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Travel Programs

The Story of India

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November 6 - 21, 2019

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Hosts: Glen Johnson, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Vassar College; Sipra Johnson, Associate Professor Emerita of Anthropology, SUNY New Paltz

Discover the richness and diversity of India’s history and culture on this once-in-a-lifetime tour designed by and for Glen and Sipra Johnson. Experience the urban bustle of Delhi and then travel off the beaten path to explore sacred temples, ancient trading centers, and even a camel fair on the edge of the Thar Desert! 

Cost: $6,845 per person based on double occupancy; $1,995 single room supplement

Tour provided by Immersion Journeys (917) 686-2620.

Island Life in Ancient Greece

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November 7 - 15, 2019

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This tour is now SOLD OUT. 

Host: Rachel Kitzinger, Professor Emertia of Greek and Roman Studies

Join Professor Rachel Kitzinger on a nine-day Aegean odyssey round trip from Athens, Greece, aboard the Five-Star small ship Le Bougainville to visit Meteora, Delos, Mykonos, Patmos, Rhodes, Santorini, Mycenae and Epidaurus - islands steeped in myth and history. Athens pre-cruise and ancient Olympia post-cruise options are also available.

Cost: Cabin categories range from $4,695 to $11,595. Single cabin categories are limited. Please call Gohagan & Co. for availability.

Tour provided by Thomas P. Gohagan & Co.

Mexico Today: An Exploration through Material, Expressive & Culinary Cultures

January 14 - 23, 2020

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Hosts: Colleen Ballerino Cohen, Professor of Anthropology and Women's Studies, and Leslie Offutt, Associate Professor of Latin American History

Colleen and Leslie have drawn upon their deep familiarity with Mexican history and culture to design this itinerary which delves into the artistic, cultural and culinary wealth, diversity, and vibrancy of contemporary Mexico. Begin in Mexico City to experience museums and the city's historical center, attend a performance of the Ballet Folklorico, cruise along the floating canals of Xochimilco, and participate in a food tour of the San Juan Market. Two days in the colonial city of Puebla will include touring a talavera tile factory and extraordinary Baroque churches, and sampling the local cuisine. Then it's on to Oaxaca to meet with local artists, visit workshops that produce traditional textiles and wood carvings, and tour the archeological sites of Monte Alban and Mitla.  Throughout the journey, you'll sample extraordinary regional cuisines (and have a cooking class with the owner of one of Oaxaca's most well-known restaurants) and enjoy lectures by Colleen and Leslie. 

Cost: $4,695 per person, double occupancy, plus airfare.  Single supplement is $495.

Tour provided by International Seminar Design, Inc. (202) 244-1448.

Iceland - The Land of Fire and Ice

February 14 - 19, 2020

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Host:  Colette Salyk, Assistant Professor of Astronomy

Once again, Vassar travelers are invited to experience the wonders of Iceland on this five-day getaway.  Iceland is a country full of contrasts! From steamy hot springs to top-notch spas, spectacular scenery to art museums, this unique land is the perfect place to relax, recharge, and explore. On this exciting getaway, we will experience the best of both the city life and the countryside. We will start with two nights in Borgarnes to explore lush valleys, a black volcanic beach, lava fields, and picturesque fishing villages (and hopefully catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights). Then we will drive south to the capital city of Reykjavik to experience its vibrant culture and learn about the region’s Viking heritage. You'll have free time to explore the sights and museums around the city or take an optional excursion to go on a whale watch or ride an Icelandic horse.

Cost:  $2,860 per person (double occupancy), including airfare from New York City or Boston. Airfares are available from many other cities; please call Discover Europe for details. Land only price is $2,210. Single supplement is $550.

Tour provided by Discover Europe:  (603) 563-7077

Vietnam Explored: A Journey Through Its History and Culture

March 9 - 17, 2020

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Hosts: Robert K. Brigham, the Shirley Ecker Boskey Professor of History and International Relations, and Monica Church, Advisor to PHOCUS and the Baldeck Photographic Center.

