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. These are the 2017 Programs... England’s Castles, Cottages and Countryside – the Cotswolds (June 22 - July 2, 2017): The English countryside is among the most beautiful in the world, and this is a perfect opportunity to explore this beautiful area with our fellow alums. Join us as we spend three nights in Canterbury at the first-class HotelABode Canterbury, four nights in Broadway at the world-renowned Lygon Arms hotel, and finally two nights in London at the first-class Radisson Blu Edwardian Vanderbilt hotel. We’ll begin our journey in Canterbury, where we travel back in time to a medieval England setting when twenty-nine pilgrims meet at the Tabard Inn before beginning their journey to Canterbury, home to the spiritual head of the Church of England for nearly 500 years. Visit the Canterbury Cathedral. See its remarkable stained-glass windows and admire the cathedral’s Romanesque and Gothic features that date back to A.D. 587. Then we continue to Leeds Castle near the village of Maidstone. Originally built by Robert de Crevecoeur as a Norman stronghold in 1119, the palace has since been owned by a handful of monarchs and six queens of England. The property was also a favorite retreat of Henry VIII and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. Then we head for the coast where the enthralling White Cliffs of Dover overlook the English Channel. The sweeping cliffs reach up to 300 feet high and stretch for 10 miles along the coast to Dover. Located at the narrowest part of the English Channel, the White Cliffs have met the challenge of many invasion attempts, including Julius Caesar's foray in 55 B.C. We continue on to Dover Castle and experience a World War II hospital atmosphere at the Underground Hospital. En route to the storied village of Broadway, we’ll visit Chartwell, home of Sir Winston Churchill and his wife. Originally from the Tudor times, Chartwell is a picture of life from when Churchill, and his family lived there, with many of their belongings, photographs and books still in the home. From here we’ll explore the genteel villages peppering the quaint English county landscape that is the Cotswolds. We’ll drive through a patchwork of pastures and sleepy hamlets, including Burton-on-the-Water, known as the Venice of the Cotswolds, and continue on to Stow-on-the-Wold, a village designed with a network of tight, narrow lanes which allowed for easy shepherding during the wool trade era. We will also have an opportunity to visit Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Winston Churchill at the UNESCO World Heritage Site. In Oxford we’ll see the oldest university in the English-speaking world (began before RPI!). Four British kings, 47 Nobel Prize winners, one pope and a potpourri of other notable students have graduated from Oxford. If you like you can join an elective excursion to Stratford-upon-Avon to discover the house where William Shakespeare grew up before becoming the world's greatest dramatist. This excursion includes transportation to/from Stratford-upon-Avon. Then, en route to London, we’ll see the changing of the guard at Windsor Castle. In London, we’ll enjoy a full day of leisure in London, where the opportunities to explore are virtually endless. Prices for this wonderful English holiday begin at just $3,995 per person. Click here for more details and booking information. A complete two-week circumnavigation of the British Isles, including three stops in Ireland, (July 31 – August 13, 2017): This is a unique opportunity to experience the British Isles as few travelers do, aboard Oceania Cruises luxury ocean-liner Marina, a delightful ship with just 1250 passengers, sailing round-trip from Southampton around the British Isles. Ports of call include Portland, Cork, Holyhead, Dublin, Glasgow, Invergordon, Edinburgh, and Newcastle. We’ll begin in Newcastle (Tyne), England, a city set astride the River Tyne, united by seven bridges, Newcastle exudes urban sophistication and celebrates its fascinating heritage in the graceful Central Arcade and charming Grainger Town. Then we head north to Scotland, where we call first at Edinburgh (New Haven), where perched atop the craggy Castle Rock and crowning the city is Edinburgh Castle, Scotland’s prize of history and beauty. The dignified capital’s finer details lie in its trove of brick-paved streets, intimate squares, and maze-like alleyways along the Royal Mile. Further north, we call at Invergordon, known for its rich naval history. Invergordon is the gateway to the Scottish Highlands — widely recognized as one of Europe’s most stunning landscapes. Draped with soaring forested mountains and dotted with local clan castles, this breathtaking region never fails to amaze. Then, sailing west around the “top” of Scotland we head for Glasgow (Greenock), Britain’s former industrial powerhouse, which is today a dynamic, down-to-earth metropolis where history, culture, and sophistication