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Tours & cruises: California and Nevada

Also: Pacific war sites, TCM cruise, Greece, China.

May 29, 2011

CALIFORNIA AND NEVADA

Time-saver trip

Mauiva's new AirCruise uses land and private plane transportation to shave many travel hours over a traditional trip to the same spots. The weeklong "Western Wonder Experience" package covers much of what travelers to the western U.S. want to see.

Itinerary: Los Angeles to Monterey, Carmel, San Francisco, Sausalito, Sonoma, Yosemite, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Ariz., Bryce Canyon, Utah, and back to Los Angeles

Dates: Departures daily starting June 1

Price: From $1,799, double occupancy, including all transportation, lodging, admission to attractions, guides, daily breakfast and dinner, taxes, gratuities and souvenirs.

Info: Mauiva, Kissimmee, Fla.; (407) 551-0577, http://www.mauivaaircruise.com

CHINA

Photo tour

WildChina and photographer Sean Gallagher conduct an eight-day photography boot camp along the Silk Road in Xinjiang province. Photo ops abound at the Kashgar Sunday Market, at sand dunes, at ancient mosques where monks meditate and at a traditional Uighur family dinner and dance. Other highlights include desert camping, a yurt homestay, a camel ride and a journey to the region's underground wells.

Itinerary: Urumqi to Kashgar, Karakul Lake, Kasghar, Yarkant, Hotan, Yecheng, Taklamakan Desert, Hotan, Urumqi, Turpan, Tuyugou Valley and back to Urumqi

Dates: Departs Oct. 1

Price: Starting at $3,590, double occupancy (single supplement $350), including lodging, admission fees and activities, photography instruction and tour guides. The price does not include international airfare, intra-China airfare ($490), visa fees, gratuities and some meals.

Info: WildChina,Bethesda, Md., (888) 902-8808, http://www.wildchina.com

GREECE

Ancient wonders, myths

Variety's eight-day "Antiquity to Byzantium" cruise, aboard the 22-cabin Harmony, explores ancient Greece, including Agamemnon's palace, the tombs at Mycenae and Delphi's oracle temple. A scholar will offer daily onboard lectures and accompany visitors on tours.

Itinerary: Athens to Palaia Epidavros, Nafplio, Argolis, Mycenae, Gytheion, Pylos, Katakolon, Olympia, Itea, Delphi and back to Athens

Dates: Sailings available between Feb. 17 and April 13

Price: Starting at $1,071, double occupancy (single supplement 30%), including lodging, all meals and onboard entertainment but not port charges, a fuel surcharge, transfers or taxes. A two-night pre- or post-cruise stay in Athens is available for $230, including a tour of the Acropolis.

Info: Variety Cruises, N.Y.; (800) 319-7776, http://www.varietycruises.com

KEY WEST, FLA., AND COZUMEL, MEXICO

Films afloat

The Turner Classic Movies network takes over the 2,000-passenger Celebrity Millennium and turns it into a film festival. TCM hosts Robert Osborne and Ben Mankiewicz emcee the four-night cruise, with an itinerary filled with screenings, celebrity appearances, film discussions, trivia contests and parties.

Itinerary: Miami to Key West, Fla., Cozumel, Mexico, and back

Dates: Dec. 8-12

Price: Starting at $795, double occupancy, including all onboard meals and admission to all screenings, panels, discussions, signings, activities and entertainment. The price does not include taxes and fees ($199), airfare, ground transportation, beverages or gratuities

Info: Sixthman, Atlanta; (877) 223-7030, http://www.tcmcruise.com

NEW CALEDONIA, VANUATU, SOLOMON ISLANDS AND PAPUA NEW GUINEA

Victories in the Pacific

Visit World War II battlefields with historian Richard B. Frank as your guide on the 14-day "Victories in the Pacific Expedition Cruise" aboard the 36-cabin Oceanic Discoverer.

Itinerary: Nouméa to Lifou, Espiritu Santo, Ureparapara, Nendo, Santa Ana, Guadalcanal, Tulagi, Arnavon Islands, Kennedy Island, Gizo, Bougainville, Buka, New Britain

Dates: Departs March 4; booking far in advance is recommended

Price: Starting at $10,990, double occupancy ($16,485 for a single traveler), including lodging, all meals and most activities. The price does not include airfare, transfers, alcoholic beverages or visa fees.

Info: Mat McLachlan Battlefield Tours, Boston; (813) 420-1947, http://www.pacificwarcruise.com

— Avital Binshtock

travel@latimes.com

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