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Sixteen four-person teams of artists and artisans from around the globe are making plans for the International Snow Sculpture Championships to be held in Breckenridge, Colo. from Jan. 19-24.

The teams compete in an atmosphere of camaraderie, transforming 12-foot tall, 20-ton blocks of manmade snow into sculptures. Spectators can watch as the teams put in 65 hours of work on their creations.

For more information about the event and lodging, call (800) 800-2732. Breckenridge is two hours west of Denver via Interstate 70.

Caribbean cruise deals for singles

A rare cruise industry gift for singles -- and one way to beat the lonely holiday blues -- is Costa's Christmas week special, which eliminates the dreaded 150 percent single supplement on the Costa Victoria's Dec. 20 seven-day Caribbean voyage. The $999 fare, which normally goes for $1,558, applies only to inside cabins and availability is limited.

Norwegian Cruise Lines, which offers a single guarantee program year round (you pay the per-person price but cannot choose your cabin) is raising the stakes during yuletide: It's dropped the 150 percent single surcharge on all ships and in all cabin categories.

Going skiing? Leave these behind

A small selection of what's NOT hot on the slopes this season, from the November issue of Ski magazine (with their comments):

- Berets: "One word -- Monica."

- Cell phones: "Come on -- you're on vacation."

- Dead animal heads on the wall: "Poor Bullwinkle."

- Lift advertising: "Is nothing sacred?"

- Gondola-surfing: "One of the dumbest ideas we've ever heard of."

- Sleeping with your ski instructor: "Don't believe him -- he's definitely done this before."

- Snowboards: "God gave you two legs for a reason."

- Shorts: "Road rash is real."

- 100 percent cotton: "Can you say hypothermia?"

- Mt. Everest: "Been there, done that."

More help for single travelers

Single travelers seethe when they have to pay a single supplement or otherwise face price discrimination just because they are not part of a couple. They can find some relief in the just-published eighth edition of the Single-Friendly Travel Directory, which lists more than 200 international travel suppliers such as tour companies, cruise lines, resorts, spas, and travel-related organizations that may give single travelers a break.

The directory is $7.95 from the publisher, Connecting: Solo Travel Network. The directory is free if you join Connecting, whose annual dues are $25. Membership also includes a six-time-a-year newsletter. Information or subscriptions: (800) 557-1757. It also can be ordered from Connecting, Box 29088, 1996 W. Broadway, Vancouver, B.C. V6J 5C2.