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I would like to receive additional information about the following trips as it becomes available:

Mysteries of Myanmar


Romantic Northern England

January 30-February 12, 2015

Mystical Andes and Majestic Fjords February 2-23, 2015

June 19-27, 2015


Discover Southeast Alaska


July 3-10, 2015

Tahiti and the French Polynesia

Lewis and Clark Expedition

February 12-22, 2015

July 7-17, 2015

Cuban Discoveries



P.O. BOX 1892 HOUSTON, TEXAS 77251-1892

Waterways of Russia

February 28-March 8, 2015

August 27-September 6, 2015

Emperors and Empires

Rivieras and Islands of France, Italy and Spain

March 8-27, 2015

Tanzania Migration Safari

September 4-12, 2015

Taste of the South Pacific

September 5-13, 2015

Portrait of Italy

September 25-October 4, 2015

Moroccan Discovery

October 13-29, 2015

Provincial French Countryside

November 1-23, 2015

Exotic Mediterranean

November 6-18, 2015

March 19-30, 2015

Cruising the Rhine River

April 13-25, 2015

Swiss Alps and the Italian Lakes

April 30-May 16, 2015

Discovering Eastern Europe

May 2-15, 2015

History’s Lost Cities

May 8-22, 2015

Eastern and Oriental Express

May 19-31, 2015

The Polar Bears and Wildlife of Churchill

Celtic Lands

Early November 2015

May 20-29, 2015

Classic Europe — Graduation and Young Alumni Journey May 21-June 1, 2015

I am a (check one): Rice alumnus/alumna, Class of

Rice faculty or staff member

Parent of a Rice student/alumnus/alumna

Friend of Rice

Please indicate your information here: NAME ADDRESS CITY




Fax this card to 713-348-5210 or detach and return to:

Request additional information online at



—R ice A l u m n i T r av e l i n g O w l s P r o g r am —


Our commitment to educational travel would be impossible without your generous support and participation, and we truly appreciate your instrumental role in helping the Traveling Owls program grow to the largest it has ever been. Participation in the program has grown by over 90 percent, and in 2014 — for the first time in the history of the Traveling Owls — we welcomed more than 340 travelers on our first-class journeys! While numbers speak loudly, hearing our travelers say things like “This was an outstanding trip — our best ever!” is what drives us to continue providing travel experiences that are unlike any other. I hope that you will consider joining us on one of our exciting trips, each of which is designed to promote lifelong learning. We are excited to offer experiences that you told us you wanted to have. Travelers requested trips at different times of the year and at different price points, so we made sure to put together a program that is as diverse as our Traveling Owls community. In choosing our destinations for 2015, we not only took into consideration feedback from past travelers, but also selected programs that cater to a variety of travel desires. We proudly offer trips to both new and familiar destinations, including Myanmar, Cuba, Russia, Australia, Italy and many more. With the growth of the Traveling Owls program, trips are selling quicker than ever before. We are thrilled to bring back a few that sold out rapidly in 2014 and to also offer trips with your favorite faculty leaders, including John Boles, Art Gottschalk, Lora Wildenthal and Lisa Balabanlilar, among others. Whether you are a seasoned traveler with us or you are joining us on a trip for the first time, we warmly welcome you to the Traveling Owls family and look forward to experiencing the world’s treasures with you. To begin your journey, please complete and return the enclosed card to indicate your interest in any of our trips, or complete the form online at learning-travel. 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, Office of Alumni Relations


De a r A lumni, Parents and F riends,




We hope that you enjoy the offerings in this 2015 Rice Alumni Traveling Owls catalog. If you would like to receive 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

With traditions unchanged from time immemorial, a rich Buddhist culture and diverse ethnic groups, Myanmar presents a singular travel experience. Join our exclusive Rice group, limited to only 24 guests, as we set out on the road to Mandalay and see wonders like the spectacular temples at Bagan, colonial Yangon, the hill station of Kalaw and pastoral Inle Lake. The trip is certain to be a journey of deep discovery and reward for you and your fellow Traveling Owls. Arrive in Yagon, Myanmar’s largest and most interesting city, where we will begin our 14-day journey by touring the downtown area, including the revered Shwedagon Pagoda. Visit Kalaywa Tawa Monastery, where the monks will tell us about the fundamental role of Buddhism in Burmese culture. Fly to Bagan, the “city of four million pagodas” and one of the richest archaeological sites in all of Asia. Explore several important shrines, including the golden-spired Ananda shrine, and dine in the home of a local Burmese family. Discover Bagan by pony cart, venturing in areas inaccessible by car or bus. In Mandalay, visit the former royal capital of Amarapura, which boasts the iconic pedestrian U Bein Bridge, and visit artisans creating works of marble and silk. Travel to beautiful Inle Lake, which is home to 17 villages on stilts and where most inhabitants are native Inthas. We’ll stay in the area for three nights, touring the region and taking part in a small-group highlight experience when we dine in the floating home of a local Intha family. Finally, enjoy a farewell dinner in Yangon before returning to the United States. A special opportunity to discover the amazing temples and statuary from the Angkorian Empire is available on an optional 4-day/3-night post-tour extension to Angkor Wat, Cambodia.

