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I would like to receive additional information about the following trips as it becomes available: Panama Canal & Costa Rica January 29-February 6, 2016

Magnificent Great Lakes July 8-17, 2016

Black Sea to Transylvania April 13-25, 2016

Great Journey of Europe July 15-25, 2016

Stepping Stone of Western Europe April 23-May 1, 2016

Black History in London August 2-9, 2016

European Tapestry April 24-May 5, 2016

Tanzania Adventure August 3-17, 2016

Flavors of Provence April 30-May 8, 2016

Oxford & the English Countryside August 10-18, 2016

Inland Sea of Japan May 5-15, 2016

Galapagos Islands August 26-September 4, 2016

Portraits of the Past May 9-20, 2016

Grand Danube Passage September 9-21, 2016

Essence of the Atlantic May 14-28, 2016

Geneva & Aix-en-Provence September 9-18, 2016

Colonial Virginia full May 22-28, 2016

Vienna & Bavaria September 9-18, 2016

National Parks & Lodges of the Old West June 1-10, 2016

Pearls of Dalmatia September 19-October 3, 2016

Treasures of the Silk Road June 4-19, 2016

Sorrento September 28-October 6, 2016

Young Alumni: Discover Nicaragua June 11-18, 2016

Portrait of Italy October 4-20, 2016

Cradle of History June 12-25, 2016

Tuscany Immersion October 7-29, 2016

Rice alumnus/alumna, Class of

Rice faculty or staff member

Parent of a Rice student/alumnus/alumna

Friend of Rice





Detach and return to:

Rice Alumni Traveling Owls Association of Rice Alumni – MS 520 Rice University, P.O. Box 1892 Houston, Texas 77251-1892 or by fax at 713.398.5210


You may also submit your request for additional information online at:

This annual catalog is the only information about the 2016 Rice Alumni Traveling Owls that will be sent to most alumni and friends of the university. Brochures on particular trips will only be mailed to a limited number of individuals, so it is important that you return this request card or submit your request online at to let us know which trips interest you. As additional information and brochures become available, they will be sent to those who have requested them.

RICE UNIVERSITY Rice Alumni Traveling OWLS Association of Rice Alumni – MS 520 PO Box 1892 Houston, TX 77251-1892

Please indicate your information here:




Travel is a transformative experience, especially if you’re a Traveling Owl! Our Rice Alumni Traveling Owls trips are designed to bring learning to life and foster opportunities for like-minded travelers to connect, and we are delighted that, for the third year in a row, record numbers of our Rice alumni and friends have chosen us to provide their trips of a lifetime. We appreciate you and hope that you will travel with us in 2016 and beyond! In 2016, we are happy to bring you and your fellow Traveling Owls even more exclusive and custom-designed trips highlighting the knowledge of some of Rice’s top faculty and local experts. Whether you are exploring the timeless

Rice Alumni Traveling Owls Rice University P.O. Box 1892 Houston, Texas 77251-1892

cities along the Silk Road with associate professor Lisa Balabanlilar, visiting historic settlements in Virginia with professor John Boles, experiencing cutting-edge science research in Geneva with Faculty Fellow Carolyn Nichol, island-hopping in the Galapagos Islands with Senior Veterinarian Joseph Flanagan from the Houston Zoo, or celebrating Black history in London with associate professor Alex Byrd, you are sure to find our offerings to be more immersive, engaging and inspiring than ever before! As the tour guide in Tanzania told the group of travelers I was with this


past March, travelers come with dreams and leave with memories. Whether you are a seasoned traveler or are joining us on a trip for the very first time, I invite you to explore the globe with the Traveling Owls and transform your dreams into memories. Please complete and return the enclosed card to indicate your interest in any of our trips, or complete the form online at We hope that you will leave our trips feeling inspired, engaged and, most importantly, involved in the Rice community and the world at large. Warm regards,

Dan Stypa Associate Director of Alumni Engagement D E TAC H AT P E R F O R AT E D F O L D S E A L W I T H TA P E B E F O R E M A I L I N G


Panama Canal & Costa Rica


Black Sea to Transylvania


Stepping Stone of Western Europe


European Tapestry


Flavors of Provence


Inland Sea of Japan


Portraits of the Past


Essence of the Atlantic


Colonial Virginia


National Parks & Lodges of the Old West


Treasures of the Silk Road


Young Alumni: Discover Nicaragua


Cradle of History


Magnificent Great Lakes


Great Journey of Europe


Black History in London


Tanzania Adventure


Oxford & the English Countryside


Galapagos Islands


Grand Danube Passage


Geneva & Aix-En-Provence


Vienna & Bavaria


Pearls of Dalmatia




Portrait of Italy


Tuscany Immersion

RICE ALUMNI TRAVELING OWLS 2016 We hope that you enjoy the offerings in this 2016 Rice Alumni Traveling Owls catalog. If you would like to receive a brochure with in-depth information about a specific trip, please return the request card at the back of this catalog or submit your request online at Brochure availability is limited, so we encourage you to contact us as soon as possible. Due to the advance planning of trips, all dates, itineraries and prices included in this catalog are subject to change. Tour descriptions are provided by participating operators. For the most current information about our programs, please visit our website at

