RAA Worldwide Travel Program
Join your fellow alums as we travel to exciting destinations around the world. Whether your interests run to the exotic (like an African safari), or destinations steeped in history (such as a trip exploring ancient Roman history or a cruise on the inland Russian waterways), or an Asian adventure to China and beyond, or even a week in our great National Parks out West, we have something for you. Take a look at our program and discover the joys of traveling with fellow alums.
We are always looking for new ideas and suggestions for future trips. If you have an idea that you’d like to share with us, please click here.
Here's the 2014 Schedule:
The Great Journey through Europe: The Netherlands, Germany, France, and Switzerland – featuring the incomparable Glacier Express railroad from Zermatt to Andermatt, in the Swiss Alps (June 20 – 30, 2014): This trip combines virtually everything that you could want in a deluxe European trip. Starting in Amsterdam, one of the truly great cities in Europe (where you’ll feel right at home), we’ll travel by river boat, by lake steamer, and by cog railway to Lucerne, Switzerland, in a ten-day trip that you will remember always. Our adventure begins with a five-night exclusively chartered cruise on the deluxe Amadeus Elegant, that will take us from Amsterdam to Basel, Switzerland, with stops at Cologne, Koblenz, Rudesheim and Mannheim, in Germany, and Strasbourg, in France. Each stateroom features a river view, and its own private en-suite bathroom. In Basel we will transfer to a deluxe motor coach for the ride to the charming (no cars allowed) Swiss Alpine village of Zermatt, with a stop en route in the city of Berne, a UNESCO World Heritage site, for lunch and a walking tour of the Old Town. In Zermatt we’ll be treated to a delightful ride on the famed Gornergrat Bahn, one of the most picturesque rail journeys in the world, with breathtaking views of the Matterhorn. We will then board the incomparable Glacier Express, for a train ride like no other in the world, from Zermatt to Andermatt. We will then transfer to Lucerne, where we’ll spend two nights in the deluxe Hotel Schweizerhof, at the foot of the Alps and on the banks of Lake Lucerne. (I have been there and I can confirm that it is spectacularly beautiful.) Finally, while in Lucerne we’ll enjoy a scenic cruise on the lake, and a cable-car excursion up Mt. Pilatus, coming back down via the Pilatus Railway, the world’s steepest cogwheel railway. Prices for this truly spectacular trip begin at just $3,995 per person, based on two people traveling together and sharing a room. Click here for more information.
Adriatic Antiquities: Cruise from Venice to Athens (June 26 – July 9, 2014): Join us as we cruise from Venice (Italy) to Athens/Piraeus (Greece), aboard the ideally-sized (350 passengers) Aegean Odyssey. This is a wonderful opportunity to cruise along the Adriatic coast, visiting the landmark treasures of Italy, Croatia and Greece. We will begin our travels in Venice, one of the most beautiful and unique cities in the world, and then stop in the Croatian ports of Zadar, Split, Korcula and Dubrovnik; and the Greek ports of Corfu, Preveza, Ithaca, Katakolon and Nauplia before we disembark in Piraeus. And we’ll end our trip with two nights at the Athens Plaza Hotel in Greece’s capital city. The Adriatic Coast of Croatia and Greece is arguably one of the most dramatic and spectacular in Europe, with historic landmarks at every stop. We will visit such noted sights as St. Mark’s Square and the Basilica, the Doge’s Palace and the Bridge of Sighs in Venice; the walled city of Zadar; the Roman Palace in Split; the (presumed) birthplace of Marco Polo in Korcula; the old fortress in Corfu; Agamemnon’s palace in Mycenae; and so much more. And the whole time aboard the Aegean Odyssey is a treat unto itself; the ship has a wealth of amenities including a pool, observation lounge, fitness center, piano bar, and more. This is a special trip to an especially beautiful, and somewhat less-visited part of the Mediterranean. Don’t miss it! Prices begin at $4,395 per person (based on two people traveling together.) Click here for more information.
Black Sea Odyssey, a two week cruise – round-trip Istanbul – aboard the MV Aegean Odyssey (July 16 - 30, 2014): Surrounded by Turkey, Georgia, Russia, Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria, the Black Sea boasts an astounding wealth of culture and history on its shores. Join us for this 11-night cruise aboard the MV Aegean Odyssey, a perfectly sized ship with just 350 passengers, as we travel literally from the birth of civilization to the dramatic end of the Cold War. Starting in Istanbul, once the capital of two powerful empires, we’ll visit such history-filled destinations as Yalta (site of the World War II Yalta Conference attended by Roosevelt and Stalin); Sevastopol (site of the famed Charge of the Light Brigade); Odessa (and the famous Potemkin Steps); Sochi (where Stalin had his summer home); and much, much more. Our port calls include stops in Turkey, Georgia, Russia, Ukraine and Bulgaria. And at each port there is an included excursion designed to enhance your understanding of the local culture; while on-board noted scholars present a series of lectures on relevant topics. This is a wonderful, interesting travel opportunity, with many included extras including all gratuities for the ship’s staff, the services of an experienced travel director throughout the trip, and more. The ship features a casual dress code (no tuxedoes here!) and open seating in the restaurants. Prices begin at just $4,595 per person, based on two people traveling together and sharing a room. Click here for more information.
