Alumni Travel Study: 2017 Trips


COSTA RICA & PANAMA CANAL (Now Full)

January 21-28, 2017

This cruise aboard the 212-guest Star Breeze begins at Puerta Caldera on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast. Each day you’ll discover more of the country’s natural wonders: rainforests, national parks alive with monkeys and toucans, and colorful marine life. Ahead there’s Isla Coiba National Park and a daytime transit through the Panama Canal. Prof. Emeritus Markes Johnson will examine the geology underlying it all. View the e-brochure.

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    PRICING: The price for this cruise will begin at $3495 per person, double occupancy, with airfare from Miami and early booking discount of $250 per person through November 30, 2016.

    ITINERARY: After embarkation and exploration in Puerta Caldera, enjoy a day of rainforest adventure in Quepos, a float trip through a mangrove swamp, or a nature walk through Manuel Antonio National Park. Next is Bahia Drake, believed to be a port visited by Sir Frances Drake in the 16th century. Its beautiful coastline of sparkling coves, pristine beaches, and rocky crags extend for miles. A visit to Golfo Dulce, one of Costa Rica's most biodiverse areas, also affords travelers the opportunity to explore in search of incredible bird species and abundant butterflies. Next up is Isla de Coiba in Panama, a UNESCO World Heritage Site covering over 430,000 pristine acres and offering some of the world's best snorkeling. Before transiting the Panama Canal, spend some time in Balboa/Fuerte Amador admiring one of the world's busiest container ports and sightseeing. Then experience the once-in-a-lifetime thrill of seeing your ship raised, then lowered 85 feet to transit through a series of massive locks from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic. Finally, end your journey in Colon, known for its riches of natural resources as well as its pristine beaches, rainforests, and exquisite colonial architecture. To experience the unique, abundant and diverse environment of the Monteverde Cloud Forest, add the pre-tour.

 

TAHITI AND THE SOCIETY ISLANDS (Now Full)

February 2-11, 2017

If the enchanting South Sea Islands call to you, this cruise aboard the four-masted Wind Spirit is perfect for your sailing ship adventure. Cruise from Papeete to Moorea, Bora Bora, Raiatea and other ports of call in the Society Islands, each with its own beauty and mystery. Prof. Kashia Pieprzak will share perspectives of the writers and artists who came to the region in search of earthly paradise. View the e-brochure.

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    PRICING: The price for this cruise will begin at $4195 per person, double occupancy, with airfare from Los Angeles (LAX) and early booking discount of $500 per person through November 30, 2016.

    ITINERARY: Begin your journey in Papeete, the legendary capital of French Polynesia. From Papeete Harbor, you can see Moorea, in the running for the most beautiful island in the world. The paradise island of Moorea provides stunning views and the opportunity for plenty of photography, wildlife, swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking. From there, visit the flower-shaped Tahaa, a traditional fishing village ringed by a magnificent coral reef. Here the sought-after vanilla bean is grown, and the villages engage in stone fishing like their ancestors before them. Travel on to Raiatea, known as the Sacred Island and once considered the center of religion and culture in the region. Here you can explore Polynesian history or hike in search of the rare tiare apetahi flower, which only grows here. A visit to the Society Islands would be incomplete without a stop in Bora Bora, one of the most extraordinary lagoons in the world. Tropical fish abound in a lagoon famous for its snorkeling. Huahine, two islands separated by the Maroe Bay, provides incredibly picturesque scenery, as well as important archaeological sites and temples. Travelers cap off their relaxing journey with a disembarkation in Papeete and the opportunity to enjoy shopping in the local market and fresh eats on the waterfront.

 

CUBA BY LAND AND SEA (Now Full)

February 12-21, 2017

An extraordinary opportunity to traverse the entire breadth of Cuba, this uniquely designed cruise aboard the small sailing ship Le Ponant follows along the southern coastline of Cuba and ends with three nights in the spirited, soulful capital city of Havana. Learn from political science Prof. Jim Mahon what the future holds for U.S.-Cuban relations as you experience all this intriguing country has to offer. View the e-brochure.

