Cooking and Wine: What French Do Best
Jean-Pierre Moulle, chef at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, and his wife are hosting four one-week cooking and wine tours of the Bordeaux region of France. Guests will stay at Chateau La Louviere, a historic monument with gardens and antique-furnished rooms. Private tours to wine cellars in St.-Emilion, Medoc and Graves as well as visits to local markets are taken. The first trip begins June 24 and focuses on cooking in the professional kitchen of Moulle. Trip No. 2 starts July 8 and includes walks through several vineyards, visiting an oyster farm and having lunch on a fishing boat in Arcachon. Trip No. 3 includes a walking tour to the Pyrenees to visit shepherds and learn how to make cheese. Then it’s on to Armagnac to prepare foie gras and learn more about Gascony. The fourth trip, Sept. 17, is another vineyard tour, but at harvest time.
Cost: $2,800 per person, double occupancy, including rooms in the chateau, all meals and ground transportation. Not included: air fare to France. Contact: Jean-Pierre Moulle, P.O. Box 8191, Berkeley, Calif. 94707; tel. (510) 848-8741.
Cooking in Singapore
Spend 11 days beginning July 13 in Singapore experiencing many cultures through hands-on cooking classes by chefs of China, Thailand, Malaysia, India and Indonesia. Participants will also learn the secrets of ancient Chinese herbalism, tour the city and take a day trip to Malaysia. This culinary tour coincides with the second annual Singapore Food Festival.
Cost: $2,319 per person, double occupancy, including hotels, most meals, classes, sightseeing and airport transfers. Not included: air fare to Singapore. Contact: Jennifer Ross, International Gallery, 643 G St., San Diego, Calif. 92101; tel. (619) 235-8255.
Heart of Alaska
An eight-day tour that starts in Anchorage will take visitors to Alaska’s prime wilderness spots Aug. 6. Participants will travel via the Alaska railroad to Denali National Park to view wildlife and pan for gold. A cruise will be taken aboard a stern-wheeler on the Chena River in Fairbanks. Two days are spent at an isolated lodge before crossing Thompson Pass to Prince William Sound and Valdez. Another cruise is taken to view icebergs and the Columbia Glacier. Then it’s back to Anchorage by way of Cook Inlet.
Cost: $1,399 per person, double occupancy, including hotels, some meals, ground transportation. Not included: air fare to Anchorage. Contact: Adventure Outdoors, P.O. Box 4461, Rolling Bay, Wash., 98061; tel. (206) 842-3189.
An 18-day trip to India and Nepal leaves March 10 from Los Angeles to see the capital city of New Delhi, the palaces and forts of Udaipur, the ancient caves of Ajanta and Ellora, the “Pink City” of Jaipur, the Taj Mahal in Agra, the erotic carvings at the temples of Khajuraho, the ancient city of Varanasi and the Hindu Kingdom of Nepal. Participants will get to ride on elephants and take a cruise of the Ganges River.
Cost: $3,795 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare from Los Angeles, hotels, daily breakfast and 12 dinners, motor-coach transportation, admission fees and baggage handling. Contact: Worldview Travel, 125 Lakewood Center Mall, Lakewood, Calif. 90712; tel. (310) 630-3311.
Sink into the depths of Hells Canyon, the deepest canyon in North America, on six-day rafting trips May through September that begin in Boise and end in Lewiston, Ida. Participants raft on the Snake River, where some of the biggest rapids (category III and IV) in the Pacific Northwest are found, drift by wildlife, swim, fish and explore well-preserved Native American rock art. The group camps along the shores of the Snake and a cook prepares all the meals.
Cost: $1,080 per person, including all camping equipment, airport transfers, meals and guides. Shorter trips are also available. Not included: air fare to Idaho. Contact: ROW, P.O. Box 579, Coeur d’Alene, Ida. 83816; tel. (800) 451-6034.
England in Bloom
Cottage gardens and estates of the English countryside are the focus of a 12-day tour sponsored by the California Arboretum Foundation. The trip departs May 31 to coincide with the height of spring and the centennial of Britain’s National Trust, whose Sissinghurst Castle Garden and Hidcote Garden are featured. The journey also takes a literary focus with lunch at Barnsley House with author Rosemary Verey, a visit to Rudyard Kipling’s home and garden, the Charleston Farmhouse country retreat of the Bloomsbury literary circle, author Christopher Lloyd’s Great Dixter and Margery Fish’s East Lambrook Manor. The tour departs from Los Angeles.
Cost: $3,078, including lodging, tours, events and most meals. Not included: air fare to England. Contact: Learned Journeys, P.O. Box 30626, Santa Barbara, Calif. 93130; tel. (800) 682-6191.
Explore the wine country of the Central Coast on a two-day motor-coach tour that leaves from Costa Mesa at 7 a.m. and Studio City at 8 a.m. Feb. 11 for Paso Robles. Participants will stay at the Paso Robles Inn and visit Bonny Doon Vineyards, Castoro Cellars, Eberle Winery, Claiborne & Churchill and Talley Vineyards. A dinner with barrel samplings at Tobin James Cellars is planned. The group returns Sunday between 6 and 7 p.m.
Cost: $195 per person, including hotel, all meals and motor-coach transportation. Contact: Epicurean Wine Tours, 605 S. Marengo Ave, Suite A, Pasadena, Calif. 91106; tel. (818) 795-2661.
Horses in Iceland
Ride horses for six days and stay in mountain huts in Iceland on four tours that leave June 26, July 10, Aug. 21 and 28. Participants will ride from four to eight hours each day to see farmlands, craters, lava fields, mountains and glaciers. Stops are made at Lake Frostastadavatn, Landmannalaugar and Hekla.
Cost: $960 per person, including dormitory-type lodging, all meals, horses, guide and baggage transport. Not included: air fare to Reykjavik. Contact: Equitour, P.O. Box 807, Dubois, Wyo. 82513; tel. (800) 545-0019.
A safari riding elephants through the rain forests of Vietnam’s Central Highlands and a visit to the Chi Chi tunnels, underground hide-out of the Viet Cong, are new highlights of Acacia Travel’s Discover Vietnam tour. The 17-day trip departs Oct. 12 and visits Ho Chi Minh City, Tay Ninh, Nha Trang, Da Nang, Hoi An, Hue and Hanoi. In its second year, the tour again will be led by Andy Fink, who served in the U.S. Embassy in Saigon 1958 to 1962.
Cost is $3,395 per person, double, including air fare from Los Angeles, sightseeing, hotels and meals. Post-tour options available. Contact: Acacia Travel, 4250 Pacific Highway, Suite 125, San Diego, Calif. 92110; tel. (800) 243-6996.
Russian art, theater and culture are featured on eight-day winter tours offered by Five Star Touring with departures on alternate Fridays through March 24.
Participants spend three nights in Moscow and three in St. Petersburg with an overnight, first-class sleeper-berth ride on the Red Arrow train in between. Stops include visits to see the homes of Tolstoy and Dostoevski, the Pushkin Museum, the icons of the Tretyakov Gallery, the Mikhalov Palace, the art collection of the Hermitage and circus, concert and theater outings.
The cost is $1,555 to $1,640 (depending on departure dates), per person, double occupancy, including meals, transfers, admissions, lodgings, train ride and air travel on Finnair from New York. Not included: air fare to New York.
Contact: Five Star Touring; tel. (212) 818-9140.
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