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Travel Programs

Vietnam Explored: A Journey Through Its History and Culture


October 11 - 20, 2020

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We expect to reinstate this trip, following the same itinerary, when we know that it is again safe to travel internationally. Professor Brigham and Monica Church will serve as our hosts for the future trip.

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.

Island Life in Ancient Greece

October 22 - 30, 2020

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At this time, we anticipate that the tour will take place. We will update our participants and this website if any changes do occur.

Host: Kirsten Menking, Professor of Earth Science on the Althea Ward Clark Chair

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: Cabin catergories range from $5,895 per person (double occupancy) to $14,495. Single category cabins are very limited; please call Gohagan & Co. for options. 

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

Cruising the Antiquities of the Red Sea and Aegean Sea, including a Transit of the Suez Canal

October 29 - November 11, 2020

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At this time, we anticipate that the tour will take place. We will update our participants and this website if any changes do occur.

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: Cabin categories range in price from $7,695 per person (double occupancy) to $17,195. Single cabins are very limited; please call Gohagan & Co. for options.

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

Austria 2020

December 10 - 19, 2020

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This tour has been postponed to December 10-19, 2020. The new brochure is attached and we will update it further as soon as we have concert information confirmed.

Host: Jon Chenette, Professor of Music

Explore the history, music, fine art, and beautiful scenery as we journey through the cities of Vienna and Salzburg with musician and scholar Jon Chenette. In addition, we will have the added benefit of experiencing some of the wonderful Christmas markets that flourish in the region at this time of year. Our tour will take us along the Danube Valley to include the town of Melk, where we will visit the fabulous Baroque Benedictine Abbey and take a short boat ride down the Danube - the best way to see the natural beauty of the Wachau Valley!

Cost:  $4,980, double occupancy, plus airfare; single room supplement $1,490.

Tour provided by Discover Europe (866) 563-7077.

Cultural Poland

July 17 - 25, 2021

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This tour, previously scheduled for July 11-19, 2020, has been postponed to July 17-25, 2021. All guests who were registered for the 2020 trip are invited to participate in the 2021 departure. We expect the itinerary to remain the same, as will the cost. For the moment, please refer to the 2020 brochure for the itinerary. And do contact our tour provider Gohagan & Co. at (800) 922-3088 or (312) 609-1140 if you have any questions.

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.

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