meet in spectacular fashion. On the banks of the mighty River Clyde, Scotland’s largest city is sprinkled with world-class museums and art galleries. From here we set sail for Liverpool, back in England, a city that has recast itself into a vibrant, up-and-coming destination. Famous, of course, as the city which launched the Beatles, the city offers eye-catching cathedrals and galleries, including the Walker Art Gallery and Tate Liverpool. Next we call at Dublin, Ireland, a cosmopolitan city that packs character and wonder into its neatly lined rows of Georgian buildings, gleaming edifices, quaint cobblestone streets, Victorian pubs, and the stately buildings of Trinity College and Dublin Castle. Leaving Ireland (briefly) we sail to Holyhead, Wales, situated on the craggy coast of Holy Island. Holyhead occupies an area that dates back to prehistoric times. This bustling ferry port is renowned as a jumping-off point to explore the exquisite Welsh countryside and its charming towns, farms, and imposing castles. Then it’s back to Ireland for a visit to Cork (Cobh), sprawled about the River Lee and intertwined by bridges, the Cork’s city center is paved with 17th-century alleyways leading to iconic sites,such as St. Anne’s Church and the Old City Gaol. Finally, before we head back to Southampton, we’ll stop at Portland, England, straddled by the pebbled Chesil Beach and situated in the heart of England’s dramatic Jurassic Coast. The “isle” of Portland boasts scenic cliffs, rare plants, and rich wildlife. More than a setting of unparalleled natural beauty, it is also a gateway to the lovely Dorset countryside. This is a unique journey on a perfectly-sized (just 1250 passengers) ship, with wonderful, personal service and truly outstanding cuisine. Prices begin at just $5,999 per person, based on two people traveling together and sharing a double room. Click here for more information. A week in Scotland – Great Britain’s northernmost country – (August 1 – 9, 2017): Here is a perfect opportunity to see a part of Great Britain that is a bit less-traveled, but spectacularly rugged and beautiful. From its deep glacial lakes shrouded in mist, to the beautiful highland hills, Scotland’s legendary landscape has historically been the stage for epic adventures. For centuries an intricate blend of Celtic, Norse and Norman cultures have intermingled like the weave of a tartan plaid to fashion colorful seaside towns and fairy-tale castles. On this trip we’ll discover the very best of Scotland by walking in the footsteps of Bonnie Prince Charlie, and leaving our own along the Bonnie, Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond. Highlights of our trip will include the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, a matchless spectacle performed on the Esplanade of Edinburgh Castle; this is not to be missed! We’ll also board a steamship for a cruise on Loch Katrine, made famous in Scott’s narrative poem “Lady of the Lake.” And we’ll be treated to a visit to Scone Palace, where the kings of Scotland were crowned, home of the famous Stone of Scone (the Stone of Destiny). Finally, no visit to Scotland would be complete without a visit to St. Andrews, the birthplace of golf, where we’ll tour the famous St. Andrews Cathedral. This is a wonderfully fascinating trip, which is priced from just $2,995 per person. Click here for more details and booking information. A Portrait of Ireland – Dublin, Belfast, Donegal, and Mayo (August 21 – September 1, 2017): Join us as we discover Irish history and culture as we travel the breadth of the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland, staying in vibrant Dublin, historic Belfast, coastal Donegal and verdant county Mayo. We’ll begin with a three-night stay at The Westbury Hotel in Dublin, Ireland’s cosmopolitan capital, which has undergone a recent incredible economic resurgence. We’ll have an ample opportunity to visit Dublin’s treasured sites, its Georgian architecture, Trinity College, where we’ll see the famed Book of Kells, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. We’ll stroll down Grafton Street, and, at day’s end, relax with a Guinness in one of Dublin’s storied pubs. Then, as we make our way north, at the Bend of the Boyne River, we’ll stop at Newgrange, a prehistoric monument older than Stonehenge. When we arrive in Northern Ireland well discover the history of Belfast, and learn first-hand about “The Troubles,” the decades-long struggle between the Catholics and Protestants of Northern Ireland. And, of course, Belfast was where the unsinkable Titanic was built; we’ll visit an interpretation center to learn all about the ship and its construction, and tragic sinking. Next we drive along the Giant’s Causeway, and visit the Old Bushmill’s Distillery, which has been making Irish whiskey since 1784. We’ll take a cruise around Donegal Bay, and visit the grave of W.B. Yeats, the great Irish poet. This is a wonderful opportunity see Ireland in