The Passage of Lewis & Clark (July 19 - 27, 2014): Incredibly beautiful and wildly bountiful, the Pacific Northwest presents a miraculous geological masterpiece where lush, unspoiled forests blanket dramatic slopes, imposing mountains cradle deep, mighty rivers and sparkling waterfalls cascade into breathtaking gorges. Experience this spectacular region that captivated Lewis and Clark as you cruise the Columbia and Snake Rivers aboard the American Empress, the largest and most elegant riverboat in the Pacific Northwest. Begin with a stay in Clarkston, Washington, where rich Native American culture springs to life at the Nez Perce National Historic Park, before boarding your riverboat, a veritable floating boutique hotel, bound for Portland. Follow the footsteps of Lewis and Clark and their legendary Shoshone guide to Sacajawea State Park, the site of the famed explorers’ 1805 campsite. Ever-glorious landscapes glide by as you sail to The Dalles—the end of the Oregon Trail—where intriguing museums herald its unique pioneer history. Magnificent scenery awaits in Stevenson, Washington, home to the renowned Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center. Visit the Bonneville Dam, a monument to human ingenuity and a fascinating spectacle with its massive turbines and fish ladders. Revel in the small-town charms of the oldest city west of the Rockies, Astoria, where sprawling Victorian homes and maritime relics mingle with trendy restaurants and shops. Your exciting western voyage concludes in the “City of Roses,” Portland. Prices begin at $3,795 per person, double occupancy (airfare is additional). Click here for more information.
Italy’s Magnificent Lake District (September 9 - 17 2014): Here is a wonderful opportunity to spend time in an especially beautiful but often less-visited area of Italy’s beautiful Lake District. Here is where Italy kisses Switzerland; where glacial lakes sparkle in the sun; where the lakes are abundant with lush vistas; and where you’ll find yourself in the foothills of the Alps. Here we’ll visit historic, baroque villas and exotic gardens on the beautiful Borromean Ialnds (Isola Madre, Isola dei Pescatori and Isola Bella); cruise the Great Lakes of Italy – Maggiore and Como – by private boat; spend time in Milano, Italy’s economic center and one of the great fashion capitals of the world; and even cross the Swiss border to visit the charming town of Ascona. Our trip begins in the lovely town of Stresa; and includes stops in Orta; the Borromean Islands; Milano; Bellagio and Como; and Ascona and Cannobio. I am fond of saying that no one who vacations in Italy ever has a bad time; the people are so warm and charming; the climate is perfect; the sights are spectacular; and the history is yours to experience at every turn. This is one trip that is guaranteed to please everyone. Join us. Prices begin at $$2,995 per person, based on two people traveling together. Click here for more information.
Moroccan Discovery: From the Imperial Cities to the Sahara Desert (September 13 – 26, 2014): If you have a taste for the slightly exotic, I invite you to join us as we venture off to the North African land of Morocco—a land of dramatic contrasts—that intrigues with its ancient ruins, sacred mosques, lush desert oases, imposing Kasbahs, spirited souks, and villages where life proceeds much as it has for centuries. On this fascinating journey we will visit six UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Meknes, Morocco’s youngest imperial city; Volubilis, with its ancient Roman ruins; and Fez, prized for its cultural, religious, and educational institutions. We’ll follow the fabled ancient caravan route through the snow-topped High Atlas Mountains, see the spectacular Todra Gorge, and travel to the fortified city of Ait ben-Haddou. And we’ll spend three nights in alluring Marrakech, taking time to enjoy tea in the home of a local Berber family before concluding our travels in the storied city of Casablanca. This is one trip that you are sure to remember always. Prices begin at just $4,395 per person (based upon two people traveling together and sharing a room), including round-trip air transportation from NYC (airline taxes and departure fees are extra). Click here for further details.
Historic Reflections – A Cruise on Oceania Cruises Riviera, from Barcelona to Athens (October 1 – 12, 2014): What could be better than ten days aboard Oceania Cruises Riviera, sailing the historic Mediterranean, in the perfect early fall season. If you have never been to Barcelona, this is an ideal opportunity to spend a few days in this amazing city before you board the ship. Spain’s second city will delight and surprise you at every turn. From the architecture of Antoni Gaudi, to the delightful waterfront, the many restaurants, and the vibrant street scene, you’ll be enthralled by all that Barcelona has to offer. Then, once you board the perfectly-sized (1,250 passenger) ship, just a bit over a year old, you’ll be on your way to the south of France, calling at Marseille, then Monte Carlo, followed by Livorno (Florence/Pisa/Tuscany), Civitavecchia (Rome), Positano (the Amalfi coast), and Taormina (Sicily), in Italy, before stopping at the ancient city of Kusadasi, Tukey, and the storied Greek island of Santorini, before disembarking in the port of Athens. Each port of call is a treat in its own right, in a region filled with history that dates back to the Roman empire. Life hardly gets any better than this; come aboard and enjoy a wonderful holiday aboard this superb cruise ship. Special prices start at only $3,499 per person, based on two people traveling together and sharing a room. Click here for more information.
Incredible Italy – Tuscany, Cortona, Montepulciano, Cinque Terre, Florence, Lucca, and more (October 13 - 23, 2014): The Tuscany region of Italy is justly celebrated for its natural beauty, magnificent Renaissance art and architecture, and superb wines and cuisine. Its historic hilltop towns are living postcards, where ancient ramparts encircle colorful piazzas, stately palazzos and bustling cafes. On this wonderful trip we’ll have a chance to spend time in the charming town of Cortona; the fabulous walled city of Lucca; Florence, the Heart of Tuscany and the Sole of the Renaissance; Pisa, with its famous Leaning Tower, and the five unique villages of the Cinque Terre. And there’s more: Pollenzo, Turin, the Venaria Reale, all with historical treasures and spectacular scenery. Each day in this region is like magic; each town and village is truly more spectacular than the last, with superb food and wine no matter where you stop. This trip is truly a delight for all the senses. Whether you’ve been to Italy before or not, this is one trip that is guaranteed to delight and surprise you every day. Prices begin at $3,995 per person, based on two people traveling together. Click here for more information.
