Alumni

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 2015. Reservations are coming in as alumni plan to travel with fellow Leathernecks. We hope you will join us on the journey(s)!

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

Southern Africa - October 15-29, 2014
China and the Yangtze River - October 20-November 3, 2014
Pearls of the Mediterranean - November 7-15, 2014
Cruise the Panama Canal - November 19-30, 2014

Save the dates for our 2015 trips!

Mayan Mystique - January 6 – 16, 2015
Polynesian Paradise - March 15 – 25, 2015
Mediterranean Coastal Hideaways - April 24 – May 3, 2015 (See special offer below!)
Spain - May 18 - 27, 2015
Paris Immersion - June 5 - 16, 2015
Pearls of the Mediterranean - June 15 – 23, 2015
Coastal Alaska - July 7 – 14, 2015
Scotland - August 5 - 13, 2015
Baltic Marvels - August 13 - 21, 2015 (Please note the new date.)
Greek Isles Odyssey - September 26 – October 5, 2015
Rediscovered Tuscany - October 14 - 22, 2015
Eastern & Oriental Express - November 6 - 18, 2015
**Please note that all trip dates are subject to change.

Treasures of Southern Africa
Travel Abroad:  Africa
October 15-29, 2014
from $6,995 + air + VAT

Embark on a once-in-a-lifetime journey to southern Africa, a region known both for its rich cultural heritage and natural beauty. Begin your journey in Cape Town, South Africa, known as the Mother City because it is the oldest city in the country. Table Mountain and the sea are just as much of Cape Town's identity as its delightful and unique mix of cultures. Walk in Nelson Mandela's footsteps on Robben Island. Ascend Cape Point and marvel at the panoramic view of the ocean. See African penguins at Boulders Beach. The luxurious Rovos Rail will take you on a two-night deluxe train journey across the country to Pretoria. At the deluxe Thornybush Game Reserve, keep an eye out for the Big Five and other exotic wildlife during game drives during a two-day luxury safari in this game-rich area next to Kruger National Park. In Johannesburg, tour Soweto and visit a local youth center. Bring to a close this exceptional program by experiencing the power and majesty of thundering Victoria Falls. This adventure includes excursions, luxury accommodations and an extensive meal plan.

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

China and the Yangtze River
Travel Abroad:  China
October 20-November 3, 2014
from $3,995 + air + VAT

Discover one of the most fascinating and dynamic nations in the world on this comprehensive journey that reveals China's mystique and highlights its timeless treasures, world-class cities and tranquil farming villages. Travel to famous landmarks, including the sprawling Summer Palace, the Temple of Heaven and the Great Wall. Walk through sprawling Tian'anmen Square, and step inside the massive walls of the Forbidden City. Marvel at the Terra Cotta Warriors in Xi'an and the Buddhist cliff carvings in Dazu. Volunteer for a day at the Chengdu Panda Base and take advantage of this unique opportunity to learn about China's giant pandas. Enjoy special access to the Archaeological Research Institute in Xi'an, and view acquisitions not on display to the general public. Admire the impressive architectural display along the Bund in Shanghai, and cruise the scenic Yangtze River for three nights to marvel at the spectacular Three Gorges. Throughout your program, enjoy deluxe accommodations, all excursions and an extensive meal plan featuring regional specialties and wine with dinner.

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

Pearls of the Mediterranean
Pearls of Mediterranean
November 7–15, 2014
from $2,299 per person, double occupancy (Including airfare)

Discover some culturally-rich pearls of the Mediterranean, as you cruise from Monaco to Spain aboard Oceania Cruises Riviera, an elegant vessel replete with breathtaking amenities and outstanding cuisine. Depart Monte Carlo for Portofino and find a magnificent 16th-century castle overlooking a modern playground of villas and yachts. Journey to Rome and admire its stunning wealth of historical monuments and marvelous wonders, like the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain and St. Peter's Basilica. Head inland from the port of Livorno and experience the idyllic Tuscan countryside and the legendary cities of Florence and Pisa—two icons bursting with world-class art and Renaissance architecture. Savor the historic port city of Marseille, or explore its rich Provençal countryside dotted with medieval towns and quaint villages, before heading to Port Vendres. Bound by beauty, this classic Mediterranean harbor town along the Vermillion Coast is a true gem. Continue to Palma de Mallorca, Spain, a beautiful island offering stunning architecture from a massive Gothic cathedral to an ancient circular castle overlooking the harbor. Stroll the cobbled streets of Old Palma, or relax along the picturesque countryside sprinkled with windmills, before your exceptional voyage concludes in Barcelona.

