Travel Briefs

Many of the monasteries listed in Elizabeth Barish’s “The Guide to Lodging in Italy’s Monasteries” (ISBN 1-884465-19-6 — 512 pp., $22.95) and “The Guide to Lodging in Spain’s Monasteries” (ISBN 1-884465-17-X — 480 pp., $22.95) are hundreds of years old but provide visitors with modern and updated accommodations. Rates can be as low as $30 per day, and many include meals.

Obtain the guides at major bookstores or from the publisher (800/496-2665) or visit and...


Sri Lanka is an often forgotten but absolutely fascinating travel destination. A friend and I were most fortunate to travel there for 10 days in April ’03 with Ceylon Tours, Ltd. (8A Sir Ernest de Silva Ave., Colombo 07, Sri Lanka; phone +94-75-531611, e-mail

We covered most of the large and diverse island in an air-conditioned auto with the same driver/guide throughout. All the hotels were the equivalent of 3- or 4-star hotels in the U.S., and the tour...


Princess Cruises ships in the Caribbean now are showing up to three feature-length films a day on deck at poolside, using a 300-square-foot LED screen and a 69,000-watt sound system. Chaise lounges can be reserved. The first movie to be shown was “Pirates of the Caribbean.”

Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2004, Relais & Châteaux includes 450 privately owned hotels and restaurants in 50 countries around the world, each establishment adhering to the association’s quality charter.

Gift certificates, in denominations of $50, $100 or $500 and valid for two years, can be used for gourmet dining, hotel accommodations, spa treatments and other amenities and may be purchased by calling 877/334-6464 or visiting

To order...


Bonus savings of up to $1,000 per person are being offered by Radisson Seven Seas Cruises for bookings made by Aug. 15, 2004, on the Jan. 15 and Jan. 26, 2005, sailings of the Explorer II from Ushuaia, Argentina, to Antarctica, the Falklands and the South Shetland Islands.

For those who book by Aug. 15, per-person prices start from $7,295 and include round-trip economy airfare from 86 North American gateways; one hotel night in Santiago (Jan. 15 sailing) or Buenos Aires (Jan. 26...


Passengers on the MV Discovery will have the best vantage point to witness a rare annular total solar eclipse in the South Pacific near Polynesia on April 8, 2005. The ship will maneuver to find clear skies under the 15-mile-wide path of the eclipse.

Discovery World Cruises’ 19-night “South Pacific Eclipse” cruise-tour departs April 2 and visits Papeete, Moorea, Pitcairn Island, Easter Island and, in Peru, Pisco and Lima. A team of eclipse lecturers will be on board.



Gourmets will enjoy fine dining and wine tasting on France Cruises’ 14-passenger canal barge Luciole in the waterways of Burgundy. In addition, daily cooking lessons will be given by the onboard chef, and there will be a visit to the restaurant La Côte Saint Jacques (three Michelin stars) for a cookery demonstration supervised by the chef and owner, Jean-Michel Lorain, followed by a gourmet dinner.

Priced from $3,200 per person, the tour includes six nights on board with guided...


A deluxe ecocruise vessel is navigating Ecuador’s Rio Napo in the Amazon jungle. Big Five Tours & Expeditions’ Manatee Explorer is a modern, 3-deck vessel with air-conditioning, 13 en suite cabins, dining room, bar and lounge.

The exclusive “flotel” offers a full-service crew plus expert naturalist guides for excursions.

Four- and 5-day cruises may be combined with other tour programs. The 4-day “Amazon Cruising in Ecuador” departs every Friday from Quito and costs $799...