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Low fares make March fine time to travel

  • Published Sunday, Jan. 24, 2010, at 12:03 a.m.
  • Updated Monday, Feb. 1, 2010, at 1:37 p.m.

February, with its Presidents' Week commemorations, is a popular month for travel; March is less so. I regard six different travel opportunities in March as remarkable bargain opportunities:

• $1,399 for a 14-day Panama Canal cruise, including airfare at either end of the itinerary: The ship is the Celebrity Infinity, an upscale vessel, traveling from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to San Diego. You receive airfare from where you live to Fort Lauderdale, then airfare from San Diego to where you live, included in the $1,399 price. Departure is March 28, and a second sailing in the other direction (San Diego to Fort Lauderdale) is available on April 11 for $100 more, again including airfare on both ends. Consult TravelThemesAndDreams. com, or phone 877-870-7447.

• $616 for seven nights in Honolulu, including round-trip air from San Francisco: From the nation's largest tour operator to Hawaii (PleasantHolidays. com, phone 800-742-9244), this one flies you there round-trip and then places you for seven nights in March at the Castle Ocean Resort Hotel, a few steps from Waikiki Beach. Included in the price are all government taxes and fees relating to both the flight and the hotel. Departures are daily.

• $601 for five nights in Cancun (Maya Riviera), including round-trip air from Miami, from Vacation Travel Mart (www.vacmart.com, phone 800-288-1435). Here's a five-night package to the white-sand beaches of the Maya Riviera directly south of Cancun, at the Allegro Playacar Resort Hotel, including three meals daily, unlimited drinks and beverages, unlimited sports and entertainment. That's throughout March (and until April 4).

• $935 for five nights in Cairo, Egypt, including round-trip air from New York: This is one of the few air-and-land packages to Egypt selling for less than $1,000 per person. It flies you there round-trip (including fuel surcharge), and places you in a Cairo hotel for five nights, where you also receive breakfast daily before heading out to view the Pyramids and the Sphinx, the Archaeological Museums and the Khan al-Khalili Bazaar. Gate 1 Travel (www.gate1travel.com, phone 800-682-3333) is the tour operator.

• $2,599 for a classic African Safari, including round-trip airfare from New York: Operated by the well-regarded Lion World Travel of Toronto (whose clients are mainly Americans; see www.lionworldtravel.com, clicking on "Best of Kenya," or phone 800-387-2706), this flies you on British Airways to Kenya (via London), performs airport-to-hotel transfers, puts you up for one night in a lodge of Nairobi, and then takes you on an escorted, all-inclusive, six-day safari into the famous games parks of Kenya. $2,599 in March and April make this the least-expensive all-inclusive safari currently offered.

• $699 for five nights in Beijing, including round-trip air from San Francisco: For travelers pressed for time, this short, air-and-land package flies you (in March and April) round-trip to China's capital city and puts you up for five nights at a Beijing hotel, including full American breakfast daily. Government fees and taxes are extra; the same tour from New York City is $400 more; and the tour operator is China Spree (www.chinaspree.com, phone 866-652-5656).

March, as you can see, is a fine time to travel.

Arthur Frommer is the pioneering founder of the Frommer's Travel Guide book series. He co-hosts the radio program "The Travel Show" with his travel correspondent daughter Pauline Frommer. Find more destinations online and read Arthur Frommer's blog at frommers.com.

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