Few experiences can match one of the world’s most dramatic voyages: a cruise from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic through the Panama Canal, one of the greatest manmade wonders of the world. This 50-mile passage through the narrow Isthmus of Panama, which celebrated its centennial just two years ago, is a marvel of engineering that continues to astonish even today’s most veteran travelers. In the course of your comprehensive itinerary, scheduled at the best time of year for visiting the Panama Canal, you will make a specially arranged daylight journey to experience firsthand the mighty locks that raise and lower oceangoing vessels 85 feet. Using only the force of gravity, these locks transfer ships between the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans in mere hours, saving them the need to sail around South America. Other highlights of the trip include visiting

Panama’s and Costa Rica’s world-renowned national parks — which include rainforests, islands and archipelagos in one of the most pristine ecosystems on earth — alongside experienced naturalist guides; seeing Panama’s ancient San Blas Islands, where the Guna Indians live much as they did centuries ago; and touring one of acclaimed architect Frank Gehry’s newest designs, Panama City’s Biodiversity Museum. This spectacular adventure features the privately chartered, five-star MV Star Breeze, which was just relaunched by an award-winning cruise line after an expansive refurbishment. This sophisticated small ship features only 106 suites, including six with furnished verandas and 36 with French-style balconies that are ideal for private viewings during your passage through the Panama Canal.

Passage Through the Panama Canal and Costa Rica Jan. 29–Feb. 6, 2016

From $4,395 per person Double occupancy, plus airfare Offered by: Thomas P. Gohagan & Company 02 / traveling owls 2016

Bulgaria & Romania: The Black Sea Coast to Transylvania April 13–25, 2016

From $3,399 per person Double occupancy, including airfare Offered by: Go Ahead Tours

Romania and Bulgaria harbor some of Europe’s best-kept secrets, from culturally rich Sibiu — recently designated a European “Capital of Culture” — to the Black Sea coast’s golden beaches. Discover “Dracula’s Castle,” travel through forested hills and quaint Saxon villages, and soak up the sun in Bulgaria’s under-the-radar resort towns and charming capital city of Sofia. Explore Romania’s eclectic capital and its fascinating architecture from the Art Deco, Bauhaus and Neoclassical eras. With the Carpathian Mountains as your backdrop, make your way toward medieval Brașov, stopping for two guided tours along the way. Before journeying to Bucharest, visit the Black Church and the First Romanian School in Brașov. See the vibrant city of Bucharest, explore Sinaia’s well-preserved Peleș Castle, visit Călărași, and cross the Danube to Bulgaria. Explore either the village of Silistra or historic Rousse in your free time before ending the day in Varna, a resort on the Black Sea. Journey to Veliko Tarnovo, a forested city and popular spot for weekend getaways, and admire a few landmarks along the way. Lastly, discover dynamic Sofia, one of the European Union’s newest and most walkable capitals. An optional extension to Belgrade, the Serbian capital, is available. Settled by Celtic tribes in the 4th century B.C. and later influenced by many cultures, including Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman, the city is home to many architectural relics that hint at its intriguing past. Today, Belgrade is a cultural hub of southeastern Europe. traveling owls 2016 / 03

Experience the rich traditions and profound historical significance of France and Great Britain on this outstanding seven-night cruise from Bordeaux to London. Visit the region’s most inviting cities and five UNESCO World Heritage sites as you cruise aboard the exclusively chartered, five-star small ship MS L’Austral, which features only 110 suites and staterooms. During this custom-designed journey, admire the outstanding architecture in Bordeaux’s Port of the Moon, explore the 17th-century citadel on Belle-Îleen-Mer and view remnants of Germany’s wartime occupation in Guernsey. Visit magnificent Mont Saint-Michel and its impressive abbey. Experience the hallowed beaches of Normandy in the company of special guest speaker Dwight D. Eisenhower II, grandson of General and President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Travel to Dover, England, and then travel to Canterbury to stroll the winding, cobblestone lanes, visit awe-inspiring Canterbury Cathedral, and travel in Geoffrey Chaucer’s footsteps. Finally, take a memorable highlight cruise up the storied River Thames that includes a spectacular view of London’s famous Tower Bridge. Complement your journey with the Bordeaux Pre-Cruise Option to visit the lush, green vineyards where some of the world’s best wine is produced. A London Post-Cruise Option is also available if you would like to immerse yourself more fully in this incomparable city. Spring is an ideal time to visit these fascinating and historic locales because the weather is likely to be pleasantly warm and the summer crowds will not have arrived yet.

