Tours & cruises




Wheeling around

On the Ranch at Furnace Creek’s Scenic Downhill Bicycle Tour, participants explore Death Valley National Park; the tour package includes a two-night stay at the Ranch. During cool fall and winter months, the guided ride winds along a 10-mile route that offers views of the park’s stark beauty.

Itinerary: The ride begins at Hell’s Gate, more than 2,200 feet in elevation, and heads south (and downhill) along Highway 190. The ride travels on paved roadway and takes about 2 1/2 hours.

Dates: Tours start at 10 a.m. and

2 p.m. daily, Oct. 1-Dec. 21, at the Inn at Furnace Creek.

Price: The tour for two costs $408 for a standard room and $453 for a deluxe room, excluding tax and resort fees. The price, based on double occupancy, includes a two-night stay, guide, bicycles, helmets, transportation from the Inn at Furnace Creek to the start point, water and an energy bar. Riders must be 18 or older, and additional adults can be added to the package for $45.50 each, excluding tax. Use the code “DOWNBIKE” when making a reservation online or by phone.


Info: Furnace Creek Resort, (800) 236-7916, www.furnacecreekresort .com


Soaking up culture

The Uma Ubud hotel offers Discover Ubud Culture tour packages for two, three or four nights in Ubud, the cultural and artsy center of Bali.

Itinerary: The two-night tour includes yoga classes and a guided walk to see the Bedugul Mountains and markets in town. Guests can choose a half-day bike ride around Kintamani, a three-hour chauffeured tour of Ubud or a half-day white-water rafting trip on the Ayung River. (All are included for guests who stay four nights.)

Dates: Hotel tour packages are offered indefinitely.

Price: The two-night tour, based on double occupancy, costs $825. The price includes a room with a garden terrace, sunken bath and outdoor shower; half board (breakfast and lunch or dinner, excluding drinks); the town tour; yoga classes and a selected activity. Airfare is not included.


Party on

Travelers spend New Year’s Eve at a family dinner and make Champagne toasts in St. Petersburg during a 10-day Russian Winter Wonder Land tour from MIR Corp. The package includes opportunities to meet (and party) with locals and visit iconic landmarks, including Alexander’s Palace and St. Isaac’s Cathedral. The small group tour continues to Moscow, Vladimir (featuring the 12th century Cathedral of the Assumption) and Suzdal.

Itinerary: The first five days, including New Year’s Eve and Day, are spent touring the imperial capital of St. Petersburg. Participants then spend a day in Moscow at the Kremlin and other museums and end with three days traveling to Vladimir and Suzdal before returning to Moscow.

Dates: Dec. 29-Jan. 7

Price: The land tour costs $5,095 a person, based on double occupancy (single supplement costs $895) and includes hotel stays, English-speaking guides, most meals, transportation between cities and entrance fees to museums and attractions. The price does not include international airfare.

Info: MIR, (800) 424-7289, www


Lighthouses to Lobsters

Social change can be part of the itinerary on a Crystal cruise from New York to Montreal. The Lighthouses to Lobsters cruise aboard Crystal Symphony in September offers a free shore excursion for those who want to help the Boston nonprofit Cradles to Crayons organize and distribute items to homeless children. The three-hour volunteer session is free and kid-friendly.

Itinerary: The cruise starts in New York City and stops in Newport, R.I.; Boston; Bar Harbor, Maine; and Halifax, Quebec City and Montreal in Canada. The cruise is one-way and ends in Montreal. (Other cruises also include different volunteer opportunities as part of the company’s “You Care, We Care” program.)

Dates: Sept. 13-24.

Price: A stateroom starts at $4,495 a person, based on double occupancy, and includes an airfare allowance of $500 a person. The price also includes meals, entertainment and services aboard the ship. Airfare to New York and from Montreal is not included.

Contact: Crystal Cruises, (888) 799-4625,, or contact a travel agent.