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Travel Programs

Scenic Switzerland: Refuge and Human Rights, Past and Present

June 20 - 29, 2019

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Host: Maria Hoehn, the Marion Musser Lloyd ’32 Chair of History and International Studies

On our trip we will soak in the beauty of the country’s stunning landscape of mountains, meadows, and lakes, as we journey through Lucerne, Bern, Geneva, and Zurich. But we will also deepen our understanding of Switzerland as a central location where diplomats and global NGOs such as the International Committee of the Red Cross (IRC) try to address the human cost of war and forced migration. We will meet with representatives from the IRC, officials and doctors from Switzerland’s Health Ministry, and local refugee advocate groups to learn about the challenges of integration in this still rather homogeneous society. Refugees will share their stories of flight and their hopes for and myriad challenges in making a new home in a foreign land.

Professor Maria Hoehn will lead the trip and lecture about past and current migration flows, Vassar’s significant efforts in the 1930s and ’40s to rescue Jewish scholars, and the College’s work today to help in this unprecedented world-wide crisis.

Cost:  $4980 per person (double occupancy); single supplement is $1580.

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

Southern Skies of Chile: Experiencing the Total Solar Eclipse


June 26 - July 3, 2019

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This small tour (just 16 people) has sold very quickly. If you would like to be placed on the wait list, please do call Coddiwomple Journeys at (781) 454-9883, as we may very well have places become available between now and 2019.

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 Coddiwomple Journeys (781) 454-9883.

Alaska's Glaciers and the Inside Passage

July 6 - 13, 2019

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Host:  April Beisaw, Associate Professor of Anthropology

Cruise Alaska's Inside Passage from Juneau to Vancouver aboard the chartered Five-Star small ship Le Soleal during the long days of summer.  Navigate isolated inlets inaccessible to larger vessels for superior views of Alaska's spectacular scenery. During naturalist-led Zodiac excursions and from the comfort of your spacious, ocean-view accommodations, see Arctic-blue glaciers, untouched coastlines and abundant wildlife (whales, harbor seals, sea lions, porpoises, eagles) in their natural habitat.  Experience the unspoiled Inian Islands, Tracy Arm Fjord and seldom-visited Misty Fjords National Monument (weather permitting). Call at the historic fishing towns of Sitka, Petersburg and Ketchikan.  Throughout your journey an onboard team of naturalists, along with Vassar Professor Beisaw, will provide a series of lectures focused on the local wildlife, landscapes, and more!

Cost:  Cabin categories range from $4,295 per person to $10,995 (based on double occupancy). Single cabins are extremely limited; please call Gohagan & Co. for availability and pricing.

Tour provided by Thomas P. Gohagan & Co:  (800) 922-3088

Scotland: Concerts & Castles

August 17 - 27, 2019

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Host:   Kathryn Libin, Associate Professor of Music

Join Kathryn Libin for a cultural journey to the Highlands of Scotland and the renowned Edinburgh Festival. From its famed castles and abbeys to its stunning landscape of mountains, glens, lochs and moors, Scotland has beguiled travelers for centuries. The country’s colorful and dramatic history, particularly its long battle for independence from England, is rich with colorful figures:  William Wallace, Robert the Bruce, Mary Queen of Scots, Bonnie Prince Charlie, and its great writers from Robert Burns to Robert Louis Stevenson. We’ll trace the lives of many of these while visiting several of the country’s most notable monuments. From a lovely manor house in the Scottish Highlands we will visit evocative castles - including Cawdor Castle with its Macbeth associations - and quaint villages while passing through some of the world’s most spectacular scenery. At the 72nd annual Edinburgh Festival some of the greatest musicians in the world will perform and we will attend the spectacular  Royal Military Tattoo beneath Edinburgh Castle. The climax of the tour and the Festival is a fabulous fireworks display set to live orchestral music beneath the Castle.

Cost:  $5,875 per person, based on double occupancy. Single supplement is $1,380.

Tour provided by The Grand Tour:  (603) 532-6265

The Class of 1972 Goes to Lisbon

October 18 - 23, 2019

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Host:   Lisa Paravisini-Gebert, Professor of Hispanic Studies

The Class of 1972 (and guests) are heading to Portugal this fall for a five-day exploration of Lisbon and the surrounding countryside! Our homebase will be the small, luxury hotel Pousada de Lisboa, centrally located for discovering this exciting capital city.  Our Discover Europe tour leader will manage all our logistics, as we visit the various districts of the city, from modern chic to the ancient Moorish quarter; travel to the coast north of the city to visit the hill town of Sintra and palaces that dot the wooded hills; the seaside resort of Cascais; and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Evora. There will also be free time to explore the fine dining, music, and museums within the city on your own. And no tour of Lisbon would be complete without a "fado" performance - Portugal's traditional music! Your host, Professor Lisa Paravisini-Gebert, has led many Vassar Travel Programs and is thrilled to be accompanying you to her favorite city in Europe. 

Cost:  $2,880 per person (double occupancy) including airfare from NY or Boston. Airfares are available from many other U.S. cities. Please call Discover Europe for details. Land only price is $2,280. Single supplement is $690.

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

The Story of India

November 6 - 21, 2019

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We have had a cancellation and there is now one room available on this tour; can be a couple sharing or one individual. Please contact Immersion Journeys at (917) 686-2620.

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! You will experience the myriad of cultures of India along the way.

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


November 7 - 15, 2019

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This tour is now SOLD OUT.  If you would like to be placed on a wait list, please contact Thomas P. Gohagan & Co. at (312) 609-1140 or (800) 922-3088.

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.