EUROPEAN TAPESTRY April 24–May 5, 2016

From $4,991 per person Double occupancy, including airfare Offered by: Odysseys Unlimited

Stepping Stone of Western Europe April 23–May 1, 2016

From $3,995 per person Double occupancy, plus airfare Offered by: Thomas P. Gohagan & Company Featuring: Dwight David Eisenhower II

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Europe springs to life on this relaxed journey through cities rich with art and architecture, vibrant street life, storied surroundings and prized UNESCO sites. With a pleasing mix of guided touring and free time, relaxed pacing and centrally located accommodations, your small group limited to just 24 guests will travel from canal-laced Amsterdam and medieval Bruges to cosmopolitan Brussels and romantic Paris in your own moveable feast of culture, cuisine and comfort. Start your 12-day journey discovering charming Amsterdam as you walk along the canals, visit the renowned Rijks museum and enjoy a candlelight cruise. Take a half-day tour of the dazzling gardens at Keukenhof. Travel to nearby Kinderdijk to

see The Netherlands’ iconic windmills. Stay three nights in Bruges, capital of Belgium’s West Flanders region, known for its enchanting canal-side homes, lace-making and fine chocolate. Take a walking tour, complete with a visit to St. Bavos Cathedral, in vibrant Ghent and visit the city’s historic center, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. In Brussels, enjoy a city tour with a guided walk around Grand Place, Brussels’ central market square. Conclude your European interlude in romantic Paris, the celebrated “City of Light.” Explore Paris on your own before bidding au revoir to our European adventure, or savor more time in the city through an optional 3-day/2-night post-tour extension. traveling owls 2016 / 05

FLAVORS OF PROVENCE April 30–May 8, 2016

From $4,795 per person Double occupancy, plus airfare Offered by: Orbridge

Amidst enchanting orchards, vineyards and villages — and especially in the kitchens of skilled chefs — let the flavors of culture and cuisine reveal an authentic and joyful portrait of Provence. During this 9-day, small-group journey, devote yourself to the joie de vivre, love of learning and employment of all your senses as you enjoy local specialties: artisan cheeses, olive oils, fresh local vegetables, delicate baked goods, confections, sumptuous wines and much more. You will learn from a Michelin 2-starred chef in the kitchens of a Relais 06 / traveling owls 2016

& Chateau property. Along with fellow travelers, visit extraordinary places like perched villages, local markets, the Roman aqueduct Pont du Gard, hilltop fortifications dating back as far as 6,000 B.C., Avignon’s Palace of the Popes and places associated with Van Gogh. Accommodations in award-winning Domaine de Capelongue will infuse your journey with warm hospitality and elegance. After Provence, stay a few extra days in cosmopolitan Paris, surrounded by art, history and undeniable romance.

Experience the timeless splendor of Japan and South Korea on this customdesigned itinerary, during which you will cruise the full length of the tranquil Inland Sea of Japan, sailing roundtrip from Osaka, Japan to visit the country’s historic ports and Ulsan, South Korea. On board the exclusively chartered, five-star ship MS LeSoléal, launched in 2013 and featuring only 110 suites and staterooms, enjoy this 280-mile stretch of peaceful, scenic ocean with port calls at captivating points of interest, including four UNESCO World Heritage sites. Specially arranged excursions feature opulent temples and stately castles: Nijo Castle, a feudal gem in Kyoto, the impeccably preserved imperial capital of old Japan; Itsukushima Shrine, Miyajima’s impressive sixth-century site that includes an awe-inspiring torii gate; extraordinary Himeji Castle, Japan’s oldest surviving feudal structure; and glorious Bulgaska Temple in Gyeongju, South Korea, a material expression of Buddhist utopia on earth. Admire Okayama’s lush Korakuen Garden, one of the country’s most beautiful formal landscape gardens, and its lovely streams, plum and cherry trees and crane aviary. Enjoy the exquisite, restful village of Kurashiki and its willow-lined canals and distinctive black-and-white mercantile buildings. Walk in the imposing Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, dedicated to the victims of World War II. This comprehensive journey through the tranquil waters of Japan’s Inland Sea offers a unique perspective into the country’s majestic scenery and lush, green coastline that will stay with you for a lifetime.

Embark on a Mediterranean odyssey in which each destination is a portrait of exquisite beauty. From multicolored towns cascading toward glittering seas to timeless cities awash with striking monuments, encounter classic sights in Italy, France, Monaco and Spain on a luxury cruise aboard Oceania Cruises’ intimate 684 passenger Nautica. Depart Rome for Porto Vecchio, a thriving resort town that boasts idyllic mountain scenery and some of Corsica’s top beaches. See breathtaking panoramas along Italy’s Cinque Terre, experience Monte

Carlo’s glamorous atmosphere and admire the Picasso collection at Antibes. Browse the exotic markets in France’s oldest city, Marseille, a gateway to the quaint villages and postcard-worthy landscapes of Provence. Take in splendid beaches and rich Catalan culture at Palamós, and marvel at the stained-glass windows adorning Palma’s Gothic cathedral. Absorb more Spanish culture in Valencia, renowned for its Baroque cathedrals and the futuristic City of Arts and Sciences, before concluding your voyage in Barcelona.

Portraits of the Past May 9–20, 2016

From $3,999 per person Double occupancy, including airfare Offered by: GoNext

Ancient Traditions of the Inland Sea of Japan May 5–15, 2016

From $5,995 per person Double occupancy, plus airfare Offered by: Thomas P. Gohagan & Company

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Sail the sparkling Atlantic, where beautiful cities beckon with eclectic architecture and lush islands entice with enchanting, rugged scenery, on a tranquil odyssey aboard Oceania Cruises’ luxurious Marina. After departing from New York, discover the colonial history and elegance of Boston, from Beacon Hill and Boston Common to the fascinating sites on the Freedom Trail. Cruise along Maine’s craggy coast and experience Bar Harbor’s rugged valleys, emerald-green forests and ocean-swept granite cliffs. Stroll along the restored waterfront in

Nova Scotia’s beautiful capital, Halifax, before sailing to Portugal’s stunning, remote Azores Islands. Take in the whitewashed houses that dot the landscape of Horta, a seaport situated on Faial Island. Then stop at Ponta Delgada, located on São Miguel — the “Green Island” — or explore the picturesque villages and magnificent jewel-toned crater lakes nearby. Before ending your voyage in Lisbon, visit Madeira’s lovely capital, Funchal, home to a glorious seafront promenade, palm-shaded cafes and superb museums.