Town and Country Life in England, featuring seven nights in the historic MacDonald Randolph Hotel in Oxford, (October 18 – 26, 2014): This week in the English countryside is perfect for Anglophiles who long to be steeped in all the best that England has to offer. Here we’ll spend a full week in Oxford’s leading five-star hotel, a historic landmark built in 1864, and located in the heart of this university town. It features luxurious accommodations, award-winning food, and elegant décor. And throughout the week you’ll be treated as a VIP, including an exclusive visit and private lunch with Lord Charles Spencer-Churchill, at Blenheim Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site. We’ll be treated to a walking tour of the legendary university town of Oxford; a visit to the impressive Hidcote Manor and Garden; a tour of the charming Cotswold villages of Chipping Campden and Broadway; a visit to Broughton Castle and gardens; a stop at Sulgrave Manor, the ancestral home of George Washington; an exclusive guided tour of Winston Churchill’s birthplace, Blenheim Palace, including a private lunch in the Palace’s Indian Room, and so much more. We’ll have an opportunity for a unique look at the art and architecture of the English countryside, and a chance to see the region’s literary highlights, including Jane Austen’s birthplace in the village of Steventon, and her burial place at Winchester Cathedral. Prices for this remarkable week begin at only $3,795 per person, based on two people traveling together and sharing a room. Click here for more information.
Cruise through the Panama Canal, from Miami (Florida) to Caldera (Costa Rica), aboard the six-star Crystal Serenity (November 19 - 30, 2014): Crystal Cruises is consistently rated at the very top of all the cruise lines, and here is the perfect opportunity to see why. Here is the perfect trip for all RPI Engineers: embark the Crystal Serenity in Miami, stop in Key West, Cozumel, Costa Maya, Belize City, Roatan Island and Puerto Limon, before celebrating the 100 anniversary of the completion of the Panama Canal, one of the greatest human engineering feats in the world. We’ll travel through the entire canal, through fifty-one miles of inland waterways and locks that raise and lower our ship as if it were a toy. You’ll soon discover that every day aboard is a special treat: there is open bar service throughout the ship; all gratuities are included; there is no extra charge for any of the three specialty restaurants on board; there are seven restaurants to suit your every mood; there is no assigned seating in any restaurant; complimentary room service is available 24 hours a day; there is a free motor coach shuttle service to the center of town in every port; and so much more. And, if you’ve never sailed through the Panama Canal, this may just be the perfect opportunity to see first-hand a true engineering marvel. Best of all, prices for this 12-day cruise begin at just $3,095 per person. Click here for more information.
And Here's a First Look at Our 2015 Programs ...
Mystical Andes & Majestic Fjords: A cruise from Lima, Peru to Buenos Aires, Argentina, aboard Oceania cruise lines Regatta (February 2 - 23, 2015): If you have always wanted to see South America, but have never quit had the time or opportunity, this is the perfect chance to join your fellow alums as we embark on a remarkable 20-day cruise in South America, from Lima to Buenos Aires, sailing around Cape Horn. Along the way we’ll stop in many of the region’s captivating ports and cities, where we’ll have a chance to see first-hand awe-inspiring fjords, ancient emerald forests, magnificent snow-capped mountains, and graceful colonial architecture in many enchanting towns and villages. Our perfectly-sized ship (684 passengers) will take us through South America's dramatic, ever-changing landscapes, beginning in Lima, and including Pisco, abounding with intriguing history and splendid beaches, followed by Matarani, your gateway to the pearl-white cityscapes of Arequipa. If you like you can relax on picture-perfect beaches in Iquique, admire stately 19th-century architecture in Coquimbo, and behold stunning panoramas in colorful Valparaiso. Or stroll along Puerto Montt's quaint harbor, or venture into the Chilean Lake District, an impossibly gorgeous region famed for its lush evergreen forests and glistening sapphire-blue lakes. Then take in the striking mountain vistas in Puerto Chacabuco, gateway to the glorious Patagonian countryside. And you’ll be awed as we sail through the breathtaking Chilean Fjords, narrow channels fringed by towering glaciers and snow-bound mountains, en route to Punta Arenas, a scenic provincial town overlooking the famed Strait of Magellan. Next we’ll encounter the soaring mountains and natural wonders of Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire) in Ushuaia, and discover the English charms of Port Stanley and the Spanish flavor of Uruguay's spirited capital, Montevideo. Finally, we’ll conclude our spectacular voyage in cosmopolitan Buenos Aires, Argentina's sophisticated metropolis famed for its superb restaurants, museums and art galleries. (I can tell you that I went on a similar cruise just a few years ago and it was truly spectacular. If you have not traveled to South America I urge you to go; you’ll love it! Prices for this wonderful cruise begin at just $5,999 per person, including round-trip air travel from virtually any U.S. city. Click here for more details and booking information.
Polynesian Paradise, a magical cruise in French Polynesia (Tahiti round-trip) aboard Oceania cruise lines Marina, (March 15 - 25, 2015): It is not often that I can – with complete honesty – invite you to join your fellow alums in Paradise. But, trust me, this is one such time. Join us as we cruise the balmy South Seas and discover the wonders of French Polynesia: swaying palm trees, luxurious white-sand beaches, and crystal-clear turquoise waters. This is as close to paradise as most of us will get.
