Enjoy wildlife splendor
Follow in Obama's footsteps to Yellowstone National Park and see the season's best wildlife; in September, about 20,000 elk come out to mate. Xanterra's four-night Fall Wolf and Elk Discovery package takes you to them and to see the regal wolves that roam the vast land.
Dates: Starting Wednesday and Sept. 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30
Price: $619, double occupancy, including four nights at the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel; three breakfasts, three lunches and one dinner; the services of a wildlife-biologist guide during hikes and educational presentations; a welcome gift and in-park transportation.
Info: Xanterra Parks & Resorts, Greenwood Village, Colo.; (307) 344-7311 or (866) 439-7375, www.travelyellowstone.com.
Istanbul and beyond
Immerse yourself in a 15-day journey through Turkey that includes sufficient time in Istanbul, one of the world's oldest cities -- and still one of its most vibrant. In the capital, you'll visit the Hippodrome, the 15th century Topkapi Palace, the Byzantine-era Hagia Sofia church and the iconic Blue Mosque. Then it's along the Aegean coast to Troy, Pergamon and Ephesus and beyond to get a feel for what ancient Roman and Greek life must have been like.
Itinerary: Istanbul to Canakkale, Kusadasi, Pamukkale, Antalya, Cappadocia and back to Istanbul
Dates: Departures Sept. 18, Oct. 9, Nov. 6 and 20, Dec. 4, plus a variety of dates in 2010.
Price: Starting at $1,875, including airfare, transfers, the services of licensed tour guides, 13 nights in hotels, most meals, bus transportation, entrance fees to attractions, a Go Ahead travel bag and membership in the company's World Traveler Club. Taxes not included.
Info: Go Ahead Tours, Cambridge, Mass.; (800) 590-1161, www.goaheadtours.
JAMAICA & CAYMAN ISLANDS
A Caribbean adventure
Board the fully loaded Carnival Destiny for an affordable five-night getaway over blue Caribbean waters. Then absorb the sounds of steel drums, the sights of powdery beaches and the tastes of tropical drinks.
Itinerary: Miami to Georgetown, Grand Cayman to Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Dates: Departs Oct. 10; other departure dates available at higher prices
Price: From $349, double occupancy.
Info: eCruises.com, Danbury, Conn.; (800) 223-6868, www.ecruises.com.
Destination? You'll see ...
Ever wanted to get on a plane and not know where it will land? "Mystery Trips," a collaboration between the Explorateur ( www.theexplorateurtravels.com) and the Elite Travel Group, ensure that, much like life, "you won't know where you're going until you get there." But they do assure us that the group itinerary will be "world-class" and that the price will be "phenomenal."
Dates: Departures on Nov. 27 (for the "Eco Cosmopolitan Voyage of Wonder") and April 16 (the "Inspired Journey").
Price: Call to inquire; the rate will include airfare, taxes, hotel accommodations, expert tour guides and ground transportation. Book with a friend to save $300.
Info: Elite Travel Group, Clearwater, Fla.; (866) 726-9090, www.elitetravelgroup.net.
18-day cruise and a show
Be in the audience for the once-a-decade performance of the Oberammergau "Passion Play," performed since the 1630s in this Bavarian village. Princess Cruises' 18-day Oberammergau & Highlights of Germany tour stays two nights in Oberammergau and includes tickets to the show. Other stops include Berlin, Munich and the Black Forest.
Dates: Departures Aug. 2 and 12, 2010, but book far in advance because it's expected to be a quick sellout.
Price: Starting at $5,319, double occupancy
Info: Princess Cruises, Santa Clarita, (800) 774-6237, www.princess.com.