Colonial Virginia May 22–28, 2016

Waitlist Only!

Essence of the Atlantic May 14–28, 2016

From $2,999 per person Double occupancy, plus airfare Offered by: GoNext 10 / traveling owls 2016

From $3,475 per person Double occupancy, plus airfare Offered by: International Semiar Design Inc. Featuring: Dr. John Boles, William P. Hobby Professor of History

Spend a week with renowned historian and popular Rice study leader professor John Boles retracing the life and times of our Founding Fathers in Colonial Virginia. Begin with Virginia’s earliest colonial settlements in Jamestown and Williamsburg, enjoying special access to heritage sites and historic buildings. Learn about the dramatic conclusion of the Revolutionary War at the Yorktown battlefield and spend a day exploring beautiful Colonial-era plantation homes and landscapes along the James River. In Richmond, explore the Thomas Jefferson-designed state capital and relive Patrick Henry’s “Give me liberty, or give me death!” speech. Travel to the romantic Appalachian foothills, where the world of Thomas Jefferson will come even more fully to life as you take a private tour of Jefferson’s iconic Monticello and see his elegant University of Virginia campus. After a fascinating visit to James Madison’s impeccably maintained mansion at Montpelier, the itinerary concludes with a tour of the quaint, treelined brick streets of colonial-era Old Town Alexandria and a customized in-depth tour of George Washington’s Mount Vernon plantation. With professor Boles’ lectures and frequent commentary throughout the itinerary, this program is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for those interested in America’s colonial history to learn about the politics, society, economics and culture of 18th-century Virginia while visiting one beautiful historical site after another. The tour will focus on political and military history, as well as on other issues that were critical to early America: slavery, immigration, tobacco and agriculture. This custom program has been created exclusively for Rice University. If you love early American history, do not miss it! traveling owls 2016 / 11

Inspiration, a connection to the past, and immersion in nature’s beauty are the delights of this 10-day American expedition. Tracing the historic paths and natural splendors of the Old West, experience the landscapes that our ancestors dreamed about through the beautiful scenery, abundant wildlife, hiking, storytelling and incredible lodges of our nation’s great parks. An expert Orbridge expedition leader will lead your journey through the storied sights and monuments of Badlands National Park, Custer State Park, Spearfish Canyon, Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park. Marvel at bison herds, savor a chuck wagon cookout, see Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial, visit a wooly mammoth dig site and experience an active volcanic crater in Yellowstone. Wonderfully

atmospheric hotels and lodges, including some within the parks themselves, are highlights of this program. Traveling comfortably in a private motor coach, there is no better way to see our national parks. Join us and experience the best of the West! You can also extend your stay, taking advantage of Jackson Hole’s world-class wildlife viewing, outdoor activities and jaw-dropping scenery. Jackson itself is where much of the area’s Old West heritage can be found. On a half-day wildlife sightseeing excursion in Grand Teton Park, wildlife experts will guide you to the park’s viewing hotspots while also providing details about the area’s history, landmarks and geography. Keep an eye out for grizzly and black bears, eagles, elk, bison, wolves, pronghorn and moose.

Few places on the globe seem more remote from our modern lives than the ancient caravan cities along the Silk Road in Central Asia. For thousands of years, traders, conquerors, emirs, colonialists and legendary heroes have traversed the distant yet well-trod desert roadways and colorful oasis cities that have given the region its fame. Even the names of the places here conjure up images of the exotic and the unknowable: Samarkand, with its dramatic and colorful architecture; Merv, the ancient power center with its unparalleled, 1500-year-old fortress still looming above the desert; or elegant Khiva, filled with centuries-old markets and mosques adorned with colorful tiles and striking motifs. Traveling Owls taking this fascinating journey through Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan will follow in the footsteps of Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Marco Polo and Tamarlane. Our carefully planned itinerary, led by favorite Rice study leader, associate history professor and Silk Road expert Lisa Balabanlilar, covers more than 3,000 years of history. It features in-depth exploration of the timeless cities along the route, showcasing both their stunning monuments and their “living spaces” like markets and artisan workshops; the famous Silk Road; and Central Asia’s political and cultural importance through the ages. For travelers’ convenience, a full meal program is provided every day, and modern hotels guarantee comfortable stays in these faraway destinations. 