depth, with our fellow alums. And it’s priced right, at just $3,995 per person. Click here for more details and booking information. The Italian Lakes: Four nights in Cernobbio overlooking the magical Lake Como, and three nights in romantic Venice (September 7 – 15, 2017): Como • Bellagio • Maggiore • Verona • Venice. If ever there is a slightly-less-traveled but unbelievably beautiful part of Europe, the Italian Lakes region is surely it. This seven night alumni trip affords us a wonderful opportunity to tour this incredible area, beginning with four nights in the charming Hotel Regina Olga, overlooking Lake Como – one of the gems of Italy’s magical Lake Region. We’ll be treated to a private boat cruise across Lake Como, to medieval Bellagio (the most famous village on Lake Como) and the stunning 18th-century Villa del Balbianello and gardens, owned and maintained by the Italian National Trust. On Lake Maggiore we’ll spend a full day touring, including a private cruise to the beautiful Borromean Islands. And we’ll also visit the ancient Roman city of Verona, where we’ll see the legendary balcony of Shakespeare’s Juliet. And in Venice, a city like no other on earth, we’ll enjoy a guided tour of Venice’s renowned Gallerie dell’Accademia, and experience the vivacity of the Piazza San Marco, the social, religious and political center of Venice. It is no exaggeration to say that every day in Italy is a feast for all the senses. There is truly something magical here, and this specially designed alumni trip is the perfect opportunity to experience the charm of this wonderful country first hand. Prices for this wonderful northern Italian holiday begin at just $3,495 per person, based on two people traveling together and sharing a double room. Click here for more information. The Pearls of Italy, featuring twelve days in the Lake District, Venice, Florence, Tuscany and Rome (September 30 – October 11, 2017): It is no exaggeration to say that Italy is a tourist’s delight; nearly everything about the country conspires to provide the perfect holiday. And on this trip we can lose ourselves in a captivating journey through Italy’s most scenic areas and its most alluring cities. We’ll travel across northern Italy, to marvel at the spectacular blue glacial lakes nestled in the foothills of the Alps. Here we’ll visit the Villa Balbianello, an 18th century villa overlooking Lake Como. And we’ll take a cruise across the lake to Bellagio, where we’ll have a private tour. From this area it’s just a short hop into Switzerland, where we’ll be treated to a stop in Lugano, arguably the best of all worlds (Swiss efficiency and Italian charm). Next we stop in Verona, the city in which Shakespeare set “Romeo and Juliet.” And we’ll flirt with the seductive city of Venice, whose legacy as a powerful maritime republic shines through it spectacular architecture. See St. Mark’s Square, the Campanile and the Doge’s Palace. And by all means go for a gondola ride – simply wonderful. From there we’ll head south on the high-speed train to Tuscany (under the Tuscan sun) where the golden age of the Renaissance was born. Spend time in Florence, famous for so many artists’ works. We’ll also discover a bit of Umbria, in the Italian heartland. And then, as we all know, all roads lead to Rome, where our incredible Italian experience concludes. There is so much to see in Italy, and this is the perfect opportunity to get a real taste of Italy. Prices begin at just $4,495 per person. Click here for more details and booking information. Ancient Empires, a Voyage from Rome to Malta (October 7 – 15, 2017): Rome • Naples • Isle of Capri • Amalfi • Sicily • Malta. Have you ever been to Malta? Probably not --- few of us have, but it is a great tourist destination, a little off the beaten path but perfectly situated in the Mediterranean Sea just 50 miles south of Sicily. It is covers just over 120 square miles, with a population of less than half a million, making it one of the world's smallest and most densely populated countries. Its capital of Valletta is the smallest national capital in the European Union. It’s location has historically given it great strategic importance as a naval base, and a succession of powers, including the Phoenicians, Romans, Moors, Normans, Sicilians, Spanish, Knights of St. John, French and British, have all ruled this unique country. The country played such an important role in World War II that the English King George VI awarded the George Cross to Malta in 1942, the only country in the world to be so honored and the George Cross continues to appear on Malta's national flag. So much for Malta – arguably the most “off-the-beaten-path” destination on this wonderful trip. We’ll begin in the Eternal City of Rome, where we embark our deluxe small ship – just 36 stylishly-appointed ocean-view cabins and head to the port of Naples, where we’ll have an opportunity to spend time visiting the awe-inspiring ruins at Pompeii. Then it’s off to the