Vietnam is known as a land of incredible beauty with dramatic landscapes and a fascinating history. Our Vassar hosts will take us on an exploration of a country they know extremely well. Time in Hanoi allows us to take in the city’s colorful Old Quarter, its historical highlights, and its many museums. We will meet the people primarily responsible for Vietnam’s remarkable transformation into one of the most dynamic countries in Asia. A morning flight takes us to Hue, the last imperial capital of Vietnam. We will enjoy a boatride in Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its majestic karst limestone mountains jutting out of the water. We next fly to Da Nang in Central Vietnam. A short drive takes us along the famous China Beach en route to Hoi An, another UNESCO World Heritage site, with its eclectic mix of architecture showcasing old houses in French, Chinese and Japanese styles, all of which miraculously escaped the ravages of war. We end the trip in bustling Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), a mix of old and new that makes the perfect bookend for the journey.

Professor Brigham's area of scholarship is the Vietnam War and he will offer lectures throughout the tour, as well as specially arranged meetings with diplomats, writers, and artists. Sites such as the "Hanoi Hilton" and the War Remnants Museum and Reunification Palace will be visited. Using his recently discovered father's combat photos (U.S. Marine Corps Sargent Bruce Allen Atwell), Professor Brigham will help us to understand the 1968 Tet Offensive in Hue, the week of the most intense urban fighting during the entire war. 

Optional post-tour extension to Cambodia begins with the capital city of Phnom Penh. Once the “Pearl of Asia,” Phnom Penh’s glory was tarnished by the impact of war and revolution. But the city has since risen from the ashes to take its place among the emerging capitals of the region. Upon arrival we will drive to the site of Cheoung Ek, known to the world as the Killing Fields, where the Khmer Rouge executed over one million people. Today, a Buddhist stupa commemorates those who perished here. We will continue our journey in Siem Reap, home to one of Indochina’s most magnificent sites, the temples of Angkor. Ornamented by the finest artisans of its time, once redolent with incense and prayer, Angkor was lost beneath the sands of time only to be rediscovered at the opening of the last century.

Cost: $7,170 per person, double occupancy, plus airfare; single room supplement is $1,710. Post-tour extension to Cambodia is $2,310; single room supplement is $970.

Tour provided by Authentic Asia (888) 586-9958.

Civil Rights 2020

March 10 - 17, 2020

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Hosts: Katherine Hite, Professor of Political Science on the Frederick Ferris Thompson Chair, and Taneisha Means, Assistant Professor of Political Science on the Class of 1951 Chair

Join faculty and fellow alumnae/i on a uniquely Vassar program which focuses on the Civil Rights Movement, perhaps the most significant movement to shape American history. We will begin in Jackson and travel to Little Rock, Memphis, Birmingham, Selma, and Montgomery, visiting historic sites to explore the deep history of this struggle. We will visit the museums of memory and memorials that help us understand the connections of the past to the present and, along the way, we will meet with many of the figures who were involved.  Framed within the civil rights story are also the histories of the music and cuisine of the South to explore together.

  • Mississippi Civil Rights Museum
  • Medgar Evers Home Museum
  • BB King Museum
  • Emmett Till Interpretive Center
  • Little Rock High School, with Elizabeth Eckford, one of the nine African American students who broke the color barrier there in 1957
  • 16th Street Baptist Church
  • Brown Chapel African American Methodist Episcopal Church
  • Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration
  • Civil Rights Memorial
  • National Memorial for Peace and Justice
  • Conclude with a briefing at the Equal Justice Initiative

Cost:  $3,680 per person, double occupancy, plus airfare; single room supplement $980 (limited availability).

Tour provided by Distant Horizons (800) 333-1240.

Dublin and Belfast 2020

June 12 - 21, 2020

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Host:  Ron Patkus, Head of Special Collections and Adjunct Associate Professor of History on the Frederick Weyerhaeuser Chair

As summer begins, join Ron Patkus on a journey through the cities of Dublin and Belfast and the surrounding garden countryside. A special focus of the tour will be the long and noteworthy connections the two cities have had to the world of literature and libraries. In Dublin we will visit St. Patrick's Cathedral and the adjacent Marsh's Library, at Trinity College Library we will examine the 1,200-year-old-Book of Kells, and then on to the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin Castle. A highlight will be the opportunity to attend events on June 16th, known as Bloomsday, the annual city-wide celebration of James Joyce's novel Ulysses and a performance at the Abbey Theatre.