We’ll begin with a stay in Papeete, Tahiti, the capital of French Polynesia before sailing to Moorea, touted by well-known travel writer Arthur Frommer as the most beautiful island in the world. Next we’re off to savor the vanilla-scented air on Raiatea—known as the “Sacred Island”—renowned for its pineapple and vanilla plantations, archaeological sites and black-pearl farms. From there we sail to sun-kissed Bora Bora, a vision of paradise with its dramatic volcanic peaks and postcard-perfect blue lagoon. Then it’s off to explore the varied terrain on captivating Nuku Hiva, from its black-sand beaches and deep bays to windswept cliffs and majestic waterfalls. Finally, our last stop is Rangiroa, where we’ll discover why this island’s lagoon is called a “natural aquarium,” before returning to the capital Papeete. We’ll travel to these enchanting, tropical islands aboard Oceania Cruises Marina, a masterpiece of sophistication and grace. Featuring some of the best cuisine at sea and unparalleled service, this ideally sized (just 1250 passengers) is truly cruising at its finest, offering the best value in upscale cruising. (Personal note: I have sailed with them twice, and these ships are just perfect in every way.) And we’ll experience the outstanding benefits of traveling with Go Next, from the thoughtful assistance of their customer service specialists and the expertise of the exclusive program managers—highly experienced, vibrant professionals who journey with you. Go Next handles all the details, so you can relax and immerse yourself in each fascinating destination. Prices for this wonderful cruise in paradise begin at just $3,999 per person, including round-trip air travel from virtually any U.S. city. Click here for more details and booking information.
The Treasures of Northern Italy – seven nights in Ferrara, visiting Bologna, Mantua, Venice, and Verona: (April 29 – May 7, 2015): I invite you to discover the sights, flavors, and aromas of Emilia Romagna, an area celebrated for its breathtaking natural beauty, magnificent architecture, superb wines and sumptuous cuisine. Our base from which to explore this wonderful area is Ferrara, itself a Renaissance masterpiece, situated on the banks of the Po River. From here we’ll travel to Mantua, a prominent capital of the Renaissance, to admire the turrets, cupolas and domes. We’ll have a chance to wander through the cobblestoned streets of Verona, the home of Romeo and Juliet, and Shakespeare’s Two Gentlemen. The highlight of our trip may well be Venice – one of the most unique and beautiful cities in all the world. Here we’ll see St. Mark’s Basilica, and marvel at its network of canals and waterways, and historic buildings. In Bologna we’ll follow the aromas of Parigiano-Reggiano and prosciutto crudo escaping from the medieval market as we stroll through the narrow alleyways. In the course of this trip we’ll visit four UNESCO World Heritage sites, and enjoy the ages-old atmosphere and heritage of Northern Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region. You may have been to Italy before, but if you haven’t been “up North” this is the perfect opportunity. Prices start at just $2,595 per person. Click here for more details and booking information.
Waterways of Holland & Belgium – Amsterdam to Antwerp: (May 2 – 10, 2015): This is a wonderfully delightful 7-night river cruise aboard the MS Amadeus Silver that will take you through some of the most beautiful parts of Europe. Holland and Belgium are two delightful countries, filled with rivers and canals, fascinating architectural and engineering marvels, and some of the world’s most beautiful flowers. We’ll board our riverboat in Amsterdam, arguably one of the most wonderful cities in Europe, and cruise to Antwerp, diamond capital of Belgium, and a delightful small city. In Amsterdam we’ll board a canal cruiser for a unique tour of the city, named after the city's origin as a dam in the river Amstel. Today Amsterdam is known the world over for its more than 60 miles of tree-lined canals and waterways that make this romantic city truly unforgettable. Next we’ll journey through Dutch flower fields to the renowned Keukenhof Gardens, an 80-acre paradise of tulips, hyacinths and other beautiful flowers, interwoven with more than nine miles of footpaths and Europe's largest fountain, a vast sculpture garden and a 700-tree labyrinth. We’ll also visit The Hague, the seat of the Dutch government and home of the royal Dutch residence and a number of world-class museums, and Delft, the home of Vermeer and the site of a collection of lovely canal houses. Delft is also famous for its world-renowned tradition of blue-and-white porcelain. Next, the engineering highlight of the trip features travel along the Zeeland coast to the artificial island of Neeltje Jans and its Delta Expo. Here we’ll learn about the Delta Works, a series of massive dams and storm surge barriers, conceived after the 1953 North Sea flood and built over a period of 30 years. These 65 enormous gates can be slammed shut on the North Sea when powerful storms strike — an engineering masterpiece that now protects the third of the landmass of the Netherlands that sits below sea level. Explore the Expo, which illustrates the delicate balance of the Netherlands' relationship with the ever-encroaching sea through educational, interactive displays that demonstrate the beauty and power of water. This romantic town's nickname, the Venice of the North, is well deserved. Another treat lies in store in the spectacular picture-perfect city of Bruges, where we’ll stroll along winding cobbled lanes and across tiny arched bridges on a guided walking tour. Bruges is truly a gem not to be missed. And our last stop is Antwerp, one of Europe's leading art centers, and the home of painter Peter Paul Rubens and the School of the Southern Netherlands. Antwerp dates back to the 13th century and features a wealth of medieval architecture. Between the 15th and the 17th centuries, this bustling seaport was a hotbed of artistic fervor — Quentin Massys, “Velvet” Breughel and many others lived and worked in Antwerp. Their treasures are preserved today in the city's many churches and museums. And Antwerp is well-versed in gems of all sorts: More than 80% of the world's rough diamonds pass through the city's Diamantkwartier, making it the largest diamond district in the world. This is a wonderful week in Europe (I took this cruise a few years ago, and can personally guarantee that you’ll love every minute). Prices begin at just $2,495 per person. Click here for more details and booking information.