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    PRICING: The price for this land/cruise tour is estimated to begin at $6995 per person, double occupancy with early booking discount.

    ITINERARY: Begin on the eastern part of Cuba with a visit to Santiago de Cuba’s 17th‑century Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca del Morro, a UNESCO World Heritage site and well-preserved example of Renaissance engineering used by European colonial powers in the Caribbean. Enjoy an Informative walk through the soulful town of Santiago de Cuba with a local historian to learn about their extensive restoration efforts. Then visit the Casa de la Cultura in Santiago de Cuba for a discussion with local musicians. Travelers will enjoy a full-day visit to Bayamo, Cuba’s second oldest city, founded in 1513. Walk with a local historian in the colonial city of Trinidad, a UNESCO World Heritage site, where Cuba’s colorful history lives on in its 16th‑century architecture. In Trinidad, visit the Temple to Yemaya to learn about the Afro-Cuban religion of Santería. A hosted visit to Santa Clara’s grand colonial Teatro de la Caridad, followed by conversation with elder Cubans, will give you a sense of history and place. A walking tour of the University of Havana, and interaction with local artists in the Muraleando Community Project, an art district in Havana are enjoyable visits. Travelers will have the opportunity to walk through Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and engage in discussion with local architects and architectural restoration scholars to learn about the preservation and evolution of art and architecture in Havana. While in Havana, visit the former residence of Ernest Hemingway, as well as the home and studio of renowned Cuban artist José Rodríguez Fuster. You'll also have the opportunity to appreciate musical performances by and discussion with musicians from the Cuban Institute of Music. Journey into Pinar del Río’s UNESCO World Heritage-designated Viñales Valley for a discussion with a tobacco farmer, including a cigar-rolling demonstration and refreshments with his family, and to a farm for an interactive tour of organic crops. Finally, enjoy an exclusive transfer in a private, antique American-made car along the Malecón and in Old Havana to a private reception.

 

MYSTICAL INDIA (Now Full)

March 15-31, 2017

Mystical and spiritual, lively and colorful, India overflows with riches. Group size is limited to just 24 guests, affording travelers the opportunity to stay at excellent hotels and travel the classic Golden Triangle in intimate Williams company: bustling Delhi; Agra, home of the sublime Taj Mahal; and Jaipur, great city of the Rajput. Insights provided by Prof. Emeritus Peter Frost ensure this will be the trip of a lifetime. View the e-brochure.

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    PRICING: The price is estimated to be $4587 per person, double occupancy, including air, taxes, and fees from Boston, Dulles, or JFK.

    ITINERARY: Start the 17-day tour in lively Delhi touring both Old Delhi and New Delhi. Continue to the “pink city” of Jaipur, one of the great cities of the Rajput known for its pink sandstone buildings and enjoy a home-hosted dinner with a multi-generational Rajasthan family. Spend two nights at Ranthambore Tiger Preserve, taking both morning and afternoon game drives to search for elusive Bengal tigers and other wildlife at Ranthambore National Park, once a royal hunting ground. Here you will also see picturesque ruins of forts and palaces. Then embark on an afternoon camel safari in Kalakho to meet the Meena tribespeople in their homes. Travel to Agra to visit the awe-inspiring Taj Mahal as well as Agra Fort. Here you will also have an Indian cooking lesson, enjoying the results for lunch. On to Varanasi, where you will witness Hindu pilgrims performing their rituals on the Ganges River in this holy city. Following this program, an optional 5-day/4-night post-tour guided extension to Nepal is available, including airfare from Varanasi to Kathmandu and extensive sightseeing of the Pashupatinath shrine, Boudhanath monument, colorful Bhaktapur, Swayambhunath Temple, the royal city of Patan, and Kathmandu and its environs.

