Travel with an Egyptologist and learn about recent Egyptian discoveries, try the ancient Chinese art of Tai Chi, sample an authentic Tuscan meal set among olive groves, experience life in a rural Costa Rican community, or explore history and eat pizza in New York City. Whether you are a student or adult traveler, a variety of tours and custom vacations from U. S. Tour Operators Association members offer a glimpse into archeology, food, history, and culture around the globe that may be hard to find independently.
Five examples offered by the USTOA in 2011 (ranging from four to 12 days with prices) include:
Egypt: Learn about recent archeological discoveries
Splendors of the Nile, 12 days, 11 nights
An Egyptologist provides travelers with insight into current archeological finds and ancient Egyptian history during a Smithsonian Journeys Travel Adventures “Splendors of the Nile” 12 day, 11 night escorted tour from Collette Vacations. With dates through 2011, highlights of this learning tour include Cairo, Pyramids, Memphis, Sakkara, Luxor, Valley of the Kings and Queens, and Aswan, with a four night Nile River cruise. Price begins at $1,699 per person, land only. For reservations phone 1-800-528-9917, or visit www.collettevacations.com.
China: Take Tai Chi lessons
Historic Cities and Yangtze River SuperValue, 12 days, 11 nights
Take Tai Chi lessons on a 12-day, 11-night “Historic Cities and Yangtze River SuperValue” tour with Pacific Delight Tours. Travelers also learn about Chinese history and culture through educational lectures and traditional performances . The tour, priced from $1,899 per person, includes Shanghai, Xi’an, Beijing, and a Yangtze River Cruise. This tour can be booked anytime for travel through March 1, 2011. For reservations phone 1-800-221-7179 or visit www.pacificdelighttours.com.
Italy: Sample authentic Tuscan cuisine
Italy Bellisimo, 11 days, 10 nights
Travelers enjoy an authentic dinner in a Tuscan countryside restaurant set among olive groves on Brendan Vacations’ “Italy Bellisimo” escorted tour to Rome, Capri, Assisi, Venice, and Montecatini. Through April 1, 2011, this 11-day, 10-night tour is priced from $2,125 per person, with airfare additional. Reservations can be made any time, based on availability. For reservations phone 1-800-421-8446 or visit www.brendanvacations.com.
Costa Rica for students: Experience rural life
Costa Rica: Sun and Service, nine days, eight nights
Students on an Explorica “Costa Rica: Sun and Service” educational tour can experience rural life in Santos, Costa Rica through volunteer activities like painting at the local school or preparing a garden. Students also visit Poas Volcano, Arenal, Coastal Puntarenas, and Manuel Antonio National Park, and go on a bio coffee adventure. The price for this nine-day, eight-night tour, which includes round-trip air fare, varies by group size and gateway. For reservations phone 1-888-310-7120 or visit www.explorica.com.
New York City: Explore history, eat pizza
Only in New York, four days/three nights
On Travel Bound’s four-day, three-night “Only in New York” -planned vacation, you can discover Manhattan and delve into the history, landmarks, and famous movie locations of Brooklyn while sampling pizza at two different locations. Priced from $784 per person, this custom itinerary offers accommodations at the four-star Loews Regency Hotel on Park Avenue, a three-hour full circumnavigation cruise of Manhattan Island, and “A Slice of Brooklyn Pizza Tour” by bus. Book anytime for travel though March 31, 2011. Air fare is additional.
All prices are per person, based on double occupancy. Restrictions and additional security fees, departure and local taxes and fees may apply. Prices may vary based on departure date.