The Treasures of Peru: A small group trip to the land of the ancient Incas – with alums from Georgia Tech – featuring both Machu Picchu & Lake Titicaca (May 18 - 28, 2015): 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 – we marvel at the riches of an intriguing land somewhat off the beaten path. Our 11-day discovery of Peru’s treasures begins 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. Here we acclimate to the high altitude as we tour the beautiful Sacred Valley, the Indian market at Pisac, and the extensive ruins at Ollantaytambo. Next it’s all aboard the train for Machu Picchu—the stunning “Lost City of the Incas” and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here we’ll enjoy two guided visits to these enigmatic ruins, staying overnight and taking advantage of prime viewing opportunities in the morning before the crowds arrive. Then we return to historic Cuzco and stop at the ruins of Sacsayhuaman, an Incan masterpiece, where we’ll enjoy lunch in the home of a gracious Cuzco family. From there we travel overland through Peru’s scenic and rugged altiplano with its snow-capped mountains and remote villages to the world-famous Lake Titicaca, one of the world’s highest navigable lakes. We’ll 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. And you can discover more of the Amazon’s amazing flora, fauna, and even villages on an optional 4-day/4-night post-tour extension. Prices for this incredible journey begin at just $3,895 (including round-trip air travel from Miami). Click here for more details and booking information.
Alumni Campus Abroad – A week in Provence: (June 9 – 17, 2015): Provence is on almost everyone’s “bucket list.” Southern France is where sun-drenched beaches and undulating hills tie the Mediterranean to the Alps. The very name Provence conjures images of idyllic days in the very area that enraptured Cezanne, Chagall, and van Gogh. See what inspired so many writers, as we see such spectacular sights as Le Luberon, Arles, Pont du Gard, Avignon (once home to the Popes for almost 70 years), and – of course – our “headquarters” city of Aix-en-Provence, where Paul Cezane lived over a century ago. Aix was actually founded in 122 B.C., and is today one of the most elegant and well-preserved of all French cities. Its narrow streets and colorful markets have lured writers and artists for centuries. And we’ll visit the wonderful hilltop town of Les Baux, a medieval fortress town with winding, cobble-stone streets and tiny squares with chapels, churches and museums. If you have not spent time in Provence, this is a perfect opportunity to see what everyone is raving about. Prices start at just $2,895 per person. Click here for more details and booking information.
Pearls of the Mediterranean – a Cruise on Oceania Cruise Lines Riviera from Rome to Monaco: (June 15 – 23, 2015): I invite you to join us as we revel in the cultural gems and spectacular beauty of the Mediterranean, cruising from Rome to Monte Carlo aboard the luxurious, perfectly sized (1,250 passenger) Oceania Cruises Riviera. We’ll set sail from Rome’s port of Civitavecchia, and head first to Amalfi and Positano, colorful towns with timeless Moorish-style houses set on stunning seaside slopes. Next it’s off to visit Sardinia’s capital, Cagliari, home to extensive archaeological treasures that reflect its 2,000 years of history, before heading to the island of Mallorca, and the culturally rich city of Palma. Marvel here at its massive Gothic cathedral and circular castle overlooking the harbor, relax amid the windmill-dotted countryside, or stroll the cobbled streets of Old Palma. Next we cruise to Spain and ponder extraordinary structures in Barcelona, guaranteed to delight all your senses, the city where famed architect Antoni Gaudi left his mark. Then we continue to France and explore the historic port city of Marseille or experience the rich Provençal countryside dotted with delightful medieval towns. We’ll sail east along the French Riviera to Antibes, a classic Mediterranean getaway romanticized by F. Scott Fitzgerald, before concluding our journey in glamorous Monte Carlo. Prices for this luxurious cruise start at just $2,699 per person, including round-trip airfare from many US cities. Click here for more details and booking information.
France’s Cultural Crossroads – Bordeaux, Toulouse & Carcassone: (June 16 – 25, 2015): Join us as we discover the celebrated history of southwest France as we journey through the storied regions of Languedoc-Roussillon, midi-Pyrenees and Aquitaine. From the first glimpse of the picture-perfect medieval walled city of Carcassone (where we’ll spend two nights) to your last sip of Bordeaux wine, we’ll revel in the delights of this off-the-beaten-path itinerary. We’ll take time to cruise of the exquisite Canal-du-Midi, a 17th century engineering marvel. And we’ll visit Fources, without question one of the prettiest towns in France, and the hilltop fortress in Cordes-sur-Ciel. In this region you’ll find opulent cathedrals that once welcomed pilgrims traveling across Europe, and have a chance to delve into the relationship between the Catholic Church and the Cathars of this region. We’ll enjoy an exclusive visit to a world-class art collection in Toulouse, and delight in the beauty, wine and cuisine of Bordeaux and Saint-Emillion. In addition to two nights in Carcassonne, we’ll enjoy three nights in Toulouse, and three nights in Bordeaux. This is a chance to see a part of France that many tourists do not often visit – and it’s truly spectacular. Prices start at just $4,595 per person. Click here for more details and booking information.
Exploring Iceland --- Off the Beaten Path --- A small group (maximum 24 people) adventure to one of the most unusual and interesting places in the world (June 23 – July 3, 2015): Join fellow RPI alums and those from Lehigh University as we discover the astonishing natural history and rich cultural heritage of vast, unspoiled Iceland—a land perfect for exploring in a small group. On this trip we’ll travel the breadth of the country -- viewing its stunning and unique natural scenery, and staying in well-located, small hotels. Our 11-day tour begins in Borgarnes, with a visit to the Reyholt Cultural Centre. We’ll stop at the beautiful Snaefellsnes Peninsula with its small fishing villages, bizarre rock formations, and nesting cliff birds. Included are three nights in the region’s charming capital, Akureyri, situated at the base of a fjord and ringed by snow-capped mountains, and a tour of one of the world’s natural wonders, Lake Myvatn -- with its bubbling mud flats, lava fields, and lunar-like volcanic craters. We will also stop at Godafoss, known as the “waterfall of the gods.” Visit the incredible “Glacial River Canyon” National Park and walk to jaw-dropping Dettifoss, Iceland’s “Niagara Falls.” And we’ll even 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. Finally, our adventure concludes with two nights in Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik, where we will embark on a city tour and have time on our own in this sophisticated city. Prices for this fabulous vacation start at just $4,595 per person (including round-trip air transportation). Click here for more details and booking information.