Mysteries of Myanmar: Burmese Heritage Revealed Jan uary 30–February 12, 2015 $5,293 PER PERSON, DOUBLE OCCUPANCY INCLUDING AIRFARE OFFERED BY: ODYSSEYS UNLIMITED

Mystical Andes & Majestic Fjords February 2–23, 2015 FROM $5,999 PER PERSON, D OUBLE O CCUPANCY INCLUDING AIRFARE OFFERED BY: GO NEXT

Journey to the bottom of the world, where natural beauty — ranging from glacier-studded fjords to ancient, emerald forests to glistening sapphire lakes — reaches a dramatic pinnacle. Besides seeing awe-inspiring scenery, you and your fellow Rice travelers will explore some of South America’s most alluring cities as Oceania Cruises’ elegant Marina takes you on an unforgettable 20-night voyage to vibrant ports in Chile, Peru, Argentina, Uruguay and the Falkland Islands. Relax on the splendid beaches of Pisco. Then visit Matarani, a gateway to the dazzling city of Arequipa, renowned for its pearlwhite, Spanish-colonial buildings. Take in handsome Victorian and Georgian buildings in Antofagasta, admire the graceful 19thcentury architecture in Coquimbo and savor the chaos and color of Valparaiso. Stroll along Puerto Montt’s quaint harbor, or if you desire, venture into the Chilean Lake District, a stunning region that beckons with lush, virgin forests and sparkling, deep-blue lakes. Drink in the misty, mountainous backdrop of Puerto Chacabuco, a jumping-off point for adventures into glorious western Patagonia. With your Traveling Owls group, spend two days cruising the Chilean Fjords while taking in exhilarating, ever-changing sights like snow-bound volcanoes, dense forests, thermal springs and towering glaciers. Afterward, arrive in Punta Arenas, a delightful provincial town overlooking the Strait of Magellan, before continuing on to Ushuaia, the southernmost city on earth. Discover the English charms of Port Stanley before stopping in Uruguay’s spirited capital, Montevideo, which features lovely time-worn architecture and leafy plazas that exude Spanish flavor. Conclude your spectacular voyage in Buenos Aires, a sizzling cultural hub alive with infectious tango rhythms, chic boutiques, enticing cuisine and renowned museums.


We love traveling with Rice! Although my husband and I were comfortable getting around Europe on our own, we ventured into group travel in 2002 with a Rice Russian river trip and were hooked. Rice offers interesting destinations and does a great job getting you to those places where it really helps to have someone else take care of the logistics — places likeTibet, the Mekong River and the Lewis and Clark Trail. The tour operator is always excellent, the faculty is wonderful and our fellow travelers are stimulating and fun. We’ve made new friends on our trips — we still see them and travel with them. We look forward to many more Rice trips. —Liz Williams ’79

Over millennia, waves and wind have sculpted the idyllic islands of Tahiti, Huahine, Taha’a, Bora Bora and Moorea, all of which were created by ancient volcanic activity. Experience the earthly paradise and spectacular shores that have beckoned travelers for centuries during this nine-night land and sea sojourn. With the Traveling Owls, enjoy two nights in Papeete, Tahiti, and seven nights aboard the five-star plus MS Paul Gauguin, specially designed to cruise the crystalline waters of the South Pacific. Cruising aboard the intimate, deluxe, 166-stateroom MS Paul Gauguin will provide an unmatched experience for our group as we cruise amid the islands and atolls of Tahiti and French Polynesia. A host of complimentary features are included aboard ship: all on-board gratuities; wine, spirits and soft drinks served throughout the ship; water sports; and even personal butler service for guests in suite category 1 and stateroom category 2. Cultural enrichment abounds in the natural environment of French Polynesia. During your stay in Tahiti, explore the west coast of the island during an excursion to the Museum of Tahiti and Her Islands to learn about the history, environment and culture of Polynesia and to admire the museum’s unique private collection. An experienced on-board naturalist will provide a variety of talks and demonstrations about the islands’ history and cultural heritage throughout the cruise. You can observe — and even snorkel and swim with — extraordinary marine life and breathe in the fresh fragrances of vanilla, gardenia and jasmine that permeate the island air.

Cuba’s fascinating economic and political past and vibrant, culturally rich present unfold on this rare, enriching journey developed for Traveling Owls guests. Art Gottschalk, a professor of composition and theory at The Shepherd School of Music, will impart his expertise about the arts and help you discover the fascinating history and realities of this captivating nation. This customized opportunity to explore Cuba is organized and operated by Go Next Inc. which has been issued a People-to-People license by the U. S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which authorizes registered travelers of this educational exchange program to visit Cuba. Uncover beauty, paradox and intrigue in a country where 1950s-era automobiles still dominate roads edged by beautifully preserved Spanish-colonial buildings. In the company of your fellow Traveling Owls, you will visit Havana, Cienfuegos, Trinidad and Santa Clara and meet diverse locals, from dancers and teachers to visual artists and entrepreneurs.



