UW Alumni Tours Blog

Archive for July, 2011

Travel with the ‘World’s Best’

Friday, July 29th, 2011

 Odysseys Unlimited has been named one of Travel + Leisure’s top tour operators and safari outfitters for 2011. The award, determined by reader votes and a panel of judges, recognizes travel companies based on their staff and guides, itineraries, destinations, activities, accommodations, food and value. This is the fifth time Odysseys Unlimited has earned a spot on Travel + Leisure’s “World’s Best” list.

Provincial French Countryside

Provincial French Countryside

UW AA Tours is thrilled to have Odysseys Unlimited as one of our longtime tour operators. Next year, we’re sponsoring about 15 Odysseys trips to a variety of destinations including France, Vietnam, Costa Rica, Turkey and more. It’s great to be able to say that when you book an Odysseys tour through us, you’re traveling with one of the “World’s Best.” Congratulations Odysseys Unlimited!

Witness to History…Or, Don’t Go There?

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011
Escorts in Egypt

In Egypt, armed escorts accompany travelers.

This past January, UW Alumni Tours hosted a tour to Egypt at precisely the moment when that country embarked on revolutionary change. For 19 UW travelers anticipating the wonder of the Great Pyramids, the Sphinx and the Valley of the Kings, becoming eyewitnesses to history was an abrupt addition to the itinerary.

So… what it was like? We’ve got a round-up of firsthand accounts from folks who were there, including UW Alumni Tours Assistant Director Susan Cathcart, her fellow travelers and two UW professors. All vividly recall 12 days that changed the course of history in the Middle East. We’ve got articles, interviews, videos, photos and a look at what’s happening in Egypt today. Check out our Egypt page now.

We’re going back to Egypt in 2012. It probably won’t be historic, but it’s bound to be a lot of fun.

Our return, however, begs the question: With recent turmoil in unexpected places, along with natural disasters that strike without warning, is there ever a perfect time to travel? And where, exactly, does one go?

Travel writer Paul Theroux explores the issue in this New York Times article from April.

Portrait of Italy: What’s Your Best Memory?

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

What will be your best, long-lasting memory about the trip?”

Portrait of Italy, April 30-May 16, 2011

That’s what we asked returning travelers from our late-April Portrait of Italy tour: a 17-day excursion that roamed up and down the boot from Venice to Amalfi, with stops in Rome, Naples, Florence and more. That’s a lot of ground to cover in a short time, but our group was game. And more than a few highlights came to mind afterward:

“Gazing over the peaceful Tuscan countryside in the cool of the morning from the patio of Villa Lecchi. Of course seeing David and the Sistine Chapel were anticipated highlights, and the enjoyable walk through Pompeii with Nicola’s subtly amusing narration was an unexpected delight.”

“The beautiful little villages of Umbria and Tuscany and seeing them both with new UW friends.”

“Seeing the Michelangelo sculptures and frescos that we read about before the trip, as well as the warm and welcoming feeling we got from the Italian people.”

“Our tour guide, Mauro. Great personality, wonderful sense of humor. (He) took great care of everyone. …We learned a lot of history and many new Italian words. Does he lead other tours?”

“Seeing the Pieta at St. Peter’s.”

“Villa Lecchi.  This was so lovely and peaceful; my favorite place on the trip. The best memory would be the people on the tour, and all they brought to the group.”

“For John it was seeing the Colosseum. For Judy, the view from Villa Lecchi with the umbrella pines and poppies in the fields.”

If Italy sounds like your cup of tea, we’ve got other great tours coming up: Chianti & Italian Riviera; Flavors of Northern Italy; Southern Italy & Sicily; and Italian Reflections.