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

Cruise the Panama Canal
Travel Abroad:  Panama Canal
November 19-30, 2014
from $3,135 + air + port

Set sail on Crystal Serenity and escape the chill of November for the sandy beaches, sunny skies and easygoing spirit of the Caribbean. Embark the ship in Miami and cruise to Key West, once the winter home of Ernest Hemmingway and today a fashionable retreat with tempting boutiques and galleries. Continue to Cozumel, Mexico's island paradise, and Costa Maya, famous for its ancient Mayan ruins. Discover the culture and history of Belize City, the tropical landscapes of Roatan Island and the fascinating architecture of Costa Rica's Puerto Limón. Celebrate the centennial of the Panama Canal as you traverse this famous man-made marvel, a masterpiece of 51 miles of locks that allow ships to effortlessly pass between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Conclude your adventure in Caldera, Costa Rica. During your journey, experience firsthand why Crystal Serenity is world-renowned for excellence. Enjoy award-winning entertainment, specialty restaurants, classes and expert speakers. Take advantage of 2-for-1 pricing and a host of amenities, including flexible dining times, open bar service, and gratuities for housekeeping, dining and bar staff. Special air add-ons are available from select gateway cities.

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

 

2015 WIU Alumni Travel Programs

Mayan Mystique
Grand Cayman
January 6 - January 16, 2015
from $2,499 per person, double occupancy (including airfare)

Experience awe-inspiring, tropical lands infused with vibrant cultures and riveting ancient ruins as you cruise the Caribbean along the coasts of Florida and Central America aboard the elegant Oceania Cruises Regatta. This exquisite 684-passenger vessel offers impeccable service, elegant accommodations and world-class cuisine, allowing you to fully relax and enjoy this remarkable 10-night voyage. Depart from Miami and savor the British charms and powdery white sands of Grand Cayman, behold captivating Mayan ruins in Mexico and admire cultural and natural treasures in Belize. Witness stunning Mayan stelae and quaint native villages in Guatemala, savor breathtaking scenery on the tranquil island of Roatan, and stroll palm-lined streets edged by 19th-century architecture in Key West—once home to author Ernest Hemingway. From reefs to ruins, sun-soaked beaches to pristine emerald jungles, your senses will be mystified by the land of the Maya.

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

 

Polynesian Paradise
Polynesian Paradise
March 15 - 25, 2015
from $3,999 per person, double occupancy (including airfare)

From luxurious white-sand beaches fringed by gently swaying palms and sweet-scented vanilla groves to velvety emerald mountains towering over translucent lagoons that dazzle in every hue of electric blue, indulge your senses with the wonders of French Polynesia. Cruise aboard Oceania Cruises' intimate, mid-sized Marina, an award-winning masterpiece at sea that shines with outstanding personalized service, elegant designer details and world-class cuisine. Admire kaleidoscopic lagoons surrounding Moorea and discover local legends and ancient marae (temples) amid gorgeous scenery on Raiatea. Be engulfed by endless tropical beauty on sun-kissed Bora Bora and experience a blend of black-sand beaches and sparkling waterfalls on Nuku Hiva. Explore Rangiroa, the second largest atoll in the world boasting a crystalline underwater playground teeming with multi-hued fish, before returning to Papeete on the lovely island of Tahiti. Set adrift, catch the breeze and watch scenes of incomparable beauty unfold one-by-one on this 10-night Polynesian odyssey.

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

Mediterranean Coastal Hideaways
Mediterranean Coastal Hideaways
April 24–May 3, 2015
from $2,999 per person, double occupancy (including airfare from select cities)
"Early Booking Discount" extended through October 31 , 2014

The elegance, excitement and captivating cultures of the Mediterranean are yours to experience as you cruise aboard the graceful Oceania Cruises Riviera to Spain, France, Monaco and Italy. Depart Barcelona for Valencia, renowned for its Baroque cathedrals, lively plazas and the visually impressive City of Arts and Sciences. Continue to the glorious island of Mallorca and the lovely city of Palma. Marvel at its massive Gothic cathedral and circular castle overlooking the harbor, relax amid the windmill-dotted countryside, or stroll the cobbled streets of Old Palma. Next, take in the colorful French city of Marseille or explore the rich Provençal countryside dotted with quaint villages and medieval towns. Then stop in glamorous Monte Carlo, a small, affluent enclave famous for its casino and its stunning locale on the Riviera's winding Grand Corniche. Sail to Italy and visit the fishing village turned resort town, Portofino, a modern playground of villas and yachts, and see the charming cliffside villages of Italy's renowned Cinque Terre. Explore the magnificent Renaissance museums and architecture of legendary Florence, stand before Pisa's famous Leaning Tower, or admire the picturesque rolling hills of Tuscany, before disembarking in Civitavecchia, the port of Rome.