Let the fabled lands of East Asia mesmerize you with their inspiring beauty, timeless traditions and mystifying architecture as you cruise with fellow Rice alumni and friends aboard Oceania Cruises’ Nautica, an intimate vessel offering superb amenities, designer details and world-class cuisine. Once you arrive, you will explore Beijing, China’s hypnotic capital, home to acclaimed sites such as Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and a portion of the legendary Great Wall. Admire colonial architecture in Dalian; savor a cultural feast of museums and art galleries in Seoul, South Korea’s vivacious capital city; and explore the celebrated riverfront boulevard and colorful Yuyuan Garden in Shanghai. Sail to Fuzhou to admire its ancient pagodas and Buddhist temples, then head to Japan and relax on the serene, powdery white beaches of Ishigaki. After seeing these stunning landscapes, you will continue to the scenic island of Okinawa, where the imposing 14th-century Shuri Castle awaits. Next, visit Kyoto, an ancient imperial capital sprinkled with lovely temples and shrines. Continue on to Nagoya, a city with cutting-edge spirit. Immerse yourself in Tokyo, a glittering metropolis with renowned sites like the Imperial Palace and Meiji Shrine and modern attractions such as the lively Ginza shopping district and Tokyo Tower. From tranquil, age-old temples and luminous, state-of-the-art skyscrapers to natural wonders and bustling cities, endless treasures await you on this exclusive 17-night Asian odyssey.

Tanzania Migration Safari M arch 19–30, 2015 FROM $5,995 PER PERSON, D OUBLE O CCUPANCY OFFERED BY: ORBRID GE

One of the greatest spectacles of the natural world is the annual movement of wildebeest and other grazing herbivores across the Serengeti Plains. The Traveling Owls program has paired with Orbridge to provide our travelers with a Tanzania Migration Safari trip that encompasses this migration and other incredible wildlife excursions to world-famous national parks and reserves. When we offered this trip in 2014, it sold out quickly, and we expect an enthusiastic response this year, too. Please book quickly so you won’t miss out on this amazing experience. Highlights of the trip include Arusha National Park, Tarangire National Park, Lake Manyara National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, Olduvai Gorge and the acacia-dotted savannas of the Serengeti National Park. Accompanied by expert Orbridge naturalists in outfitted Toyota Land Cruisers, we will venture with a small group of travelers into the vast and varied terrain of East Africa. Experience thrilling moments viewing diverse and abundant bird and mammal species, while getting to know local people and the tapestry of cultures around you. Restore your senses in extraordinary lodges and a beautiful tented safari camp, where you’ll stay with fellow Traveling Owls. Join us on this incredible safari and witness marvelous dramas of life and survival unfolding before your eyes.

Join the Traveling Owls as we explore Australia and Fiji, the jewels of the South Pacific. This exciting tour opens in Cairns, where you will experience your first taste of Australia. From there, set out on a high-speed catamaran for the Great Barrier Reef, one of the true wonders of the world. You will then have the chance to snorkel or take a glass-bottom boat ride through the clear waters of the Pacific Ocean. Next, head to the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park to meet Australia’s original inhabitants. See traditional dances and learn how to play a didgeridoo or throw a boomerang. Later, during a stop at Hartley’s Croc Farm, enjoy an up-close and personal viewing of crocodiles in their natural habitat. You might even meet some of the local koalas. You will also explore the world-famous city of Sydney, where the English explorer James Cook first dropped anchor in 1770, through a guided tour of the Sydney Opera House, a sunset harbor cruise and during your own independent exploration. Finally, you’ll set off for the island paradise of Fiji. Relax among the Fijians, a warm and friendly people with a welcoming, vibrant culture. For centuries, this land’s expansive sandy beaches and clear ocean waters have drawn travelers and explorers alike to its shores. During your leisurely days of enjoying island life, set out to discover the famed Garden of the Sleeping Giant and the bustling township of Nadi. This comprehensive South Pacific adventure is sure to be a memorable one!

Taste of the South Pacific A pril 13–25, 2015 FROM $5,049 PER PERSON, D OUBLE O CCUPANCY OFFERED BY: COLLETTE


From the breathtaking Amalfi Coast to eternal Rome, and from the gentle countrysides of Umbria and Tuscany to timeless Venice, this tour showcases ancient sites, contemporary life, priceless art and beautiful natural scenery. As part of our customized trip, you’ll especially appreciate the small group size of only 24 guests from Rice and our partners at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. You will be joined by a docent from the museum and, along with fellow travelers, will stay in unique accommodations in the Tuscan countryside and a medieval village. We’ll begin our 17-day journey in Amalfi, where we’ll stay for three nights. Highlights include an Amalfi Coast cruise from our hotel to the city center, a visit to the ruins at Pompeii and a breathtaking drive along the winding Amalfi Coast, high above the azure Mediterranean. There will be stops for photos in Sorrento along the way. Continue to Rome and visit the Colosseum, the Forum, St. Peter’s Square and the Sistine Chapel. Spend three nights in pastoral Umbria, the “green heart” of Italy. Attend a cooking demonstration in Orvieto and visit Assisi, the burial place of St. Francis. Journey to Tuscany and tour the walled city of Siena and its fan-shaped Piazza del Campo. Continue to Renaissance Florence and visit the Galleria dell’Accademia to view Michelangelo’s sublime “David.” Discover the classic Tuscan hill town of San Gimignano, known for its 13 watchtowers that have left its skyline virtually unchanged since medieval times, and enjoy a local wine tasting. You and your fellow travelers will conclude your trip in timeless Venice, where you will take a guided walk through St. Mark’s Square and the surrounding area. Sign up for the optional 3-day/2-night post-tour extension to enjoy more time on your own in this wondrous city.