famed Isle of Capri (as beautiful as you imagine), and the beautiful Amalfi coast, before we cruise past Stromboli, an active volcano that serves as a ship’s beacon at night, en route to three ports in Sicily. We’ll visit Taormina, Syracuse, and Agrigento as jumping off points to the many wonders of this special island. And then, sailing away from Porto Empedocle, our last stop in Sicily, we travel the short distance to Malta, and a truly unforgettable experience. Prices for this extra-special cruise begin at just $5,695 per person, based on two people traveling together and sharing a double room. Click here for more information. Mediterranean Radiance, a 9-night luxury cruise from Rome to Monte Carlo (October 7 - 17, 2017): Join us for a wonderful cruise aboard Oceania Cruise Lines elegant mid-sized ship (catering to just 1,250 guests) Riviera as we sail from Rome to Monte Carlo, stopping along the way at so many of the Mediterranean spots where the ”beautiful people” relax on their holidays. Rome, Florence, Pisa, Tuscany, Portofino, St. Tropez, Barcelona, and Monte Carlo --- these are just some of the cities that we’ll visit on this wonderful 9-night cruise. We’ll set sail first from Rome, the Eternal City, whose history has influenced so much of the Western world. In fact, you have not yet been, by all means go a few days early and spend time here before the ship sails. You’ll be glad that you did. Then, from the port of Rome (Civitavecchia) we’ll set sail for Livorno, gateway to the Tuscany area where well have a chance to visit Florence (with its incredible art galleries and museums), Pisa (a charming town with the famous leaning tower), and the entire Tuscany region – arguably among the most beautiful in all of Italy. From here we head to the “glamorous” ports of Portofino (Italy) and St. Tropez (France), wonderful Mediterranean resorts. Leaving France, our ship sets sail for Spain, and the four wonderful cities of Palamos (on the Costa Brava), Barcelona (where you will surely want to return), Valencia (on Spain’s southeastern Orange Blossom Coast), and finally Mahon, on the Balearic island of Minorca, famed for its pristine beaches and wonderful Georgian architecture. From Spain we head back to France, and the very cosmopolitan city of Marseille, gateway to Provence in the south of France, before our cruise concludes in Monte Carlo, with its famed casino, spectacular harbor filled with incredible yachts, and breathtaking scenery at every turn. If you have not traveled in this part of the Mediterranean you won’t want to miss the wonderful opportunity to cruise with your fellow alums. Prices begin at just $3,299 per person, based on two people traveling together and sharing a double room. Click here for more information. Pearls of Southeast Asia - Cruise from Hong Kong to Saigon aboard our exclusively chartered Five-Star Small Ship m.s. L’Austral (October 18 to 28, 2017) This exclusive nine-night cruise from the spectacular harbor of Hong Kong, “Crossroads of the East,” to vibrant Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) aboard our exclusively chartered Five-Star, small ship, m.s. L’Austral, showcases Southeast Asia’s most intriguing destinations, the fascinating treasures of Vietnam—from serene rice paddies to mystical ancient pagodas and bustling sampan-filled harbors—and three UNESCO World Heritage sites. Tour Hanoi, Vietnam’s dynamic capital and a romantic blend of old Asian and French heritage. Cruise along the majestic shores of Ha Long Bay. Visit the Forbidden Purple City in the former imperial city of Hue. Admire the Japanese-style covered bridge and the intricately carved Assembly Hall in ancient Hoi An. Discover the mystique of ancient customs and colorful traditions juxtaposed with modernity. From $7195 including air from Los Angeles. Round-trip economy-class air from Los Angeles is included. Complimentary alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages are served throughout the cruise. A Hong Kong Pre-Cruise Option and an Angkor Wat Post-Cruise are also offered. *Air included from Los Angeles has limited availability and is not guaranteed. For more detailed information, click here. The Trade Routes of Coastal Iberia, a cruise from (October 23 – 31, 2017): Barcelona • Palma de Mallorca • Valencia •Granada • Gibraltar • Seville • Portimao • Lisbon Join us on this exclusively chartered new five-star small ship (launched in 2015) for a unique luxury cruise along the coast of Spain and Portugal, including a call at the world-famous “Rock of Gibraltar.” We’ll begin in Barcelona (if you have never been, by all means go a few days early; Barcelona is one of the great cities of the world, not to be missed. (If you were an Architect or Building Sciences major, you really have to go! Trust me.) Barcelona will amaze you at every turn and at every block; Antoni Gaudi’s buildings and parks are never-to-be-forgotten. From Barcelona we’ll sail to the well-known resort of Palma de