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

Spain ~ Valencia and Barcelona
Spain
May 18 - 27, 2015
from $2,895 per person + VAT + air

Spain is a land of history and culture, a melting pot of diverse civilizations that beckons travelers from near and far. Answer the siren call on this exciting odyssey that showcases its best treasures. Begin your Spanish adventure with four nights in Valencia, where the blue sky stretches from the azure water of the Mediterranean Sea to the craggy heights of the coastal mountains. Savor a traditional paella lunch at a local cooking workshop in Old Town. Discover the charming town of Xàtiva and its castle. Visit Tarragona, the first and oldest Roman settlement on the Iberian Peninsula, and admire the well-preserved amphitheater. Conclude your adventure with four nights in Barcelona. Walk through the medieval streets and alleyways of the Gothic Quarter, see the Olympic Stadium and take in the stunning panoramic views from the lush hilltop retreat of Montjuïc. Marvel at the whimsical creations of Antoni Gaudí, a pleasing conclusion to this eight-night Alumni Campus Abroad journey that includes all excursions, first-class accommodations in two locations, an extensive meal plan and wine with dinner.

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

Paris Immersion
Paris June 5 - 16, 2015
from $3,295 + air + VAT (when booked by December 16, 2014)

Paris earned its nickname — the City of Light — because it embraced education and the exploration of new ideas during the Enlightenment. Today, Paris remains unparalleled in its cultural wealth. For 10 nights, explore the city and its environs at an unhurried pace. Visit the Latin Quarter to see the sites of the French Revolution and the oldest café in Paris. Marvel at the opulent palace at Versailles. Discover the places that played a large role during the World War II occupation of Paris. Expand your horizons with excursions to the Burgundian town of Dijon, including lunch at a Hôtel Particulier, and journey to Rouen, the capital of Normandy. This unique opportunity includes an extensive meal program with wine at dinner, accommodations in the heart of the city, Metro tickets so you can travel through Paris like a local, and ample independent leisure time to pursue your individual interests.

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

Pearls of the Mediterranean
Pearls of the Mediterranean
June 15-23, 2015 (Please note the new date.)
from $2,699 per person, double occupancy (including airfare from select cities)

Revel in the cultural gems and spectacular beauty of the Mediterranean as you cruise from Rome to Monte Carlo aboard the luxurious Oceania Cruises Riviera. Depart Rome's port of Civitavecchia and sail to Amalfi and Positano, colorful towns with timeless Moorish-style houses set on stunning seaside slopes. Visit Sardinia's capital, Cagliari, home to extensive archaeological treasures that reflect its 2,000 years of history, before heading to the island of Mallorca, and the culturally rich city of Palma. Marvel at its massive Gothic cathedral and circular castle overlooking the harbor, relax amid the windmill-dotted countryside, or stroll the cobbled streets of Old Palma. Cruise to Spain and ponder extraordinary structures in Barcelona, where famed architect Antoni Gaudi left his mark. Then continue to France and explore the historic port city of Marseille or experience its rich Provençal countryside dotted with delightful medieval towns. Sail east along the French Riviera to Antibes, a classic Mediterranean getaway romanticized by F. Scott Fitzgerald, before concluding your journey in glamorous Monte Carlo.

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

Coastal Alaska Coastal Alaska
July 7–14, 2015
from $2,299 per person, double occupancy (including airfare from select cities)

Travel to a place of stunning landscapes and unspoiled wilderness, a place where nature reigns supreme—amazing Alaska. Let the rugged beauty of America's last frontier captivate you as cruise along its shores aboard Oceania Cruises Regatta, a state-of-the-art haven of elegance. Depart from Seattle and sail through the Inside Passage along Canada's scenic coast to the small wilderness outpost of Ketchikan, once known as the "Salmon Capital of the World," and the ancestral home of the Tlingit people. Continue cruising through Tracy Arm, a breathtaking fjord whose pristine waters reflect its ice-blue tidewater glaciers and soaring granite cliffs. Stop in one of Alaska's oldest towns, Wrangell, where hints of past settlers—Tlingit, Russian and British—are reflected in its structures. Cruise south through the open blue waters of the Pacific to Canada and the spectacular port city of Prince Rupert, where ancient native culture and pioneer heritage spring to life, before returning to Seattle. Savor the majestic beauty of ancient glaciers, soaring mountains and pristine coasts on this remarkable Alaskan voyage.

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

Scotland Scotland
August 5-13, 2015
from $2,995 per person + VAT + air

Walk in the footsteps of William Wallace and leave your footprints along the "bonnie banks of Loch Lomond" as you journey through Scotland's legendary landscape, forever a scenic stage for epic adventure. Discover the best of Scotland's Celtic, Norse and Norman cultures and enjoy British afternoon tea, festive Highland dancers, bagpipe playing and a traditional haggis ceremony. Visit the magnificent Stirling Castle and National Wallace Monument. Roam the medieval and Georgian architecture of Edinburgh, then tour Scone Palace, where kings were crowned. Experience one of the world's most spectacular and moving shows: the stirring performance of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle at nightfall. Explore St. Andrews, cruise along Loch Katrine on a restored steamer and learn the secrets of Scotland's whiskey artistry at its oldest distillery. This Alumni Campus Abroad program includes first-class accommodations, an extensive meal plan, all excursions, informative educational programs and ample time for independent exploration.