Treasures of the Silk Road: Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan June 4–19, 2016

From $6,695 per person Double occupancy, plus airfare Offered by: International Seminar Design Inc. Featuring: Lisa Balabanlilar, associate professor of history

National Parks & Lodges of the Old West June 1–10, 2016

From $3,995 per person Double occupancy, plus airfare Offered by: Orbridge 12 / traveling owls 2016

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Young Alumni Tour: Discover Nicaragua June 11–18, 2016

From $1,925 per person Double occupancy, plus airfare Offered by: AESU

At the top of the “Best in Travel” list, Nicaragua has become a must-see destination. With its unparalleled natural beauty enriched by a strong cultural heritage and friendly hospitality, the “Land of Lakes and Volcanoes” invites you to discover Spanish colonial cities, experience world-class surfing, climb breathtaking hiking paths or zip line through forest canopies. Come and enjoy all of these exciting experiences with the Traveling Owls! Unwind at the world-class resort Rancho Santana, which boasts 2,700 acres of rolling hills and two miles of rocky and dramatic shore, broken up by five beaches nestled in their own hideaways. This active trip, designed specifically for young alumni, is sure to bring learning to life.

Follow the echoes of ancient civilizations as you cruise the Mediterranean aboard the 684-passenger Sirena, Oceania Cruises’ newest masterpiece. Depart Athens for the lovely and serene Greek island of Patmos, where glorious frescoes adorn the Monastery of St. John. Explore the second-largest city in Egypt, Alexandria, home to a magnificent Roman amphitheater from Ptolemaic times. Travel to Cairo to marvel at the Giza pyramids and Sphinx, or see the intriguing artifacts on display at the Egyptian Museum. Admire the age-old temples and terraced gardens of Haifa, Israel, and ex-

plore Jerusalem, the holiest city on earth for three major religions. Visit cosmopolitan Limassol, a gateway to the timeless riches of Cyprus, followed by Alanya, a lively seaside resort in southern Turkey. Sail to the island of Rhodes, a picturesque fusion of medieval walls and archaeological sites with sweeping white-sand beaches. Explore Turkey’s vibrant port city of Kusadasi, a gateway to the amazing ruins of Ephesus. Discover a fascinating fusion of Eastern and Western cultures in Istanbul, the captivating city astride two continents, where your spectacular 12-night journey concludes.

CRADLE OF HISTORY June 12-25, 2016

From $4,699 per person Double occupancy, including airfare Offered by: GoNext 14 / traveling owls 2016

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The Magnificent Great Lakes July 8–17, 2016

From $4,499 per person Double occupancy, plus airfare Offered by: GoNext

Picture yourself surrounded by pristine, wild islands and rocky shores caressed by sparkling blue waters. You will see these delights and much more on this cruise from Montreal to Chicago. You’ll travel through all five Great Lakes and along the scenic St. Lawrence River aboard the luxurious, 210-guest MS Saint Laurent, enjoying elegant amenities and stunning vistas as you sail to charming islands and lakeside towns steeped in intriguing maritime history. Encounter the voluminous grandeur of Niagara Falls from the thrilling perspective 16 / traveling owls 2016

of a Hornblower vessel and sail the shimmering waters of Georgian Bay, a striking setting with lush, pine-dotted islands. Explore Manitoulin Island — Lake Huron’s emerald jewel — and its ancient native traditions. Witness the legendary Soo Locks at Sault Ste. Marie, and discover the Victorian atmosphere on idyllic Mackinac Island. From fresh, outstanding cuisine and free-flowing beverages to enriching lectures and complimentary, expert-led shore excursions, this 10-day voyage promises a Great Lakes expedition like no other.

Experience the great journey through Europe — a trip of a lifetime and the opportunity to recreate a large part of the traditional 17th-, 18th- and 19th-century “Grand Tour.” Travel through four countries and the western heart of Europe on this carefully planned, exclusive itinerary. On this thrilling trip, you’ll experience three of the world’s legendary railways and visit three more important UNESCO World Heritage sites. Spend two nights surrounded by glorious panoramas in captivating Lucerne’s five-star Hotel Schwizerhof. Cross the mountainous backbone of Switzerland aboard the celebrated, ingeniously engineered Glacier Express. In Zermatt, marvel at the iconic Matterhorn as you travel aboard the Gornergrat Bahn, the country’s oldest cog railway. From Zermatt, travel overland through Switzerland’s lush, ver-

dant countryside to Basel. On the way, stop in the medieval gem of Berne and in Interlaken, situated near the magnificent Bernese Oberland Alps. Lastly, see the fairytale beauty of the UNESCO-designated Rhine River and its Rheingau wine region before cruising Holland’s waterways, surrounded by land reclaimed from the North Sea. The exclusively chartered, deluxe MS Amadeus Princess, one of the finest ships sailing Europe’s waterways, provides our accommodations en route from Basel, Switzerland, to Amsterdam. Port calls along the way include the lovely Alsatian city of Strasbourg, France — a fusion of both French and German cultures — and Germany’s Rüdesheim, Koblenz, Cologne, Mannheim and Heidelberg. This extraordinary trip is an excellent value and includes all excursions and deluxe accommodations.

