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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.

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.