Experience the rich social, cultural and artistic heritage found in great English country houses with luxurious gardens set in the tranquility and beauty of the British countryside. The design of this trip is based on Susanne Jeffery’s popular course at the School of Continuing Studies: ‘Great Houses: A Nation’s History & Art.’ Together with Susanne and our Blue Badge guide (the highest accreditation of professional guiding in Britain) we will discover the unparalleled art and interior design that laid the scene for the establishment of fine family seats. The social, political and cultural history of the families will be discussed in the context of their great houses in Susanne’s daily presentations and during our specially scheduled visits.
We shall visit a number of important country houses:
We are staying in comfortable hotels, including the landmark Macdonald Randolph Hotel in Oxford and the lovely timber-framed Nailcote Hall in Berkswell, and will enjoy pub lunches, fine English cuisine and the delights of London and the English countryside in the spring.
Winding through peaceful countryside, past storybook villages and fairytale castles, the Rhine, Main, and Danube waterways showcase the best of Europe. Spend 14 nights cruising along these three vital rivers aboard the award-winning Amadeus Silver. Begin your adventure in Amsterdam for a city tour and a visit to the Rijksmuseum. Continue to the world-famous cathedral in Cologne. Explore historic Koblenz and Würzburg, whose eighteenth-century Residenz was home to the city’s prince-bishops. Travel along the Romantic Road to admire the medieval towns lining the famous route. Tour Nuremberg, where the World War II trials were conducted. Visit Weltenburg Monastery, the oldest in Bavaria, and Austria’s Melk Abbey, an architectural jewel. Experience the magical city of Vienna and the Imperial Apartments of the Hofburg Palace. Your voyage concludes in Budapest, Hungary’s fascinating capital. Your program includes all excursions, accommodations, and an extensive meal plan with wine at dinner.
Mysterious China: a land whose stunning beauty forms the backdrop to a 5,000-year-old civilization. Exclusively for the alumni market, this comprehensive 15-day journey features a custom-designed itinerary including a three-night grand cruise along the fabled Yangtze River, from Chongqing—through the legendary Three Gorges—to Yichang. Spend four nights in Beijing, two nights in Xi’an, one night in Chongqing, and three nights in Shanghai in centrally located five-star hotels, including Shanghai’s historic FAIRMONT PEACE HOTEL. Visit six UNESCO World Heritage sites. Tour the impressive Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest dam complex; embark a private boat cruise up the picturesque Goddess Stream, a hidden treasure in Wu Gorge; and call on Fengdu, “City of Ghosts.” Walk along the Great Wall, and through Beijing’s Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. Visit the ancient capital of Xi’an, and view the impressive Terra Cotta Warriors, as well as the ninth-century rock carvings of seldom-visited Dazu. Experience the best of Shanghai, both old and new. There is also a Hong Kong Post-Program Option.
Discover the celebrated heritage of southwest France on a journey through the storied regions of Languedoc-Roussillon, Midi-Pyrenees, and Aquitaine. Your gateway to the delights of this off-the-beaten path itinerary is the fortified medieval city of Carcassonne, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Enjoy a dinner cruise on the Canal du Midi, the seventeenth-century engineering marvel that connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean. Savour a tasting of Armagnac brandy in Gascony. Explore Toulouse, France’s fourth-largest city, and spend an afternoon admiring the private art collection of Georges Bemberg at the Hôtel d’Assézat, a magnificent Renaissance townhome. Indulge in wine tastings in the famous Bordeaux region. Explore Saint-Émilion, the most beautiful of Bordeaux’s wine-producing villages, from its soaring ramparts to the subterranean catacombs of the thirteenth-century Monolithic Church. This exclusive small-group program includes all excursions, educational programs, deluxe accommodations in three locations, and an extensive meal plan with wine at dinner.
Delight in the age-old atmosphere and fresh flavours of one of the world’s most enchanting locations: southern Italy’s Apulia region. From breathtaking Polignano a Mare, your home for seven nights, travel along the Apulian coast on this exclusive small-group journey, and see why this sun-bleached land has been visited since time immemorial. Discover picturesque views from the Via Venezia in the ancient Greek port of Bari. See Lecce’s lace-like baroque architecture, and wander narrow streets in whitewashed Ostuni. Visit the mysterious Castel del Monte. See unusual dwellings at the Sassi cave houses, the conical limestone trulli, and roam through medieval Trani at the water’s edge. Savour the region’s vintages on a winery tour, and visit a family-run olive mill to meet the owners and sample the finished product. Enjoy the regional specialties, excursions, and the program’s informative educational sessions, as well as first-class accommodations and an extensive meal plan with wine at dinner.