Black History in London Aug. 2–9, 2016

From $4,050 per person Double occupancy, plus airfare Offered by: Go Ahead Tours Featuring: Alex Byrd, associate professor of history

The Great Journey Through Europe JUNE 12–25, 2016

CRADLE OF HISTORY July 15–25, 2016 From $4699 per person Fromoccupancy $4,295 per person Double Double airfare occupancy, plus airfare Including Offered Thomas P. Gohagan & Company Offered by:by: gonext 18 / traveling owls 2016

Experience a city that loves to be explored with Rice’s own associate professor Alex Byrd. London, once considered the capital of the world, beckons with outstanding museums and galleries, quirky shops, delightful pubs, royal pageantry, charming neighborhoods and more than 2,000 fascinating years of history. Throughout the trip, professor Byrd will facilitate engaging discussions about Black history and its role in shaping this popular destination. You’ll also enjoy a panoramic tour of the city, including Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace and more. Then, explore the city’s Black history with a walking tour of Notting Hill, a center for post-war black migration and the site of the race riots of 1958. You’ll have time to get acquainted with this fascinating city at your own pace, whether that means strolling through Kensington Gardens, visiting Westminster Abbey or seeing Big Ben up close. Celebrate the end of your tour by enjoying sweeping city views from the London Eye, followed by dinner in a traditional English pub.

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Tanzania Adventure

For many, the unspoiled nature of England, Shakespeare’s “blessed plot,” lies in the customs of town and country life practiced for centuries in idyllic university towns, quaint villages and pastoral countrysides. On this comprehensive, one-of-a-kind journey, you will experience English life at its best as you discover the great heritage and character of England’s historic academic centers and enchanting villages. Experience the time-honored quest for knowledge in the hallowed classrooms, dining halls and quadrangles of Oxford University and learn about the lives of some of England’s greatest authors and historical icons. Witness how classic traditions form the roots of contemporary country life as you chinwag with village residents. You will have the opportunity to meet Lord

Charles Spencer-Churchill, cousin to Sir Winston Churchill, as you call on his family’s stunning Blenheim Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Discover the deep history behind Highclere Castle — the Victorian castle now known as “Downton Abbey” — and step into the cottage where Jane Austen penned Emma. Admire the picture-perfect scenery of thatched cottages, flower gardens and gentle streams, framed by the lovely Cotswold landscape and dotted with evocative ruins and spectacular medieval churches built from the wealth of the wool trade. Hear about contemporary life from local ladies and gents during the program. During your journey, you will stay in two lovely hotels that are ideally located in the heart of Oxford and in Broadway, a quaint Cotswold village.

Aug. 10–18, 2016

From $3,995 per person Double occupancy, plus airfare Offered by: Thomas P. Gohagan & Company

From the depths of Ngorongoro Crater to the Serengeti plains, and from exotic Zanzibar to coastal Saadani National Park, your small group of only 18 guests will encounter the breadth of peaceful Tanzania’s riches — abundant wildlife, tropical shores, varied cultures and valued traditions — on this unequaled safari. Begin your 15-day journey in Arusha and set out on an afternoon game drive in Arusha National Park for your first taste of Tanzania’s unparalleled game viewing. Explore Ngorongoro Conservation Area to view wildlife and visit the semi-nomadic Maasai people who live there. Descend to the floor of the perfectly-formed Ngorongoro Crater, which is the world’s largest intact volcanic crater and a UNESCO site. Visit the 31-mile Olduvai Gorge, the “cradle of humanity,” where anthropologist Mary Leakey discovered the 1.8 million-year-old skull of Australopithecus boisei and revolutionized the study of human evolution. Join game drives in the vast Serengeti, where you have the chance to see lions, elephants, buffaloes, leopards and rhinos, along with other plains animals and some 500 species of birds. Fly to tropical Zanzibar, “Spice Island,” Tanzania’s historically fascinating and semiautonomous Indian Ocean archipelago, and visit its open air market and Old Fort, as well as a spice plantation. Continue to Saadani and enjoy a variety of game-viewing activities at the deluxe Saadani River Lodge, including game drives, river excursions, bird watching and mountain biking, before concluding the tour in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s largest city. Throughout the trip, you will enjoy guaranteed window seating in safari vehicles.

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Town and Country Life in the English Countryside Aug. 10–18, 2016

From $3,995 per person Double occupancy, plus airfare Offered by: Thomas P. Gohagan & Company Featuring Lord Charles Spencer-Churchill and “Downton Abbey” traveling owls 2016 / 21

Classic Galapagos: The Natural Habitat Experience Aug. 26–Sept. 4, 2016

From $5,995 per person Double occupancy, plus airfare Offered by: Natural Habitat Adventures Featuring: Dr. Joseph Flanagan, senior veterinarian at the Houston Zoo

On this marvelous tour, experience Eastern European culture, marvelous old-world capitals, Roman ruins, palaces, castles, cathedrals and more as you travel through eight countries and 13 cities and towns, including Vidin, Belgrade, Budapest and Vienna. Your trip begins with a three-night stay in the enchanting city of Prague. Then, enjoy an eight-night cruise through the celebrated Grand Danube Passage aboard the exclusively chartered MS Amadeus Silver. Experience the Iron Gate Gorge, the Carpathian Mountains’ dramatic cliffs, the twisting Danube

Bend and the breathtaking Wachau Valley. At the end of your cruise, spend two nights in the fashionable Oborishte district of Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital, and admire the city whose name means “wisdom.” New for 2016 on this program, you will be able to customize your journey with a choice of included excursions in many ports of call. This program also features lectures by local experts to enhance your insight into the region, as well as accommodations, an extensive meal plan, wine with dinner and time for independent exploration.

