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Twisting Along the Elbe in Historic Germany

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Cruise the historic Elbe River from Berlin to Prague May 7 to 18 on board the Konigstein, a recently remodeled vessel. The tour begins in Berlin with one night at the Berlin Radisson Hotel with a get-together dinner and a city tour the next day. The Konigstein is boarded in nearby Potsdam with time to explore the city. For seven nights, participants will cruise the Elbe, visiting medieval Magdeburg, Wittenburg (of Martin Luther and Reformation fame) Meissen, Dresden, then to Bad Schandau and Leitmeritz and Melnik in the Czech Republic. The cruise ends in Prague with a city tour and two nights in the heart of the city.

Cost: $2,845 for a lower deck outside cabin and $3,145 for an upper deck outside cabin based on double occupancy. The tour includes international air fare, city tours and hotels with breakfast in Berlin and Prague, all transfers and cruise.

Contact: Claudette at Carlson-Wagonlit; telephone (805) 684-6685.

Trekking in Peru

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A wilderness hike through the Andean highlands, guided by a Peruvian-American, is being offered April 10 to April 22 and May 22 to June 7. Participants will travel along Inca-engineered trails, exploring Inca ruins and visiting native villages and traditional markets that feature original Peruvian ceramics, textiles, art and handicrafts.

Guests will interact with Quechua herders of llamas and alpacas in remote mountain communities. Trip includes visits to Cuzco, the sacred valley of the Incas called Urubamba and the lost city of Machu Picchu.

Cost: $2,450 for the 13-day trip or $2,650 for the 16-day trip, per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare from Los Angeles, all transportation and flights in Peru, sightseeing tours, hotels, all meals, trekking and camping.

Contact: Andes Adventures, Devy Reinstein, 1323 12th St., Suite F, Santa Monica, CA 90401; tel. (310) 395-5265.

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Peruvian Andes

An all-women’s 14-day trip to Peru May 3 to 16 starts with a three-night stay in a remote Andean village where participants will have the opportunity to see the Quechuan way of life. Trip members will distribute vitamins, clothing and other supplies to the villagers. Next is an all-day excursion through the highlands to see a grass suspension bridge crossing the Apurimac River.

There will be an overnight trip to Machu Picchu, a half a day of easy river rafting on the Urubamba River, and visits to the Inca ruins of Pisac, Sacsayhuaman and Tambo Machay.

The next-to-last day is free for shopping in Cuzco. In Lima, the group will visit the Museum of Anthropology and spend an evening dining with a Peruvian family in their home.

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Cost: $1,795 per person, including lodging, most meals and sightseeing. Air fare is not included.

Contact: Sally Vogel at Peruvian Adventures, 444 Redlands Ave., Claremont, CA 91711; tel. (909) 626-2905.

Gardens of Holland

Think spring with a tour of Holland in bloom with the Dutch Garden Society and City Adventures on May 4 to 11. Participants will visit the Keukenhof Gardens and Lilac Park. There will be a specially arranged tour of a private garden on the Vecht River. Visits arranged through Dutch Garden Society will take participants to gardens normally closed to the public, and there will be the opportunity to meet professional gardeners. Unusual private gardens in and around Apeldoorn and Maastricht, a private garden in Belgium, the Japanese garden in The Hague, the Muiden Castle, the Diepenheim Castle, a visit to Delft and a dinner in Amsterdam are included. Participants will also attend the Flower Auction near Aalsmeer, the largest flower auction in the world.

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Cost: $2,650 (if reservations are made before Jan. 1, the cost is $2,500) per person, double occupancy, including hotels, some meals and sightseeing.

Contact: City Adventures; tel. (800) 585-CITY.

Art in Vietnam

Global Spectrum, a Washington, D.C.-based tour operator, is offering an art tour to Vietnam. The 15-day excursion from May 15 to 30, escorted by Carol Bolin, an Asian art professor, explores the cultural heritage and various art forms of Vietnam traveling the entire length of the country, visiting urban cities, rural villages and coastal resorts.

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The tour will introduce participants to Cham artifacts and ruins, textiles ranging from silk to hill tribe weavings, ceramics and pottery, traditional and contemporary paintings, and Western and Eastern-influenced architecture. Participants will have the opportunity to meet local artists, scholars and museum curators.

Cost: $5,495 per person, double occupancy, including international air fare, deluxe accommodations, all in-country transportation, educational lectures by guest lecturers, entrance fees, gratuities and most meals. Space is limited to 15 participants.

Contact: Global Spectrum, 1901 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Suite 204, Washington, DC 20006; tel. (800) 419-4446.

Philadelphia Posies

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The annual flower show in Philadelphia and other area attractions are included in a March 5 to 8 “Philadelphia in Full Bloom” program organized by Philadelphia Hospitality. It offers a private guided tour of the show, visits to the Barnes Foundation art collection, the Brandywine River Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Longwood and Winterthur gardens and Independence National Historical Park.

Cost: $705 per person, double occupancy, including three nights’ lodging at the Warwick Hotel, daily continental breakfast, a dinner at City Tavern, three lunches, bus transportation, a guide and entry fees. Air fare is extra.

Contact: Philadelphia Hospitality; tel. (800) 714-3287 or (215) 568-3351.

Literary Paris

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A literary tour of Paris is being offered May 1 to 9. Participants will retrace the steps of Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, James Baldwin, James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, Victor Hugo and others. Guests will visit Victor Hugo’s house and the Cathedral of Notre Dame, setting for “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”

Also scheduled: a literary walking tour of the Left Bank, stopping at literary cafes, bookstores and authors’ homes; the Pere-Lachaise Cemetery, where Colette, Moliere, Chopin, Proust and Wilde are buried; a day’s excursion outside of Paris to visit Alexander Dumas’ Cha^teau of Monte Christo; and the summer home of the Russian writer Ivan Turgenev. A four-day art extension is available for participants who want more time at the Louvre, Musee D’Orsay and Monet’s home and gardens in Giverny.

Cost: $2,145 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare from Boston or New York.

Contact: Diana Altman, FPT Special Interest Tours; tel. (800) 645-0001.

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California Desert

A tour via motor coach from the Los Angeles area to Death Valley and Las Vegas runs March 17 to 20. Group members will spend two days exploring the canyons, sculptured rocks and sand dunes of Death Valley, including Ubehebe Crater, Furnace Creek, Devil’s Golf Course and Badwater Basin. Then guests spend a night in Las Vegas at the Monte Carlo Casino Hotel.

Cost: $359 per person, double occupancy, including transportation, hotels and some meals.

Contact: California Discovery Tours, 25201 Paseo de Alicia, Suite 100, Laguna Hills, CA 92653; tel. (800) 225-8728.

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Midway All the Way

Midway Atoll, focus of the June 1942, air-sea battle that crushed Japan’s eastward thrust in the Pacific, became a national wildlife refuge this year. The Midway Co. is offering seven-night packages now through March 15. This is timed to coincide with the hatching season of the gooney bird.

Cost: $1,099 to $1,799 per person, double occupancy, including seven nights’ lodging in the renovated former Navy bachelor officers’ quarters, plus round-trip air fare (turbo-prop, two days a week in winter) from Kauai, Hawaii. A four-night package, $899 to $1,299, also is available. Fish and Wildlife Service tours are available. Air fare to Hawaii is not included.

Contact: Midway Co.; tel. (888) 574-9000 or (808) 245-4718.

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


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