RAA Worldwide Travel Program Join your fellow alumni/ae 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 an Asian adventure to China and beyond, we have something for you. 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. Take a Look at Our 2015 Programs ... 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. These are the first 2016 Programs... Jewels of Central America: An Exciting Cruise Aboard the New MS St. Laurent, From San Jose (Costa Rica) to Cartagena (Columbia), Featuring a Daytime Transit of the Panama Canal (January 22-31, 2016). Here is a wonderful chance to take in Central America’s unparalleled ecological majesty, with its incredible wildlife, secluded white-sand beaches and pristine emerald-green forests. From San José to Cartagena, we will encounter the remote natural riches of Costa Rica and Panama on an odyssey aboard the new small ship (just 210 passengers) MS Saint Laurent. Aboard, we will be treated to elegant amenities and breathtaking vistas as this luxurious ship takes us to legendary sights including Darién National Park and Manuel Antonio National Park. We will witness the astounding scenery and biodiversity of Golfo Dulce, Coiba Island and the Osa Peninsula, and admire the 17th-century architectural grandeur of Panama’s Casco Viejo. Visit the stunning San Blas Islands, home of the Kuna Indians, before experiencing a daylight passage through one of the world’s greatest man-made wonders, the Panama Canal. No RPI Alum should miss this! And aboard this deluxe ship we’ll be treated to outstanding cuisine free-flowing beverages, as well as enriching lectures and complimentary expert-led Zodiac excursions. This 10-day voyage promises a Central American expedition like no other. Prices begin at $4,499 per person, double occupancy (airfare is additional). Click here for full details. Sands & Shores of the Caribbean: (February 12-22, 2016): A deluxe cruise, round-trip Miami! Join us as we sail the shimmering Caribbean Sea aboard Oceania Cruises’ newest ship, Riviera, an award-winning masterpiece with outstanding personalized service, elegant designer details and world-class cuisine. Starting in Miami, we’ll cruise along the white sands and sun-kissed shores of several spectacular Caribbean islands, including Grand Turk, Puerto Rico, St. Barts, St. Maarten, Tortola, the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas. Surround yourself with serene beauty on Grand Turk, where colonial architecture mingles with Caribbean–style dwellings. Experience the charming colonial character of Old San Juan, with its blue-tinged cobblestone streets, brightly painted buildings and ornate balconies; stroll along Gustavia’s glittering harbor (in St. Barts), lined with sleek yachts; relax on Tortola’s famous Cane Garden Bay Beach; admire Philipsburg’s colorful Dutch architecture; and explore Cayo Levantado’s (Dominican Republic) tranquil, palm-fringed beaches. Before returning to Miami, encounter a blend of beautifully restored Victorian mansions, candy-colored parliament buildings and 18th-century forts in cosmopolitan Nassau. And all the while you’ll be pampered aboard the Riviera, with just 1,250 guests, and the finest cuisine at sea, under the direction of renowned chef Jacques Pepin. Here you’ll find unlimited complimentary soft drinks, bottled water, juice, tea, coffee and cappuccino. Prices for this wonderful cruise begin at just $2,999 per person, double occupancy, including free round-trip airfare from most gateway cities in the U.S. Click here for further details. Radiant Rhythms of South America: February 27 to March 11, 2016. A deluxe cruise from Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Come with us as we cruise along South America’s east coast, where pulsating rhythms, sublime scenery, and age-old traditions still thrive. On this deluxe voyage we’ll have an opportunity to explore Buenos Aires, an unforgettable city known as the “Paris of South America,” before cruising to our first stop, cosmopolitan Montevideo, Uruguay’s capital, and the surprisingly chic resort town of Punta del Este. Then we’ll continue on to some of Brazil’s most captivating ports of call—charming Rio Grande, quaint Porto Belo, cosmopolitan São Paulo, historic Parati, the unspoiled island of Ilha Grande and the resort town of Buzios. Along the way we’ll discover sparkling beaches, exotic