Travel briefs

Cast away, then poach, saute or flambe your catch on an ocean fishing and gourmet cooking adventure, starting May 16, in southeastern Alaska.

The five-night expedition, for women only, includes fishing every morning in the waters near Sitka on Baranof Island. Tour participants spend afternoons with a chef learning to prepare Northwestern cuisine before sitting down to dine on the catch of the day.

The temperate rain forest around Sitka “is especially beautiful in May,” said Chuck McNamee, who runs Angling Unlimited, the outfitter offering the tour. “The mountains come straight out of the water. The peaks are covered with snow.

“It’s also a great time to fish,” he said. “And the groups that come up here all bond with each other.”

On the fourth day, participants have the option to put down their poles and go on a wildlife excursion.

Cost: $1,545 per person, double occupancy ($375 single surcharge), including lodging, meals, fishing with captain and crew, daily transfers, airport transfers, bait and tackle, fish processing and Alaska fishing license. Transportation is not included.

Contact: Angling Unlimited, Sitka; 800-297-3380,

Nevada petroglyphs

Have a hot time in the Valley of Fire State Park, 30 minutes north of Las Vegas.

May 13 is the last date this season to take a free guided tour of the state park, which has more than 100 panels of ancient petroglyphs 800 to 2,000 years old. The tour of the sites in the valley takes about three hours.

An optional visit to the Lost City Museum in Overton, Nev., is available after the tour.

Cost: Free; $2 per person museum entry fee.

Contact: Nevada Rock Art Foundation, Reno; 775-315-5497,

Ancient Turkey

Stroll ancient streets and study the history and culture of Turkey, often characterized as the bridge between the east and the west.

The 14-night tour, which starts July 3, stops in Istanbul, Gallipoli, Ayvalik and the Aegean resort town of Kusadasi and spends five days cruising the Aegean Islands aboard a traditional Turkish gulet, the Blue Voyage.

Charles Frazee, a retired California State University, Fullerton history professor, leads the group. He has traveled to Turkey many times in 35-plus years.

Cost: $5,890 per person, double occupancy ($1,480 single surcharge), including round-trip air fare from Los Angeles, hotels and ship accommodations, most meals, entrance fees and taxes.

Contact: East West International Tours, Laguna Beach, Calif.; 800-359-6719,

London to Glasgow

Hit the highlights of England and Scotland on a road trip from London to Glasgow.

The seven-night tours depart Mondays until Oct. 15.

Travelers visit the Tower of London and other famous sites in the capital.

On their way to the Cotswolds they stop to see the 18th century Baroque confection, Blenheim Palace.

Next they take a walking tour of Chester, then drive through the Lake District on their way to Edinburgh, Scotland.

Cost: $2,021 per person, double occupancy ($425 single surcharge), including air fare from Los Angeles to London and Glasgow to Los Angeles, hotels, some meals and ground transportation.

Contact: Adventure Vacations, La Jolla, Calif.; 800-600-5587,

Island hop by yacht on a seven-day cruise from Athens.

The 40-passenger H&B sets sail Fridays between May and October to the islands of Mikonos, Thira and the Kiklades.

Cruising times are generally about four to five hours each day. Stops in the Kiklades include the islands of Tinos and Siros.

For the remainder of the day, the ship is docked, and participants can explore the islands, swim or sample the taverns and nightlife.

Cost: $1,375 to $1,495 per person, double occupancy ($300 single surcharge), including cabin accommodations, most meals and airport transfers in Athens. International air fare and port taxes are not included.

Contact: Vikings Yacht Cruises, Wilmington, N.C.; 800-341-3030,

A bishop on a northwestern Croatian island has asked authorities to declare a “decency zone” in the city’s center to ban regular summertime promenades of tourists wearing nothing but swimsuits.

Ivan Kordic, bishop of Krk island, said “scarcely dressed” people “harm the morale, the spirit and the soul” of other people in the city, in a letter to city officials.

