Fiords and islands
Cruise the Inside Passage on a naturalist-narrated sailing aboard the Maple Leaf schooner. Passengers will cruise among fiords and offshore islands, with grizzly-bear viewing at the top of the agenda. They will also sail down the Gardner Canal, said to be the longest fiord on the coast. An elder of the Haisla tribe will talk about the history and legends of the area.
Info: Maple Leaf Adventures, Victoria, Canada; (888) 599-5323, www.mapleleaf.
Dates: April 25 to May 6
Itinerary: Port McNeill, some villages and towns along the Inside Passage.
Price: $5,755 per person, double occupancy, includes accommodations, meals, shore excursions and use of kayaks. Airfare is not included. For those who book by Feb. 29, the company will pay to offset carbon emissions covering the flight from Vancouver to Port McNeill, starting point of the journey, about a $227 value.
Witness a once-a-century religious ceremony centered on an open-air temple in the village of Pejang. The two-day event includes music, feasting, dancing and elaborate costumes. Tour-goers can take part in mini-workshops that illuminate local customs and demonstrate gamelan music, the trance dance and more. Christine Stevens (author of "The Healing Drum Kit") will travel with the group and is among workshop speakers. The 11-day tour also includes guided walks to waterfalls and caves, shopping jaunts to bazaars and artisans' villages and a catamaran snorkeling trip.
Info: Tribal Music Tours Inc.; (626) 799-4795, www.tribalmusictours.com.
Dates: May 31 to June 11
Itinerary: Ubud and various small villages such as Ahmed and Tenganon.
Price: $2,999 per person, double occupancy (single supplement $400), includes round-trip airfare from LAX to Bali, transfers, ground transportation, accommodations, all breakfasts and three dinners, excursions, workshops and entrance fees. Does not include U.S. and foreign airport taxes, tips.
Gaze at countless wildebeests and zebras spread out over the plains on a June trip to Tanzania timed to coincide with the animals' migration. It's a wildlife bonanza, says Ron Glazier, director of the Santa Ana Zoo, who will lead the tour. In past years, he said, tour-goers have seen impala, Cape buffaloes, lions, leopards, cheetahs and hyenas, as well as hippos and crocodiles lolling in the water. The safari tour takes a swing through avian haven Lake Manyara National Park and descends to the bottom of Ngorongoro Crater. Participants spend two nights in canvas-covered comfort at high-end tent camps but also get down to earth at the Mto Wa Mbu village, where they will have a traditional lunch and tour farming areas, a school, banana beer vats, churches and local homes.
Info: (714) 647-6598, www.santaanazoo.org.
Dates: June 11 to 22
Itinerary: Arusha, Lake Manyara National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Olduvai Gorge and Serengeti National Park.
Price: $7,295 per person, double occupancy (single supplement $695), includes round-trip airfare from LAX to Arusha; accommodations; transfers; meals. It does not include tips and taxes.
Sip and stir
Take a cooking class in the kitchen of a 12-room Umbrian inn and sample wines of Italy on a trip that should please gastronomes and oenophiles. The trip, focused on food, wine and culture, is led by Stanford University professor Giovanni Tempesta. It kicks off in Rome before heading to the Umbrian region, where the group will stay at the 18th century Villa Pambuffetti and visit the Marmore waterfalls. In Amalfi, participants will watch traditional coastal festivities honoring the patron saint. The dramatic Gothic duomo of Orvieto is another stop. The cathedral's interior frescoes include Luca Signorelli's masterpiece "The Last Judgment."
Info: Little World Travel, Belmont, Calif.; (888) 292-0664, www.littleworld.com.
Dates: June 14 to 29
Itinerary: Orvieto, Perugia, Spello, Otranto, Lecce, Alberobello, Matera, Montefalco, Amalfi.
Price: $4,998 per person, double occupancy (single supplement $700), includes accommodations, transportation, activities and museum and sightseeing fees, and two meals a day with wine. It does not include airfare from LAX to Rome or hotel transfers.
For kids with ASD
Martin Lisius' Tempest Tours team, which has been chasing storms since 2001, will offer a trip tailored for children with autism spectrum disorder and their parents. It's a nod to his 9-year-old daughter, Maddy, who has ASD. He was spurred in part by inquiries from parents whose ASD kids are fascinated by weather. Some parents of kids with ASD avoid taking their children on trips, he notes. This is an opportunity for kids and parents to feel comfortable "because everybody is going to be in the same boat." They'll also be in the same vans, dashing around Tornado Alley "wherever the weather will be." (Tornado Alley is roughly the Great Plains area between the Rocky and Appalachian Mountains; Lisius says storms in early July often are concentrated in eastern Colorado.) Two guides and a tour director accompany the group, with the tour director leading the way using GPS, Doppler radar and other equipment to pinpoint brewing storms. Lisius says since 2003, the storm-chasing crew has spotted 66 tornadoes.
Dates: June 29 to July 6
Info: Tempest Tours, Arlington Texas, (817) 274-9313, www.tempesttours.com.
Itinerary: Varies. For this trip, participants will meet in Denver.
Price: $1,995 for double (single $2,095) includes accommodations, ground transportation and a chase team T-shirt. It doesn't include airfare or food.
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