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Tours and Cruises: Montana, Colombia, Panama, Mexico, Finland and Africa

Ski Montana, travel through the Panama Canal, see African elephants and hippos, vast the Taj Mahal.

January 23, 2011

MONTANA

Winter Sports in the Rockies

Luxury meets Big Sky country ruggedness during Triple Creek Ranch's four-night "Ski the Northern Rockies" getaway, featuring downhill and cross-country skiing in a remote corner of the mountain range.

Dates: Through ski season (until Feb. 28 and parts of April, but not March)

Price: Starting at $2,890, double occupancy, including lodging, daily ski passes and equipment, transportation to the slopes, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, hiking, snowshoeing, meals throughout, including a seven-course dinner for two, alcoholic beverages and a bottle of wine on arrival. The price excludes airfare, transfers (available for $200 round trip), taxes and gratuities.

Info: Triple Creek Ranch, Darby, Mont.; (800) 654-2943, http://www.triplecreekranch.com

GRAND CAYMAN, COLOMBIA, PANAMA AND MEXICO

Ocean to ocean

Crystal Cruises' 14-day Miami to Los Angeles voyage visits cultural highlights, lively, party-loving towns in the Caribbean and Mexico, and passes through the Panama Canal.

Itinerary: Miami to George Town, Grand Cayman; Cartagena, Colombia; the Panama Canal, Huatulco, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; San Diego and Los Angeles

Dates: March 17-31

Price: Starting at $4,490, double occupancy ($5,536 for a solo traveler), including round-trip airfare, lodging, $500 onboard credit, transfers, gratuities and meals. The rate does not include port charges and fees ($475), alcoholic beverages or optional excursions.

Info: Crystal Cruises, Los Angeles; (888) 722-0021, http://www.crystalcruises.com

FINLAND

Northern exposure

Northern lights, reindeer, a husky farmand an excursion on an ice-breaker vessel are part of the "iExplore Finland" tour. It concludes with a visit to cosmopolitan Helsinki.

Itinerary: Rovaniemi to Kemi and Helsinki

Dates: Departures through April 15

Price: From $3,549 a person, double occupancy ($4,239 for a single traveler); four-person groups pay $3,219 a person, double occupancy. The rate includes accommodations, transfers, daily tours and activities, daily breakfasts, some other meals and all taxes and service fees. The price excludes some meals, all airfare, gratuities and optional excursions.

Info: iExplore, Chicago; (800) 439-7567, http://www.iexplore.com

BOTSWANA AND SOUTH AFRICA

On safari

Lion World Tours' "Botswana and Beyond" safari starts with a night in Johannesburg, South Africa. The remainder of the trip unfolds in Botswana's Okavango Delta, where guided groups may encounter wildebeest. Hippos may be spotted from a dugout canoe, and elephants from an open-air vehicle.

Itinerary: New York City or Washington, D.C., to Johannesburg, South Africa; Maun, Nxabega Okavango Tented Camp, Sandibe Safari Lodge, Botswana;, Maun, Johannesburg and back to New York City or Washington, D.C.

Dates: Departures March 16 through May 16

Price: From $4,399, double occupancy (single supplement $130), including airfare from New York City or Washington, D.C, intra-Africa airfare, lodging, most meals, luxury transportation (including transfers), professional guides, game drives and related activities but not taxes and departure fees ($220), visa fees or gratuities.

Info: Lion World Tours, Toronto; (800) 387-2706, http://www.lionworldtours.com

INDIA

Golden Triangle

Friendly Planet Travel's "Taj Mahal Express" explores India's Golden Triangle, including the nation's capital city and some of the world's greatest manmade landmarks. Guided tours take travelers through Delhi to sites such as Jama Masjid, India's largest mosque, and Qutab Minar, the world's tallest free-standing minaret. Architecture continues as a theme as the itinerary heads to Agra's Taj Mahal, and Jaipur, often called the Pink City, for its rosy hue.

Itinerary: New York City to Delhi, Agra, Fatehpur Sikri, Jaipur, Delhi and back to New York City

Dates: May and August departures; April and September departures also available but at additional cost.

Price: Starting at $1,199 a person, double occupancy (single supplement $299) if booked by Feb. 9, including airfare, lodging, daily breakfast, farewell dinner, transportation within India, professional guides, entrance fees and fuel surcharges. The price excludes gratuities, some meals, visa fees ($73), departure taxes ($28) and additional taxes and Sept. 11 fees ($110).

Info: Friendly Planet Travel, Jenkintown, Pa.; (800) 555-5765, http://www.friendlyplanet.com

—Avital Binshtock

travel@latimes.com

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