Traveling with the Owls has been a remarkable experience for me. The tour planning is intelligent, creating unique travel experiences that can satisfy even the most informed and experienced travelers. My experience has been so positive because the Rice Traveling Owls offer an opportunity to visit fascinating corners of the world along with invariably smart, curious and enthusiastic companions. What could be better than that? — Lisa Balabanlilar


Morocco is a land of dramatic contrasts. It invites with its ancient ruins, sacred mosques, lush desert oases, imposing kasbahs, spirited souks and villages where life proceeds much as it has for centuries. This small group tour, exclusively designed for up to 24 Rice travelers, will take you from the imperial cities of Rabat, Meknes, Fez and Marrakech to the High Atlas and vast Sahara. Throughout the journey, Lisa Balabanlilar will provide lectures and share her expertise focused on this storied country. Your eyes and hearts will be opened to a truly exotic land, an age-old culture and genuinely hospitable people. We will begin our 14-day tour with a visit to the city of Rabat, Morocco’s capital, to see the city’s highlights. View the ancient Roman ruins at Volubilis, one of five UNESCO sites we will visit on tour. After journeying to Fez, visit a Berber village to have tea with a local family in their cave dwelling. Set out on a private sunset excursion to the breathtakingly beautiful sand dunes at Merzouga, located on the edge of the Sahara. Watch the sun set over the desert while taking a camel ride along the dunes. See spectacular scenery, including the 984-foot Todra Gorge, en route to the snow-topped High Atlas. Set out on the fabled “route of a thousand kasbahs” ancient caravan route. Stop at uninhabited Ait ben-Haddou, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of southern Morocco’s most scenic villages. Visit Marrakech and embark on a walking tour of the old Arabian quarter of the city, ending at Djemaa el Fna Square. Conclude the tour in storied Casablanca, Morocco’s largest and most cosmopolitan city, and visit the magnificent Hassan II Mosque with new Traveling Owls friends.


Experience the beauty, allure and hospitality of provincial France at an easy pace and in a unique style in a small Traveling Owls group limited to just 24 guests. Anchored by stays in vibrant Toulouse and enchanting Paris, the journey will feature diverse Languedoc, the remote Dordogne, the lovely Loire Valley and historic Normandy. We will stay in charming rural inns and small country hotels in these enticing locations. You will begin your 15-day tour in Toulouse. From there, discover medieval Carcassonne and the market town of Albi, with its Toulouse-Lautrec Museum. Stay in charming Sarlat to explore the remote Dordogne, visit the famous caves at Lascaux II and enjoy a leisurely afternoon cruise on the Dordogne River. Take a guided walking tour in the cliffside village of Rocamadour and tour the Loire Valley’s impressive Chateau de Chenonceaux, the Renaissance masterpiece considered the most romantic chateau of all. Travel to Crépon, visiting dramatic Mont St. Michel along the way. Visit the Tapestry Museum in Bayeux and Caen’s Memorial Museum devoted to “history for peace.” Immerse yourself in history as you tour Normandy’s D-Day Landing Beaches — including Pointe du Hoc, Utah Beach and Sainte-Mère-Église — and the American Cemetery overlooking Omaha Beach. Walk amid the gardens of artist Claude Monet in Giverny and see the familiar lily pond and Japanese footbridge of his paintings. Conclude your Traveling Owls journey in Paris, experiencing the highlights on a city tour and visiting either the Louvre Museum or the Musée d’Orsay. Savor the City of Light on your own time, and at your own pace, on an optional 3-day/2-night post-tour extension.

Come join the Traveling Owls on a voyage through one of the most vibrant and historically rich parts of the world. We’ll sail from Turkey to Greece, Malta, Tunisia, Spain and Portugal aboard Oceania Cruises’ Nautica. In your group of Rice alumni and friends, depart Istanbul for Turkey’s third-largest metropolis, Izmir, which features a dazzling bayside promenade studded with chic boutiques and cafes. Then sail to the lovely Greek island of Santorini, a stunning natural spectacle of volcano-carved landscapes and blue-domed, whitewashed villages. Next is Valletta, Malta’s picturesque capital sprinkled with 16th-century limestone buildings and ancient fortifications. Then visit Tunis and explore its historic medina laced with narrow, twisting lanes and colorful souks. Marvel at Palma’s massive Gothic cathedral and circular castle overlooking the harbor, relax in its windmill-dotted countryside or stroll the cobbled streets of Old Palma. Absorb more Spanish culture in Cartagena, an ancient seaport sheltered by a medieval fort and featuring a first-century Roman theater and cruise to Spain’s Costa del Sol, where Málaga abounds with fascinating archaeological monuments. Conclude your unforgettable Traveling Owls voyage in Europe’s second-oldest capital, Lisbon, where its golden age is reflected in the ornate Belem Tower and incredibly beautiful Jeronimos Monastery.


