Alumni Travel Programs

WIU Alumni & Friends are invited to join your Alumni Association and other Western alumni in traveling and learning opportunities worldwide on an Alumni Travel Abroad Program.

More than a year has gone by since the WIU Alumni Association restructured our Travel Abroad Program and the reviews are in! Dozens of WIU alumni and friends have traveled to Holland, Belgium, Italy, France and many more picturesque places. We are excited to announce our new trips that go through 2016. Reservations are coming in as alumni plan to travel with fellow Leathernecks. We hope you will join us on the journey(s)!

"Everyone should have the opportunity to visit the Mediterranean countries of Italy, France and Spain! Gorgeous!"
--Jana Cleveland '75 on the Pearls of the Mediterranean trip.

"Wonderful!!! Staff was great along with the guides."
--Ron and Joanna Garand on the Cruise the Rhine trip.

"This was our first cruise and it was excellent from beginning to end. It was relaxing, educational and loads of fun!"
--anonymous on the Cruise the Rhine trip.

Alumni Holidays

AHI International Corporation, better known as Alumni Holidays®, an alumni partner for the past 40 years, has been a leader in the creation and operation of exclusive and unique travel programs for sophisticated travelers. Together, we work to ensure that each travel experience reflects the high standards set on behalf of our alumni and friends. All sponsored programs are researched by travel experts, utilizing many years of experience in designing creative itineraries that provide a strong connection to the places and people of the cultures you will visit.

In addition to our Alumni Travel Abroad Programs, the Alumni Association offers Alumni Escapes which feature a collection of travel favorites visited in a whole new way. At exceptional values, these well planned programs offer first class accomodations and a pleasurable mix of excursions and events along with plenty of time for personal pursuits.

In addition to the featured Western Illinois University travel programs sponsored for alumni and friends, the Alumni Association also provides you the opportunity to travel independently on all AHI programs and dates.

Go NextTahitian Jewels trip

For nearly 40 years, Go Next has made the world more accessible to the sophisticated traveler. Offering unique and fascinating itineraries on land, at sea and by river, Go Next programs are designed to provide the maximum experience at an affordable price. With the ideal balance of exploration, education and relaxation, our trips provide the savings and conveniences of a group program, while presenting opportunities for independent exploration. Go Next is committed to providing quality travel programs and excellent customer service for professional associations and college alumni groups. Accompanied by an experienced and dedicated staff, Go Next travelers have journeyed the globe.

Picture:  WIU alumni and friends on the 2014 Go Next Tahitian Jewels trip in January 2014. Front row, l-r:  Janet Sell '62 and Brenda Cordis. Back row, l-r:  Bernie Sell '80 and  Chuck Cordis '67.

We OFFER Travel Insurance for all types of travel

Whether you decide to travel with WIU or even for trips you take on your own, the WIU Alumni Association offers insurance for all types of trips. Feel free to check out our Travel Insurance Program!

For more than a decade, WIU has chosen USI Travel Insurance Services to provide travel insurance plans for alumni and friends. Every year, Travel Insurance Select provides coverage to thousands of alumni travelers just like you. Be sure you are adequately insured for your next trip – whether participating in a WIU Travel Abroad Program or traveling on your own.

Insurance benefits: coverage of your travel investment for Trip Cancellation or Interruption, Trip Planning Flexibility with Cancel For Any Reason, Worldwide Medical Expense and Emergency Evacuation Coverage and much more. Click here for more information or to sign up before you hit the road, sea or ocean. Or call 800-937-1387 for more information or to enroll by phone.

NOTE: The itinerary(ies) outlined below is preliminary and is subject to change due to operational conditions.

Upcoming Trips

European Hideaways - June 1 – 9, 2016
Italy's Magnificent Lake District - June 21 – 29, 2016
Grand Danube Passage - July 25 – August 8, 2016
Great Pacific Northwest - September 17 – 25, 2016
Spain - Ronda - October 4 – 12, 2016
Adriatic Gems - November 1 – 9, 2016

Save the date for our 2017 trips.

