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Tours & cruises

Britain, Alaska, Guatemala, India and Galápagos.

January 09, 2011


Royal wedding

If you're not on Prince William and Kate Middleton's invitation list, you can still be in London on their April 29 wedding day. Kensington Tours' eight-day "London Royal Wedding" package includes a selection of privately chauffeured tours of southeast Britain with stops at legendary places, including Windsor and Stonehenge.

Dates: April 23-30

Price: From $2,056 a person for a party of four to $2,744 a person for a party of two, including upscale accommodations, transfers and personalized travel assistance, but not including airfare or most meals.

Info: Kensington Tours, Wilmington, Del.; (888) 903-2001,


Dog sledding and aurora borealis

Look up on AdventureSmith's nine-day "Iditarod and Northern Lights Tour" and you're likely to see the aurora borealis. Look down, and you'll see dog sleds. Glimpse the atmospheric phenomenon from a mountaintop, and then to Anchorage to see the dogs and mushers take off. Also included is the Iditarod's Musher's Banquet, snowmobiling, dog sledding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and stops at an ice-sculpture park and at natural hot springs.

Itinerary: Fairbanks to Chena Hot Springs Resort to Anchorage

Dates: Feb. 27-March 8. (A more limited version of this tour is available through April 30.)

Price: Starting at $2,699 (plus $98 tax), including lodging, daily breakfast, two dinners, the services of an guide, private transfers, intra-Alaska airfare and admission to events and lectures.

Info: AdventureSmith Explorations, Tahoe City, Calif.; (800) 728-2875,


Culture and shopping

Travelers on Escalle & Co.'s "Textile & Jewelry Tour" will sit in on in a weaving lesson, a textile lecture, a jewelry-making demonstration and see how Mayans used fruits and vegetables to create dyes. Visitors can mingle with native craftspeople and buy their wares at wholesale.

Itinerary: Antigua to Chichicastenango, Lake Atitlán, Santiago de Atitlán and highland villages surrounding the lake

Dates: March 15-23

Price: Starting at $795, double occupancy (single supplement $300), including lodging, transportation and transfers, guide services, entrance fees, some meals, wine-and-cheese happy hours and $150 to Guatemalan charities. The rate does not include airfare.

Info: Escalle & Co., Irvine; (949) 387-7163,


Buddhist voyage of discovery

Explore the Buddhist kingdoms of Sikkim (a state in northeastern India) and Bhutan with Banyan Tours, whose 10-day itinerary showcases Himalayan geography and iconic religious sites, including Bhutan's Taktsang Monastery. Accommodations are in traditional Himalayan houses and at upscale Uma Paro.

Itinerary: Four nights in Sikkim, four nights in Bhutan and an overnight in Delhi

Dates: Available until April 30

Price: Starting at $5,700 per person, double occupancy, including lodging, most meals, transportation, guide services, entrance fees, round-trip airfare between India and Bhutan, visa fees for Bhutan and all taxes.

Info: Banyan Tours, Delhi, India; (866) 401-3705,


Educational and fun

Science meets fun on Ecoventura's family- and eco-friendly fleet — the Eric, Letty and Flamingo. These small-expedition vessels take families to a tortoise reserve, open lava fields, teeming tide pools and to the Charles Darwin Research Station, where scientists conduct biological research. Activities for youngsters include swimming with sea lions, paddling clear-bottom kayaks, a navigational knot-tying lessons, hiking and snorkeling. Some species to be seen include iguanas, penguins (and many other seabirds) and tropical fish.

Itinerary: San Cristóbal to Tower, Darwin Bay, Fernandina, the Bolivar Channel, Isabela, Santiago, Sombrero Chino, Bartolomé, North Seymour, Santa Cruz, Española and back to San Cristóbal

Dates: Departures May 29; June 5, 12, 19 and 26; July 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31; Aug. 7, 14 and 21; Nov. 20, Dec. 18, Dec. 25, Jan. 1.

Price: From $3,375, double occupancy (single supplement $1,775), including cabin accommodations, all meals and snacks, nonalcoholic beverages, captain's welcome and farewell cocktail events, guided shore excursions, use of equipment and sea kayaks, transfers between islands and airport transfers. The price does not include airfare, the Galápagos entrance fee ($100 for adults; $50 for age 12 or younger), a transit control-card fee ($10), alcoholic beverages, gratuities or an Ecuador departure tax (about $40). Children 11 and younger get a 25% discount; ages 12 to 17 get a 15% discount.

Info: Ecoventura, Miami; (800) 633-7972,

—Avital Binshtock

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