Celtic Lands M ay 20–29, 2015 F RO M $ 5 , 5 9 5 P E R P E R S O N, D O U BL E O C C U PA N C Y I N C LU DI N G A I R FA R E O F F E R E D BY: T H O M A S P. G O H AG A N & C O M PA N Y F E AT U R I N G DW IG H T DAV I D E I S E N H OW E R I I

We extend a special invitation to you to join the Traveling Owls aboard the exclusively chartered, five-star ship M.S. Le Boréal as we explore cities, villages and islands that abound with Celtic heritage and call at ports accessible only to a small ship. During this unique itinerary, you will cruise from northern France and the beaches of Normandy into the Celtic and Irish Seas to discover the Celts’ contributions to European culture. Surrounded in mystery, legend and folklore spanning from Ireland’s Age of Heroes to King Arthur and his knights, the Celtic lands are sure to enchant you. View treasures of Celtic heritage in Dublin; follow in the footsteps of medieval and modern princes in northern Wales; call on the charming seaside town of Ayr, Scotland, the birthplace of Robert Burns; admire the austere beauty of Scotland’s Highlands; and cruise among the country’s misty, legend-haunted Inner Hebridean Islands. By special arrangement, walk the hallowed beaches of Normandy, France — 71 years after the Allied Forces made their historic D-Day landings — with Dwight David Eisenhower II, grandson of General and President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Professor Eisenhower will join us for a portion of the cruise to lecture and share his personal insights about the D-Day landings and his grandfather, one of the most influential figures of the 20th century. On small guided tours, experience the ancient legacy of the Celts and their enduring influence along with captivating historical legacies of more recent times. This comprehensive travel offering is an excellent value and is not available to the general public.

Next to a good education, one of the best investments in your future is a trip to Europe. Before settling into that new job or graduate school, celebrate your college successes on an unforgettable voyage through five wondrous countries with your fellow Rice graduates. The journey starts with a discovery of London’s pomp and pageantry and continues on the sleek Eurostar to Paris, the city of lights. Explore Paris’ most famous museums with a two-day pass and experience French cuisine at a bistro dinner. Take a high-speed train to Nice, a favorite resort on the Côte d’Azur. Journey along the scenic Côte d’Azur’s sun-splashed beaches and arrive at Rome, the Eternal City. Visit ancient Rome and Vatican City, then celebrate “la dolce vita” at a Roman banquet complete with Italian specialties and music. Motor through sunny olive groves to the Sorrento peninsula. Visit Pompeii, the city buried by 20 feet of ash in 79 A.D., before cruising through the Ionian Sea’s aquamarine waters. Relax alongside fellow Rice travelers on the Isle of Poros before continuing on to Athens. While in this famous Greek city, wander in the steps of Plato, Socrates and Sophocles and take in the wonder of the 2,400-year-old Parthenon and the Temple of Olympian Zeus. Bid farewell to your fellow Traveling Owls after a Greek taverna dinner at the foot of the Acropolis. Europe’s most famous cities and beaches provide the setting for a journey that celebrates and educates. Let this be your year for adventure!

Classic Europe — Graduation and Young Alumni Journey M ay 21–June 1, 2015 F RO M $ 2 , 0 9 9 P E R P E R S O N, D O U BL E O C C U PA N C Y O F F E R E D BY: A E S U

Changing Tides of History: Cruising the Baltic Sea June 4–13, 2015 F RO M $ 5 , 9 9 5 P E R P E R S O N, D O U BL E O C C U PA N C Y O F F E R E D BY: T H O M A S P. G O H AG A N & C O M PA N Y F E AT U R I N G : F O R M E R P R E S I D E N T O F P O L A N D L E C H WA Ł Ę S A A N D S E RGE I N. K RU S H C H E V

Experience the cultural rebirth of the Baltic States and the imperial treasures of St. Petersburg, Russia, while cruising with Rice alumni and friends aboard the chartered, five-star small ship M.S. Le Boréal. As a Traveling Owl, you will enjoy a rare opportunity to attend enriching lectures by former president of Poland Lech Wałęsa and Professor Sergei N. Khrushchev. President Wałęsa, leader of the Solidarity Movement and a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, will have a private meeting with our passengers on board the Le Boréal in historic Gdańsk, where his career began. Brown University Professor Sergei N. Khrushchev, son of Nikita Khrushchev, the former premier of the U.S.S.R., will lecture on his unique perspective of life in Russia during the Cold War. This Baltic Sea journey, one of the great cruises of the world, features six Baltic countries, including Russia and six UNESCO World Heritage sites. In the tradition of ancient Viking mariners and medieval merchants, cruise under the glistening White Nights of summer from Denmark’s sophisticated, innovative and exceptionally “green” capital city of Copenhagen to the cosmopolitan and royal Swedish capital of Stockholm. Immerse yourself in the historic epicenter of the Solidarity movement in Gdańsk, Poland, then enjoy the well-preserved medieval Old Town of Tallinn, Estonia. Following Estonia, enjoy two days in regal St. Petersburg, including tours of the world-acclaimed State Hermitage Museum and the Peter and Paul Fortress. You also will have opportunities to visit the spectacular czarist palaces at Petrodvorets and Pushkin. Making your way to Helsinki, Finland, discover stunning architecture. Afterwards, tour the seldom-visited Hanseatic town of Visby, Sweden.

