Cruises top off A&K land tours

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OAK BROOK, Ill. -- Abercrombie & Kent's new cruise tour of Myanmar this fall leads the firm's strong charge in Asia.

The company is featuring seven new programs in the region this year, bringing its total to 35.

"Since Sept. 11, there has been a lot of interest in travel to the Orient," said an A&K spokeswoman. "It's one of our strongest areas."

The inaugural departure of the Myanmar plan is September 10 aboard the Road to Mandalay cruising vessel.

The tentative itinerary includes a seven-night cruise on the Chindwin River and two hotel nights, one in Yangon at the Strand Hotel and one in Mandalay City at the Sedona Hotel. Other stops include Monywa, Maukkadaw, Mingin, Kalewa, Mawlaik and Bagan.

The program is priced at $2,950 per person, double, for a superior cabin or $3,950 for a state cabin. The land price includes internal air.

The company's three new escorted programs have familiar names but new itineraries. All rates are per person, double, land only.

The Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar, is one of the most spectacular sights on A&K's Golden Lotus tour. The 12-night Golden Lotus plan includes a visit to the Grand Palace and Emerald Buddha in Bangkok; an excursion to Angkor Wat, Cambodia; and a three-night cruise on the Road To Mandalay. The program costs $6,730.

Magnificent India & Nepal is a 13-night tour that includes such highlights as the Taj Mahal, a cruise on the Ganges and an elephant-back excursion. It's priced from $5,650.

The 15-night Mystery of Mongolia itinerary includes Ulaanbaatar, Moron, Hovsgol Nuur and the south Gobi Desert. This trip starts at $6,740.

A&K's Signature series tours are complete, fixed itineraries for independent travel with individual driver-guides. Like escorted tours, they offer immediate confirmation and guaranteed pricing.

The new Signature programs (rates are per person, double, land only) for 2002 include:

• In the Footsteps of Marco Polo, a 16-night program that begins in Shanghai and ends in Beijing, spending two days in each city. Also included are visits to Tunxi, where Ming-period architecture can be seen; the 6,000-foot Huangshan Summit; Hangzhou, called by Marco Polo "the most magnificent city on earth"; Nanjing; Xian; and Zhengzhou. The land cost of the program is $5,970.

• Yunnan is an 11-night program, priced at $4,460, that flies into Hong Kong and includes Kunming, the capital of Yunnan; Dali, the seat of Bai culture; Lijiang; and Zhongddian.

• Also an 11-night itinerary, Cambodia and Myanmar offers an introduction to the two countries, with stops in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, Cambodia, and Yangon, Heho and Mandalay, Myanmar. The price is $5,595.

• The Southern India tour includes Bombay, Bangalore, Mysore, Cochin, Kumarakom, Periyar, Madurai and Madras. The 11-night tour is priced at $3,465.

The operator also offers a series of independent programs, including three- to six-night packages for Hong Kong, Beijing, Cambodia, Laos, Tibet, Nepal and Myanmar, as well as a Thailand to Singapore rail tour using the Eastern & Oriental Express. The programs are designed primarily to be used as extensions that can be added to another itinerary.

For more information, call (800) 323-7308. The Web site is at www.abercrombiekent.com.

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