Baja and the Riviera - January 7 – 17, 2017
Portraits of Chile & Argentina - February 4 – 16, 2017
Havana Impressions - March 10 – 15, 2017
Timeless Treasures - April 28 – May 6, 2017
Sicily - May 9 – 18, 2017
Swiss Alps & the Italian Lakes - June 2 – 11, 2017
Coastal Mediterranean - June 13 – 21, 2017 
Cruise the Rhine River - July 10 – 18, 2017
Riches of the Emerald Isle - July 18 – 29, 2017
Baltic & Scandinavia Treasures - August 17 – 28, 2017
Music in America - October 29 – November 6, 2017

**Please note that all trip dates are subject to change.

2016 WIU Alumni Travel Program

European Hideaways European Hideaways
June 1 – 9, 2016
from $2,499 per person, double occupancy (unlimited Internet, pre-paid gratuities and airfare included from select cities) - NEW PRICING & BENEFITS

The soul-stirring landscapes, cosmopolitan cities and captivating cultures of the Mediterranean are yours to experience as you sail aboard Oceania Cruises' graceful Riviera to Spain, France, Monaco and Italy. Depart Barcelona for the "Island of Tranquility," Mallorca, where Palma beckons with a majestic Gothic cathedral and palm-fringed waterfront. Then explore France's oldest city, Marseille, a gateway to the quaint villages and postcard-worthy landscapes of Provence. Take in the glamorous charms of Monte Carlo, home to the impressive Prince's Palace and the world's most prestigious casino. Cruse to Italy and visit the fishing village turned resort town, Portofino, a modern playground of villas and yachts, and see the beautiful cliffside villages of the fabled Cinque Terre. Before concluding your journey in Rome, stop at the port of Livorno, a jumping-off point for adventures in the glorious Tuscan countryside or the world-class Renaissance cities of Florence and Pisa. 

(For more information or to make a reservation for this Go Next trip, call 800-842-9023, or click here.)

Italy's Magnificent Lake District Milan
June 21 – 29, 2016

$3,490 (if booked by 5 /7/16) + air

Discover the unique character of Italy’s turquoise lakes while you explore the charming towns, majestic Renaissance villas and lush gardens that adorn their shores. Explore Lake Orta, perched in the mountains, and admire the spectacular frescoes on the legendary island of San Giulio. Visit baroque villas in the beautiful Borromean Islands, and see rare birds, exotic gardens and a 16th-century palace filled with antiques. Cruise lakes Maggiore and Como, the great lakes of Italy, by private boat. See Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” and the opulent 14th-century Duomo in the vibrant city of Milan. Roam the 18th- and 19th-century villas of Bellagio and the piazza of Como. Conclude this magical small group journey with an interactive cooking lesson at a local restaurant and a visit to Villa Taranto and its gorgeous gardens. This Alumni Campus Abroad program includes all excursions, seven nights at the first-class Hotel La Palma on the banks of Lake Maggiore, educational programs, an extensive meal plan and wine with dinner. There is no single supplement for solo travelers.

(For more information or to make a reservation for this Alumni Holidays trip, call 800-323-7373 or click here.)

Grand Danube Passage Prague
July 25 – August 8, 2016
from $5,590 + air (if booked by 6/10/16)

Experience Eastern European culture, marvelous old-world capitals, ornate cathedrals and picturesque villages as you cruise the celebrated Grand Danube Passage for eight nights aboard the exclusively chartered MS Amadeus Silver. Along the way, discover enthralling scenery in eight countries and 13 cities and towns. See ancient capitals, Roman ruins, magnificent churches, ornate palaces and medieval castles in Vidin, Belgrade, Budapest and Vienna, among others. Sail through the Iron Gate Gorge, the Carpathian Mountains’ dramatic cliffs, the twisting Danube Bend and the breathtaking Wachau Valley. New for 2016, enjoy a customizable journey with a choice of included excursions in many ports of call. Begin with a three-night stay in Prague, and after your cruise, spend two nights in the fashionable Oborishte district of Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital, and admire the city whose name means “wisdom.” This program features flexible excursions, lectures by local experts to enhance your insight into the region, accommodations, an extensive meal plan, wine with dinner and time for independent exploration.

