Another cruise season begins, and its menu of choices is long


Among the more interesting cruises for the coming season are:

An off-season visit to Finland, which ranges in price from $799 to $999 a person, includes a two-day Baltic cruise, three nights in Helsinki and one in Stockholm. The cruise is aboard the 2,500-passenger Viking Line superliner that includes 22 bars, restaurants, a lavish buffet, entertainment and, reportedly, very gregarious natives. All this plus round-trip air fare from New York, and more.

For those interested in the Far East, Pearl Cruises, which pioneered regular sailings to China, this season will offer visits to the Stone Age tribes of Papua New Guinea, the Batake of Sumatra's Lake Toba, the kangaroos and aborigines of Australia, the Torajaland in the Celebes, as well as visits to Japan and Korea.

Cunard's Vistafjord will sail on a 30-day "Route Along the Andes" cruise in 1995, along with a number of new European ports of call, after a $15 million refurbishment this year. The Andes cruises can be taken in 15-day segments.

Cruises to unusual destinations along with superb service are features that Seven Seas Cruise Line is becoming known for. For its new season, the 172-passenger Song of Flower will feature Myanmar, Bangkok and Borneo along with cruises to Indonesian islands, with extended visits to Bali and Singapore.

Holland America will be offering a series of seven-day photography cruises on its Westerdam and Noordam Caribbean cruises. On the cruises will be Kodak Ambassadors, photographers who will offer programs on photography, lead shipboard photo walks, provide individual advice and give multimedia presentations on cruise destinations.

Special Expeditions will offer an "Among the Great Whales" voyage along the coast of Baja California and in the Sea of Cortez. The trips on the 70-passenger Sea Bird and Sea Lion will provide an up-close view of the whales along with opportunities to swim with sea lions, explore uninhabited islands and view bird life.

One cruise that combines an African safari, the Taj Mahal and unspoiled Indian Ocean islands is planned by Orient Lines on its luxurious Marco Polo. The 23-day Africa and India cruise is priced from $4,595 and includes the safari and other sightseeing.

Regency Cruises is joining the list of lines offering sails in Southeast Asia. The line will have nine cruises beginning in December on board its 500-passenger Calypso.

Costa, which has brought on two new ships in the last couple of years, is emphasizing its Italian heritage. Its lavish 1,300-passenger CostaRomantica, which features glass walls, classic European style and polished marble, will again be sailing the Caribbean this winter. For Super Bowl fans, Costa will hold a party at sea on its CostaRomantica Jan. 29 so that no one will miss any of the action at Joe Robbie Stadium.

Regal China Cruises is introducing what it calls the ultimate Chinese cruise experience. The sailings on the Chang (Yangtze) River will be aboard three German-built vessels, each carrying ZTC passengers. The cruises range from three to 11 days and cost from $680 to $5,880.

Odessa America, operators of the 400-passenger Ukrainian ship the Gruziya, will sail out of Tampa, Fla., on seven-day cruises to "the World of the Mayas" beginning in December.

Six seminars on financial matters will be held on the SSC Radisson Diamond beginning in October on its Mediterranean cruises. Specialists from Paine Webber Securities and Dean Witter Reynolds will be aboard.

For more information on the cruises listed above, please contact your local travel agent.

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