Join us for a unique nine-day journey to Scotland’s rarely visited Inner Hebrides, Orkney Islands, and Shetland Islands, as well as Norway’s majestic coastal fjords—remote destinations forever linked by their Viking heritage. Cruise from Glasgow, Scotland, to Copenhagen, Denmark, aboard the exclusively chartered five-star small ship MS LE BORÉAL, with spacious ocean-view stateroom and suite accommodations. Travel the routes of early Viking explorers—cruising into ports accessible only to small ships—and visit two UNESCO World Heritage sites. Enjoy the spectacular landscapes of this seafaring region steeped in history and cultural richness. Specially arranged excursions include the iconic Eilean Donan Castle in the Scottish Highlands; the ancient Callanish Stones on the Isle of Lewis; the Neolithic Ring of Brodgar, Skara Brae, and Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands; prehistoric Jarlshof in the Shetland Islands; and the former home of composer Edvard Grieg in Bergen. A Glasgow/Edinburgh Pre-Cruise Option and Copenhagen Post-Cruise Option are offered.
On June 6, 1944, a heroic formation of Allied troops achieved the largest coordinated military invasion in history on the beaches of Normandy, triggering the beginning of the end of World War II. Walk through history on this exclusive journey through Normandy, featuring two full days of exploration that highlight this important victory during the 70th anniversary of D-Day. From your base in the charming town of Honfleur, journey to the D-Day landing beaches, including Juno Beach, led by a historian who will discuss D-Day’s events. Visit the Canadian Military Cemetery at St Bény-sur-Mer, the Peace Memorial at Caen and the commune of Sainte Mère Église, one of the first towns liberated on D-Day. Stop at the German cemetery at La Cambe. In addition, you will travel to Monet’s home and studio in Giverny, indulge in a special tasting of Normandy’s famous Calvados brandy and visit the majestic Mont-Saint-Michel. This program offers an exceptional value that includes all excursions, educational programs, first-class accommodations, an extensive meal plan and wine with dinner.
Experience the cultural rebirth of the Baltic States, the magnificent imperial riches of St. Petersburg, and the spectacular “White Nights of Summer” on this remarkable six-country, eight-night Baltic Sea cruise. Enjoy a rare opportunity to hear enriching presentations by former President of Poland Lech Wałęsa and Brown University professor Sergei N. Khrushchev, son of Nikita Khrushchev, former premier of the USSR. Professor Khrushchev will accompany you aboard the exclusively chartered five-star MS LE BORÉAL. Enjoy two days exploring regal St. Petersburg, including the world-acclaimed State Hermitage Museum and the Peter and Paul Fortress, with an excursion to Catherine’s Palace and Petrodvorets, two UNESCO World Heritage sites. Cruise the Baltic Sea from Copenhagen, Denmark, to Stockholm, Sweden, with an excursion included in every port. Immerse yourself in the cultural renaissance of Gdańsk, Poland; revel in the medieval charms of Tallinn, Estonia, and Visby, Sweden, both UNESCO World Heritage sites; and discover the stunning architecture of cosmopolitan Helsinki, Finland. There are Norway Pre- Cruise and Stockholm Post-Cruise Options.
Join Professor Christoph Richter for an exploration of Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands). Located on the north coast of British Columbia, it is one of the richest biological and cultural areas in North America. This remote archipelago provides unparalleled wilderness cruising and exploring. Aboard our 68-foot sailing vessel, we will see an incredible abundance of wildlife, outstanding wilderness scenery, and ancient native Haida villages.
Our trip primarily explores the eastern and southern shores of Moresby Island, through Gwaii Haanas National Park and Haida Heritage Site. This is a fabulous area with more than 100 islands, beautiful forested creek walks, rugged exposed headlands, and protected passageways between towering mountains.
The bird watching is excellent for puffins, auklets, and eagles. Hundreds of thousands of seabirds nest on the islands. We will see Steller sea lions and expect to spot a variety of whales. We will also view the Gwaii Haanas Legacy Pole, erected on Lyle Island to commemorate 20 years of cooperation between the Haida Nation and the Federal Government—the first to be raised in the region in over a century.
Known as the “Canadian Galapagos,” these remote islands provide a remarkable evolutionary showcase. Theories suggest that parts of Haida Gwaii escaped the last ice age, which created a glacial refuge for certain plant and animal life. Here, you’ll discover plant species found nowhere else in the world, and noticeably different sub-species of birds, fish, and mammals.