Mallorca, with its medieval Old City, and then to the port of Valencia, the “City of Arts & Sciences,” including a visit to the Silk Exchange, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Then, before we stop at Gibraltar, the unique British Crown Colony, and worldwide symbol of strength, our ship will call at the port of Almeria, gateway to Granada, home to the exquisite Alhambra – not to be missed. Next, after leaving Gibraltar, our small ship will cruise up the beautiful Guadalquivir River into the heart of Seville – off limits to larger ships. Seville lies in the heart of the Andalusia region, and is a hotbed of the flamenco dance, as well as the ornate and world-famous Alcazar castle complex. Then it’s back down the river as we leave Spain for Portimao, on the Algarve region in Portugal. Our last short sail takes us to Lisbon, where we disembark our ship. This delightful cruise is the ideal way to visit southern Spain and Portugal, and is an excellent value. Prices begin at just $4,295 per person, based on two people traveling together and sharing a double room. Click here for more information. South African Explorer – Cruise along the coast of this amazing country, with eight ports of call (December 5 – 21, 2017): Join us on this once-in-a-lifetime trip to one of the most fascinating destinations on earth. We’ll spend 15 nights aboard Oceania Cruises Nautica, cruising from Cape Town to seven other ports, including Mossel Bay, with its endless string of beaches and more than 300 days of sunshine every year make this a popular holiday hotspot and magnet for surfers. The town’s Dias Museum offers unique insight into local maritime history as well as a full-size replica of the famed ship, Dias Caravel. Then it’s on to Richards Bay, once a sleepy fishing village, and now the thriving economic hub of Northern KwaZulu-Natal. Beneath its bustling, industrial veneer, South Africa’s largest harbor town offers scenic wetlands, unspoiled beaches, and a gateway to Zululand, one of Sub-Saharan Africa’s most fascinating kingdoms. Next stop: Maputo (Mozambique) a city intent on recapturing its former glamour as the Pearl of the Indian Ocean. Once again attracting the rich and famous. Acacia-lined avenues and a lively waterfront that draw in visitors from around the world, while tales of the city’s poignant colonial history can be found in local museums. From here we head to Durban, where South Africa’s British colonial architecture is in abundance. And yet its natural beauty is what characterizes this delightful city on the Indian Ocean. The Golden Mile beach area attracts sunbathers, of course, but also shoppers and those who just enjoy strolling along the promenade. Then in East London, the nation’s only port on a river, we’ll visit the Juma Masjid, the largest mosque in the Southern hemisphere. East London stretches along the banks of the Buffalo River, and is revered for its unspoiled beaches. Although its links to England are apparent, East London still bears a distinct South African ambience. Then we sail to Port Elizabeth, often described as ”the friendly city.” P.E.— as it’s known by the locals —may be small in size but boasts beautiful beaches and an authentic charm. Central, the old town, is home to well-preserved historic buildings and Parliament Street. Our next stop is Walvis Bay, in Namibia, on Africa’s Southwest Atlantic coast. On the edge of the great Namib Desert and home to an astounding natural lagoon, Walvis Bay claims a resplendent natural backdrop as well as the finest harbor on the Namib coast. Just outside of town is Dune 7, a towering sand dune that rewards climbers with spectacular panoramas. And finally we head back to Cape Town, located at the foot of majestic Table Mountain, which is itself a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Cape Town is a breathtakingly beautiful city famed for its astounding landscape, historic landmarks, and handsome Cape Dutch architecture. This is truly an amazing journey on a perfectly-sized (just 684 passengers) ship, with outstanding service and truly outstanding cuisine. Prices begin at just $5,699 per person, based on two people traveling together and sharing a double room. Click here for more information. ... and these are the first programs for 2018: Passage thru the Panama Canal & Costa Rica – A deluxe cruise from Panama City (Panama) to San Jose (Costa Rica), including a full transit of the Panama Canal (February 3 – 11, 2018). Few experiences can match one of the world’s most dramatic voyages, a cruise from the Atlantic to the Pacific through one of the greatest man-made wonders of the world, the ingenious Panama Canal. Having celebrated its centennial anniversary just three years ago and the completion of a monumental expansion doubling its capacity last year, this marvel of engineering and 50-mile passage through the narrow Isthmus of Panama continues to astonish even today’s most veteran traveler. During a specially arranged daylight