In Belfast, we will tour the Titanic Museum and the Linen Hall Library. We'll spend a day out in the beautiful countryside of Northern Ireland, which has inspired so many creative works over the centuries, and then on to the Giant's Causeway, with its basalt columns receding into the ocean. Our last full day will take us to the seaside town of Malahide to explore its castle and gardens. Along the way, through lectures and casual conversations, Ron will share his expertise and enthusiasm for the literature, history, and culture of the two cities.

Cost:  $4370 per person (double occupancy), plus airfare. Single supplement is $990.

Tour provided by Discover Europe:  (603) 563-7077

Cultural Poland

July 11 - 19, 2020

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Host:  Paulina Bren, Adjunct Associate Professor of International Studies

Explore Poland's multi-faceted history and culture through this uniquely designed, seven-night itinerary. Visit four UNESCO World Heritage sites - the historic centers of Warsaw and Krakow, the solemn Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, and the masterfully carved Wieliczka Salt Mine. Discover Warsaw's dynamic past in its restored palace and the Monument to the Heroes of the Warsaw Uprising. Journey into Poland's spiritual heartland, Czestochowa, to see the Black Madonna icon in the Pauline Monastery of Jasna Gora. In Krakow, tour the Jewish heart of Kazimierz, visit the Gothic Mariacki Church and the ancient Royal Castle on Wawel Hill. Specially arranged cultural enrichments will include a panel with local residents, a recital of music by celebrated Polish composer Chopin, and meals featuring authentic cuisine. Enjoy ideally located, deluxe accommodations in Warsaw and Krakow.

Cost:  An Early Booking Discount is in effect through November 22, 2019: $3,795 per person (double occupancy), plus airfare. After November 22, the price will increase to $4,095.  Single supplement is $550.

Tour provided by Thomas P. Gohagan & Co. (800) 922-3088 or (312) 609-1140.

Island Life in Ancient Greece

October 22 - 30, 2020

Host: We are awaiting confirmation of our Vassar faculty host.

Once again, Vassar alumnae/i, their families and friends are invited to explore the Greek Islands on a nine-day Aegean odyssey aboard the five-star ship Le Bougainville. Our round-trip cruise from Athens will take us to the islands of Delos, Mykonos, Patmos, Rhodes, and Santorini, and the Peloponnese Peninsula. We will visit extraordinary Meteora, where 14th- and 15th-century monasteries stand high atop natural and sandstone pinnacles, and we will walk through legendary sites of antiquity, including the ancient citadel of Mycenae and historic Epidaurus. Along the way, we will meet local residents during the specially arranged Island Life Forum for a personal perspective on the true character of the Aegean Sea's maritime culture.

Athens pre-cruise and ancient Olympia post-cruise options are also available.

Cost: Pricing will be available shortly.

Tour provided by Thomas P. Gohagan & Co.

Cruising the Antiquities of the Red Sea and Aegean Sea

October 29 - November 11, 2020

Host:  Anne Pike-Tay, Professor emerita of Anthropology

Enshrined with more than 5000 years of human history, the storied lands of Jordan, Egypt and Greece stand at the crossroads of religious faith and cultural enlightenment. Portals of antiquity lead to a treasure trove of ancient wonders. This custom-designed, 14-day journey to the classical world's "cradle of civilization" will take us to three continents, as we navigate the legendary waterways of the Red Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Aegean Sea, transit the Suez Canal and experience nine UNESCO World Heritage sites. Cruise for eight nights. See the Great Pyramids and, mid-cruise, overnight in Luxor with a Nile-view room. Follow in the footsteps of Bedouins across Wadi Rum, an orange-hued sea of sand where Lawrence of Arabia established his base. View antiquities spanning 7000 years at the Egyptian Museum. It's a once-in-a-lifetime journey!

Cost:  Pricing will be available in late autumn 2019.

Tour provided by Thomas P. Gohagan & Co. (800) 922-3088 or (312) 609-1140.