 

SORRENTO (Now Full)

March 29 — April 6, 2017

The region of Campania, with its dazzling wealth of antiquities and breathtaking natural wonders, has been home to writers, artists and emperors for more than 2,000 years. An exclusive group of Williams travelers are invited to join Professor Elizabeth McGowan in discovering the many treasures of this province, from the quaint cafes and lemon groves of Sorrento to the sun-drenched Amalfi Coast. View the e-brochure.

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    PRICING: The price is estimated to be $2795 per person, double occupancy with early booking discount.

    ITINERARY: Arrive in Sorrento, your seaside home base for exploring the region on daily excursions, and unpack only once at the Hotel Plaza Sorrento. Drive along the fabled Amalfi Coast, and later enjoy leisure time in Positano, Italy's most vertical town. Stroll through Amalfi's piazza and see the Duomo di Sant'Andrea. Visit a dairy farm to enjoy the region's famous mozzarella cheese, produced from buffalo milk, before exploring the Greco-Roman city of Paestum and its ruins, including three well-preserved Doric temples. Travelers will have an opportunity to chat with local residents of Paestum while enjoying lunch there. A visit to this part of Italy would be incomplete without time spent in the Bay of Naples and the Museo Archeologico Nazionale, whose collection of artwork and objects from Herculaneum and Pompeii makes it one of the most important archaeological museums in the world. After your primer in the museum, take in the cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii in person, destroyed by Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79. Travelers will be awed by the tragic remnants of these fabled sites. Finally, your last day in Sorrento affords you time at leisure to take a stroll, enjoy a gelato, and bid arrivederci to this seaside resort town.

 

DUTCH WATERWAYS (Now Full)

April 17-25, 2017

Experience the culture and beauty of Holland and Belgium with esteemed lecturer Alan de Gooyer, whose family once operated the tallest windmill in the Netherlands. Travel aboard the stylish and modern MS Amadeus Silver. Witness a rainbow of natural beauty during Holland’s renowned tulip season, while immersing yourself in the artwork and inspiration of the Dutch and Flemish masters. View the e-brochure.

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    PRICING: The price for this cruise begins at $2495 per person, double occupancy with early booking discount. There is no single supplement for solo travelers.

    ITINERARY: Upon arrival in Amsterdam, transfer to the MS Amadeus Silver before enjoying a lecture on contemporary Holland by a local expert. Select from three exceptional excursions in Amsterdam, including a visit to the renowned Keukenhof Gardens, a guided bike tour of stunning Waterland, or a visit to Rijksmuseum, home to famous works by Rembrandt. Enjoy a boat ride through the charming village of Giethoorn, located in a nature preserve, then learn from a local expert about the Dutch masters before spending the afternoon at leisure in Kampen. Travelers are afforded the opportunity to select among three excursions in the Hague and Delft, before visiting the charming village of Veere for independent exploration. In Bruges and Antwerp, you may elect to take a guided walking tour, enjoy a beer tasting at a local brewery, or indulge in a visit to the Choco Museum to learn about chocolatiering in Belgium. Your travels end in Antwerp with a lecture on contemporary Belgium and a walking tour to admire the Gothic and Flemish architecture.

 

AFRICA’S WILDLIFE II (Now Full)

April 30 — May 13, 2017

Viewing the wildlife of Africa is high on everyone’s bucket list, and this safari is the most comprehensive ever offered by Williams. On this trip the various animals and birds of Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia are the attractions in prime national parks and game reserves. With Victoria Falls an added attraction and with Professor Hank Art as leader, this tour is not to be missed. View the e-brochure. 

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    PRICING: The price is estimated to be $6895 per person, double occupancy, including air from Boston, Dulles, or JFK.