wildlife, fascinating botanical gardens and wonderful colonial Portuguese architecture. Our journey will conclude in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a stunning metropolis surrounded by magnificent mountains and rainforests. From the glamorous boutiques of Buenos Aires to the exotic nature reserves of Brazil, we will experience the radiant rhythms of South America on this alluring 12-night voyage. And all the while you’ll be pampered aboard Oceania Cruises perfectly-sized ship Regatta, with only 684 guests, and the finest cuisine at sea, under the direction of renowned chef Jacques Pepin. Here you’ll find unlimited complimentary soft drinks, bottled water, juice, tea, coffee and cappuccino. Prices for this wonderful cruise begin at just $4,499 per person, double occupancy, including free round-trip airfare from most gateway cities in the U.S. Click here for further details. Journey Through the Amazon River of South America: March 10 to April 2, 2016: A deluxe cruise from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to Miami, Florida, from March 10 to April 2, 2016. Come join your fellow alums as we journey deep into the heart of the Amazon, where the calls of exotic wildlife echo amid verdant forests, and each secluded town offers a glimpse into the fascinating history of this amazing area. We’ll begin with a day in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s stunning metropolis, surrounded by magnificent mountains, before embarking on a unique voyage of discovery aboard Oceania Cruises’ intimate, perfectly sized (only 684 passengers) Regatta. Then we will have the opportunity to experience Recife, often called the "Venice of Brazil," for its winding bridges and waterways, and admire the famous Portuguese-built fort in Macapá, Brazil. Continuing in Brazil, you can relax on Alter do Chão’s blissful white-sand beaches, stroll past wooden stilt-houses in the remote village of Boca da Valeria, behold Manaus’ regal pastel opera house, and explore the floating market at Parintins. Continuing through Brazil, we’ll witness the “Wedding of the Waters” at Santarem, where the deep blue waters of the Tapajós River meet the creamy brown-colored Amazon. Next we will discover the wild, haunting beauty of Devil’s Island, the former site of an infamous French penal colony. And, before concluding our odyssey in Miami, we’ll experience the charms of the sun-kissed Caribbean islands of Barbados, St. Barts, Puerto Rico and the Bahamas. And all the while you’ll be pampered aboard Oceania Cruises perfectly-sized ship Regatta, with only 684 guests, and the finest cuisine at sea, under the direction of renowned chef Jacques Pepin. Here you’ll find unlimited complimentary soft drinks, bottled water, juice, tea, coffee and cappuccino. Prices for this wonderful cruise begin at just $6,499 per person, double occupancy, including free round-trip airfare from most gateway cities in the U.S. Click here for further details. Palms in Paradise, Featuring a Transit of the Panama Canal: April 24 to May 10, 2016: A deluxe cruise from Miami, Florida, to San Francisco, California. Calling all Engineers! Here is a wonderful chance to experience one of the great engineering marvels of the world, aboard a deluxe cruise ship for a full transit of the Panama Canal. Aboard Oceania Cruises perfectly-sized ship Regatta (just 684 passengers), we’ll see palm-studded, emerald landscapes, man-made wonders and majestic colonial architecture as we experience the highlights of Central America sailing from Florida to Colombia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Mexico, before ending in beautiful California. We’ll begin our adventure in Miami, and set sail for Key West, a unique and fascinating town once home to Ernest Hemingway. Then it’s on to behold Cartagena’s enchanting architectural treasures, flower-adorned balconies and glorious 16th-century city walls, before we cruise through the impressive Panama Canal en route to Puntarenas, a gateway to Costa Rica’s breathtaking tropical splendors. If you have never had the chance to see the Canal first-hand, this is a wonderful opportunity to do so – with your fellow alums. From Puntarenas we will savor the idyllic beauty of San Juan del Sur, with its gorgeous cliffs, golden sands and gentle crystalline waters. Then we continue on to Puerto Quetzal, a