transit, we’ll experience firsthand the mighty locks that raise and lower oceangoing vessels 85 feet and using no other power than the force of gravity, accomplishing in mere hours what would have taken a three‑week circumnavigation of South America in years gone by. On this comprehensive itinerary, explore the heart of Panama City’s UNESCO World Heritage-designated Casco Antiguo—the city’s old town—and tour acclaimed architect Frank Gehry’s only design in Latin America, Panama City’s Biodiversity Museum. Visit Panama’s ancient San Blas Islands, where the Guna Indians live much as they did centuries ago. Experience one of our planet’s most pristine ecosystems in the rainforests, islands and archipelagos of Panama and Costa Rica. This spectacular offering features the exclusively chartered, Five-Star, all-Suite STAR BREEZE, re-launched in 2015 by an award‑winning cruise line after an expansive, $8.5 million refurbishment. This sophisticated small ship features only 106 suites, six with a private furnished veranda and 36 with a private French-style balcony— ideal for our own secluded viewing of the daylight passage through the Panama Canal. We’ll dock in small ports of call inaccessible to larger vessels and enjoy the advantages of Five-Star small ship cruising—casually elegant ocean-view accommodations, an exclusive itinerary carefully crafted with enriching excursions led by experienced onboard naturalists and no waiting in long lines. Prices begin at just $4,995 per person, and include all shore-excursions among many other extras. Click here for full details. River Life along the world-famous Dutch waterways – A legendary river and canal cruise from Amsterdam (Holland) to Ghent (Belgium) aboard the M/S Amadeus Brilliant (April 18 - 26, 2018). This legendary one-week cruise program has been operating for thirty years and still sells out year after year. We’ll begin in what is arguably one of the most wonderful cities in Europe, Holland’s capital of Amsterdam, filled with fascinating sites, wonderful restaurants, and warm, friendly people who speak English fluently. Sailing from Amsterdam, our trip includes a walking tour of the charming former Dutch Golden Age trading town of Hoorn, made famous during the 17th-Century era of the Dutch East India Company (whose spin-off, the Dutch West India Company, founded New York City in 1624). Then we’ll cruise through the village of Giethoorn, widely regarded as the most picturesque village in all of The Netherlands. And then, what most think is the highlight of the entire trip, we’ll enjoy an excursion to the absolutely magnificent Keukenhof Gardens, known as the “Garden of Europe,” during the best time of the year, to see the world’s largest and most colorful display of spring flowers in bloom. Don’t forget your camera – the spectacle of the acres and acres of flowers are simply amazing. And we’ll also have a chance to walk through the former Hanseatic League city of Kampen, as well as the 2,000-year-old city of Nijmgen, which was first granteds city status by the Romans in the year AD 104. There is so much more included in this wonderful trip, including a city tour of Antwerp with its famous Cathedral of our lady, with its three Peter Paul Rubens’ masterpieces, a visit to the World War II American Military Cemetery in Margraten, a walking tour of Ghent, and a day in the absolutely magical city of Bruges, a UNESCO World Heritage site. I traveled on this tour, with four or five fellow alumni, and I highly recommend it. If you have never cruised through Europe before, this is the perfect trip for you. Prices begin at just $2,995 per person, and include all shore excursions, among many other extras. Click here for full details. The Great Journey through Europe, a spectacular Rhine River cruise from Amsterdam, Holland to Basel, Switzerland, followed by four days in Switzerland’s most beautiful Alpine area (June 13 - 23, 2018). If you have always wanted to cruise down the majestic Rhine River, or if you have always wanted to spend a few days in what is perhaps the most majestic scenery available in Europe, this is the perfect trip. And I speak with experience: my wife and I traveled on this exact trip in 2016, and I can honestly report that it was one of the best trips we have ever taken. Starting in Amsterdam, you’ll board the deluxe river boat M/S Amadeus Silver II, for a journey down the mighty Rhine River that includes stops in such storied cities as Cologne (with its world-famous cathedral), Koblenz (where we’ll visit the medieval town of Rudesheim for a private wine tasting), Heidelberg (home to the world-famous hilltop castle – a real treat), and picture-perfect Strasbourg, a city that has at times found itself ruled alternately by the French and the Germans. Then we’ll disembark in the beautiful city of Berne, for an absolutely beautiful one day motorcoach-trip through Berne, the Swiss capital city, beautiful Interlaken, nestled among the mountains, and the absolutely