This thrilling trip to the Galapagos Islands — a place that writer Herman Melville called “the enchanted isles” — will immerse you in nature that feels primeval. Home to an abundant array of wildlife, including the giant tortoises for which they are named, these famous volcanic islands, located 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, straddle the equator. Here, you can snorkel with sea lions, sunbathe with iguanas, scout for whales and dolphins, mingle with penguins andblue-footed boobies, and spend a night among wild tortoises at our exclusive highlands camp. This journey of a lifetime, for a maximum of just 20 travelers and 2 expert naturalists, is offered in partnership with the Houston Zoo and features Dr. Joe Flanagan, a senior veterinarian who has made nearly thirty trips to the Galapagos Islands. You will travel on the distinctive yacht, the M/Y Letty.

Grand Danube Passage Sept. 9–21, 2016

From $4,595 per person Double occupancy, plus airfare Offered by: Alumni Holidays International 22 / traveling owls 2016

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Geneva & Aix-en-Provence: Celebrating CERN & ITER Sept. 9–18, 2016

From $4,995 per person Double occupancy, plus airfare Offered by: International Seminar Design Inc. Featuring: Carolyn Nichol, faculty fellow in chemistry

Cruise the Danube River from Austria’s colorful capital to the charming towns of Melk, Dürnstein and Grein before arriving in Bavaria, Germany. Your five nights aboard the luxurious Avalon Luminary will give you a front-row seat for viewing the castles, cathedrals and architecture dotting the shoreline. Visit Ottakringer brewery in Vienna for a beer tasting, stop at Aldersbach Monastery in Passau for a tour and a sample of the beer the monks have been brewing since 1268, and walk through the Kuchlbauer World of Beer in Absensberg. Disembark and enjoy your final three nights in scenic Munich where you’ll conclude your travels at the world-renowned celebration of Oktoberfest.

Vienna & Bavaria for Beer, Brats & Oktoberfest Sept. 9–18, 2016

From $3995 per person Double occupancy, plus airfare Offered by: Orbridge

With the recent scientific breakthroughs surrounding the discovery of the so-called “God particle”, the futuristic large hadron collider at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Switzerland and other cutting-edge research centers in the south of France are changing the face of science. Inspired by Rice University’s longtime dedication to world-class scientific research, this one-of-a-kind study tour to the region will be led by Carolyn Nichol, Director of Rice’s Office of STEM Engagement, who will explain the scientific research we’ll be learning about and lecture on the history of great European scientific innovators, while tying our experiences to ongoing work back home at Rice. Begin in Geneva, Switzerland, famous for its quiet elegance and international flair. The scientific highlights awaiting you in this exciting city include a full day discovering 24 / traveling owls 2016

the intricacies of CERN, a visit to the United Nations commission on climate change, private entrée into the laboratories of the University of Geneva’s renowned Physics School, and a special look at Swiss watchmaking. Next, travel through verdant hills of Southern France to see the enormous European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble, perhaps the world’s finest center for the study of x-ray radiation and its many uses. Then, outside Aix-enProvence, spend a full day as VIP guests at the sparkling new International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) Project facility, a large-scale scientific research center focused on the viability of fusion as an energy source.  Cultural experiences throughout our journey through these beautiful cities, including visits to contemporary wineries, art museums and bountiful markets, will complement this tour’s scientific focus. traveling owls 2016 / 25

Independent, democratic Croatia welcomes visitors eager to explore its remarkable history, culture and unspoiled Dalmatian coastline. As your small group of 24 guests travels from Zagreb to Dubrovnik, you will see why this cherished region lays such a claim on the hearts of all who visit. Your 15-day journey begins in Croatia’s gracious capital, Zagreb. Visit the historic Old Town and the colorful, open-air Dolac Market. Spend two nights in the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana, which boasts romantic bridges and abundant parkland. Continue to charming Opatija and explore the scenic Istrian Peninsula, which has a fascinating history and diverse cultural roots, as well as a distinctly Mediterranean atmosphere. Spend a full afternoon touring Plitvice

Lakes National Park, famed for its dramatic string of 16 turquoise lakes, tumbling waterfalls and dramatic rock formations. Travel along the scenic Adriatic coastline and tour the ancient seaside town of Zadar and city of Split. Tour the 3rd-century Diocletian’s Palace before continuing on to the island of Hvar — one of the most beautiful islands along the Dalmatian coast — and its enticing medieval town. Conclude your journey in Dubrovnik, the “pearl of the Adriatic,” where you will stay for three nights. In this ancient city, take a walking tour of the Old Town, including its fortified city walls, and enjoy a special dinner in the home of a Dubrovnik family. Savor more time on your own in a 3-day/2-night extension in this most enchanting of cities.

