Ski and See Italy From Snowy Slopes

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Two 10-day ski trips to Italy are planned for Jan. 10-20 or Jan. 17-27 with Carlucci's Italy. Guests will stay in Cortina, a small town in northern Italy that is surrounded by the Dolomite Mountains. This region has 464 ski lifts to choose from and was the site of the 1956 Winter Olympics. Participants will also spend two days exploring Venice. Optional side trip to nearby Innsbruck, Austria, is also available.

Cost: $1,179 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare from Los Angeles, accommodations, a ski pass for six days for all lifts, daily breakfast, airport transfers and Italian-speaking hosts. Contact: Carlucci's Italy, 27121 Arena Lane, Mission Viejo, CA 92691; telephone (714) 707-5824.

Tulips and Art

Join members of the Palos Verdes Art Center in the Netherlands April 24-May 3 for an exhibition of Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675), one of the important painters of the Dutch Golden Age. Participants will visit other museums in Amsterdam and throughout Holland; stop in Delft, the town famed for its blue pottery, and take a five-night cruise through the fairy-tale beauty of the Dutch waterways during the height of tulip season.

Cost: $1,898 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air from Los Angeles, art lectures and all meals aboard the Rhine Princess. Each room is an outside cabin with large picture windows. The price also includes a tax-deductible donation to the art center. Contact: Sharon Ryan, Argo World Travel, 31239 Palos Verdes West, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275; tel. (800) 651-0377.

More Netherlands

A tour to the Netherlands and Belgium to trace the development of the art of painting from the 15th through the 17th centuries, is scheduled to coincide with the International Johannes Vermeer Exhibition (March 1-June 2). The 10-day tour, which leaves on May 2, focuses on seeing the works of the Flemish painters, primarily the achievements of Vermeer and his 17th-Century contemporaries. Participants begin the tour in Brussels and follow the development of painting in the 15th Century. Visits are added to Brugge--birthplace of Flemish art--and Gent. An excursion is also made to Antwerp, where Rubens lived. Then the group travels to Delft and Amsterdam. En route , art historians will lecture.

Cost: $2,900 per person, double occupancy, including hotels, breakfasts, sightseeing, a concert and motor-coach transportation. Not included: air fare to Holland. Contact: Protours, P.O. Box 3306, 2601 DH Delft, The Netherlands; tel. 011-31-15-143797, fax 011-31-15-130532 for information. For reservations, call Travel Arrangers of Pasadena, tel. (818) 793-1466.

Old New Mexico

The Los Angeles Zoo is sponsoring a natural history tour to northeastern New Mexico Nov. 8-12. Tours of Santa Fe, Native American pueblos, trading posts and Latino villages. In addition, participants will view the feast day ceremonies at Jemez Pueblo, where hundreds of Native American participate in a dance.

Cost: $850 per person, including round-trip air fare from Los Angeles to Albuquerque, travel in New Mexico by van, and accommodations each night in the town of Taos.

Contact: Los Angeles Zoo, 5333 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90027; tel. (213) 666-4650.

Ancient Egypt

Spend the holidays in Egypt for 17 days to visit sites of antiquity with Leon Rosenstein, a San Diego State University professor. The tour leaves Dec. 17 and starts in Cairo to visit the Pyramids and Great Sphinx, the Egyptian Museum and Old Cairo.

Also on the itinerary is a drive through the Sinai Desert to visit St. Catherine's Monastery; explore Alexandria on the sea; visit Meidum Pyramid and the Oasis of Fayoum; fly to Luxor to take a five-day cruise on the Champollion Nile cruise ship and sail from Luxor to Esna, Edfu, Kom Ombo and to Aswan to visit the great temples at Abu Simbel. The group will spend New Year's Eve in Cairo and enjoy a free day before flying home.

Cost: $3,596 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare from Los Angeles, hotels, the Champollion Nile cruise ship, most meals and sightseeing. At the end, tour members may take the London extension, a five-day stay in a bed and breakfast, returning Jan. 7; cost $489.

Contact: Charles Smith, Classical Alliance of the Western States, P.O. Box 3494, Anaheim, CA 92803; tel. (714) 956-2067.

Yosemite Park

Image Quest Tours will conduct an autumn photo trip to Yosemite National Park Oct. 19-22. Participants will have the opportunity to photograph Yosemite's waterfalls, which are still flowing due to last winter's record snowfall. Members will also photograph Yosemite's autumn colors and the Merced River, and views of Half Dome, El Capitan and Glacier Point.

Cost: $215 per person includes instructors from the park's natural history association, guided walks, accommodations for three nights at Yosemite Lodge and Sunday brunch at the Ahwahnee Hotel. Contact: Image Quest Tours, 1164 Alvira St., Los Angeles, CA 90035; tel. (213) 939-2819.

Southeast Asia

A 26-day tour to Vietnam and Cambodia is planned for Jan. 11. Sponsored by the Pacific Asia Museum of Pasadena, the tour focuses on the culture, history, art and architecture of these two newly opened countries. The Vietnam portion of the trip includes visits to Hanoi, which will include an overview tour of the city as well as visits to the Fine Arts Museum, the home and burial site at One Pillar Pagoda of Ho Chi Minh, the History Museum and the Temple of Literature.

Participants will stay in the highlands village of Hoa Binh and take a boat tour of Ha Long Bay, one of the scenic wonders of the region. Next they will visit Da Nang to stop at the Cham Art Museum and My Son for a tour of the 8th-Century temples and buildings of the Champa civilization. The group will visit Hue and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) for stops at the presidential palace, China Town, Glac Lam pagoda and the art museum.Also included are shopping and sightseeing opportunities in the nearby Mekong Delta region.

In Cambodia the group will visit the ruins of Wat Phnom Pagoda, the temple built in the 1300s and Wat Ounalom, as well as have a chance to shop at the central market Phnom Penh. Travelers will also tour the 12th-Century ruins of Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom.

Cost: $8,116 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare, accommodations, all meals, sightseeing and guides. Contact: Pacific Asia Museum, tel. (818) 449-2742, Ext. 10; or Travel Arrangers, 1194 E. Walnut St., Pasadena, CA 91106; tel. (818) 793-1466..

Big Hawaii

A weeklong trip to the Big Island of Hawaii departs Feb. 24. Located on the Kohala coast of the Big Island of Hawaii, the group will be staying at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel on a white-sand beach surrounded by fishponds and mountains. Activities include a tour by a local historian, who will give a comprehensive history of the area and of Hawaiian methods of aquaculture.

Guests will see examples of Hawaiian quilting, a craft that was developed after the arrival of the missionaries, and incorporates Hawaiian print and flower motifs in intricate designs. The remaining time can be spent golfing, swimming and hiking.

Cost: $1,134 per person, double occupancy, including hotel accommodations, transfers between Kona Airport and the hotel, and a private cocktail party. Group air fare to Hawaii is an additional $300. Contact: Barbara Gross, Bryan International Travel, 98 Battery St., Suite 302, San Francisco, CA 94111-5592; tel. (800) 248-9061.

The Times is not responsible for changes in prices, dates or itineraries. These should be confirmed with cruise lines, travel agents or tour operators. More Tours & Cruises

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