picture-perfect city of Lucerne, on the shores of Lake Lucerne, surrounded by the Swiss Alps. If ever there is a picture-perfect-postcard city, Lucerne is it. And from there we’ll travel to the lovely town of Andermatt, where we’ll board the world-famous Glacier Express train to the magical Alpine town of Zermatt, and an excursion to Gornergrat for a high altitude view of the Matterhorn. All in all this is a trip you will never forget. Each day is just more spectacular than the last. Prices for the extraordinary trip begin at just $4,595 per person, and include not only the deluxe river cruise, but a ride on the famous Glacier Express train, a day-long coach ride through the Alps, and a spectacular time in the Alpine village of Zermatt. This is one trip you do not want to miss! Click here for full details. Symphony on the Blue Danube – A three-night stay in beautiful Prague (Czech Republic), followed by a five-night river cruise on the famed Blue Danube (from Passau (Germany) to Budapest (Hungary) aboard the exclusively chartered M/S Amadeus Brilliant (September 5 - 14, 2018). Who hasn’t heard of the famed “Blue Danube Waltz,” and fantasized about taking a cruise on that river? Here is the perfect opportunity to join your fellow alums on a wonderful custom-designed, ten-day journey, showcasing the musical heritage of the European masters. We’ll spend five nights on the beautiful blue Danube, as we cruise through the scenic Wachau Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Our trip begins with three nights in historic Prague, at the deluxe InterContinental Hotel. Here there will be lots of time to explore this very special city, with its historic Old Town and world-famous Jewish Quarter. We’ll also have a chance to visit the magnificent Hradcany Castle and the adjacent St. Vitus Cathedral, and be treated to a private guided tour of the Lobkowicz Palace to include a classical music concert. From Prague, we will transfer to Passau, Germany, for a walking tour of this charming town with its historic Old Town and the 12th-century St. Stephan’s Cathedral. After lunch, we’ll board our river cruise ship headed to Budapest with port calls at Melk, Durnstein, Vienna, and Bratislava, before arriving in Budapest. (Travel Director’s note: we were in Prague, Bratislava and Budapest a couple of years ago and highly recommend this trip. If you have been to the more common tourist destinations, such as London, Paris, and Rome, this is a perfect opportunity to see in-depth a historic, especially beautiful part of Europe.) En route, we’ll cruise through the scenic Wachau Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and on to our final destination in Budapest. Every step of the way you’ll find history at your fingertips, traveling through this historic and very special part of Europe. Prices for this amazing trip begin at just $3,795 per person. Click here for full details. Town & Country Life in Languedoc (France) – Nine days in this historic region of southern France, featuring four nights in the beautiful town of Albi, and four nights in charming Floure, located near the historic walled city of Carcassonne (October 5 - 14, 2018). What could be better than spending a week in beautiful southern France? This storied historic region of Languedoc-Roussillon is located on the Mediterranean Sea, just west of the more well-known (and much more crowded) area of Provence. On this wonderful, relaxed trip we’ll have a unique opportunity to experience three UNESCO World Heritage sites: the medieval walled city of Carcassonne; the charming town of Albi, once a stronghold of the Cathars; and a cruise on the tranquil and beautiful Canal du Midi. Also included are a tour of the acclaimed Toulouse-Lautrec museum, located in the 13th century Berbie Palace, which contains the world’s largest collection of the famed artist’s works, and a full-day excursion to the historical town of Gaillac to visit the St. Michel Abbey, and the spectacular city of Cordes-sur-Ciel, perched high atop the Midi-Pyrenees, and believed to be the most picturesque village in all of France. Although I have never been to Cordes-sur-Ciel, I have had the opportunity to walk through the walled city of Carcassonne, and it is truly a site not to be missed. Included in our tour are visits to the Romanesque-Gothic Basilica of Saints Nazarius and Celsus, with stained glass windows dating back to the 13th century, and a tour through the archaeological museum of the Chateau Comtal, a former Cathar castle. Another outstanding feature of this trip is a cruise aboard a traditional flat-bottomed boat on the absolutely exquisite grand 17th century Canal du Midi, another UNESCO World Heritage site. This leisurely-paced tour is truly a delight at every turn, and will certainly engender memories that will last a lifetime. Prices for this absolutely delightful “long week” in southern France begin at just $3,795 per person. 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.