    ITINERARY:

    Day 1 Depart the USA for South Africa.
    Day 2 Arrive in Johannesburg. Transfer to a suburban hotel in Rosebank.
    Day 3 Tour Jo’burg and Soweto. Welcome dinner.
    Day 4 Fly to Zambia and marvel at Victoria Falls with its 300-foot gorge.
    Day 5 Safari by elephant-back. Game drive for black rhino. Zambezi River dinner cruise.
    Day 6 Village visit. Then observe animals at a watering hole.
    Day 7 Short drive to Botswana and Chobe National Park. Boat safari to seek hippo and crocs.
    Day 8 Game drive in Chobe National Park, seeking the Big Five.
    Day 9 Morning and afternoon game drives in Chobe.
    Day 10 Short flight to Lower Zambezi National Park. Enjoy a range of game-viewing activities.
    Day 11 The Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site because of animal abundance. More game drives.
    Day 12 An exciting day of game drives. The lodge grounds also attract animals. Farewell dinner.
    Day 13 Fly to Lusaka, Zambia’s capital. Hotel day rooms. Overnight flight to USA.
    Day 14 Morning arrival in the USA.

 

TREASURES OF PERU

June 12-22, 2017

A land of treasures archaeological, cultural, and natural, Peru draws those eager to learn about the distant past – and encounter a fascinating present of colonial and indigenous influences. As our small group takes in some of the country’s highlights – Cuzco, Machu Picchu, and Lake Titicaca – marvel at the riches of an intriguing land. Prof. Antonia Foias will lend her expertise on Peru’s archaeological significance. View the e-brochure.

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    PRICING: The price is estimated to be $3695 per person, double occupancy, including air from Miami.

    ITINERARY: Begin your 11-day discovery of Peru’s treasures in the capital of Lima with a city tour and visit to the Larco Herrera Museum. Next, fly to Cuzco, the archeological hub of the Americas. Acclimate to the high altitude as you tour the beautiful Sacred Valley, the Indian market at Pisac, and the extensive ruins at Ollantaytambo. Board the train for Aguas Calientes, then board a bus for Machu Picchu—the stunning “Lost City of the Incas” and a UNESCO World Heritage site. You’ll enjoy two guided visits to these enigmatic ruins by staying overnight and taking advantage of prime viewing opportunities before the crowds arrive. Return to historic Cuzco and stop at the ruins of Sacsayhuaman, an Incan masterpiece, then enjoy lunch in the home of a gracious Cuzco family. Travel overland through Peru’s scenic and rugged altiplano with its snow-capped mountains and remote villages to Lake Titicaca, one of the world’s highest navigable lakes. Spend a full day touring the lake and take a boat ride to the Floating Islands and Isla Taquile, known for the superb locally crafted textiles. Discover amazing flora, fauna, and even villages on an optional 4-day/4-night post-tour extension to the Amazon Rainforest.

 

THE GREAT PARKS OF CALIFORNIA

June 17-25, 2017

See California’s magnificent natural preserves — Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon National Parks — along with storybook scenery and living history at Lake Tahoe, Carmel, Monterey, and San Francisco. Travel with an exclusive group of Williams travelers, as you experience extraordinary national parks, rugged beauty, and frontier history. View the e-brochure.

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    PRICING: The price is estimated to be $3995 per person, double occupancy. The three-day San Francisco extension is estimated to be $695.