Join fellow Traveling Owls on a journey through the picturesque landscapes, charming Tudor towns and soaring Gothic cathedrals of northern England while learning about the literary masters and prominent artists of the Romantic Age. Travel with Professor Newell Boyd, who will share his expertise on Victorian Britain and the British Empire and his knowledge of England’s beloved writer and academic John Ruskin. Your journey begins in the historic Tudor market town of Shrewsbury. During our day trip to Wales, you will explore looming medieval fortresses, such as the impressive castle in Conwy built by Edward I. Another day trip to the Cotswolds will immerse you in characteristic stately manor houses and lush 19th-century gardens. Before arriving in the pristine Lake District, stop in Liverpool to explore a collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings as well as the urban cityscape that Ruskin wrote about so vehemently. In scenic Coniston, join experts on John Ruskin’s local artistic community, who will give you a firsthand look at Ruskin’s expressive world through watercolors, personal manuscripts and Victorian memorabilia. You will also visit Dove Cottage, which overlooks the sparkling Grasmere Lake and was the home and creative center for the esteemed British poet William Wordsworth. Traversing the North Country leads you to Durham’s cathedral and castle, where you are sure to be inspired by the dramatic architecture. In Yorkshire, discover Fountains Abbey and its classical temples and romantic ruins concealed by centuries of greenery. York’s powerful medieval heritage, so attractive to English Romantics, will be on full display as you meet with master stainedglass craftsmen in their workshop and take an in-depth tour of York Minster, England’s majestic Gothic cathedral. Your will stay in lovely accommodations throughout your journey, including an elegant hotel converted from an 11th-century Norman castle in Yorkshire.

Discover Southeast Alaska July 3–10, 2015 F RO M $ 2 , 9 9 5 P E R P E R S O N, D O U BL E O C C U PA N C Y O F F E R E D BY: O R BR I D GE

Romantic Northern England June 19–27, 2015 $ 3 , 9 9 5 P E R P E R S O N, D O U BL E O C C U PA N C Y O F F E R E D BY: I N T E R NAT IO NA L S E M I NA R D E S IG N F E AT U R I N G : N E W E L L B OY D, P RO F E S S O R O F H I S TO RY

The inexorable forces of nature are on full display in Alaska. Discover mountains eroded by the crushing force of massive glaciers, icebergs crowding cold, aquamarine seas, and plants and animals adapted to a land of short Arctic summers. Alongside fellow Rice travelers, spend eight days in luxury while you navigate the waterways of the Inside Passage aboard the 66-passenger Admiralty Dream and witness wildlife up close from its kayaks and skiffs. Learn about Alaska’s culture at a traditional Tlingit dance performance, explore the Alaska State Museum and visit a salmon hatchery. With skilled naturalists by your side, encounter abundant wildlife, magnificent peaks and fjords and ice-blue glaciers of unfathomable proportions, while learning about the traditions of Alaska’s ancient cultures. The 104-foot Admiralty Dream is designed to go where large ships cannot. On board, you will enjoy the best views possible in an intimate and exclusive atmosphere.


In 1804, a small band of men led by Captains Merriwether Lewis and William Clark set out on one of the greatest scientific expeditions ever undertaken: to explore and map the American West from St. Louis to the Pacific Ocean. The Corps of Discovery, as they came to be known, traveled thousands of miles and suffered numerous hardships, but returned with journals detailing scientific discoveries, treks across plains and over mountain peaks, meetings with Native Americans and a world of stunning beauty. Join Rice professor John Boles, Montana naturalist Barbara Batey and fellow Traveling Owls on a customized adventure to retrace one of the most interesting and challenging parts of the trip through the wild, vast and beautiful landscapes of Montana and Idaho. A highlight of this 11-day adventure will be exploring part of Lewis and Clark’s actual route. You will see key spots where the Corps made discoveries, encountered Native Americans and camped; spend a night in the lovingly restored Grand Union Hotel; and take a leisurely two-day canoe trip down the scenic Missouri River. Camping under the stars in comfortable tents, you will also experience the stunning natural beauty and grandeur of Montana’s and Idaho’s vast landscapes, travel along the Lolo Trail on foot or horseback, soak in the soothing pools at Lolo Hot Springs and observe the antelope, deer, eagles and ospreys that inhabit the region. On this trip, Professor Boles, leading his final Lewis and Clark travel adventure, will delve into why Jefferson commissioned this exploratory expedition, what was known about the American West at that time and the complicated relations between the Corps and Native Americans.

Waterways of Russia August 27–Sep tember 6, 2015 FROM $4,995 PER PERSON, D OUBLE O CCUPANCY OFFERED BY: THOMAS P. GOHAGAN & COMPANY

The timelessness of Russia reveals itself in the scenic rivers, lakes and canals that link St. Petersburg with Moscow. Between these two great cultural capitals lies a countryside seemingly untouched by the 20th century. Golden-domed churches rise out of the early morning mist, quaint wooden villages and old-world farms dot the verdant landscape, and the gentle light of summer evenings gives an otherworldly aura to the banks of Russia’s great “blue road” of inland waterways. Explore the greatest artistic, historical and architectural treasures of classical Russian culture and several “Golden Ring” cities during an excellent time of year. Cruise aboard the exclusively chartered M.S. Volga Dream, one of the most luxurious small ships cruising Russia’s waterways. Visit splendid St. Petersburg, Russia’s “window on the West” and the majestic legacy of that most visionary of czars, Peter the Great. From St. Petersburg, cruise through the heartland of Mother Russia, where everyday life goes on at the measured pace it has kept for generations. Here, villagers still dwell in traditional wooden cottages and preserve the folkways of their ancestors, and onion-domed churches and fortified monasteries testify to the abiding faith of the Russian people. Our program will conclude with one night aboard ship in the fabled city of Moscow, the political and commercial capital of the world’s largest country and the cultural frontier between East and West. This unique opportunity features the premier ship in Russia and a thoughtfully crafted, comprehensive itinerary featuring opportunities to see nine UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Cruising the Rivieras and Islands of France, Italy and Spain September 4–12, 2015 F RO M $ 5 , 2 9 5 P E R P E R S O N, D O U BL E O C C U PA N C Y O F F E R E D BY: T H O M A S P. G O H AG A N & C O M PA N Y

We love the travel program offered by Rice Alumni Traveling Owls. The staff works closely with tour companies to ensure worry-free travel and wonderful accommodations. In addition, we take comfort in knowing the staff coordinates with Rice faculty who lead trips to promote lifelong learning, lifetime friendships and life-changing adventures. We are already looking forward to our next journey with the Traveling Owls.

