Uniworld expands Asia products for 2001

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LOS ANGELES -- Known mostly for itineraries in Europe, river cruise tour operator Uniworld expanded its Asia products to include tours to Mongolia, Siberia, Tibet and the Silk Road route for 2001.

The company has opened an office in Beijing to support its Asia programs.

Uniworld president Serba Illich said the itineraries offer points of interest most American travelers have not seen, such as the terra-cotta warriors in Xian, China; the Trans-Siberia railroad; Tibetan temples, and the Gobi desert in Mongolia.

"We also include plenty of cultural highlights, such as visiting with local people," said Illich.

The 13-day Grand Yangtze River Cruise, for example, passes through the Three Gorges, where many of the villages now standing will no longer exist when the Three Gorges Dam is completed in a few years.

The price ranges from $2,498 to $2,698 per person, double occupancy.

All prices listed are per person, double, and include all meals and roundtrip air fare from the U.S. The 19-day China, the Silk Road and the Yangtze River tour is priced $4,098 to $4,298.

It includes two days in Beijing, a cruise of the Heaven Lake west of Mongolia, a trip along the Silk Road, including the White Horse Pagoda, and a Yangtze River cruise.

The China, the Silk Road and Tibet includes many of the same features but branches off into Tibet instead of cruising the Yangtze. The 20-day itinerary is priced $4,098 to $4,298.

Mongolia and the Gobi Desert is a 12-day trip that includes Beijing, the Great Wall, the Mongolian/Siberian Express to Mongolia, two nights in a traditional Mongolian felt tent in the Gobi Desert and a visit to the "Flaming Cliff" dinosaur fossil excavation site. It is priced from $2,898 to $2,989.

Mongolia and Siberia is an 18-day trip that includes two days in Beijing with an opera performance.

The itinerary continues with a trip on the Mongolian/Siberian Express through Mongolia to Siberia with a stop at an aristocratic mansion in Irkutsk, a ride on a hydrofoil on nearby Lake Baikal to Listvanka village and a visit to the Gobi Desert and Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. The price is $3,998.

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