Coastal Alaska Cruise, Seattle roundtrip, aboard Oceania Cruises Regatta: (July 7 – 14, 2015): Join us as we travel to a place of stunning landscapes and unspoiled wilderness, a place where nature reigns supreme—amazing Alaska. Let the rugged beauty of America’s last frontier captivate you as cruise along its shores aboard Oceania Cruises Regatta, a state-of-the-art haven of elegance. Depart from Seattle and sail through the Inside Passage along Canada’s scenic coast to the small wilderness outpost of Ketchikan, once known as the “Salmon Capital of the World,” and the ancestral home of the Tlingit people. Continue cruising through Tracy Arm, a breathtaking fjord whose pristine waters reflect its ice- blue tidewater glaciers and soaring granite cliffs. Stop in one of Alaska’s oldest towns, Wrangell, where hints of past settlers—Tlingit, Russian and British—are reflected in its structures. Cruise south through the open blue waters of the Pacific to Canada and the spectacular port city of Prince Rupert, where ancient native culture and pioneer heritage spring to life, before returning to Seattle. Savor the majestic beauty of ancient glaciers, soaring mountains and pristine coasts on this remarkable Alaskan voyage. Prices for this luxurious cruise start at just $2,299 per person, including round-trip airfare from many US cities. Click here for more details and booking information.
Great Journey through Europe - Holland, Germany, France & Switzerland (July 7 – 17, 2015): I invite you to join our fellow alums on this special opportunity to re-create a portion of the traditional 17th-, 18th- and 19th‑century European “Grand Tour.” For ten days we’ll travel through four countries in the heart of Western Europe on this carefully planned, exclusive itinerary. Come with us as we cruise through the Dutch polder land, reclaimed from the North Sea, and the fairy-tale beauty and UNESCO designated section of the Rhine River, and experience three of the world’s legendary railways and visit four more important UNESCO World Heritage sites. Our exclusively chartered, deluxe M.S. Amadeus Elegant, one of the finest ships sailing Europe’s waterways, provides our accommodations en route from Amsterdam, The Netherlands, to Basel, Switzerland. Port calls along the way include Cologne, Koblenz, Rüdesheim and Mannheim for Heidelberg, Germany, and the lovely Alsatian city of Strasbourg, France, a fusion of both French and German cultures. From Basel, we’ll travel overland through the truly impressive scenic countryside of Switzerland. Stop in the medieval gem of Berne and in Interlaken, scenically situated near the magnificent Bernese Oberland Alps. Spend two nights in lovely Lucerne in a Five Star hotel, where glorious panoramas surround you at every turn. Then, cross the mountainous backbone of Switzerland aboard the celebrated, ingeniously engineered Glacier Express, and in Zermatt, marvel at the iconic Matterhorn as you travel aboard the Gornergrat Bahn, the country’s oldest cog railway. This is a trip that you will long remember; the scenery is among the most spectacular in the world. Prices begin at just $3,995 per person. Click here for more details and booking information.
The Waterways of Russia – Nine night river cruise through the heart of Russia from St. Petersburg to Moscow (July 18 – 28, 2015): This is the perfect way to see the “real Russia,” cruising through its heartland well beyond the two major cities that are so well known. Here we’ll travel on four rivers and four lakes, and visit towns and villages that include Mandroggi, Kizhi Island, Goritsy, Yaroslavl, and Uglich, beginning in St. Petersburg, a world-class city that whose opulence and splendor will truly take your breath away, and ending in Russia’s capital Moscow, with so many famous sites, including the Kremlin, St. Basil’s Cathedral, the Armory Museum, with the world’s largest collection of Faberge eggs, and the amazing Red Square – home of Lenin’s tomb. You’ll see more spectacular churches than you can imagine, marvel at Lenin’s infrastructure projects, have a chance to ride in some of the deepest subways in the world, and become steeped in the fascinating culture and history of one of the world’s most important countries. If you have never been to Russia, this is a trip that you will long remember. Prices begin at just $4,995 per person. Click here for more details and booking information.
The Baltic Marvels – a 7-night Cruise from Copenhagen, Denmark, to Stockholm, Sweden, aboard Oceania Cruises Marina (August 13 – 21): On this cruise in wonderful Scandinavia, you’ll have a wonderful opportunity to marvel at the exquisite architecture and charming capitals of the Baltic as you cruise from Denmark to Germany, Estonia, Russia, Finland and Sweden aboard Oceania Cruises’ elegant and intimate Marina. Depart Copenhagen for the German port of Warnemünde and enjoy its lovely seaside promenade, or take a short drive to Berlin and view weathered remnants of the iconic Berlin Wall and world-famous landmarks. Admire architectural gems in Tallinn, a beautifully preserved Estonian city that radiates old-world charm with red-roofed homes, cobbled streets and spire-crowned churches. Delight in almost two full days to soak up St. Petersburg and take in its gorgeous onion-domed cathedrals and fabled palaces, such as the immense Winter Palace and lavish Catherine’s Palace. Before concluding your journey in Stockholm, explore the Finnish capital of Helsinki, a renowned international design mecca where you’ll discover a splash of modern art and architecture. Prices for this luxurious cruise start at just $2,299 per person, including round-trip airfare from many US cities. Click here for more details and booking information.
