United Kingdom Barge Tours, London Theater and the NFL

Kovell is a veteran journalist in seniors' interests.

Mature travelers who find the price of those luxurious European barge cruises a bit steep can get a nice break on two six-night cruises being offered in England and Ireland.

One cruise in rural East Anglia uses two luxury barges that travel in tandem between Bedford and St. Ives. On one barge are the staterooms, all with shower baths; on the second are the luxurious dining room and a lounge, TV and bar.

The regular high-season price of $1,280 per person is reduced for seniors over 50 to $980, which includes all meals with wine, open bar, sightseeing and transfers from London. Departure dates are July 11, Aug. 22 and Oct. 3 and 10. An Oct. 17 cruise is priced lower at $880 for seniors, also a saving of $300.

In Ireland the Shannon Princess cruises the famed River Shannon for seven days/six nights with daily excursions to historic cities and castles along the way, including a medieval banquet in 15th-Century Dunguaire Castle. All cabins aboard the barge have private baths.

The regular price of $1,490 is reduced to $1,190 for seniors and includes all gourmet meals with wine, open bar, shore excursions and round-trip transfers from Shannon Airport. Dates are July 19, Aug. 16 and Oct. 4 and 11. Travel agents have complete information about these barge cruises, or you can call Horizon Cruises at (818) 906-8086. From other areas in California, call toll-free at (800) 252-2103. Outside California, call (800) 421-0454.

Giovanni Tours, which specializes in all-inclusive tours for mature travelers, is repeating its Traditional London theater tour, with a new sidelight: tickets for the Los Angeles Rams-Denver Broncos football game to be played at London's Wembley Stadium on Aug. 8. American-style football has become a big hit in England, and this game is the only NFL game scheduled for Europe in 1987.

The tour also includes a stay at the Strand Palace, one of London's fine hotels in the theater district; a London sightseeing tour; an excursion to Stratford-on-Avon and Oxford; a one-day scavenger hunt in London; London transportation pass, and tickets to two popular theater productions.

Each day there is a full English breakfast (all you can eat) and gourmet dinners at popular restaurants. All tips are included, as well as baggage handling and transfers in London.

"Know Before You Go" and pre-trip get-acquainted parties are held, as well as a "Meet the Players" pub night in London with many of the NFL players. The all-inclusive price is $1,687 per person, which includes air transportation via British Caledonian Airways round trip from Los Angeles to London. Departure date is Aug. 6. For complete itinerary and details, write to Giovanni Tours, 5308 Derry Ave., Dept. F, Agoura Hills, Calif. 91301. Phone (818) 889-3156.

Another operator specializing in tours for seniors is Poole Tours, which has put together an extensive 45-day tour called the Grand America Adventure. It begins in the Pacific Northwest with Vancouver and Victoria, B.C., then proceeds to Banff and Jasper in the Canadian Rockies, and across Canada's prairie provinces to the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence River and Montreal.

You'll visit parts of New England, then head south along the Eastern seaboard to Washington, D.C.; Colonial Williamsburg; Cape Hatteras, N.C.; Charleston, S.C., and Epcot Center at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla.

Heading west, you'll travel the Deep South through Mobile and New Orleans, then to Galveston and San Antonio. Homebound, you'll visit Albuquerque and Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico; Little America in Flagstaff, Ariz., and Las Vegas.

The tour is via deluxe Greyhound motor coach and includes a welcome party, all admissions, sightseeing, all accommodations, a farewell dinner, luggage handling and taxes. Cost for the entire Grand America Adventure package is $3,109 per person (double occupancy).

Poole also offers an 18-day New England fall foliage tour by Greyhound motor coach that begins Sept. 28 and covers much of New England and the East. The cost, including air fare to Boston and return from Washington, D.C., is $1,998 per person.

And a 29-day motor-coach tour of Alaska, including Crater Lake, Ore., and Seattle en route to Alaska, departs Los Angeles Aug. 3. Eight Alaskan cities are on the itinerary, with stopovers at other points of interest. All facets of the tour are included in the price of $2,395 per person.

Write for full information on any one or all three of these mature-oriented excursions to Poole Tours, P.O. Box 990, Temple City, Calif. 91780, or phone (818) 285-9775.

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