Cruise for seven nights from Juneau, Alaska, through the magnificent, pristine waters of the Inside Passage to Vancouver, British Columbia, aboard the exclusively chartered, Five-Star small ship M.S. L’AUSTRAL, with spacious, 100% ocean-view Stateroom and Suite accommodations. Discover an up-close perspective of southeastern Alaska’s natural beauty aboard this small ship capable of cruising into remote, scenic bays and inlets inaccessible to larger vessels—see towering mountains and untouched coastlines and watch for marine life and wildlife, including whales, harbor seals, porpoises, sea lions, sea otters and eagles in their diverse natural habitats. An onboard team of naturalists will provide a series of lectures about the local wildlife and landscapes. View magnificent glaciers and call at the historic and inviting fishing towns of Sitka, Petersburg and Ketchikan, where you will step back into the gold rush era and discover the living heritage of the Tlingit people, an indigenous tribe of the Pacific Northwest coast. A five-night Pre-Cruise Option to Fairbanks and the heart of the great Denali National Park and a Post-Cruise Option to Vancouver are offered.
Experience Eastern Europe—the culture, marvellous old-world capitals, ornate cathedrals, and picturesque villages—on an eight-night cruise on the celebrated Grand Danube Passage aboard the exclusively chartered MS Amadeus Silver. Discover enthralling scenery in eight countries, including 13 cities and towns, on the “king of Europe’s rivers.” See ancient capitals, Roman ruins, magnificent churches, ornate palaces, and medieval castles in Vidin, Belgrade, Budapest, and Vienna, among other stops. Sail through the Iron Gate Gorge, the Carpathian Mountains’ dramatic cliffs, the twisting, narrow Danube Bend, and the breathtaking vineyard-clad Wachau Valley. Begin this program of unparalleled beauty with a three-night stay in Prague by exploring the Jewish Quarter, Old Town, and other highlights. Conclude your adventure with two nights in the fashionable Oborishte district of Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital. The program includes excursions, lectures by local experts, luxury hotel accommodations, an extensive meal plan with wine at dinner, and time for independent exploration.
Experience the excitement of living abroad in the vibrant town of Aix-en-Provence, one of the most attractive sites for people seeking to spend extensive time overseas. On this four-week introduction to living abroad, you will reside in your own apartment near Aix’s beautiful Old Town and develop the skills for independent living in France. Enjoy language instruction combined with immersion in the lifestyle, customs, history, and cuisine of Provence, courtesy of your accomplished and experienced Lifestyle Guide. Join your fellow participants at Friday night mixers. See lively markets and lovely villages on excursions to the Luberon Valley, Avignon, and Marseille. Celebrate your accomplishments with a graduation ceremony and dinner to conclude your trip. This unique French adventure includes an extensive meal program with wine at dinner, furnished accommodations, 16 three-hour French lessons, a French cellphone, and ample leisure time to pursue your individual interests.
Take part in this landmark Canadian expedition on board our exclusively chartered polar exploration vessel. Join Canadian university alumni on a voyage through our country’s most historic waterway. This is a unique opportunity to travel to areas of exceptional landscapes and seascapes, including the spectacular fjords of Northeast Baffin; make landings at Hudson’s Bay and Franklin sites; view polar bear, muskox, whale, and walrus; hike the vast tundra; visit the remote Nunavut communities of Cambridge Bay, Pond Inlet, and Pangnirtung; and enjoy on-board presentations by Canadian university experts on the nature, history, and contemporary reality of the Canadian High Arctic.
Spain’s Costa Verde, the Green Coast, enchants all who visit. Fall under its spell on a 10-night adventure showcasing its culture, history, and stunning coastal and mountain landscapes. Begin your adventure in Madrid with a city tour, then travel to Toledo—Spain’s former capital—to marvel at its stunning ecclesiastical architecture. Explore Segovia, the heart of Castile, and León, including the San Isidoro Basilica and the Royal Pantheon. Follow in the footsteps of pilgrims by travelling along the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage route. Take a scenic drive through Los Picos de Europa, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve mountain range. Visit the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, tour San Sebastián, and cross the border into France to visit the Basque towns along the coast. This exclusive small-group program includes deluxe accommodations, excursions, informative lectures, and an extensive meal plan with wine at dinner.
