Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

RAA Worldwide Travel Program

ToursJoin 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:

Legendary Turkey: From Istanbul to the Turquoise Coast (April 29 – May 13, 2014): Come with us and discover the ancient and historic land of Turkey—where Europe and Asia literally come together to form “the cradle of civilization.” We’ll begin our journey in Istanbul (known historically as Constantinople), Turkey’s cultural and spiritual heart, where the city will astonish you with its legendary Blue Mosque, Hagia Sofia, and Topkapi Palace, one of the world’s richest museums. Next we will travel south to the sacred World War I battlefield of Gallipoli, ferry across the Dardanelles to the ancient city of Troy (be honest, did you know there was another one?), and explore the wealth of Greco-Roman ruins at ancient Pergamum. A true highlight is the opportunity to spend a full day at Turkey’s nonpareil classical city, Ephesus, with treasures that include the grand Library of Celsus and a 25,000-seat amphitheater with excellent acoustics and splendid views. We’ll stop to visit a carpet factory, for a demonstration of just how those magical carpets are made, and enjoy lunch in a local village before boarding a privately chartered gulet yacht. Then, for four splendid days, we’ll cruise along the exquisite, and world-famous Turquoise Coast, relaxing and discovering its hidden sights, quaint fishing villages, and remote ruins. And we’ll end our journey in the seaside resort Antalya, with a side trip to the historic ancient city of Perge. (There is an optional 5-day/4-night post-tour extension for those who wish to see the remarkable rock formations of Cappadocia and Ankara, Turkey’s capital). Prices begin at just $3,895 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.

Aegean Marvels – A Cruise on Oceania Cruises Riviera, in the Greek Islands, from Athens to Istanbul (May 14 - 22, 2014): If you have always dreamed of cruising in the storied Greek Islands, this may just be the perfect trip for you. Starting in Athens, we’ll spend a week cruising aboard the new (2012) 1250-passenger Riviera, headed for Istanbul – the ancient capital of the Ottoman Empire. Along the way we’ll call at the beautiful romantic Greek island Santorini; Kusadasi (Turkey) where we’ll visit the wonderfully preserved ancient ruins at Ephesus; the legendary island of Rhodes, once home to the great Colossus, one of the seven wonders of the Ancient World; Mykonos, legendary site of the battle between Zeus and the Titans; Kavala, the second largest city in northern Greece (and home to a fascinating Tobacco Museum); before we end our voyage in the world-class city of Istanbul, literal crossroads of the world – where East meets West. Prices start at only $2,399 per person, based on two people traveling together and sharing a room. Click here for more information.

Croatia’s Adriatic Coast (May 19 – 30, 2014): This exclusive small group trip is limited to no more than 28 travelers, and features two nights in Zagreb, Croatia; three nights in Trogir; two nights in Hvar; and three nights in Dubrovnik. And every step of the way we’ll experience the diverse, scenic landscapes and the vibrant cultural heritage of Croatia, with its treasure trove of historic cities, pristine farmland, and more than a thousand sun-drenched Adriatic islands. On this ten-night journey we’ll explore the best of this crossroads of central Europe and the Mediterranean. From the striking seaside towns of Trogir, Split and Hvar, to the magical walled city of Dubrovnik to the capital city of Zagreb, we’ll experience the breadth of Croatia’s fairy-tale panoramas, its National Parks, beautiful vineyards, fields of lavender, and unforgettable ancient ruins. Each day will delight you with new surprises as you find yourself steeped in the rich history of this surprising country. Prices begin at $3,895 per person, based on two people traveling together. Click here for more information.

Normandy, France and the 70th Anniversary of D-Day The (May 26 – June 3, 2014): Here is a wonderful opportunity to spend time in one of the most meaningful and historic places in all of Europe: the D-Day Beaches of Normandy, France. Join us as we spend a week in the Normandy town of Honfleur, visiting the D-Day landing beaches, the American military cemetery and the Peace Memorial at Caen, the majestic Mont-Saint-Michel, and Giverny, site of Monet’s garden-ringed home and studio. There is arguably no more emotional, more awe-inspiring area of Europe than Normandy, where so much significant history has taken place. This trip is an ideal combination of the most historic and most beautiful areas of France. Here we’ll visit Omaha Beach; the German gun emplacements at Pointe du Hoc; the American cemetery and Memorial at St. Laurent-sur-Mer; the dramatic fortress at Mont-Saint-Michel; and even Monet’s house at Giverny, where he painted his famous water lily series. With the history of World War II growing ever more distant, this chance to visit Normandy on the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings may just be the perfect trip for 2014. I invite you to join us. Prices begin at $2,795 per person, based on two people traveling together. Click here for more information.

Mediterranean Inspiration – A Cruise on Oceania Cruises Nautica, from Venice to Rome (June 6 - 17, 2014): We could easily have called this cruise the “Best of the Mediterranean,” for it would be hard to come up with a better itinerary (or ship) than this. Starting in Venice, surely one of the most romantic cities in the world, we’ll sail aboard the 700-passenger Nautica, with stops in Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Lbania, Greece, and Italy before disembarking in the port of Rome. You’ll find that your ten days aboard the ship are nearly perfect in every way. The ship is large enough to provide all the amenities that you want, but small enough not to be overwhelming – and all without the hordes and crowds of the mega-ships. And whatever your interests, this trip has something for everyone. Beginning in Venice, famed for its art and architecture, and blessedly car-free, we’ll have a chance to experience the culture and history of such varied cities as Koper (Slovenia), once an important part of the Roman Empire and home to the largest cathedral in Slovenia, and Slpit (Croatia), site of the Roman Emperor Diocletian’s ‘retirement’ palace built around 300 A.D. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. From here we go to Kotor (Montenegro), and Durres (Albania) – a country that was virtually closed to the outside world for decades. Then it’s on to Corfu (Greece), likely the setting of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, and a picture-perfect ideal Greek island. Finally, there’ll be three port calls in Italy (Taormina, in Sicily), Sorrento (on the Bay of Naples, near the legendary ruins of Pompeii and the isle of Capri), and Livorno, close by Florence, Pisa and the Tuscany region of Italy (think “Under the Tuscan Sun”). In virtually every way this is a truly perfect vacation experience. Don’t miss it! Prices start at only $3,599 per person, based on two people traveling together and sharing a room. Click here for more information.

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.

For more information on any of the programs,
contact the alumni office at alumni@rpi.edu, call (518)-276-6205, or e-mail Michael Wellner ’64 at captmike46@alum.rpi.edu 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
captmike46@alum.rpi.edu 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.