Tours & Cruises


Erin go bragh

Travelers can celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by booking Ashford Castle’s package, which includes a visit to the nearby 1,500-year-old St. Patrick’s Cathedral and a family’s home for a traditional dinner. Other highlights are a boat trip to Inchagoill Island, a soda-bread baking class, a Guinness-pouring class and a piper-led walk to dinner at Cullen’s at the Cottage, where locals will be reveling. The castle, built in 1228 on the River Cong, is in County Mayo.

Dates: March 17-19


Price: Two nights from about $530, three from about $670 a person, double occupancy, including upscale dinners and most activities.

Info: Ashford Castle, Cong, Ireland; (800) 346-7007,


Make a difference


College students who want to see their time used for good might consider Projects Abroad’s weeklong “Alternative Spring Break Trips.” The excursion to Jamaica involves rebuilding impoverished sectors of Manchester Parish, where many have lost their homes to hurricanes. No construction experience is required, and volunteers stay with host families. The experience ends with an excursion to a beach or waterfall.

Dates: Departures March 6, 13 and 20

Price: $1,495, including accommodations, food, airport transfers, travel and medical insurance and a personalized “MyProjectsAbroad” Web page. The price does not include airfare.

Info: Projects Abroad, New York, N.Y.; (888) 839-3535,


Disney cruise

Disney Cruise Lines is offering its first cruise to Alaska. Its “Seven-Night Alaskan Cruise,” aboard the Disney Wonder, features such sights as fiords and glaciers, historic Gold Rush port towns and the capital city of Juneau. Activities include hiking, kayaking and whale-watching; travelers can expect to see bald eagles, bears and plenty of salmon. Onboard, there are night-life venues, kids’ clubs and arcades.

Itinerary: Vancouver, Canada, to Tracy Arm, Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan, Alaska, and back to Vancouver


Dates: Valid for most sailings from May 3-24

Price: Starting at $1,249 a person, double occupancy; free for ages 17 and younger with two paying adults in the same stateroom (use booking code KFO). The rate does not include taxes, government fees or optional excursions.

Info: Disney Cruise Lines, Celebration, Fla.; (888) 325-2500,


Cultural highlights

Myths and Mountains’ “Pandas, Monks, Nuns, Nomads & the Nagchu Horse Festival” journey includes touring Tibet’s ancient palaces, monasteries and nunneries; checking out a panda-breeding center; visiting an opera school; testing out hot springs; and attending the Nagchu Horse Festival.

Itinerary: Chengdu, China, to Lhasa, Terdrum, Reting Monastery, Nagchu, Lhasa and back to Chengdu (departure and return from Kathmandu, Nepal, or Beijing can be arranged)

Dates: Aug. 1-12, though custom dates are available


Price: $2,995, double occupancy (single supplement, $440), including accommodations and related service charges and taxes, all ground transfers, excursions with guides, entrance fees and most meals. The price does not include international airfare, airfare from Chengdu to Lhasa ($270), visa fees, airport taxes or gratuities.

Info: Myths and Mountains, Incline Village, Nev.; (800) 670-6984,

— Avital Binshtock

Get our weekly Escapes newsletter