Cruise with us for seven nights from Barcelona to Rome aboard the exclusively chartered five-star MV TERE MOANA. Relaunched in 2013 after a multimillion-dollar refurbishment, this small ship features 45 deluxe staterooms. Travel to the sun-drenched landscapes and lush mountainous backdrops of the French and Italian Riviera, a glamourous playground for the elite and favourite retreat for artists and gourmands. This unique itinerary immerses you in the region’s dynamic history, inimitable art and culture, and stunning scenery. It features up to five UNESCO World Heritage sites, including Carcassonne’s medieval fortifications. Along the enchanting Côte d’Azur, enjoy specially arranged excursions in colourful Nice: tour the renowned Musée MarcChagall; visit spectacular Cannes, the unofficial capital of the French Riviera; and take in alluring Monaco, the epitome of Riviera chic, and Monte Carlo’s world-famous Casino Square. Visit the picturesque villages of Italy’s Cinque Terre and admire the Renaissance treasures of Florence. Explore Sardinia’s dazzling Costa Smeralda and Corsica’s fortified town of Bonifacio. Barcelona Pre-Cruise and Rome Post-Cruise Options also available.
Come discover the best of London, and delve into the heritage of one of the world’s most influential and exciting cities. Stay for 10 nights in the fashionable Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, home to world-class museums, legendary department stores and several members of the world’s most popular royal family. This specially planned program introduces you to not only London’s most storied landmarks, including Buckingham Palace, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Globe Theatre and more, but also the town of Oxford and the Roman spa town of Bath. Take in some special experiences, such unique walks in the city and a look at London through the eyes of The Beatles. This program features an extensive meal program with wine at dinner and an Oyster train card so you can create your own London adventure during your ample leisure time.
MV TERE MOANA
An area known for its sparkling turquoise sea, sun-kissed beaches, and charming towns, the Italian Riviera has captivated visitors for centuries. Experience the enchantment of this famous region on a seven-night program that takes you to key landmarks and historic villages. Your home base is Sestri Levante, with its historic town centre and brightly coloured buildings along the coastline. Venture to Santa Margherita, a town of colourful flowers, swaying palm trees, and hillside villas. Cruise to Portofino, playground of the rich and famous. Visit the walled city of Lucca and explore Genoa, the maritime republic believed to be the birthplace of Christopher Columbus. Visit the picturesque villages of the Cinque Terre, the famous Five Lands. Journey to Carrara and discover the origins of the beautiful white marble that sculptors have used to make works of art for centuries. This program includes excursions, informative educational programs, deluxe accommodations, and an extensive meal plan with wine at dinner. As an added bonus, there is no single supplement for solo travellers.
Discover Canada’s French heritage in Montréal and Quebec City before cruising along the Gulf of St. Lawrence to admire picturesque coastal scenery. Visit the Magdalen Islands, once isolated, but now a tranquil retreat. Continue your discovery by visiting the Nova Scotia towns of Sydney, on Cape Breton Island’s eastern shore, and Halifax, considered the most Scottish of all Canada’s great cities. Cruise into U.S. waters and explore vibrant and historic Portland, Maine. Relive almost 400 years of history as you explore Boston, then cruise to Newport, Rhode Island before ending your journey in New York, one of the world’s most exciting cities. Experience why the six-star Crystal Symphony is world-renowned for excellence, with its award-winningentertainment, specialty restaurants, classes and expert speakers. Open bar service, gratuities for select staff and 2-for-1 pricing are included with this exciting adventure.
As a cultural crossroads of the ancient world, Sicily abounds with enchanting natural beauty, impressive man-made creations, fascinating culture, and a vast history. Spend seven nights in Taormina, celebrated for its stunning views and ancient Greek theatre, and explore this melting pot of Mediterranean civilizations. Visit Piazza Armerina and marvel at the well-preserved mosaics found in the Imperial Roman Villa del Casale. Go to the Valley of the Temples, one of Western Europe’s most impressive classical sites. Enjoy an exhilarating visit to Mount Etna to see the crater of the active volcano. Visit a lemon farm to learn about the growth of this key ingredient in Sicily’s famous Limoncello. Marvel at the ancient ruins in Syracuse. This program includes excursions, educational programs about local history and culture, first-class accommodations, and an extensive meal plan with wine at dinner.
Peru presents the traveller with so many natural and man-made wonders, it seems impossible to fit everything into just one trip. This incredible journey has it all: Lima, former heart of the Spanish empire in the Americas; the Sacred Valley, heartland of the Inca empire, still filled with vast and enigmatic ruins of their artistry; Cusco, where Inca and colonial influences come together in gorgeous harmony; Machu Picchu, the sacred, cloud-wrapped “Lost City of the Inca”; and a four-night cruise on the Amazon, nature’s richest ecosystem, aboard the luxurious Delfin II. A delightful, colonial-style riverboat, the Delfin II combines the art of travel with the art of a classic Amazon River expedition for a cruise experience like no other.