    ITINERARY: Start your journey in beautiful San Francisco, the cultural capital of Northern California, before heading to Sonoma's wine country, where you'll enjoy a guided tour and wine tasting at a local vineyard. Spend some free time exploring picturesque Sonoma before continuing on to Lake Tahoe and its splendors. Cruise the stunning alpine lake, the largest in North America, and experience the majesty of Yosemite National Park, whose nearly 1,200 square miles of meadows, rivers, lakes, and rock formations have captured the imagination for centuries. An open-air tram tour of the valley floor provides the opportunity to learn about the wonders of Yosemite up close, while travelers may elect to take an afternoon hike or complimentary Ranger program in the afternoon. Sequoia National Park and its General Grant Grove of giant sequoia trees -- some of the largest in the world -- is not to be missed, nor is a visit to Kings Canyon National Park, a wide glacial valley with green meadows, waterfalls, tall cliffs, and meandering rivers set against the Sierra Crest. Kings Canyon provides the perfect spot for mountain stargazing and storytelling, as well as abundant wildlife sightings, including bobcat, fox, mule deer, and reclusive mountain lion. The Pacific coastal town of Monterey is packed with history and charm, as well as a wonderful diversity of marine life, including sea lions, sea otters, harbor seals, pelicans, and dolphins. Monterey's quaint shops, galleries, restaurants, and possibly the only whalebone sidewalk still in existence today in the United States are all sure to charm. Travelers are afforded exceptional views along the scenic "17-Mile Drive" from Monterey to Carmel-by-the-Sea before visiting the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium for a behind-the-scenes tour and special farewell dinner at the aquarium. An optional three-day extension to San Francisco extends the experience, with additional days to wander the city's many fine museums, theaters, and destination neighborhoods.

 

SYMPHONY ON THE BLUE DANUBE

June 22 — July 1, 2017

Take in the dramatic beauty along the Danube on this river and land combination, which begins with three nights in Prague. Cruise down the Danube River aboard the deluxe small river ship MS Amadeus Brilliant on a custom itinerary showcasing the musical heritage of the European masters and featuring concerts and performances ashore. Prof. Tony Sheppard will lead this classical-music themed tour. View the e-brochure.

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    PRICING: The price for this tour begins at $3695 per person, double occupancy, with early booking discount. Berlin pre-tour and Budapest post-tour available at an additional cost.

    ITINERARY: Framed by rolling hillsides, lush vineyards and medieval castles, the legendary Danube River Valley has resonated with musicians, artists, poets and travelers throughout the centuries and has contributed to the world the genius of its most renowned virtuosos. Our comprehensive itinerary highlights five countries -- Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary -- in the heartland of central Europe. It has been custom designed and carefully orchestrated to feature private performances encompassing the musical heritage of Europe’s most accomplished composers, including Mozart and Beethoven, and opportunities to explore five UNESCO World Heritage sites. Enjoy three nights in the historic and world-class city of Prague, the “City of a Thousand Spires,” in a deluxe, centrally located hotel before cruising the fabled Blue Danube from Passau to Melk and Durstein, Vienna, Bratislava, and Budapest, aboard the deluxe MS Amadeus Brilliant. One of the finest river ships to ply the waterways of Europe, it has the ability to dock often right in the heart of the cities. Your experience is enhanced by a distinctive schedule of exclusive and specially arranged expert lectures, private classical music performances and guided excursions in Prague and in each port of call along the Danube River, an overnight in the fin-de-siècle grandeur of Vienna, Austria’s extraordinary capital city. At any additional cost, travelers may also extend their trip on an optional pre-tour of Berlin and/or an optional post-tour of Budapest. Traveling through the heartland of Europe has never been more historically rich and culturally dynamic.

 

EXPLORING ICELAND (Now Full)

July 1-11, 2017

Discover the astonishing natural history and rich cultural heritage of vast, unspoiled Iceland. Travelers will explore the breadth of the country, viewing its stunning and unique natural scenery and staying in well-located, atmospheric hotels. Prof. Paul Karabinos of the geosciences department will provide plenty of geologic fodder in a country famous for its volcanoes and rock formations. View the e-brochure.

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    PRICING: The price is estimated to be $4595 per person, double occupancy, including air from Boston, Dulles, or JFK.