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

Baltic Marvels Baltic Marvels
August 13-21, 2015 (Please note the new date.)
from $2,999 per person, double occupancy (including airfare from select cities)

Marvel at the exquisite architecture and charming capitals of the Baltic as you cruise from Denmark to Germany, Estonia, Russia, Finland and Sweden aboard Oceania Cruises' elegant and intimate Marina. Depart Copenhagen for the German port of Warnemünde and enjoy its lovely seaside promenade, or take a short drive to Berlin and view weathered remnants of the iconic Berlin Wall and world-famous landmarks. Admire architectural gems in Tallinn, a beautifully preserved Estonian city that radiates old-world charm with red-roofed homes, cobbled streets and spire-crowned churches. Delight in almost two full days to soak up St. Petersburg and take in its gorgeous onion-domed cathedrals and fabled palaces, such as the immense Winter Palace and lavish Catherine's Palace. Before concluding your journey in Stockholm, explore the Finnish capital of Helsinki, a renowned international design mecca where you'll discover a splash of modern art and architecture.

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

Greek Isles Odyssey Greek Isles Odyssey
September 26-October 5, 2015
from $2,999 per person, double occupancy (including airfare from select cities)

Discover the incredible ancient wonders of the Greek Isles while cruising from Istanbul to Athens aboard the graceful Riviera, Oceania Cruises' newest ship. Depart Istanbul and sail to the third-largest port in Greece, Volos, edging the sapphire-blue waters of the Pagasitikos Gulf and featuring lovely neoclassical architecture. Next explore Turkey's vibrant port city of Kusadasi,or witness the amazing ruins of Ephesus, a former Greek and Roman city that is now one of the best-preserved archaeological sites on the Mediterranean. Then visit the serene island of Patmos, where magnificent frescoes adorn the Monastery of St John, followed by Rhodes, renowned for its ancient Acropolis and former site of the legendary Colossus. Savor its picturesque fusion of medieval walls and archeological sites with sweeping white-sand beaches and sparkling turquoise waters. Take in more lovely scenery on Crete, famed for its idyllic landscapes dotted with villages and windmills, and get a glimpse of the bygone Minoan civilization at the reconstructed Bronze-Age Palace of Knossos. Behold a stunning natural spectacle of volcano-carved landscapes and blue-domed, whitewashed villages on Santorini, and stroll a labyrinth of streets edged by classic Cycladic architecture in Mykonos, before your Aegean odyssey concludes in Athens.

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

Rediscovered Tuscany
Tuscany October 14 - 22, 2015
$2,795 (if booked by 3/31/15) + VAT + air

Experience the charm and romance of Tuscany on a special program that combines guided sightseeing excursions with ample free time to immerse yourself in local culture. Wander through the winding streets of Colle di Val d'Elsa, your home for seven nights. Witness the Etruscan heritage of Casole d'Elsa then tour Cortona and the Etruscan Academy. Discover the architectural treasures of Renaissance Florence. Visit Chianti and the 14th-century town of San Gimignano, where towerhouses stand as symbols of wealth and power. Explore Castellina, once an important Florentine garrison, and Siena, a city unchanged throughout the centuries. Enjoy local wines and olive oils at the Castello di Monsanto winery, visit a farm for a tasting of pecorino cheese and learn the essence of Tuscan cooking during a private demonstration. This Alumni Campus Abroad program includes all excursions, first-class accommodations, educational programs, an extensive meal plan featuring wine with dinner, and no single supplement for solo travelers.

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

Eastern & Oriental Express: Bangkok to Bali
Eastern & Oriental Express November 6 - 18, 2015
from $6,295 (if booked by 4/28/15) + VAT + air

Experience an exotic kaleidoscope of colors, sounds, cultures and ancient histories in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. Visit elaborate temples, palaces and shrines throughout this exciting program. Discover Bangkok on a tuk-tuk, marvel at the opulence of the Grand Palace, visit Wat Po and see other key landmarks. Learn about endangered Asian elephants, cruise the Chao Phraya River and immerse yourself in the beauty of ancient Siam in Ayutthaya. Then, celebrate the golden age of travel for three nights aboard the legendary Eastern & 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. Observe daily life on the Island of the Gods at a housing compound and at the famous market in Ubud. Admire Bali's breathtaking scenery, volcanoes, jungles and white-sand beaches. This program includes excursions, deluxe accommodations and an extensive meal plan.

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