Every step of the way, guided excursions will introduce us to all the dishes in Peru’s feast for the senses. We’ll enjoy first-class accommodations and meals designed to highlight yet another of the country’s treasures: its world-class cuisine. With two nights in Lima, a four-night Amazon cruise, a two-night stay in the Sacred Valley’s Urubamba, one night in the Machu Picchu sanctuary, and a final night in Cusco, this is your chance to experience the best of Peru, from the Andes to the Amazon — it’s the value-packed trip of a lifetime!
It is impossible to separate the southernmost region of the Iberian Peninsula from the desire to explore. After all, Ferdinand Magellan and Christopher Columbus both began their most renowned voyages here. This 11-night program offers you the opportunity to begin a journey here, as well. Discover the cultural riches of Spain and Morocco in a level of luxury early seafarers never could have imagined. Begin with a two-night stay in Seville, Spain, then embark on a 9-night cruise aboard the deluxe MV Aegean Odyssey and follow the path of the Moors. Cruise to Cadiz and visit Jerez de la Frontera, then continue to Morocco, including visits to El Jadida, Rabat and Tangier, before disembarking in Malaga. Along the way, visit eight UNESCO World Heritage sites, including the Alhambra in Granada; enjoy single-night hotel stays in Marrakesh and Fez; and bask in the beauty of the western Mediterranean. This adventure includes luxury accommodations, a lecture series by noted scholars, an extensive meal plan, and gratuities for select staff, guides and drivers.
Discover the remnants of ancient empires and the spellbinding beauty of Southern Europe on the fabled waters of the Adriatic aboard Oceania Cruises’ elegant Riviera. Depart Rome for Sorrento, a delightful seaside resort with fragrant lemon groves, winding cobblestone streets, and majestic mountain vistas, or travel to Capri for idyllic seascapes and quaint villages. Find yourself amid ancient ruins and colourful shops in the Sicilian town of Taormina, and admire the timeless frescoes of St. Andrews Monastery in Kefalonia’s lovely capital, Argostoli, Greece. Continue to Montenegro’s coastal port of Kotor, a medieval town enclosed by impressive walls, and then on to Croatia and the centuries-old city of Zadar, featuring marble streets framed by Romanesque structures. Explore Koper, an age-old city filled with grand architecture and home to Slovenia’s largest cathedral, followed by Venice, a romantic masterpiece on the water. Before you incredible journey comes to its conclusion, admire the city’s opulent palazzos and enchanting squares, set among a network of weaving canals and bridges. From historic Adriatic ports to celebrated Italian panoramas, this extraordinary voyage truly enchants and delivers.
Experience an Asia less travelled as you indulge in a deluxe Mekong River cruise, with the fillip of exploring Cambodia’s incomparable temple complexes. Begin with iconic Angkor Wat and its remote jungle temples. Then board the luxurious 34-cabin Mekong Navigator for a leisurely seven-night journey along the legendary Mekong River ending in vibrant Saigon. With a design harkening back to the French colonial-era manor homes of Indochina, the 34-suite vessel provides a sophisticated, comfortable ambience to our exclusive charter. You will have intimate access to peoples and places, witness the customs of rural life, shop ancient markets, and visit the historic settings that have defined these nations in both war and peace. On-board presentations by Canadian university experts supplement daily excursions.
Build a school and learn first-hand about the joys and challenges of traditional life in Ecuador. Discover the wild beauty of the Amazon and connect with indigenous communities that call the rainforest home. Recharge and reflect on your day’s adventures at Minga Lodge, a charming destination that boasts stunning views of the Rio Napo, a tributary to the Amazon River. This is your time to change the world.
Minga Eco Lodge is the newest destination in the Me to We Volunteer Adventure family, and offers an incredibly unique view into the traditional culture of the Amazonian people and their ecological environment. Ecuador is home to many different climate areas and peoples, from the windy highlands and volcanoes where you’ll begin your journey, to the warmer river culture of the Amazon basin, and beyond to the Galapagos and coastal regions where you can choose to extend your journey.
Experience a rare opportunity to work alongside the very special Amazonian people where Minga Lodge overlooks the Rio Napo, learning about their unique connection to the jungle, and the challenges they face in their remote location. With the pressures of modernization on their doorstep, the Kichwa people are working hand in hand with our best friend and charitable partner Free The Children to bring Adopt a Village to their communities. You’ll come together to help build vital infrastructure like schools for the communities, while making friends and learning about their rich traditional culture and their incredible jungle environment.