(For more information or to make a reservation for this Alumni Holidays trip, call 800-323-7373 or click here.)

Great Pacific Northwest Great Pacific Northwest
September 17 – 25, 2016
from $2,899 per person (if booked by 3/18/16), double occupancy (airfare is additional)

Incredibly beautiful and wildly bountiful, the Pacific Northwest presents a miraculous geological masterpiece where lush, unspoiled forests blanket dramatic slopes, imposing mountains cradle mighty rivers and sparkling waterfalls cascade into breathtaking gorges. Experience this spectacular region that captivated intrepid explorers as you cruise the Columbia and Snake Rivers aboard the American Empress, the largest and most elegant riverboat west of the Mississippi. Begin with a stay in Vancouver, Washington, a lovely city situated near Portland, Oregon’s hub of culture and epicurean delights. Then discover the small-town charms of the oldest city west of the Rockies, Astoria, and watch ever-glorious landscapes glide by as you sail to The Dalles—the end of the Oregon Trail. Take in magnificent scenery in Stevenson, home to the renowned Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center Museum, and visit the Bonneville Dam, a monument to human ingenuity. Before concluding your voyage in Clarkston, a quaint town famed as a gateway to North America's deepest river gorge, explore the fascinating exhibits at Sacajawea State Park.

(For more information or to make a reservation for this Go Next trip, call 800-842-9023 or click here.)

Spain ~ Ronda Spain - Ronda
October 4 – 12, 2016 (please note date change)

from $2,995 + VAT + air

It is impossible to separate the southernmost region of the Iberian Peninsula from the desire to explore. After all, Ferdinand Magellan and Christopher Columbus both began their most renowned voyages here. Begin your own journey here during a seven-night stay in Ronda, one of Spain’s oldest and most picturesque white-washed hill towns. Visit the oldest bullring in Spain and enjoy views over the spectacular gorge while staying at Parador de Ronda. In Seville, the cultural heart of the region, explore the world’s largest Gothic building and the Alcázar. A scenic drive takes you to Malaga and the museum dedicated to its most famous native: Picasso. Discover the grandeur of the Alhambra in Granada; enjoy lunch at the historic Parador de Granada; and sample sherry in Jerez de la Frontera. This Alumni Campus Abroad program includes excursions, educational programs, accommodations and an extensive meal plan featuring Spanish wine with dinner. There is no single supplement for solo travelers.

(For more information or to make a reservation for this Alumni Holidays trip, call 800-323-7373 or click here.)

Adriatic GemsAdriatic Gems
November 1 – 9, 2016
from $2,599 per person, double occupancy (if booked by 4/28/16 and airfare included from select cities)

Discover the remnants of ancient empires and the spellbinding beauty of Southern Europe as you cruise the fabled waters of the Adriatic aboard Oceania Cruises’ chic Riviera. Depart Rome for Naples, a classic Italian city of breathtaking frescoes, archaeological and artistic treasures, and mouthwatering culinary delights. Find yourself in Sicily’s second-largest city, vibrant Catania, graced with elegant Baroque buildings and a glorious 18th-century cathedral. Stroll the cobbled seaside promenade in Argostoli, Greece, and experience Montenegro’s coastal port of Kotor, a medieval town enclosed by impressive walls. Then cruise to Croatia and the intriguing city of Zadar, featuring marble streets framed by Romanesque structures. Take in Slovenia’s largest cathedral at Koper, an age-old city filled with grand architecture, followed by Venice, a romantic masterpiece built on water. Before your voyage concludes, explore the city’s opulent palazzi and enchanting squares set amid a network of weaving canals and bridges.

(For more information or to make a reservation for this Go Next trip, call 800-842-9023 or click here.)


SAVE THE DATE for these 2017 trips!