    ITINERARY: The 11-day tour will start in Borgarnes where you will visit the Reyholt Cultural Centre. The next day, tour the beautiful Snaefellsnes Peninsula with its small fishing villages, bizarre rock formations, and nesting cliff birds, then travel on to enjoy two nights in the region’s charming capital, Akureyri, situated at the base of a fjord and ringed by snow-capped mountains. View one of the world’s natural wonders, Lake Myvatn and its environs of bubbling mud flats, lava fields, and lunar-like volcanic craters, and stop at Godafoss, the “waterfall of the gods.” Visit the incredible “Glacial River Canyon” National Park, walk to spectacular Dettifoss, Iceland’s “Niagara”, and embark on a bird-watching cruise to Puffin Island where, depending on the season, we may see thousands of seabirds: puffins, black guillemots, fulmars, Arctic terns. Visit Thingvellir National Park, known both for its historic import and as the place where the fissure between the geological plates of North American and Europe is most evident, and the next day visit Seljandfoss, one of Iceland’s most popular waterfalls, and the Skojar Folk Museum. Then spend two nights in Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik, where you will have a city tour and enjoy time on your own in this sophisticated city.

 

ALUMNI COLLEGE IN THE COLORADO ROCKIES (Nearly Full)

July 8-14, 2017

Take a deep breath of fresh Rocky Mountain air and roam the spectacular high country west of Pikes Peak. Stay in your own cabin at The Nature Place on its attractive wilderness campus. Day trips explore the surrounding terrain via van and short walks. This is where Prof. Bud Wobus initiated the Alumni Travel Program in 1981, and the site has been enjoyed by over 400 Williams folks on 23 trips since then. Some have participated twice!

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    PRICING: The cost of the week is $1850 per person double occupancy, $2100 single. The fee includes lodging and all meals, instruction, and day trip transportation. The shuttle to and from the Colorado Springs airport is included, or you may drive to the ranch. The maximum group size is twenty.

    ITINERARY: During the week you will explore the geology and natural history of the Colorado Rockies, from Arctic tundra with its snowfields and wildflowers to Sonoran desert and deep canyons. Enjoy the leadership of veteran naturalists, including the energetic Bud Wobus, Williams Professor of Geosciences. Your home for the week is The Nature Place, where daily field trips by van and on short hikes take you where the tourists do not go, to cirques and canyons, aspen groves and prairies, all with vistas of the surrounding 14,000 foot peaks. On the ranch property you’ll unpack just once in your studio cabin which sports a deck and a stone fireplace. Enjoy hearty meals in the main lodge with its picture-window views of Pikes Peak. Day trips include dinosaur fossil localities, the Guffey volcanic center, the glaciated mountains near Leadville, the insect and plant fossils of the Florissant Lake Beds, and “the world’s greatest gold camp” at Cripple Creek. To get the most out of these sites, you should be in good health and able to indulge in light hiking. While the program is not strenuous, it often takes place at 8,500 feet.

 

FAMILY RAFTING IN UTAH

July 19-21, 2017

The crystal-clear Green River offers splashy Class II rapids, interspersed with calm sections that inspire swimming, wildlife watching, and gazing at the canyon scenery. The river is teeming with trout, earning its reputation as one of the country’s finest trout fishing streams. Flaming Gorge is an ideal section of river for first-time rafters and families with children as young as four. Prof. David Dethier will provide geologic insight for the whole family. View the e-brochure.

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    PRICING: The price for this trip is estimated to be $735 per adult / $675 per youth (4-17 years). Includes skilled professional guide service; all meals from lunch on day 1 through lunch on the last day; 3 waterproof bags; camping equipment; personal flotation device; and rafting equipment. Price does not include transportation, sleeping bags, or gratuities.

    ITINERARY: Drive from Vernal, UT to our put-in, where after a detailed safety talk, our journey begins. Travelers will have the opportunity to run rapids; watch the desert panoramas slowly develop in-between bursts of thrilling whitewater; try their hand at the paddle raft and inflatable kayak; nap, take an exploratory hike, or just sit back and laugh with friends and family as your guides prepare one delicious meal after another. Travelers will also visit Jarvie Ranch for a glimpse into the Wild West. After our last big rapid at Red Creek, the river flattens out as we descend into Brown’s Park National Wildlife Refuge.

