Travel briefs

Discover the archaeological treasures of the Greek isles on a 10-night tour that explores Santorini and Crete.

The tour, sponsored by the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, begins May 10.

“It’s a wonderful time of year when wildflowers are blooming, enhancing the beauty of the historical sites,” said Theresa Payne, a museum representative. She pointed out that, unlike during a cruise, participants will have an opportunity to “enjoy life as the locals do.”

Participants spend four nights on each island and two nights in Athens, where the tour begins and ends. The itinerary in Athens includes the Acropolis and Olympic stadium.

The group flies to Heraklion on Crete and drives along the coast to Rethymnon. Stops include the Palace of Knossos and the Monastery of Arkadi.

On Santorini, the group tours the excavations of Akrotiri, scales the extinct volcano at Fira and takes a cruise to the caldera islet of Thirassia.

Cost: $4,245 per person, double occupancy ($350 single surcharge), including round-trip air fare from Los Angeles to Athens, accommodations, all meals, internal flights and scheduled sightseeing and entrance fees.

Contact: The Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, Calif.; 805-884-6476,

Experience the land of the Incas on a nine-night tour of Peru that begins April 27.

The trip starts in Lima, then moves to Puerto Maldonado, the gateway to three national parks in the Peruvian Amazon.

Participants also visit Cuzco and travel by train to Aguas Calientes on the way to the ruins of Machu Picchu, a fortress city of the ancient Incas.

Cost: $2,850 per person, double occupancy ($800 single surcharge), including round-trip air fare from Los Angeles to Lima, hotels, internal air fare, ground transportation, most meals and admission fees.

Contact: Hermes Travel &Tours, Hawthorne, Calif.; 310-791-5556

Navigate the Atlantic on a 15-night star-studded cruise to Portugal, Morocco, Spain, France and Monaco.

Scheduled to be on board for the April 21 cruise are Patricia Neal, Ed Asner, Cliff Robertson, Gena Rowlands and Leslie Uggams. They and other film and stage veterans will entertain and mingle with the guests.

Ports of call for the 490-passenger Seven Seas Navigator include Casablanca, Morocco; Monte Carlo; and Malaga and Barcelona, Spain.

Cost: $4,495 to $5,745 per person, double occupancy ($1,573 to $2,011 single surcharge), including accommodations, meals, wine with dinner and onboard entertainment. Air fare to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is not included.

Contact: Theatre at Sea Inc., New York; 212-873-0676,

Officials are hoping a new aircraft museum in Rexburg, Idaho, takes flight and draws tourists to this eastern Idaho town.

The 18,000-square-foot Legacy Flight Museum at the Rexburg Airport houses nine vintage planes from World War II and the Korean War, a Russian jet from Cold War, and a replica World War I plane.

Far from being relics, all of them are flightworthy, including a WWII P-51 Mustang fighter. The P-51, one of 150 in the world that can still fly, is owned by John Bagley, who, with his brother Terry, built the hangar.

An air show is planned in June to showcase the aircraft.

Also in the collection is a P-63 King Cobra, one of three in the United States that can still fly. Terry Bagley said the World War II-era plane is essentially a flying cannon designed to destroy tanks.

Portland, Ore., was named the best overall city for cycling by Bicycling magazine.

The Pennsylvania-based magazine also named Portland the top cycling spot for cities with a population between 500,000 and a million, followed by Denver and Seattle (never mind the rain).

The best cycling cities with populations over a million were San Diego, Calif., Chicago and New York – just watch out for the traffic.

The list appears in the magazine’s March issue, which is on newsstands through the end of February.

In picking the top cycling cities, the magazine looked at the number of bike lanes and routes in each city, along with the number of bike racks and the local bike culture – bike commuters, clubs, cycling events and bike shops. Local climate and geography were also factored in.

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.

* Italy with Colleen Schaffer, Feb. 25.

* Greece with Robin Dority, March 4.

* Spring Travel Festival, March 11.

* Croatia with Cameron Hewitt, March 18.

* Southern Italy and Sicily with Julie Coen, March 25.

Classes are free, reservations recommended. Call 425-771-8303, ext. 298, or visit

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

* Exotic Iberia: Spain and Portugal, 10 a.m. March 11.

* Gorgeous Greece, 1 p.m. March 11.

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

Traveler’s Language Cafe: The NW Language Academy presents weekend language intensives, designed for conversational travel language. Instead of memorizing phrases, participants learn patterns of conversation that apply to a variety of circumstances.

Each weekend seminar is $225 and includes a language text and hands-on materials.

March schedule: Italian Language Cafe, March 3 and 4 on Whidbey Island, March 31 and April 1 in Mukilteo. French Language Cafe, March 10 and 11 in Port Townsend, March 24 and 25 in Mukilteo, April 7 and 8 in Everett.

For information, call 360-914-0391 or visit

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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