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Tours & Cruises

November 06, 2011


Discount train travel

Rail Europe offers travelers 20% off standard premier tickets on high-speed Eurostar trains between London, Paris and Brussels and a $20 Amazon gift card. Rail Europe's discount applies to standard premier-class tickets (between economy and business premier), which come with roomier seats, and includes a light snack with beer or wine. One-way tickets cost $131 from London to Paris or Brussels and $139 from Paris or Brussels to London.

Dates: The offer is good for tickets bought through 8:59 PST Nov. 16.

Info: Rail Europe, (888) 382-7245,


A safari sale

More than 60 years ago, Norman Carr helped start an animal reserve and opened it to the public in what was then northern Rhodesia, now Zambia. These days the tour company that bears his name, Norman Carr Safaris, continues to offer lodge stays and safaris in South Luangwa in Zambia.

A six-night safari is on sale at two-for-one prices. The tour includes a lodge stay in South Luangwa National Park and safaris to see impalas, hippos, baboons, migrating birds, giraffes, lions and more.

Dates: The offer is good for tours from Nov. 1 to Dec. 12.

Price: $1,950 for two people, based on double occupancy, or $975 each. It includes six nights at Kapani Lodge, airport transfers, guides and safari drives and excursions. Airfare and park fees ($25 per person, per day) are not included.

Info: Norman Carr Safaris, 011-44-20-844-800-4661,


A bargain in Beijing

Winter in Beijing brings icy temperatures and fewer tourists but more bargains trips. Travel agency China Spree is offering "Timeless Beijing," a sampler of the Chinese capital at a low price that includes airfare, hotel and tours.

The trip visits the Sacred Way of Ming Tombs, a walkway lined with huge stone sculptures of lions, elephants and other beasts leading to burial sites of Ming emperors, and sections of the Great Wall suitable for scrambling. The Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and the Bird's Nest stadium built for the 2008 Summer Olympics also are on an itinerary that mixes guided tours with free time.

Dates: "Timeless Beijing" is offered from November though March, but the least expensive tours depart Jan. 15 and 22, and Feb. 5, 9, 12, 16, 19, 23 and 26.

Price: $849 plus tax per person, based on double occupancy; single supplement, $199. The cost includes round-trip flights from Los Angeles to Beijing on Air China, six nights in a hotel, daily buffet breakfast, airport and hotel transfers, three days of guided tours and three lunches.

Info: China Spree, (866) 652-5656,


A coastal adventure

The Península Valdés nature reserve is a remote mix of mud flats, cliffs and stony beaches so rich in wildlife that UNESCO named it a World Heritage Site in 1999. In these waters off the east coast of Argentina, southern right whales thrive and orcas snack on sea lions and baby elephant seals.

Travel outfitter Adventure Life organizes five-day kayaking and camping trips that take travelers to see penguins, sea lions, elephant seals and, of course, whales — up close. The trip starts and ends in Trelew, Argentina, and spends two nights camping at El 39, a beach where southern right whales are studied. A day of whale-watching at Puerto Pirámides is included.

Dates: The tour is offered year-round. The best time to see wildlife is September through January when it's summer in the Southern Hemisphere.

Price: $1,305 a person, based on double occupancy; single supplement varies by season. (Add an estimated $690 a person for round-trip flights between Buenos Aires and Trelew.) The trip price includes two nights at a hotel, two nights camping, 10 meals, private guide for four days, gear rental and camping gear. The trip is customized and can accommodate beginning to experienced kayakers. International airfare is not included.

Info: Adventure Life, (800) 344-6118,

— Mary Forgione

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