—Wanda Pan ’77 & ’05 and David Tocco

We cordially invite you to voyage between two great cultural capitals on this small trip itinerary specially designed for the Rice Traveling Owls. The exclusively chartered, five-star M.V. Tere Moana, a sophisticated and authentic small ship carrying only 90 guests, will visit a unique combination of the best of southern Europe’s ports on the splendid French and Spanish coastlines, as well as the Italian rivieras and their idyllic islands. You will experience some of the world’s most amazing sights and discover the dynamic history of rivaling civilizations and great artistic and architectural legacies as you travel through the timeless cradle of the Renaissance. See firsthand why these stunning landscapes became a favorite retreat for artists, writers, nobility and gourmands. This one-of-a-kind itinerary features wonderful, small ports — which larger cruise vessels often overlook — along with legendary traditional ones. Cruise from Rome to Barcelona with at least one port of call each day and opportunities to visit five UNESCO World Heritage sites. Visit Carcassonne’s medieval fortifications and the cliffside villages of the Cinque Terre. Explore the Renaissance treasures of Florence and the historic Tuscan monuments of Lucca and Pisa. Admire the natural beauty of Sardinia’s dazzling Costa Smeralda. Explore Nice’s mélange of historical cultures, from the time of the Savoys to that of the Habsburgs and the Romanovs, and experience the principality of Monaco’s Riviera chic. Take in Cannes, the centerpiece of the Côte d’Azur, and the ancient and alluring port of Bonifacio.

Cruising the Rhine River September 5–13, 2015 FROM $2,995 PER PERSON, D OUBLE O CCUPANCY OFFERED BY: ORBRID GE

On this mesmerizing journey aboard the 361-foot Avalon Felicity, cruise the ancient trade route along the scenic shores of Germany, France and the Netherlands, which are dotted with wonderful small villages and fascinating historic towns like Strasbourg, Heidelberg, Cologne and Amsterdam. With your Traveling Owls group, enjoy guided sightseeing in Strasbourg, Koblenz and Heidelberg. Some of the highlights of your trip will include visiting the La Petite France district and the Gothic cathedral in Strasbourg, the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz and Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in Rudesheim. Admire Cologne’s Kölner Dom, Germany’s most renowned cathedral that boasts Gothic architecture that took longer than 600 years to construct. Pass beneath the legendary Lorelei rock towering above the Rhine and see the canals of Amsterdam. With onboard lectures, activities and entertainment, the fun and lifelong learning are only just beginning as you set sail.

Literary luminaries in the 19th century filled their travelogues with praise for Switzerland and Italy. Follow in their footsteps as you explore the best of the Swiss Alps and Italy’s Lake District in the company of your fellow Rice travelers. Indulge in the cosmopolitan ambiance of the jet-set resort town of St. Moritz, your gateway to the picturesque village of Zuoz and the scenic Bernina Express. Then, cross the border into Italy to see the historic town of Stresa, nestled on the shores of Lake Maggiore. Explore Lake Orta and admire the spectacular frescoes on the legendary island of San Giulio. You will have the opportunity to see Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” and the opulent 14th-century duomo with your own eyes in the vibrant city of Milan. Visit baroque villas in the beautiful Borromean Islands and take in the beauty of rare birds, exotic gardens and a 16th-century palace filled with ancient antiques. This eight-night Alumni Campus Abroad program includes all excursions, first-class accommodations in two cites, educational programs, an extensive meal plan and wine with dinner.

Swiss Alps and the Italian Lakes Sep tember 25–O ctober 4, 2015 FROM $2,995 PER PERSON, D OUBLE O CCUPANCY OFFERED BY: ALUMNI HOLIDAYS INTERNATIONAL

History’s Lost Cities by Private Jet November 1–23, 2015 Whether you’re seeking to recapture your ancestral heritage or simply to discover a beautiful and poignant part of the world, this small group tour, limited to just 24 Rice travelers, offers ample opportunity for enrichment, enlightenment and enjoyment. Led by Lora Wildenthal, professor of history and chair of the history department, you will enjoy this leisurely and comprehensive journey that provides a generous overview of five distinctly different nations: Poland, Hungary, Austria, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Begin your 17-day tour in Poland’s capital, Warsaw, where sightseeing includes the faithfully rebuilt Old Town and guided visits to the Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration camps. Travel to Krakow and tour its authentic Old Town and Main Market Square and the Wieliczka Salt Mines, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Explore Budapest with comprehensive touring, including visits to Matthias Church and Fisherman’s Bastion. Discover the “Paris of the East” on your own time. Pass through the countryside of western Transdanubia en route to Vienna. In Vienna, attend a classical music performance in the most musical of all cities and enjoy sightseeing, including a visit inside the majestic Schönbrunn Palace. Next, continue to old-world Bratislava and embark on a walking tour of the historic castle area, including a visit to the 18th-century classical-style Archbishop’s Palace. Then dine at the restaurant of a local family. Travel to the Czech Republic and enjoy a tour of elegant Prague, including Old Town Square, Prague Castle and Charles Bridge. Visit Josefov, Prague’s historic Jewish ghetto, and the Old Jewish Cemetery with its centuries-old headstones. Take this fantastic opportunity to explore the unique cities of Eastern Europe in the company of fellow Rice alumni and friends. You also have the option to extend your stay in Prague on an optional 3-day/2-night post-tour “On Your Own” extension.