gateway to the lovely colonial capital of Antigua, followed by a stop at Acapulco, home to magnificent sprawling beaches. And, before concluding our voyage in San Francisco, we can unwind in sun-kissed Cabo San Lucas, the exclusive resort town complete with picture-perfect beaches, trendy restaurants and chic boutiques. And all the while you’ll be pampered aboard Oceania Cruises perfectly-sized ship Regatta, with the finest cuisine at sea, under the direction of renowned chef Jacques Pepin. Here you’ll find unlimited complimentary soft drinks, bottled water, juice, tea, coffee and cappuccino. Prices for this wonderful cruise begin at just $3,299 per person, double occupancy, including free round-trip airfare from most gateway cities in the U.S. Click here for further details. Scandinavian Fortresses & Fjords: A Deluxe Cruise from Copenhagen to London (June 24 – July 15, 2016). Picture yourself at the top of the world, where imposing mountains cradle impressive fjords and multicolored villages cascade down verdant hillsides. From Copenhagen to London, we’ll encounter the natural wonders and charming ports of Scandinavia, Russia and Western Europe on this remarkable 20-night voyage aboard Oceania Cruises’ elegant, perfectly-sized (684 passengers) small cruise ship Nautica. Here we’ll experience the majestic beauty of quaint villages and astounding fjords as you sail to classic Norwegian ports, including Bergen, Alesund, Trondheim, Hammerfest, Kristiansund, Geiranger, Hellesylt and Honningsvåg. During the day we’ll stroll the cobbled streets of picturesque towns, explore historic Viking ports, visit world-famous museums, and admire awe-inspiring, rugged scenery. We will sail to northern Russia and immerse ourselves in the age-old, storied splendors of Murmansk, Archangel and the Solovetsky Islands. Discover the top galleries and museums in Amsterdam, Europe’s dynamic cultural hub, whose ancestors first settled in the US over 400 years ago. Then we’ll travel back in time in 14th-century Bruges, a picture-perfect, lovely Belgian city of gabled buildings and winding, flower-lined canals. From pristine scenery and welcoming villages to breathtaking seascapes and grand ancient churches, endless treasures await on this incredible seafaring adventure. This fantastic journey will conclude in London – the famed city that no one ever tires of. Prices for this outstanding, deluxe cruise begin at $8,399 per person, including airfare from many U.S. cities. Click here for full details. Mediterranean Crossroads: A Deluxe Cruise from Monaco to Barcelona (June 25 – July 3, 2016). From glamorous resorts edged by sparkling blue seas to historic cities studded with fascinating ancient monuments, experience the allure of the Mediterranean as you cruise from world-famous Monaco to France, Italy and Spain aboard Oceania Cruises’ luxurious perfectly-sized (just 1,250 passengers) Riviera. Depart Monte Carlo for Bandol, a charming French resort town known for its designer shops, photogenic marina and superb rosé wine. Explore the ancient streets of Ajaccio, the capital of Corsica, an island of lush pine forests and scenic gorges. Visit Cagliari, Sardinia, offering an alluring mix of Roman ruins, Byzantine churches and lovely botanical gardens, before heading to the island of Mallorca, the largest of the Spanish Balearic Islands. Marvel at Palma’s massive Gothic cathedral and circular castle overlooking the harbor, relax amid the windmill-dotted countryside, or stroll the cobbled streets of Old Palma. Then stop at sun-kissed Ibiza, a holiday hotspot and home of the 16th-century Castle of Ibiza and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Absorb more Spanish culture in Valencia, renowned for its visually impressive City of Arts and Sciences, before concluding your voyage in Barcelona. Prices begin at just $2799 per person. Click here for full details. Autumn in America's Heartland: A Wonderful River Cruise Aboard the American Queen on the Mississippi River from St. Louis to St. Paul (October 2 –10, 2016). Imagine a Mississippi River cruise at the dawn of autumn—a quiet calm lingers in the air as the season’s brilliant palette of colors begins to transform the rolling hills and steep limestone bluffs rising from the riverbanks. We’ll begin our journey in St. Louis, famed for its exciting, eclectic neighborhoods and