Tiptoe Through Tulips Much Closer to Home


If Holland is a bit too far to see tulips, Delft-ware and wooden shoes, a closer alternative is Michigan, on a tour that runs May 21 to 27. Participants will visit Holland, Mich., to see the Veldheer Tulip Gardens, DeKlomp Wooden Shoe and Delft Factory, and Windmill Island. Next, the group will tour Sleeping Bear Dune National Lakeshore and stay overnight on Mackinac Island. Also on the itinerary is historic Ft. Mackinac and Mill Creek, and the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn.

Cost: $1,345 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare to Grand Rapids, ground transportation, hotels, some meals and entrance fees.

Contact: Main Street Tours, 1751 W. Torrance Blvd., Suite N., Torrance, CA 90501; telephone (800) 300-6246.

Russian History

A tour to Moscow and St. Petersburg, escorted by Russian history professor Robert Feldman, runs July 13 to 27. The tour also includes a five-day cruise up the Volga River, which takes passengers through the heartland of old Russia. Sites visited include the Hermitage, Catherine's Palace at Pushkin, Peter the Great's Summer Palace, the Kremlin Armory and Tretyakov Art Gallery. A city tour of Helsinki, Finland, is also included.

Cost: $3,995 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare from Los Angeles, hotels, ground transportation, all meals, and tickets to a ballet, folk dance performance and the Moscow Circus.

Contact: East-West International Tours, 1248 Montevideo Ave., Placentia, CA 92870; tel. (800) 359-6719.

Trekking in Peru

A wilderness hike through the Andean highlands, guided by a Peruvian-American, is being offered May 22 to June 7 and June 12 to 26. Participants will travel along Inca-engineered trails, explore Inca ruins and visit 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. The tour includes visits to Cuzco, Urubamba and Machu Picchu.

Cost: $2,650 for the 17-day trip and $2,600 for the 15-day trip, per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare from Los Angeles, all ground transportation, flights in Peru, sightseeing, hotels, all meals and camping.

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

Britain by Limo

The British Bobby Touring Co. is offering small-group chauffeur-driven tours of Britain, departing London July 14 and Aug. 11. The 11-day tours include visits to Stonehenge, Bath, North Wales, York and Edinburgh (Scotland). Side excursions will include a day cruise on Lake Windermere and a ride on the steam train to Portmadoc, Wales.

Cost: $2,300 per person, double occupancy, including accommodations in B&Bs;, ground transportation and entrance fees.

Contact: James Bothwell Travel, 3 Ballard Road, Poole Quay, Dorset, England BH15 1RB; tel. (800) 892-9317.

April in Paris

Gardens, music and food are the focuses of two springtime tours: a week in Paris April 18-26, and a 10-day trip that adds London April 26 to May 7. Groups are limited to 10 participants. Guests will visit Paris' famous gardens, hear concerts and cabarets, and enjoy French cuisine at bistros and brasseries. For the second trip, guests will travel to London via the Channel Tunnel to visit the Royal Botanic Kew Gardens and the Globe Theatre.

Cost: $3,100 per person for the one-week trip and $3,700 for the London add-on. Both tours include round-trip air fare from LAX, trip insurance, hotels, breakfasts, sightseeing, transfers and guides.

Contact: Anne Block at Take My Mother, Please; tel. (213) 937-9073.

Papua New Guinea

Tropical Adventures is offering divers and photographers a tour led by a professional marine photographer on the "Eclipse and Dive" tour. The tour focuses on the best photographic opportunities in Papua New Guinea, and the opportunity to observe and photograph a solar eclipse from above or below the water.

The trip runs from Aug. 8 to 26 and includes two days diving at Loloata, where divers can see the rare Rhinopius (weedy scorpion fish) and many other exotic fish and shipwrecks. The group then moves to the Highland Territory for three days to photograph cultural festivals with decorated Huli warriors and witch doctors in a rain forest. In New Britain, the group boards the Febrina for a full week of diving. Guests have frequent encounters with spinner dolphins, sea fans and large schools of fish, plus the only viewing location in the Southern Hemisphere for a solar eclipse on Aug. 22.

Cost: $5,757 per person, double occupancy, including air fare from Los Angeles, all hotels, diving, transfers and meals in Papua New Guinea.

Contact: Geoff Hynes at Tropical Adventures; tel. (800) 247-3483.

U.S.A. All the Way

S.T.E.P. Tours is offering a motor-coach tour to historic estates in the Brandywine Valley in Pennsylvania, Hudson River Valley in New York and Newport, R.I., from April 26 to May 7. Highlights of this spring's "Historic Mansions and Gardens of the East" tour include overnight stays in a restored 18th century residence/inn in the heart of Annapolis, Md., and a recently renovated Victorian mansion in Cape May, N.J.

The second segment features a train ride along the Hudson, narrated tours of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Sunnyside (Washington Irving's estate), Kykuit (home to four generations of Rockefellers), Boscobel and Montgomery Place. A full day will be devoted to Hyde Park, where the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site, Franklin D. Roosevelt Home, Vanderbilt Mansion and Mills Mansion are located. While in Newport, R.I., guests will visit mansions: The Breakers, The Astors' Beechwood and Chateau-sur-Mer and Hammersmith Farm (Jackie Kennedy Onassis' childhood summer home) are on the itinerary.

Cost: $1,825 per person, double occupancy, including hotels, most meals, motor coach, admissions, guide fees, porterage. Not included: air fare.

Contact: S.T.E.P. Inc. Tours, 6719 Abbottswood Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275; tel. (310) 377-1601.

Cultural Ireland

A tour of Ireland's art, castles and cuisine is offered May 30 to June 9, and includes visits to the Cliffs of Moher, Kylemore Abbey, Westport House and Blarney Castle. Participants will stay in unique accommodations, such as Ashford Castle, Hayfield Manor and Mt. Juliet. An afternoon tea reception is planned with Dame Sybil Connolly to tour her garden.

Cost: $3,475 per person, double occupancy, including accommodations, ground transportation, all breakfasts, most dinners and sightseeing fees.

Contact: Frances Reps at Sailair Travel; tel. (800) 759-5800.

Turkey Trot

The Ancient Art Council of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is offering an 18-day tour of Turkey that starts April 27. The trip will include driving through the region of Cappadocia with its moon-like landscape; viewing Kaymakli, an underground town carved into volcanic terrain; a full day's excursion to Ephesus; visits to Aphrodisias and other Hellenistic cities; a tour of Troy and five days in Istanbul exploring historic sites.

Cost: $4,485 per person, including air fare, hotels, most meals and sightseeing fees.

Contact: Rosanna Zonni of the Ancient and Islamic Art Department at LACMA; tel. (213) 857-6011.

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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