QUESTION: I would like to visit Kiska and Attu in the Aleutian Islands this spring and would like information on how to get there and on accommodations.
ANSWER: Attu, the westernmost of the Aleutians, is the site of a Loran station, manned by the Coast Guard as a navigation aid to ships.Travel to Attu and to Kiska is generally restricted to those on military business. Attu and Kiska were occupied by the Japanese for 15 months during World War II, and some Japanese tour groups visit the islands by ship.
However, the biggest draw for Americans is bird watching. Birds migrating in late spring from Asia to Eastern Siberia can be sighted, among them the Siberian rubythroat, the Mongolian plover and the long-toed stint. Also of note is the nonmigrating white-tailed eagle.
Visiting on your own is an elaborate undertaking. First, to visit either island you must request and receive permission from three offices: Commander (DAN), 17th Coast Guard District, Post Office Box 3-5000, Juneau, Alaska 99802; Commanding Officer, United States Coast Guard Loran Station Attu, care of Box 90, United States Coast Guard Support Center, Kodiak, Alaska 99619, and Refuge Manager, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Post Office Box 5251 NAS, FPO Seattle, Wash. 98791.
Second, you must take along camping equipment and food, as there are no hotels or restaurants on the islands. (Some travelers stay at the Loran station on Attu, but they are usually on official business.)
And third, you must arrange transportation. There is an airstrip on Attu but no scheduled air service. One company that charters flights to Attuout of Anchorage is Peninsula Airways (4851 Aircraft Drive, Anchorage, Alaska 99502; 907-243-2485), which will fly seven or eight passengers for $10,000 round trip.
There is an annual bird-watchers' tour to Attu that takes care of lodging, food, transportation and paper work, organized by Attour Inc. (2027 Partridge Lane, Highland Park, Ill. 60035; 708-831-0207).
QUESTION: Can you help me find a spa in the Caribbean that offers thalassotherapy?
ANSWER: The term thalassotherapy derives from the Greek word thalassa, or sea. Thalassotherapy treatments may involve seawater, seaweed, algae or mud, all said to be rich in vitamins and minerals and to be beneficial to skin and hair.
There is a spa resort on the island of St. Lucia that has a thalassotherapy center. It is Le Sport (Post Office Box 437, Cariblue Beach, St. Lucia, West Indies; 800-544-2883 or 809-452-8551), which offers a "Body Holiday" program.
QUESTION: My husband and I will be in Vienna April 16 and 17. What is being performed at the Opera House and how can we get tickets ahead of time?
ANSWER: On April 16 there will be a performance by Ballet of the Vienna State Opera. The program includes "Verklarte Nacht" by Schonberg, choreographed by Jirschi Kilian, and Beethoven's Adagio for Hammerklavier, choreographed by Hans Manen. Tickets are $10 to $96.
Set for April 17 is the opera "Ariadne auf Naxos" by Richard Strauss featuring the soprano Gwyneth Jones and conducted by Horst Stein. Tickets are $14 to $115.
Tickets can be obtained from the Austrian Association of Federal Theaters (Bundestheater-Verband, Goethegasse 1, A-1010 Vienna, Austria; telephone 514440).
When dialing from the United States, precede the number with 431. Requests for tickets must be in writing, either by mail or fax (514442969). Include a credit card number for billing.