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November 30, 2005

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Publication Date: Wednesday, November 30, 2005

How to go Elderhostel How to go Elderhostel (November 30, 2005)

The nonprofit Elderhostel organization was founded in 1975 and originally used college campuses to host summer classes for those 55 and older, with participants staying in empty dormitories.

Elderhostel began with 220 participants, but within five years had expanded to 20,000.

Today, more than 200,000 people participate in 10,000 programs each year, in the U.S. and 90 other countries.

While education is still a big part of Elderhostel, college dorms are rarely used for accommodations anymore.

Elderhostel breaks its trips down into a number of categories including: active outdoor, traditional, creative workshops, adventures afloat, service learning and intergenerational (which grandchildren can attend).

There are special programs for those interested in birding, those who want to bring and stay in their own recreational vehicles or those who want to practice and perform music with a group. Programs range from three nights to three weeks in length.

For a listing of currently offered programs, go to or call (877) 426-8056. Elderhostel mails catalogs of its offerings several times a year.
Cruising the Wine County

Two cruise lines offer wine country trips in the fall to coincide with the wine harvest. CruiseWest will offer both three-night and four-night programs next fall. Cost starts at $1,149 for the shorter trip, which includes bus tours of Napa and Sonoma county. The four-night program adds visits to the Sausalito waterfront as well as two events at the Culinary Institute of America and starts at $1,699. Maximum capacity of the boat is 102.

Contact CruiseWest at or call (888) 851-8133.

American Safari Cruises holds only 22 guests on its smaller ships, which cruise both the Petaluma and Napa rivers. This fall they offered three-night trips starting at $1,695 and four night trips starting at $2,195. Both trips offer visits to wineries in Napa and Sonoma counties, tours of art collections, lunch in a wine cave and a massage on board.

Contact American Safari Cruises at or call (888) 862-8881.

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