Paint and cruise

Learn how to paint classics such as "driftwood in morning light" and "water and reflections" while cruising among British Columbia's Gulf Islands. Instructor Mark Hobson will tutor passengers in watercolor techniques as the 92-foot schooner Maple Leaf meanders among the 100-plus islands and islets. Hobson, a natural-history specialist, will give pointers on painting as well as talk about plants and wildlife of the area, which may include sea lions, otters and porpoises. Accommodations aboard the schooner are semiprivate, in double or single bunks, and meals are served in the dining salon.

Info: Maple Leaf Adventures, Victoria, Canada; (888) 599-5323,

Dates: April 9 to 14

Price: $1,987; includes meals, onboard accommodations, shore excursions and use of gear on board. The price does not include round-trip airfare to Sidney, Canada.


Sailing singles

Think cruisewear and mojitos. A weekend sailing to Ensenada aboard the Royal Caribbean's Monarch of the Seas targets single travelers in their 30s and 40s. Passengers stop at Ensenada and take part in parties, singles-only land tours and other perks for those going solo.

Info: Singles Travel International, 7491 N. Federal Highway, Suite C5328, Boca Raton, FL 33487; (877) 765-6874,

Dates: Feb. 29 to March 3

Price: Rates start at $339 per person, double occupancy (single supplement $170; the tour operator guarantees solo travelers a roommate when requested), including cruise-ship accommodations, meals, fitness center and meet-and-greet parties. Does not include shore tours and tips.


St. Paul's footsteps

See Greece from a spiritual perspective on a Catholic tour that marks the year of St. Paul -- a decree made by Pope Benedict XVI to celebrate the 2,000th anniversary of the saint's birth. Among stops on the nine-day tour are the Kavala port where Paul landed; ancient Philippi, where he was imprisoned; and the Corinth marketplace where Paul preached. There's also time to wander Pella, birthplace of Alexander the Great; Meteora; and the Acropolis, Parthenon and other ancient sites of Athens.

Info: The Catholic Tour Co., 21625 Chagrin Blvd., No. 210, Beachwood, OH 44122; (877) 627-4268,

Itinerary: Thessaloniki, Philippi, Kalambaka, Delphi, Athens.

Dates: April 1 to 9, with additional departures in June and October.

Price: $2,349 per person, double occupancy (single supplement $350), includes round-trip airfare from New York's JFK airport, accommodations, seven breakfasts and six dinners, daily Mass, transfers, tips, taxes and baggage handling and motorcoach tours. The price does not include $135 departure tax, $170 fuel surcharge or airfare from Los Angeles to New York.