Baja & the Riviera Puerto
January 7 – 17, 2017
f rom $1,999 per person, double occupancy (airfare included from select cities)

Journey along the Baja Peninsula and the Mexican Riviera, where sparkling turquoise bays provide a playground for fascinating marine life, pristine white-sand beaches give way to ochre-colored desert landscapes, and chic resort towns beckon with stylish shops and galleries. Depart Los Angeles aboard Oceania Cruises’ intimate Regatta and sail to Topolobampo, a gateway to the colonial treasures of El Fuerte and the spectacular scenery of Mexico’s famed Copper Canyon. Then explore the tree-lined promenade in LaPaz, or perhaps travel to Espíritu Santo, a breathtaking island renowned for its superb snorkeling. Stroll past colorful neoclassical buildings in Mazatlán’s old quarter, and then laze on glittering beaches at Puerto Vallarta, the Mexican Riviera’s crown jewel. Unwind in Cabo San Lucas, a sun-kissed resort town complete with scenic cliffs and picture-perfect beaches. Before returning to Los Angeles, browse San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter, where Victorian-era buildings house charming shops and art galleries. 

(For more information or to make a reservation for this Go Next trip, call 800-842-9023.)

Portrait of Chile & ArgentinaChile
February 4 – 16, 2017
$4,695 (if booked by 8/13/16) + VAT + air

Journey to a South American oasis where landscapes flaunt snowcapped Andean peaks and sprawling metropolises unveil rich cultural treasures. Explore beautiful Viña del Mar and the UNESCO World Heritage site of Valparaíso before dining with cowboys at a Chilean ranch. Sail across crystal lakes into Argentina and immerse yourself in charming Bariloche, a picturesque town that boasts the nearby Nahuel Huapi National Park. Discover the allure of cosmopolitan Buenos Aires and see the famed Casa Rosada, the Metropolitan Cathedral and the Teatro Colón. Visit the diverse and beguiling corners of the city such as the Recoleta, La Boca and Palermo neighborhoods. Delight in an evening featuring dinner and tango lessons in an Argentine home. Local guides and expert speakers will fascinate you during included excursions and lectures. Deluxe accommodations have been reserved throughout and your extensive meal plan includes wine with dinner. This small-group experience provides ample free time to explore at your leisure and make your own discoveries.

(For more information or to make a reservation for this Alumni Holidays trip, call 800-323-7373 or click here.)

Havana Impressions Havana
March 10 – 15, 2017
Price TBD per person, double occupancy (Round-trip airfare to Miami is additional)

 Cuba’s turbulent economic and political past and vibrant, culturally rich present unfold on this inspiring journey. This exclusive travel opportunity is organized and operated by Go Next, Inc., a qualified people-to-people sponsoring organization allowed to conduct educational exchanges in Cuba. With an intimate group of up to 25 travelers, you will uncover the beauty and history of this mesmerizing country from its alluring capital—Havana. One of the Caribbean’s largest cities, home to over two million people, Havana buzzes with energy and unique culture. Throughout this enriching six-day adventure, you’ll gain insight into the city’s intriguing heritage by visiting artist studios, historical sites and celebrated museums, and gain a deeper understanding of Cuban culture while connecting with diverse citizens, such as artists, students, educators and entrepreneurs. You will also explore the eco-village, Las Terrazas, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve nestled amid the picturesque, verdant countryside.

  (For more information or to make a reservation for this Go Next trip, call 800-842-9023.)

Timeless Treasures Timeless Treasures
April 28 – May 6, 2017
rom $2,799 per person, double occupancy (airfare included from select cities)

 From the color-splashed coastal towns of Italy to the idyllic clifftop villages of the Greek isles, celebrate timeless treasures and beautiful scenery on this adventure aboard Oceania Cruises’ Riviera. Depart Athens for Santorini, the jewel of the Cyclades, renowned for its postcard-worthy vistas of whitewashed houses perched above glittering seas. Explore Crete’s Minoan palaces and windmill-dotted landscapes. Then take in the gilded splendors of St. John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta, Malta. Head ashore at Messina, a lovely Sicilian town that beckons with a vibrant piazza and 12th-century cathedral, or perhaps travel to nearby Taormina, which boasts a famous Greek theater and stunning views of Mount Etna. Before your seven-night odyssey concludes in Rome, unwind in Sorrento, a delightful seaside resort with fragrant lemon groves and shop-lined lanes, or visit Capri, where breathtaking seascapes and quaint villages await.

