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Travel Programs

Scottish Isles and Norwegian Fjords


May 17 - 25, 2018

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Vassar Hosts:  Molly Shanley, the Margaret Stiles Halleck Professor of Political Science emerita
and Fred Chromey, the Matthew Vassar, Jr. Professor of Astronomy emeritus

Join fellow alumnae/i for a comprehensive, seven-night journey to Scotland’s Orkney and Shetland Islands and Norway’s majestic fjords. Cruise from the city of Bergen in Norway to Glasgow, Scotland, aboard the chartered, five-star ship M.S. Le Boréal. Travel in the wake of Viking explorers, cruising into ports accessible only by small ship. Highlights include two of the world’s most scenic rail journeys—the Flåm Railway through Norway’s fjordlands and The Jacobite steam train through the Scottish Highlands. Enjoy a tour of Bryggen—Bergen’s historic waterfront and a UNESCO World Heritage Site—and a special presentation by the site director and head archaeologist at Ness of Brodgar in the Heart of Neolithic Orkney.

This tour is currently sold out.  To be placed on the waitlist, please contact our tour provider Thomas P. Gohagan & Co. at  (312) 609-1140.

Namibia: Open Skies & Endless Horizons

July 21 - August 2, 2018

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Vassar Host: Jill Schneiderman, Professor of Earth Sciences

Join Professor Jill Schneiderman on a journey through Namibia—a land of varying eco-systems, known for towering sand dunes, red canyons, and the world’s oldest desert, and home to ethnic groups who continue to practice their traditional way of life. The sheer vastness of the country is further compounded by the fact that it is a nation of just three million people.

We will travel through wildlife conservancies and game reserves, tribal outposts, and small towns, all while learning about the fascinating history of this former German colony and one of the world’s largest diamond producers. We will also meet with conservationists who have been pioneers in cutting-edge efforts to rebuild collapsing species of the black rhino, elephants and big cats (leopards and cheetahs).

We will be sharing this trip with Bryn Mawr College and hotel space will be limited. We encourage you to sign up quickly to secure your place.

Cost: $8,995 per person, double occupancy. Single room supplement is $1,115.

This tour is provided by Immersion Journeys; please call (917) 686-2620 or (302) 743-7005 for more information and to register.

Island Life in Ancient Greece: An Aegean Odyssey

October 4 - 12, 2018

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Vassar Host:  Barbara Olsen, Associate Professor of Greek and Roman Studies

On this nine-day Aegean odyssey, cruise round-trip from Athens, Greece, aboard the chartered, five-star small ship Le Lapérouse. Ports of call include Santorini, Delos, Mykonos, Pátmos, Rhodes, and the Peloponnese peninsula—destinations steeped in myth and history. Visits to nine UNESCO World Heritage sites are included. Witness the extraordinary rock formation Meteora, where 14th- and 15th-century monasteries stand high atop natural sandstone pinnacles; stroll through the streets of Rhodes Town and explore the 14th-century Palace of the Grand Masters. On the beautiful island of Santorini, tour the Bronze Age ruins of Akrotiri. Guided tours are included on all the islands, plus time to explore on your own. You will also meet local residents during a specially arranged Island Life Forum for a personal perspective on the true character of the Aegean Sea’s maritime culture.

Professor Barbara Olsen is an Aegean Prehistorian who specializes in Greek archaeology and history and frequently teaches classes in Greek, Greek history, Greek archaeology, and women in antiquity. Her work focuses on women and gendered institutions in Greek prehistory, and she maintains additional research interests in Greek historical memory and children in early Greek history. 

This tour is selling very quickly! Please call Thomas P. Gohagan & Co. at (800) 922-3088 for cabin availability and to register. 



Village Life Around the Italian Lakes: Como, Maggiore, and Orta

October 13 - 21, 2018

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Vassar Host:  Miriam Rossi, Professor of Chemistry on the Mary Landon Sague Chair

Immerse yourself in the daily rhythms of life in northern Italy’s fabled Lake District for one full week, with charming accommodations in the Palace Hotel in the heart of lovely Como. Cruise by private boat on Lake Como, Lake Maggiore, and Lake Orta. Excursions feature Bellagio, Villa del Balbianello, Stresa, the Borromean Islands, and Milan. Attend a Village Life Forum with local residents who offer personal perspectives on the region’s modern life and cultural heritage.

Professor Miriam Rossi is a Vassar scientist who understands and studies the benefits of food and wine. She teaches courses in chemistry and biochemistry, and in the Science, Technology and Society Program. Vassar students often join her in her research into natural products that have medicinal and antioxidant properties. Miriam previously led two Vassar Travel Programs, focused on the cuisine of her native Italy.

Cost:  An Early Booking Discount will be in effect through April 2.  $3,795 per person, based upon double occupancy; single supplement is $1,000. After April 2, tour cost is $4,095 per person, double occupancy. This tour is offered through Thomas P. Gohagan & Co. Please call (800) 922-3088 for more information and to register.

Passage Along the Blue Danube: Vienna to Bucharest

October 13 - 25, 2018

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Vassar Hosts:  Peter G. Stillman, Professor Emeritus of Political Science and Adelaide Villmoare, Professor Emerita of Political Science

This custom-designed, 13-day travel program features 7 countries, 2 UNESCO World Heritage sites, and the enchanting eastern Danube River Valley. Cruise for nine nights aboard the chartered, deluxe M.S. Amadeus Silver III from the Habsburgs’ imperial capital of Vienna to the Black Sea. Explore a rich mosaic of medieval cities, charming villages, and rugged countryside, from ancient Romania and Serbia and Hungary’s fabled Puszta (plains) to the glittering palaces of Budapest. Immerse yourself in the Slavic heritage of medieval Belgrade and cruise through the dramatic Iron Gates. Spend two nights in Bucharest and visit legendary Transylvania.

Cost:  An Early Booking Discount will be in effect through March 29. Prices range from $4,495 to $7,695, per person double occupancy, based upon cabin category. After March 29, prices increase by $1,000 per person. Single cabins are limited; please call our tour provider Thomas P. Gohagan & Co. at (800) 922-3088 for further information.

Southern Skies of Chile: Experiencing the Total Solar Eclipse

June 26 - July 3, 2019

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Host: Eric Jensen, Professor of Astronomy at Swarthmore

The Coquimbo region in Chile will be along the main path of the total solar eclipse on July 2, 2019. The southern skies of Chile make this region an excellent location for viewing the eclipse and is known for its world-class telescopes and observatories.  Our seven-night itinerary, co-hosted with Swarthmore College, will start with a tour of Santiago, the country's culturally vibrant capital, the port city of Valparaiso (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), the Colchagua Valley, known for its famous wines, and finally, Coquimbo and La Serena to witness the solar eclipse. The optional extension to San Pedro de Atacama is available for those who would like to continue exploring the beauty of the northern Chilean desert, known as one of the driest places on earth.

Cost: $6,199 per person, double occupancy. No single occupancy is available for this trip.

Tour provided by Immersion Journeys (917) 686-2620