Binshtock


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