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Travel Programs

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, which is shared with other colleges and institutions, has sold very quickly. Please call Thomas P. Gohagan & Co. at (800) 922-3088 for waitlist information. Vassar will be offering this trip again in 2019, dates to be determined. 



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.

This Vassar-exclusive tour is currently sold out. To be placed on the waitlist, please call Thomas P. Gohagan & Co. at (800) 922-3088.

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.

This tour is currently sold out.  To be placed on the waitlist, please call Thomas P. Gohagan & Co. at (800) 922-3088.

Iceland - The Land of Fire and Ice

February 14 - 19, 2019

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Hosts:   Mita Choudhury, Professor of History and Women's Studies, and Gabriel Dunsmith '15, Writer, Musician, and current resident of Iceland

The Land of Fire and Ice 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 the capital city of Reykjavik to experience its vibrant culture and learn about the region's Viking heritage. We then travel north, up the west coast, to spend two nights in the Icelandic countryside. Characterized by volcanoes and cascading waterfalls, the geological forces that created this extraordinary island are dramatically on display.

Cost:  $2,980 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 $2,330. Single supplement is $550.

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

Scenic Switzerland: Refuge and Human Rights, Past and Present

June 20 - 29, 2019

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.

Tour brochure and pricing are being finalized and should be available in early September.

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.

Scotland: Concerts & Castles

August 17 - 27, 2019

Host:   Kathryn Libin, 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 Edibburgh Castle. The climax of the tour and the Festival is a fabulous fireworks display set to live orchestral music beneath the Castle.

Tour brochures and pricing will be available in September 2018.

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