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AROUND THE WORLD IN 103 DAYS

Sail around the world in 103 days on the 750-passenger Black Watch, which departs Jan. 5 from Southampton, England.

The ship visits ports in many countries, including Spain, Egypt, India, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Australia and many South Pacific islands before transiting the Panama Canal on the way to the Caribbean, Antigua, the Azores and back to Spain.

"It really is a beautiful itinerary," said Robert Swan, president of Borton Overseas, the North American marketing arm of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines.

"The ship travels east to west through the Mediterranean and the Suez Canal, Egypt, Africa. It's a first-class experience."

Travelers with less time can book segments of the cruise: Southampton to Port Said, Egypt; Port Said to Mumbai (Bombay), India; Mumbai to Singapore; Singapore to Sydney, Australia; Sydney to Papeete, Tahiti; Papeete to Barbados; or Barbados to Southampton.

Passengers can while away the hours playing bridge, listening to lectures on each port of call, ballroom dancing in the evenings or gambling in the onboard casino.

Cost: Cabins begin at $21,290 per person, double occupancy ($15,970 single surcharge). Price includes meals, accommodations and entertainment aboard ship, port charges and taxes. The company is offering air fare and onboard shopping subsidies for those who book the entire cruise before Nov. 15.

Contact: Borton Overseas, Minneapolis, (800) 843-0602 or www .bortonoverseas.com /worldcruise.htm.

MONTANA SKIING JUST FOR WOMEN: DISCOVER DOWNHILL AT A SEVEN-DAY WOMEN'S SKIING CLINIC BEGINNING JAN. 30 AT BRIDGER BOWL NEAR BOZEMAN, MONT.

Participants begin each day with yoga followed by a hearty breakfast before hitting the slopes for morning lessons.

Afternoons are spent skiing on the bowl's 1,200 acres. Evenings may be spent in the heated pool or Jacuzzi. The package is available for all ability levels.

Cost: $2,395 per person, double occupancy (no singles), includes accommodations, breakfasts and catered dinners, lessons, ski equipment, transfers, lift tickets, guided skiing and video critiques. Air fare is not included.

Contact: Adventure Women, Bozeman, (800) 804-8686 or www .adventurewomen.com.

HOLY, HIP AND HILLY SITES IN INDIA: SPEND A DAY IN HONG KONG ON THE WAY TO THE INDIAN SUBCON TINENT DURING A 22-DAY TOUR LED BY CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY-LONG BEACH PHYSICS PROFESSOR SIMON GEORGE, A NATIVE OF INDIA.

The tour, which departs Jan. 5, will visit Delhi, the site of many temples and the largest museum in India; the holy city of Varanasi; the Taj Mahal in Agra; the Pink City of Jaipur, home of the 18th century Amber Fort; and Udaipur, India's hip commercial center; Cochin; Trivandrum, and Madras.

In Sri Lanka, participants will tour Colombo, where ancient temples and cosmopolitan nightclubs coexist, and the hill capital of Kandy, with its lush botanical gardens and Temple of the Sacred Tooth.

Cost: $6,065 per person, double occupancy ($1,765 single surcharge), includes air fare from Los Angeles, ground transportation, transfers, accommodations, meals, entrance fees, tour guides and lectures.

Contact: Simon George, Long Beach, (562) 596-8435 or georges(at)csulb.edu, or Big Five Tours & Exhibitions, Stuart, Fla., (800) 244-3483 or www.big five.com.

Los Angeles Times

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