(For more information or to make a reservation for this Go Next trip, call 800-842-9023.)

May 9 – 18, 2017

$2,995 (if booked by 10/29/16) + VAT + air

Sicily has been a natural intersection for travelers and explorers, who left their mark on local life. Delve into Sicily’s epic past while staying in western, central and eastern areas of the island. Walk in the footsteps of ancient Greeks and Romans as you discover the well-preserved remnants of their civilizations. Admire the architectural legacy of Gothic, Moorish and Norman conquerors. Marvel at the remarkable mosaics of the Villa Romana del Casale and the extensive collection of baroque architecture in Modica and Ragusa. Explore medieval Taormina, where Mount Etna stands in the distance, and Syracuse, an ancient Greek city. Savor the flavors of Sicily at a family farm, where award-winning olive oil is produced. Enjoy first-class accommodations in Palermo, Caltagirone and Taormina. In Caltagirone, stay at a unique hotel and spa on an organic farm, and savor meals created with freshly harvested produce. This small-group program features engaging excursions, expert guides and an extensive meal plan plus wine with dinner.

(For more information or to make a reservation for this Alumni Holidays trip, call 800-323-7373 or click here.)

Swiss Alps & The Italian LakesLake
June 2 – 11, 2017
Price TBD + VAT + air

The best of Swiss and Italian culture and heritage await you! Discover the best of both countries from two charming towns. From your Swiss base in St. Moritz, discover the delightful alpine village of Zuoz. Marvel at the spectacular mountain scenery on the famed Bernina Express. With a cableway pass in hand, let your interests be your guide during your free time. Travel through the scenic Maloja Pass as you make your way to Stresa, which sits along Lake Maggiore and is your home in the lake district. Cruise the pristine waters of Lake Como, one of the many glacial lakes of the area. Visit Milan to see Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” and the La Scala Museum. Local guides and expert speakers provide fascinating insight during engaging excursions and talks. This Alumni Campus Abroad program includes first-class accommodations in St. Moritz and Stresa and an extensive meal plan plus wine with dinner.

  (For more information or to make a reservation for this Alumni Holidays trip, call 800-323-7373 or click here.)

Coastal Mediterranean  WesternMediterranean
June 13 – 21, 2017
rom $2,699 per person, double occupancy (airfare included from select cities)

Take in the Mediterranean’s enchanting coastal towns as you cruise from Rome to Monte Carlo aboard Oceania Cruises’ luxurious Riviera. Set sail for Amalfi, a colorful resort town overlooking sapphire seas. Explore Sardinia’s capital, Cagliari, featuring an alluring mix of Roman ruins, Byzantine churches, and lovely botanical gardens, before heading to the island of Mallorca. Admire Palma’s palm-fringed waterfront and breathtaking cathedral, or venture north to Valldemossa, an idyllic mountain village sprinkled with quaint stone houses. Visit France’s oldest city, Marseille, a gateway to the postcard-worthy landscapes and medieval towns of Provence. Then sail east along the French Riviera to Antibes, a classic Mediterranean getaway romanticized by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Cap off your voyage in glamorous Monte Carlo, home to the impressive Prince’s Palace and the world’s most prestigious casino.

(For more information or to make a reservation for this Go Next trip, call 800-842-9023.)