Travel by private jet between ancient centers of commerce and culture on this unique journey full of legendary art, impressive architecture, intriguing history and beautiful scenery. You will visit the Persian capital of Baku, Azerbaijan, where you will discover Shirvanshah’s Palace and Maiden Tower, two parts of Baku’s Old City UNESCO World Heritage site. In Samarkand, visit Registan Square and its assembly of buildings with exquisitely decorated madrassas, fluted domes and minarets. Spend two nights in the bustling capital of Nepal, a country of monks and pilgrims that remained closed to outsiders until the 1950s. Experience the sacred Buddhist city of Lhasa and visit the lavishly ornamented Potala Palace, once the winter residence of the Dalai Lama. Explore Luang Prabang’s golden temples and cruise the Mekong River to the cave temples of Pak Ou, where faithful Buddhists have journeyed for centuries to worship among thousands of lacquered and gilded Buddha figures. You will also visit Myanmar, a fascinating destination that is emerging from decades of political and economic isolation. Here, mist-shrouded lakes, ancient Buddhist temples and multiple cultures remain largely unspoiled by the modern world. While in India, explore the majestic Taj Mahal above the banks of the Yamuna River before reboarding our private jet for Udaipur, a city of stunning marble palaces that rise above the picturesque waters of Lake Pichola. Before our journey comes to an end, explore Jordan’s Lost City of Petra, an archaeological masterpiece built into the red cliffs. Or go to the lowest spot on the face of the earth, Israel’s Dead Sea, and float in this mineral-rich body of water.

Eastern and Oriental Express: Bangkok to Bali November 6–18, 2015 FROM $5,995 PER PERSON, D OUBLE O CCUPANCY OFFERED BY: ALUMNI HOLIDAYS INTERNATIONAL

Experience the wonder of cultures and ancient histories in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia on this exciting tour specially tailored for Rice travelers. While in Bangkok, ride through the city on a tuk-tuk, marvel at the opulence of the Grand Palace, visit Wat Po and see other key landmarks. In Ayutthaya, Thailand, learn about endangered Asian elephants, cruise the Chao Phraya River and immerse yourself in the beauty of ancient Siam. Then, celebrate the golden age of travel by spending three nights aboard the legendary Eastern and Oriental Express Train. Journey under the bridge over the River Kwai on a raft and visit colonial Georgetown, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Explore lively Singapore before flying to Bali, known as the “island of the gods.” Observe daily life at a housing compound and the famous market in Ubud. In the company of your newly made friends, admire the island’s breathtaking scenery, volcanoes, jungles and white-sand beaches. This program includes excursions, deluxe accommodations and an extensive meal plan.


In the remote grain port of Churchill, located on the west coast of Canada’s Hudson Bay, Rice travelers will experience the excitement of seeing polar bears in their own natural habitat. In partnership with the Houston Zoo, you will experience a trip that brings nature to life. Last year, this trip sold out, so we encourage you to sign up quickly if you want to join this incredible journey in 2015! Every fall, the tundra surrounding Churchill becomes a stopover for more than 1,000 bears on their annual migration to hunt for food on the frozen ice of Hudson Bay. Large numbers of these usually solitary bears can be found in Churchill at this time of year, making it the “polar bear capital of the world.” In the safety of tundra vehicles, you can view these majestic creatures from close range. During the day, young male bears playfight, mothers cautiously explore with their cubs at their sides and solitary adult bears lumber across the tundra. It is also common to see gyrfalcons, snowy owls, ptarmigans and Arctic foxes. Your knowledgeable expedition leader will be on hand to discuss polar bear behavior, natural history and adaptations to the Arctic way of life. On this unique northern adventure, you will take an unforgettable evening trip — in addition to our daytime excursions — to observe nightfall on the pristine and isolated tundra landscape. If conditions are right, you may also be able to observe the aurora borealis, or northern lights, as radiating colors illuminating the night sky. An increased awareness of the importance of protecting the bears, along with growing tourist interest in their yearly migration, has brought about a sense of commitment by the people of Churchill to help these mighty animals migrate safely through their now-famous town. Join us on this exciting Arctic journey to view polar bears in the wild.

The Rice University Office of Alumni Affairs offers the Traveling Owls program to foster lifelong learning for alumni, parents and friends. Our offering these trips does not indicate Rice University’s or the Office of Alumni Affairs’ 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

Check out our travel videos and faculty conversations on YouTube at

See the world through the eyes of Traveling Owls travelers on Flickr at

Read about our travel experiences on our Wordpress travel blog at

Connect with the Traveling Owls online 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.

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2015 Traveling Owls Catalog  
2015 Traveling Owls Catalog