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Professor’s Tours Both Educate and Entertain

<i> Hughes is a 30-year veteran travel writer living in Sherman Oaks</i>

Seminar Travel--Cultural Adventures Worldwide is a somewhat esoteric name for luring mature travelers on fun trips. When they see that its director and tour planner is Clarence Sandelin, emeritus professor of humanities at Cal State L.A., you can almost see the eyelids droop.

But it’s really just plain old “Sandy” Sandelin, a genial gentleman whose joy in life and in tour planning is to entertain, excite your senses and educate, if you wish.

Semi-retired, Sandelin doesn’t run many tours, and many of those he does offer are tailored for specific interests and senior groups.

You don’t need a college education or a driving yearn to learn, either. Just an open mind and a capacity to be entertained.

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Sandelin’s latest trip is a six-day motor-coach tour from Los Angeles to Nevada and Arizona, visiting the Grand Canyon, Canyon de Chelly, cliff-dwellings, the excellent Museum of Northern Arizona and points of interest in between.

The tour also visits that renowned site for learning mathematics and the probabilities of odds--Colorado Belle Casino in Laughlin, Nev. So much for higher education.

One of the things that sets Sandelin’s trips apart is the on-the-coach entertainment he provides. Not college-level lectures, but interesting and fascinating legends, background information, local music and all sorts of trivia to help bring the sights you see to life.

Sandelin’s six-day trips are set to leave June 15, June 29, July 13 and July 27. Prices vary from $595 to $640 per person, double occupancy, depending on the season. He makes every effort to match single travelers to avoid the single supplement.

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For more information, including a detailed brochure, contact Seminar Travel, 817 Irving Drive, Burbank 91504. Phone (818) 848-8700.

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Club Europa, a tour wholesaler specializing in travel for persons 18 to 34, made its first Los Angeles appearance recently, with a booth at the big seniors’ “Time of Your Life Expo.”

It wasn’t a mistake. The Urbana, Ill., company was introducing a new division, Senior Tours, offering tours to Europe, the Far East and East Africa. All are specifically designed for mature travelers, said Werner Hardt-Stremayr, sales director.

The Senior Safari to East Africa, a 15-day trip to Nairobi and Kenya’s major game parks, seems pretty well planned, according to the itinerary. But I do note the trip starts with a long air journey to New York City, then Rome and right on to Nairobi. That’s an awfully long flight for seniors.

The tour costs $3,395 per person, double occupancy, from Los Angeles, and includes very good hotels (Nairobi Inter-Continental and Mt. Kenya Safari Club), plus most meals and other extras.

Club Europa has a good track record of 30 years of college student tours--not the cheap kind, but classy tours, priced to match. Hardt-Stremayr said it has escorted more than 125,000 young travelers over the years.

Club Europa’s senior tours will be sold through travel agents, so you might want to check with your agency. If it doesn’t have the brochures and you want to compare them with other tours, contact Club Europa, Europa House, 802 W. Oregon, Urbana, Ill. 61801. Or call toll-free (800) 331-1882.

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Viscount Hotels is offering mature travelers a 25% discount off rooms, dining (including room service and cocktails), and even the gift shop, at its hotels in Long Beach, near the Queen Mary, and at Harbour Island in San Diego. Your entire bill is subject to the discount, but not the tips. For information and reservations, call (800) 255-3050.

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Kona Village Resort, one of the more secluded and pricey/posh American-plan resorts on the Big Island Of Hawaii, has announced a silver anniversary rate for kupunas , or seniors age 60 and over.

The Kupuna Getaway, in effect now through Dec. 7 to celebrate the resort’s 25th year, provides a 20% discount on the room portion of the resort’s full American plan rates (which start at $330, double occupancy). For information, check with your travel agent or call (800) 367-5290.


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