Pearls of Dalmatia Sept. 19–Oct. 3, 2016

From $5,184 per person Double occupancy, including airfare Offered by: Odysseys Unlimited 26 / traveling owls 2016

Discover the natural wonders and wealth of antiquities in Italy’s famed region of Campania, which over the course of more than 2,000 years has been home to renowned writers, artists and emperors. Stroll through sweet lemon groves and experience the beauty of Sorrento, an idyllic seaside town and your home for the duration of your stay. With fellow Owls, travel along the Amalfi Coast — one of the most amazing Mediterranean shores — and delight in the colorful architecture of the cliff-hugging town of Positano. Explore the popular resort town of Amalfi, once the home of a powerful medieval maritime republic. Travel back in time with a visit to Naples’ historic center and renowned Museo Archeologico Nazionale. Explore the well-preserved, historic ruins in Herculaneum and Pompeii and spend a day on the storied Isle of Capri. Throughout your seven-night stay, sample local delicacies and talk with local residents. This Alumni Campus Abroad program includes excursions, first-class accommodations, an extensive meal plan and wine with dinner. There is no single supplement for solo travelers.


From the breathtaking Amalfi Coast and eternal Rome to the gentle Umbrian and Tuscan countrysides and timeless Venice, this leisurely tour for only 24 guests showcases ancient sites, contemporary life, priceless art and beautiful natural scenery. Begin your 17-day journey in Amalfi. Your three-night stay in this charming region includes a cruise from the hotel to Amalfi Center, a visit to the ruins at Pompeii and a breathtaking drive along the winding Amalfi Coast. Next, en route to Rome — where you will stay for three nights — visit Montecassino and tour the hilltop abbey that is a replica of the 17th-century original destroyed during World War II. Once in Rome, the “eternal city,” visit the Colosseum, the Forum, St. Peter’s Square and the Sistine Chapel. Next, spend three nights in pastoral Umbria, the “green heart” of Italy. Attend a

cooking demonstration in Orvieto and explore the formerly secret passages of Parco delle Grotte, a labyrinth of underground caves used since Etruscan times. Visit Assisi, burial place of St. Francis, and stroll through the fountain-splashed piazzas. Visit Deruta, known for its prized handpainted Majolica ceramics. Journey through Tuscany, touring walled Siena, Renaissance Florence and the classic Tuscan town of San Gimignano, and enjoy a wine tasting at a local winery. Conclude in timeless Venice, taking a guided walk through vast St. Mark’s Square and the surrounding “campi.” Enjoy more time on your own in this wondrous city on an optional 3-day/2-night post-tour extension. This tour features unique accommodations in the Tuscan countryside and in the medieval village of Orvieto.

Sept. 28–Oct. 6, 2016

$2,995 per person (no single supplement) Plus airfare Offered by: Alumni Holidays International

Portrait of Italy Oct. 4–20, 2016

From $5,484 per person Double occupancy, including airfare Offered by: Odysseys Unlimited 28 / traveling owls 2016

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The Art of Living: Tuscany Oct. 7–29, 2016

From $4,595 per person Double occupancy, plus airfare Offered by: Alumni Holidays International



Italy has it all: sun-drenched beaches, peaceful countryside and vibrant cities, all enriched by a fascinating history and culture. This International Explorations program provides an authentic, customizable, threeweek introduction to living abroad. You will reside in your own apartment in Florence as you experience the sites, wine, food and history of beloved Tuscany. Enjoy guided visits to Colle di Val d’Elsa, Siena, Cortona, San Gimignano and the Chianti region. Explore the famed Uffizi Gallery and the Accademia, attend a cooking

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demonstration and tour a winery. In addition to the base program, select from three additional sets of activities geared toward your individual interests: language, cuisine or art and architecture. These options allow you to customize your adventure by taking Italian language classes, learning to cook regional culinary delights or visiting additional museums and architectural gems. This journey includes an extensive meal program, furnished accommodations, an Italian cell phone and ample leisure time to pursue your individual interests.

This coming academic year, Classroom Connect—Rice’s premier lifelong learning program—is going on the road! Hear top Rice faculty share fascinating insights and network with fellow alumni, parents and friends during these stimulating evening events, which will be held in Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, New York City, San Francisco and Washington, D. C. There will also be a full-day program on campus on February 6, 2016. Event details will be available at For more information, please contact Dan Stypa, associate director of alumni engagement, at 713.348.5094 or

The Rice University Office of Development and Alumni Relations offers the Traveling Owls program to foster lifelong learning for alumni, parents and friends. Offering these trips does not indicate Rice University’s or the Office of Development and Alumni Relations’ endorsement or support of political, social, economic or other policies in the areas of the world visited. These trips are instead provided as educational and leisure opportunities that Rice alumni, parents and friends can choose to participate in to learn about and experience our global society. If you have suggestions for future travel programs, you are welcome to contact Dan Stypa at

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Gateway to the Rice Experience Rice University’s Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies offers opportunities for personal and professional development for the Houston community and beyond. Register today to pursue your interests, enhance your career or discover a new passion. We look forward to seeing you back on campus. DAYTIME DISCOUNT Receive a special 20 percent discount on select daytime sections of non-limited enrollment personal development courses.

• Arts, Humanities and Sciences • Creative Writing • Foreign Languages • Lifestyle • Master of Liberal Studies • Personal Finance • Professional Development • Studio Art and Photography

Alumni discounts are also available. Please see for details.

Visit or call 713-348-4803 for course listings and to register.

2016 Traveling Owls Catalog  
2016 Traveling Owls Catalog