Krk authorities have not responded to the letter yet.

But tourist officials and many residents have already rejected the idea, arguing that in Krk, as most other Croatian tourist resorts, city centers are adjacent to beaches and it is therefore normal for people to walk around, have a drink or do some shopping in their swimsuits. Besides, a dress code could put off tourists, who are responsible for most of the island’s hard currency income, they said.

Vegas mob museum

Locals may not like the idea, but tourists appear eager to see a historic downtown building converted into a tribute to the history of organized crime, a poll conducted by the city has found.

Pollsters surveyed 600 locals and 300 tourists in Las Vegas to gauge their interest in a handful of possible themes for a museum proposed for a historic building currently under renovation in downtown Las Vegas.

The options included a “behind-the-scenes” look at gambling, a magic museum, a “vintage Vegas” theme, a museum dedicated to Las Vegas icons such as Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra, and a Mafia museum.

Locals told pollsters they would most like to see the museum chronicle “vintage Vegas,” described as the architecture, music and figures that dominated the city’s landscape from the 1930s to the ’50s.

But more than 70 percent of visitors ranked a mob museum among their top three concepts.

The poll found only 17 percent of locals picked the mob museum as their top choice. Nearly 32 percent of residents chose the “vintage Vegas” museum.

Travel deals

Spend three nights at the all-inclusive Almond Beach Village in Barbados starting at $488 per person double; usual three-night rate starts at $912. The “3-Night Sampler” promo applies to stays through June 30; book by May 30. Info: 800-4-ALMOND, Request code ALMVSPRG.

The Elkin Creek Guest Ranch, a 28,000-acre working ranch in British Columbia’s Chilcotin region, has a discounted “May Branding and Turnout” package May 18-22. Cost for the four-night package, which includes lodging, meals, a full-day cattle drive and daily guided riding and hikes, is about $605 per person double. Usual cost for just three nights is $605. Info: 877-3-GO-WEST,

The Appalachian Mountain Club has a deal for seniors age 60 and older. Stay at the Highland Center in New Hampshire’s White Mountains Sunday-Thursday through June 30 and pay $83 a night per person double for a private room, three meals a day, daily programs and use of outdoor gear, including boots, fleece jackets, backpacks and fly-fishing rods. Usual price starts at $144 per person. Mention the “Spring Senior Special” when booking at 603-466-2727. Info:

Save up to 20 percent on September Panama Canal repositioning cruises aboard Holland America’s Zuiderdam, Westerdam and Volendam. For example, an inside cabin on the 21-day Vancouver, B.C., to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., cruise, departing Sept. 30, now starts at $2,149 per person double (plus about $296 port taxes). Previous base price started at $2,599. Info: Book at 877-SAIL-HAL and request promo LI.

Southwest has launched a systemwide sale for travel May 9-Sept 12. Availability is limited. Book by May 11. Purchase at least 21 days in advance at

Travel classes, seminars

Rick Steves’ Europe Through the Back Door hosts free travel classes most Saturdays at 10 a.m. at the Edmonds Theater, 415 Main St., Edmonds.

* Gardens of England and Normandy, France with Ann Neel.

* European rail skills with Gretchen Strauch, May 13.

* Italy with Julie Coen, May 20.

Classes are free, reservations recommended. Call 425-771-8303 ext. 298 or go online to

The Savvy Traveler offers travel seminars at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. most Saturdays at 112 Fifth Ave. S., Edmonds.

* French for travelers, 6 p.m. Thursdays, May 4 through 25.

Classes are free, reservations recommended. Call 425-744-6076, 877-225-1994, or go online to

Travel classes offered in Everett: Everett Parks and Recreation presents a series of travel classes featuring travel experts from Rick Steves’ Europe Through the Back Door. Classes are held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Van Valey House, 2130 Colby Ave., Everett.

* Regions of France with Colleen Schaffer, May 11.

Cost is $5. Registration is required.

For information, call 425-257-8300 or go online to

The Herald 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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