 

DISCOVER SOUTHEAST ALASKA (Now Full — Waitlist)

August 11-18, 2017

Discover the majestic beauty, abundant wildlife, and native cultures of Alaska’s Inside Passage on this seven-night journey by small ship. The 66-passenger Admiralty Dream was designed to go where large ships cannot, affording guests the best views possible of the surrounding nature-filled landscape. Experience Alaska as you watch for wildlife from the skiffs or kayaks. Prof. Emeritus Jim Carlton will again lead this popular alumni tour. View the e-brochure.

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    PRICING: The price for this tour begins at $3295 per person, double occupancy. The optional six-day pre-tour extension to Denali is $2995.

    ITINERARY: Begin your travels with a pre-tour, six-day extension to Denali National Park, or travel directly to Sitka for a visit to the Alaska Raptor Center and Sitka National Historical Park, whose massive totem poles line the park's coastal trail and provide insight to Alaska's indigenous culture. Afterward, embark on the Admiralty Dream for a tour of the Icy Straight and Chichagof Island in search of wildlife, including orca, sea lions, seal, porpoise, and magnificent humpback whales. Travel next to Glacier Bay National Park to view exposed rock that's believed to be more than 200 million years old and to view puffins, bears, eagles, and more. Cruise through the Peril Straight to Hanus Bay before hiking a scenic trail in the Tongass National Forest through old-growth to Lake Eva, home to a variety of salmon and trout. Experience a rare tour of the Hidden Falls Hatchery and the vital role fishing has held in Alaska for centuries. Next, sail through Frederick Sound in search of whales, and visit the charming fishing village of Petersburg, settled by Norwegian fishermen in the late 1800s. Finally, experience Tracy Arm Fjord and the "calving" of glaciers as gigantic chunks of ice break and crash into the water before disembarking in Juneau for your trip home.

 

BORDEAUX RIVERS

September 6-14, 2017

Enjoy a leisurely week aboard the river cruise ship AmaDolce on the Garonne and Dordogne. Bordering the rivers and the Gironde Estuary are vineyards that yield the celebrated Bordeaux wines. Prof. Emeritus John Hyde ’52 will accompany your cruise and excursions to walled medieval towns, wineries and castles. The grand finale is elegant Bordeaux, though you may extend your trip with a post-cruise visit to the châteaux of the Loire Valley. View the e-brochure.

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    PRICING: The price for this cruise will begin at $5695 per person, double occupancy, with free airfare from New York. $500 per person early booking discount.

 

FLAVORS OF SICILY (Now Full)

September 21-29, 2017

No other island pulls you in as tightly and feeds the soul so completely as Sicily. Dive into the complex layers of Sicilian cuisine with Prof. Darra Goldstein, who will provide a look into the region’s unique gastronomy. Intimate cooking classes with celebrated chefs, along with visits to the coastal towns of Taormina, Catania, and Siracusa ensure this will be a multifaceted, dynamic, and deliciously satisfying tour. View the e-brochure.

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    PRICING: The price is estimated to be $4995 per person, double occupancy. Optional Palermo extension is $1695.

    ITINERARY: Enjoy seven nights in the luxury and elegance of the 5-star San Domenico Palace Hotel in Taormina. Work side-by-side in the kitchens of distinguished chefs, learning time-tested techniques and modern twists with ingredients grown in the mineral-rich, volcanic soil of Mount Etna’s fertile lowlands. Take a cable car down to the shore for a lunch beside the sea. Spend time exploring the coastal towns of Taormina and Siracusa—including a stop at a local outdoor market. Visit Benanti, a family-owned boutique winery with a strong international focus, and winner of over 80 awards since 1994. Stop by the award-winning Planeta winery for a wine tasting and lunch. Visit Sicily’s archaeological masterpieces—the ancient theatres of Taormina and Siracusa, and the Villa Romana del Casale mosaics in Piazza Armerina. Explore Mount Etna, a natural marvel and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Day after day, experience the fusion of tradition and modernity, and see for yourself how Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Norman, German, French, and Spanish influences have formed this magnificent island of fertility. At an additional expense, travelers can stay on for an additional three nights in Palermo.

