UW Alumni Tours Blog

Archive for the ‘Tour Announcements’ Category

Second Excursion Offered! Explore Egypt and the Nile with a UW Professor

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012
The Pyramids

See the Pyramids at Giza—one of the wonders of the ancient world—with UW Alumni Tours

Did the visit of King Tut’s treasures to Seattle inspire you to see ancient wonders in their own neighborhood? Join UW Professor Jere Bacharach for Egypt & the Nile, a two-week educational excursion into ancient history. Beginning in bustling Cairo, your trip will start with visits to the Pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx, Memphis, Sakkara, Old Cairo and the Egyptian Museum.

Next, relax while you cruise the shores of Lake Nasser, touring the ancient temples and monuments salvaged during the construction of the Aswan High dam. Explore the acclaimed Nubia Museum and get a look at Kasr Ibrim, the last Nubian settlement to remain at its original site. Then journey down the storied Nile to Luxor, known as the “world’s greatest open air museum.” With the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens as well as the famous temple complex at Karnak, Luxor represents the pinnacle of ancient Egyptian architecture.

Your tour will be enlivened by the presence of Professor Emeritus Jere Bacharach. Professor Bacharach lives half the year in Cairo and was present during the 2011 uprising. An authority on Egyptian history, his insights will be sure to deepen your understanding of what you’re seeing as you explore this unique and ancient land.

Demand for this destination is high—we’ve already filled one group—don’t miss this great opportunity!

Loving Laos

Friday, August 12th, 2011

LaosThis month’s Conde Nast Traveler serves up an evocative portrait of local life in Laos, a country whose war-torn history, dotted with political repression, is giving rise to a new dawn.

In his article, enticingly titled “Loving Luang Prabang,” writer David Ebershoff paints a country fast embracing the future while retaining centuries-old traditions; a country where saffron-robed Buddhist monks still pad the early-morning streets for daily alms, but where, too, economic progress enables some market vendors to accept all manner of currency (euro, yuan, yen) except the U.S. dollar.

Luang Prabang is one of several destinations on our Treasures of the Mekong Delta tour in January. This two-week cruise along the Mekong River combines the highlights of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos on one itinerary, where we’ll explore lively cities, religious monuments and fascinating cultures. Consider coming with us.

Machu Picchu…Don’t Get Turned Away!

Monday, August 1st, 2011

Machu PicchuLast week, hundreds of unticketed tourists were turned away at Machu Picchu, Peru’s famed Inca ruins, because of overcrowding, according to this story in the Seattle Times.

In 2005, Peru fixed a daily limit of 2,500 visitors to the archaeological site to lessen the impact on the environment. Now visitors are advised to get tickets in advance if they want to guarantee their entry.

Getting tickets isn’t a problem for UW Alumni Tours travelers. “We stay in a hotel that’s right inside Machu Picchu,” says UW Alumni Tours Assistant Director Susan Cathcart. The Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge where our group overnights is located just 20 yards from the entrance to the ruins, giving UW travelers a rare opportunity to visit Machu Picchu long after the daytime tourists leave. “it’s incredible to see the ruins at sunrise,” Susan adds.

We’ve got two departures heading to Machu Picchu & the Galapagos in 2012, one in February and again in May. Learn more 

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.

Amalfi Coast to Venice

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

Ah…Italy!  From the Amalfi Coast to Sorrento to Rome to Assissi to Siena to Florence…and finally, Venice. Sightseeing along the way includes Pompeii, frozen in time by Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD; the hilltop town of Orvieto; the medieval Umbrian village of Todi; and San Gimignano with it’s skyline of 13 watchtowers. Fabulous pasta, flavorful wine and fun traveling companions…join this group (limited to 24) of UW alumni and friends and spend two weeks exploring one of the world’s most favorite travel destinations.

Classic China: 2nd Date Added

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Our first trip to China sold out so quickly, that we’ve added a 2nd departure: April 27 – May 10. Trip highlights include visiting the Terra Cotta warriors; a three-night Yangtze River cruise; Beijing hutong tour and home visit; walking on the Great Wall and much, much more. Reserve your space before this departure sells out too!

Guatemala – February 2011

Friday, March 5th, 2010

If I could pick one trip that I’d personally like to go on, it would be our Guatemala trip. 

Guatemalan Textiles

The variety of culture, historical sites, natural beauty…and, OK, the resort time too…all appeals to me. Click here for more details.