China & The Yangtze River, featuring Beijing, Xi’an, A Yangtze River Cruise, Shanghai and Hangzhou: (September 2 – 16, 2015): Once described by Napoleon as a “sleeping giant,” China – most certainly no longer sleeping – is rising a world power, home to over a billion people, and a land of one of the world’s oldest civilizations. This vast country is filled with historic and contemporary treasures, and on this trip we will have a great opportunity to see them first hand, in the company of fellow alumni. Join us as we begin our travels in Beijing, with a visit to the Forbidden City, the truly amazing Great Wall, and the fantastic Summer Palace. In Xi’an we’ll marvel at the famed Terra Cotta warriors and enjoy special access to the Archaeological Research Institute. On our cruise along the Yangtze River we’ll have an opportunity to engage with local residents of a relocation village, built in conjunction with the immense Three Gorges Dam project. Later on we’ll spend three nights at the deluxe Fairmont Peace Hotel in unbelievable Shanghai (over 14 million people), before our journey ends in the natural beauty of Hangzhou. This two week journey is surely one vacation that you’ll remember forever. Prices start at just $3,995 per person. Click here for more details and booking information.
Cruise on the “Sea of Antiquity” – 12 nights aboard Oceania Cruises Nautica, from Rome to Istanbul: (September 21-October 4, 2015): Join us as we explore riveting ancient ruins, picture-perfect villages and incredible landscapes as we cruise to from Rome to Malta, Greece and Turkey aboard Oceania Cruises’ intimate (just 684 passengers) Nautica. Departing from Rome we’ll head first for Sorrento, a delightful seaside resort with its fragrant lemon groves, winding cobblestone streets and majestic mountain vistas, or visit nearby Capri. Next we’ll experience the dramatic Italian beauty found on the Amalfi coast towns of Amalfi and Positano, colorful towns set on stunning seaside slopes. And we will visit Sardinia’s capital, Cagliari, home to extensive archaeological treasures that reflect its 2,000 years of history. Sailing on to Sicily’s western coast, we can explore the maze of narrow streets in Trapani’s medieval core. Next, it’s a sail to Malta’s charming capital, Valletta, sprinkled with 16th-century limestone buildings and longstanding fortifications. Then behold the picturesque, windmill-dotted landscapes of Crete and the stunning, whitewashed villages of Santorini. Continuing on to Turkey, we’ll visit the vibrant port of Kusadasi, a gateway to Ephesus—one of the Mediterranean’s best-preserved archaeological sites. And we can relax on the lovely Greek isle of Skiathos, where aqua seas lap secluded, pine-fringed beaches, and quaint churches grace gentle hillsides. Finally, our 12-day journey concludes in the magnificent city astride two continents, Istanbul, featuring a captivating fusion of Eastern and Western cultures. art and architecture. Prices for this luxurious cruise begin at just $4,799 per person, including round-trip airfare from many US cities. Click here for more details and booking information. www.gonext.com
Island Life in Ancient Greece & Turkey – a unique seven-night cruise aboard an exclusively chartered Five-Star small ship (new this year) from Athens to Istanbul (September 28 - October 6, 2015): If you have ever dreamed of spending time in the storied Greek Islands, this trip may just be THE perfect opportunity. We’ll travel aboard a beautiful brand new five-star small ship (sister ship to Le Boreal, L’Austral and Le Soleal) sailing from the ancient city of Athens, and calling at Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes, Patmos, Kasadasi (Ephesus), and Canakkale (Troy) before concluding our trip in Istanbul. Included are tours of legendary Troy (you thought the one in which we spent four years was the only one? Trust me, this is much more interesting), Ephesus (the best preserved Greco-Roman city in the world), and the Greek Islands of Delos (with its splendid classical ruins including the Sanctuary of Apollo), Santorini (with its phenomenal Minoan excavation), Rhodes (home of the famed Colossus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World), and picture-perfect Patmos. The Greek island are the stuff of legends, and I can think of no finer way to experience them than on this unique small ship cruise – with fellow Engineers from Troy! Prices begin at just $3,995 per person; Click here for more details and booking information.
Symphony on the Blue Danube – A week in Krakow (Poland), Prague (Czech Republic), followed by a five night river cruise from Passau, Germany to Budapest, Hungary (October 1 – 13, 2015): This exclusive, custom-designed journey will take us to the European cultural centers that inspired classical music’s Great Masters. Framed by rolling hillsides, lush vineyards and medieval castles, the 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 will take us through six countries in the heartland of central Europe. This trip has been custom-designed to feature the musical heritage of Europe’s most accomplished composers, including Mozart, Beethoven and Chopin, and carefully planned to afford us time to explore nine UNESCO World Heritage treasures. Join us as we cruise the legendary Blue Danube from Passau, Germany, to Budapest, Hungary, aboard the exclusively chartered, deluxe M.S. Amadeus Fleet, one of the finest ships to ply the waterways of Europe. We’ll spend three nights each in historic Prague and Kraków in deluxe, centrally located hotels, and then – aboard the ship – we’ll often dock right in the heart of the cities, providing a wonderful opportunity to maximize our time ashore. You’ll find that our experience will be enhanced by a comprehensive schedule of exclusive and specially arranged expert lectures, classical music performances and guided excursions in the world-class cities of Prague and Kraków, and in each port of call along the Danube. Traveling through the heartland of Europe has never been more historically rich and culturally exciting. This exceptional program is sure to strike a chord with both new and repeat travelers, reaching into the heart and soul of the region, as well as its great composers, art and architectural masterpieces. And, you’ll find that it is an excellent value. Prices begin at just $3,995 per person. Click here for more details and booking information.