bold skyline dominated by the iconic Gateway Arch, designed by the famous architect Eero Saarinen. Then we’ll board the American Queen, the largest and most opulent riverboat in the world, and cruise past breathtaking riverbanks on our way to classic ports in Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota. We’ll visit Hannibal, Missouri, the boyhood home of Mark Twain and a source of endless river legends, and take in a three-state view from the gorgeous river bluffs in Dubuque and La Crosse. Before concluding our voyage in St. Paul, Minnesota’s inviting capital city, we will immerse ourselves in the rich Scandinavian heritage and local charms of Red Wing, Minnesota. Traveling by steamboat is a once-in-a-lifetime experience; there is no better way than to do so with your fellow alumni. Come join us! Prices start at just $2,799 per person, double occupancy (airfare is additional). Click here for full details. Cuban Discovery (October 8 – 16, 2016): Join us for a unique opportunity to see first-hand this nearby Caribbean island that has for so long been off limits to US travelers. Cuba— historically significant, culturally diverse, and environmentally magnificent --- and just 90 miles away from the U.S. For over fifty years it has been somewhat of a mystery, perceived through secondhand sources and beyond the grasp of most American travelers. Now, as Cuba and the U.S. have begun to re-establish diplomatic relations, this is the perfect time for us to be able to experience first-hand this long-isolated nation on the verge of a great transformation. This extraordinary people-to-people exchange has been especially designed to reveal the authentic spirit and culture of Cuba—where 1950s-era automobiles still roll past magnificent Spanish colonial buildings. Together we’ll encounter the true heart and soul of this colorful country by engaging with the diverse, inspiring people who call it home. From artists and educators to students and entrepreneurs, we will have an opportunity to connect with a variety of citizens who will help us gain a real insight into Cuba’s intriguing past and present. Throughout this week-long journey, we’ll explore the island first-hand, with an insider’s access to unique cultural experiences and off-the-beaten-path sites not found on the typical tourist’s itinerary. Whether visiting a private artist studio in lively Havana, the remote eco-village of Las Terrazas, or the beautifully preserved colonial cities of Trinidad and Cienfuegos, each destination will spark meaningful memories that will last a lifetime. Finally, a personal note: My wife and I were in Cuba just over a year ago, and I can heartily recommend it to you. It is a fascinating destination, with wonderful people who are resourceful, friendly and very welcoming. Prices begin at $5399 per person. Click here for full details. Stars and Shores of the Mediterranean: A Deluxe Cruise from Monte Carlo to Venice (October 21 – November 1, 2016). From the legendary Italian cities of Florence and Rome to the picture perfect, storied islands of Sicily and Corfu, this cruise will offer us a wonderful opportunity to experience the stars of the Mediterranean on a luxury cruise aboard Oceania Cruise Lines majestic, 1,250-passenger ship Marina. We’ll depart Monte Carlo for the port of Livorno, a jumping-off point for adventures in beautiful Tuscany, Florence or Pisa. This wonderful trip, perfectly timed to take us there after the summer crowds have left, offers ample opportunities to behold Rome’s timeless attractions, stroll the cobbled streets of Sorrento, and explore Taormina’s Greek ruins and modern boutiques. We’ll discover the quaint villages and olive trees that dot Corfu’s emerald landscape, and stop at Montenegro’s port of Kotor, an intriguing coastal town backed by mist-shrouded mountains. Later on we can admire the ancient Roman palace at Split, Croatia’s jewel along the Adriatic Sea, and delight in the age-old atmosphere and grand architecture of Koper, home to the largest cathedral in Slovenia. Finally, we’ll conclude our journey in enchanting and romantic Venice, a magical city laced with delicate bridges and captivating canals parted by gondolas. Prices begin at $3,899 per person, including round-trip airfare from many US cities. Click here for full details. 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.