 

RIVIERAS AND ISLANDS OF FRANCE, ITALY, SPAIN (Now Full)

October 2-10, 2017

Cruise from Rome to Barcelona with one port call each day and opportunities to visit five UNESCO World Heritage sites. Werner Gundersheimer – Williams research associate, retired director of the Folger Shakespeare Library, and renowned scholar of European history – will lead this one-of-a-kind itinerary featuring cities and towns along the Mediterranean. The five-star, French-inspired MS Le Lyrial was launched in 2015. View the e-brochure.

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    PRICING: The price for this tour begins at $4495 per person, double occupancy.

    ITINERARY: Embark on your cruise from Civitavecchia, Italy, and from there enjoy a panoramic tour of Costa Smeralda and a visit to the Nuraghe Albucci defensive structure. Walk through Bonifacio's ancient, picturesque Old Town. Choose between a full-day excursion to Florence, a UNESCO World Heritage site, featuring visits to the octagonal Baptistery and the Galleria dell'Accademia to see Michaelangelo's David, or a full-day excursion to the Tuscan cities of Pisa, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and Lucca. Enjoy a delightful excursion to Cinque Terre to visit the charming cliffside villages of Riomaggiore and Vernazza. Then indulge in an evening at leisure in the stunning Italian Riviera village of Portofino. Travel to Nice for a walking tour of its charming Old Town, followed by a walking tour in Monte Carlo, the epitome of French Riviera chic, and a visit to St. Nicholas Cathedral, where Princess Grace is interred. A walking tour of Aix-en-Provence features the Mazarin District, old Aix, the Old Town Hall, the famous Cours Mirabeau and St. Sauveaur Cathedral. A panoramic tour of Marseilles featuring the historic Vieux Port (Old Port) and a visit to Notre Dame de la Garde prove to be enjoyable. Finish your travels with an excursion to Carcassonne, with visits to the Musee des Beaux Arts and Romanesque Abbey of Fontfroide.

 

BANGKOK TO BALI: EASTERN & ORIENTAL EXPRESS

October 6-18, 2017

In Thailand and Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia, discover an exotic kaleidoscope of colors, sounds, ever-changing landscapes, ancient histories and diverse cultures. Enjoy luxurious hotel accommodations in three locations, and journey through exotic landscapes aboard the legendary Eastern & Oriental Express. Prof. Peter Frost will explore the history and culture of these fascinating destinations. Group size is limited to only 28 travelers. View the e-brochure.

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    PRICING: The price for this tour begins at $5995 per person, double occupancy.

    ITINERARY: Discover the city of Bangkok on a cruise of the Chao Praya and the city's klongs. Admire the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha before hopping into a tuk-tuk, Thailand's ubiquitous auto rickshaw, for a ride to Wat Pho to see the famous Reclining Buddha. Visit the home of Jim Thompson, famed silk pioneer, along with traditional Thai houses and teak buildings. Transfer aboard the Eastern & Oriental Express and watch as the cityscape changes to countryside for your journey through rural Thailand and Malaysia. From the River Kwai Bridge, board a raft and drift down the Kwai Yai river. Learn about the Thailand-Burma railway from a local historian and visit the Thailand-Burma Railway Centre there. Travel to the royal town of Kuala Kangsar and see the grand Ubudiah Mosque before visiting the Perak Royal Museum and the Sultan Shah Gallery. Disembark the E&O in Singapore, where you will have plenty of time to explore. After a few days in Singapore, travel to Bali to soak up daily life on the Island of the Gods. Visit a housing compound, watch as farmers work in the rice fields, and chat with teachers and students at a local school.