Cruise through Canada and New England, aboard the 6-star Crystal Symphony, from Montreal to New York City in the prime Fall foliage season: (October 14 – 24, 2015): This super-deluxe ten-night cruise, aboard one of the most consistently rated top ships in the world, begins in the heart of French Canada, and wends its way through the Gulf of St. Lawrence and down the Northeast Coast of the United States. Our first stop, after leaving Montreal (I recommend you go ahead and spend a few days there before the ship departs) will be the incredibly beautiful Quebec City. Next, after a delightful day of cruising in the Gulf, we’ll stop at Prince Edward Island, where we’ll visit Charlottetown, and its stately buildings. From there it’s on to the Magdelan Islands, once isolated from the mainland, but now a tranquil retreat. We’ll continue along to the Nova Scotian towns of Sydney, on Cape Breton Island’s eastern shore, and surprisingly beautiful Halifax, considered the most Scottish of all of Canada’s great cities. From there we’ll cross into U.S. waters and stop first in picturesque Portland, Maine, before we stop in historic Boston, and then Newport. Rhode Island may be our smallest state but you’ll find Newport rich in American history (think of the ultra-wealthy’s summer “cottages” overlooking the seashore. From here we’ll have the unique experience of sailing into New York City, past the Statue of Liberty and a skyline like no other in the world. And every step of the way we’ll be pampered in luxury and comfort that only Crystal Cruises ships can provide. Prices start at just $3,595 per person for this wonderful holiday. Click here for more details and booking information.
Alumni Campus Abroad on the Italian Riviera, featuring seven nights in Sestri Levante: (October 24 – November 1, 2015): Few places in the world conjure up such delightful images as the Italian Riviera, an area known for its sparking, turquoise waters, and lush green landscapes. It has been captivating visitors for centuries. We’ll stay at the centrally located, first-class Hotel Vis-à-vis, in Sestri Levante, ideally located only a short drive away from such wonderful places as Genoa, Portofino, Santa Margherita, Carrara, Lucca, Florence, and more. On this wonderful trip (which I have personally experienced) we’ll spend time in each of these cities and towns. In Carrara we’ll visit a marble quarry and studio; in Lucca we’ll have a chance to spend time strolling this beautiful walled city; in Portofino we’ll spend time in the picture postcard-perfect waterfront. And in the bustling shipbuilding city of Genoa, birthplace of Christopher Columbus. Every day in this beautiful part of the world is a special treat, and every day will prove to be a delightful surprise. No matter where your interests lie, the Italian Riviera is a treat for all your senses. Join us! Prices start at only $2,895 per person – and there is no single supplement for solo travelers. Click here for more details and booking information.
Voyage to Antiquity – Cruise from Athens, Greece to Haifa, Israel, with three nights in Jerusalem (October 27 – November 7, 2015): Here is a wonderful opportunity to visit some of the most historic ports in the Eastern Mediterranean, aboard a cruise on an exclusively chartered small ship with only 36 stylishly appointed, wood-paneled, ocean-view cabins. Unlike the “mega” cruise ships, this unique vessel enables us to visit smaller ports that are simply inaccessible to the large ships. Our stops include Kusadasi (for Ephesus – the best preserved Greco-Roman city in the world); Bodrum; Daylan River Delta (for Kaunos); Antalya (for Aspendos and Perge – all in Turkey); Limassol (Cyprus); and finally Haifa in Israel, where we’ll visit Caesarea and Tel Aviv (with aspecial orientation to the famed “White City”), before spending three nights in Jerusalem. Aboard the ship all meals are included, as are all shore excursions. And complimentary beer and wine are available with lunch and dinner. Enriching lectures are held daily before each stop. Truly there are few places in the world as fascinating as the Middle East – often referred to (with good reason) as the “Cradle of Civilization.” And this trip may be one of the best ways to experience this unique part of the world – all with your fellow alums. Prices for this fabulous trip will be available soon. For now, Click here for more details.
Cruise on the American Queen for Country & Blues Music on the mighty Mississippi, from Nashville to Memphis: (October 31-November 8, 2015): Here is a wonderful chance to celebrate homegrown country and blues music as we cruise legendary rivers aboard the grand American Queen, and savor beautiful vistas, sumptuous cuisine and elegant amenities along the way. We’ll begin with a stay in America’s Music City, Nashville, an exciting cultural hub boasting the Country Music Hall of Fame and the famous Grand Ole Opry House. Then we board the largest and most opulent riverboat in the world, the American Queen, and cruise to Clarksville, featuring a historic center sprinkled with local shops, breweries and restaurants. In Dover, we’ll delve into rich Civil War history at the Fort Donelson National Battlefield and Cemetery, site of one of the first significant Union victories, before heading to Cave-in-Rock State Park in Illinois, offering an incredibly scenic blend of deep green forests and breathtaking, rugged bluffs. In Mt. Vernon, Indiana, we’ll discover well-preserved historic landmarks, including the 19th-century Posey County Courthouse. Then we will witness sprawling murals in Paducah, a river town established by William Clark in 1827. And visit the oldest city west of the Mississippi, New Madrid, where we’ll climb the town’s observation deck to take in fabulous panoramas of Bessie Bend peninsula, before our adventure concludes in Memphis. Prices begin at just $2,699 per person, (airfare is additional). Click here for more details and booking information.
For more information on any of the programs, contact the alumni office at email@example.com, call (518)-276-6205, or e-mail Michael Wellner ’64 at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (212) 486-3064.
Travel Insurance. No matter where you are headed, travel insurance will give you peace of mind before you depart and while on tour. Our program covers:
- Trip cancellation and interruption
- Medical expenses
- Medical evacuation
- Baggage loss and delay
- Accidental death
- 24-hour emergency assistance
Remember, it is not only your own health that you should consider, but those of your loved ones as well. You may be completely healthy, but should a parent, child, or any family member become ill or be involved in an accident, and you need to cancel your trip to care for them, our insurance will cover you. Click here for complete information.
Customized Tour Programs
Are you are looking for a custom-tailored trip or tour for your group (Greek brothers or sisters, family members, social group, or friends)? We can help you plan for that special occasion! Contact Michael Wellner '64 at email@example.com or call (212) 486-3064 with your request.
Want more information on the AHI Travel opportunities? Take a look at their 2011 webinars on YouTube.