Cruise the Rhine RiverAmsterdam
July 10 – 18, 2017

From $2,795 + VAT + air

Share your love of travel with the children in your life and cruise through the heartland of Europe on a journey designed with families in mind. Settle in onboard the elegant, new Amadeus Silver III and enjoy a choice of excursions and activities that showcase the highlights of Holland, Germany and France. In Amsterdam, explore charming canals and sail by historic sites like the Anne Frank House. Marvel at the famed Gothic cathedral in Cologne, sail through the Rhine Gorge and see fairytale castles overlooking the river. Visit lovely river towns and explore Strasbourg, France. Expert guides and lecturers provide fascinating narrative during shore excursions and educational programs. This family program is open to passengers ages 7-years-old and up, traveling with an adult, and features onboard children’s activities coordinated by an energetic Youth Director. Enjoy first-class ship accommodations, including some cabins with connecting doors; an extensive meal plan; and wine with lunch and dinner for the adults.

(For more information or to make a reservation for this Alumni Holidays trip, call 800-323-7373 or click here.)

Riches of the Emerald IsleIreland
July 18 – 29, 2017

$3,995 + VAT + air

Embark on a journey infused with Celtic history, intoxicating landscapes and energetic cities. Experience the best of Irish culture, music and folklore during stays in Ennis, Killarney, Mallow and Dublin. Explore 11th-century Ennis and stroll through coastal Galway. Drive through the unusual Burren landscape, visit the Poulnabrone Dolman tomb and feel the mighty wind along the resplendent Cliffs of Moher. Enjoy a scenic cruise to Inishmore before exploring the Dun Aengus ruins. Board a ferry and learn about life in a fishing community on Dingle Peninsula. Appreciate the coastal wonders along the Ring of Kerry, visit Blarney Castle and enjoy a meal and evening at the cozy, family-run Longueville House. En route to Dublin, learn about Ireland’s thoroughbreds before visiting St. Patrick’s Cathedral and historic Trinity College in Dublin. Local guides and experts provide background and context during fascinating excursions and interactive talks. This small-group experience features deluxe and first-class accommodations and an extensive meal plan featuring wine with dinner.

(For more information or to make a reservation for this Alumni Holidays trip, call 800-323-7373 or click here.)

Baltic & Scandinavia Treasures Baltic&Scandinavia
August 17 – 28, 2017
$4,499 per person, double occupancy (airfare included from select cities)

Baltic and Scandinavian treasures abound on this voyage to some of northern Europe’s most iconic ports aboard Oceania Cruises’intimate Nautica. Depart Stockholm for Tallinn, a beautifully preserved city that radiates old-world charm with red-roofed homes and spire-crowned churches. Take advantage of three days to encounter the best of St. Petersburg, a glittering metropolis crisscrossed by canals and dotted with onion-domed cathedrals, artistic riches, and fabled palaces. Admire more architectural gems in the Finnish capital of Helsinki, a celebrated international design mecca. Then explore Riga, the “Paris of the East,” and stroll past quaint timber-framed buildings in Klaipeda’s Old Town. Continue on to Germany’s delightful port of Warnemünde, a gateway to the world-class museums and powerful memorials of Berlin, before concluding your voyage in Copenhagen.

(For more information or to make a reservation for this Go Next trip, call 800-842-9023.)

Music in America MusicinAmerica
October 29 – November 6, 2017 (please note change of date)
$1,699 per person, double occupancy (airfare is additional)

Celebrate the classic music of America on this river cruise to picture-perfect towns in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Missouri. Begin with a stay in the “Country Music Capital of the World,” Nashville, an iconic city that beckons with elegant architecture, an inventive culinary scene, and an ever-vibrant music culture. Then board the American Queen, the largest and most opulent riverboat in the world, and cruise to Clarksville, dotted with unique attractions like the stately Smith-Trahern Mansion. Delve into fascinating Civil War history at Dover’s Fort Donelson National Battlefield and Cemetery. Take in the majestic mansions of the Savannah Historic District, and browse the shops and eateries of Paducah, a lovely city at the confluence of the Ohio and Tennessee Rivers. Before concluding your voyage in Memphis, the “Home of the Blues,” explore New Madrid’s magnificent Hunter-Dawson estate.

(For more information or to make a reservation for this Go Next trip, call 800-842-9023.)