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Synopsis of each of our tours (in chronological order)
About the Serious Traveler
Travel Concepts International Inc. (TCI) was formed by League member Gwen Erwood in 1984, to organize tours, predominately for members of the League of Women Voters both men and women, a nonprofit, nonpartisan political organization encouraging active and informed citizen participation in the American political system. In 1987, the company was incorporated in the State of New York. The destinations, programs, and dates of travel are determined exclusively by Travel Concepts International. The inspiration for the series is to bring members together to further the League’s position of promoting peace in an interdependent world. Although Travel with the League began exclusively as a League of Women Voters project, our travelers thanks to word of mouth endorsements extend beyond League of Women Voters to include AAUW, United Nations Association, Peace Links, Rotary International and friends of those who travel. We share experiences, good humor, and a love of history and culture which are unparalleled. Many of our trips feature optional cultural exchanges and embassy visits, and foster lasting friendships. We carefully plan these Cultural Tours to Better Understand the World and Its People. The greatest compliment is that many members travel again and again, encouraging their friends to join. We sincerely appreciate your trust, and we’ll do our very best to make sure your travel experience is full, rewarding, and great fun! In 2006 we trademarked the name “Serious Traveler,” which is the name of our domain: www.serioustraveler.com, as well as the name of our newsletter. Serious Traveler defines both us and the exceptional people who travel with us. There are many TCI’s but only one Serious Traveler.
Russia - Museums & Theaters Tour
Dates: February 23 - March 5, 2017
Price: $4450 from JFK via Finnair
Visit Moscow and St. Petersburg to see Russia’s most famous museums by day and experience her fabulous theaters by night.
Phi Mu Foundation Presents
French Barge Cruise
Dates: May 16 - 22, 2017
Price: $2650 from Epernay to Paris, France (Airfare Additional)
Cruise down the Marne Canal from Epernay to Paris aboard our deluxe barge, the MS Raymonde. Excursions to the charming towns of Reims and Meaux, and of course a taste of the region’s famous bubbly wine - champagne!
Seven Wonders of Bulgaria
Dates: May 24 - June 3, 2017
Price: $3990 from Sofia, Bulgaria (Airfare additional)
This is our most comprehensive tour of Bulgaria. From Sofia to the Black Sea with Kazanluk, Arbanassi, Varna, Plovdiv and Rila Monastery. Learn about the Thracians, the fabled Orpheus while in the Rhodope Mountains, Byzantines and medieval Bulgarian cultures from one of Bulgaria’s top guides.
Traditions & Legends of Romania
Dates: June 3 - 14, 2017
Price: $2990 from Bucharest, Romania (Airfare additional)
This out-of-the-ordinary tour visits southeastern Saxon Transylvania, the peaceful rural communities of Maramures and the exquisite “Painted Monasteries” of Bucovina.
India's Far North - Ladakh, Punjab & Srinigar
Dates: June 23 - July 7, 2017
Price: $5330 from Delhi, India (Airfare Additional)
Join us in exploring the remote Buddhist area of India. It’s the best time of year to visit the majestic Himalayas. Take the new train so we don’t miss the beautiful Taj Mahal. Float along the idyllic waters of Dal Lake. Attend the Hemis Tsechu Festival and see the hidden land of the Nubra Valley.
Iceland, Greenland & the Faroe Islands
Dates: June 25 - July 8, 2017
Price: $9820 from Minneapolis, MSP via Icelandair
Fly from Minneapolis via Icelandair to begin in Reykjavik. Take a short flight to the Faroe Islands with its idyllic villages and Viking farmsteads. Then back to Iceland to to explore Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Fly to Greenland to marvel at active glaciers and have a Midnight Sailing around the ice fjords. See UNESCO’s Sermermiut Inuit settlement before we return to Iceland and home.
Bulgaria, Behind the Iron Curtain - Unveiled
Dates: August 3 - 14, 2017
Price: $TBA from Sofia, Bulgaria (Airfare Additional)
Rare opportunity for students of history to delve into daily life as it was during this controversial period in Bulgaria. See artifacts and structures that will soon disappear in the sands of time. This is Bulgaria’s past, dedicated to the future.
Dates: September 16 - 28, October 2017
Price: $4290 from New York, JFK via Finnair
Visit the revitalized capitals of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Start with Vilnius and Trakai Castle. As we journey northward, we’ll make stops in Klaipeda - the Gateway to the Sea and Palanga where we learn about its amber history. Visit the resort town of Jurmala before seeing Riga, Rundale Palace and finally Tallinn - a perfect medieval city. Optional 3-day St. Petersburg Extension. Or, better yet continue on our full tour, Treasures of Russia.
Ethiopia's Historic Route with Meskel Festival with Omo Valley Extension
Dates: September 17 - 29, 2017
Price: $5710 from Washington, IAD via Ethiopia Airlines
Experience the colorful religious festivals, led by richly clad Christians surrounding their rock-hewn churches of Lalibela. Make a two-day excursion to soak up the amazing and pristine nature of the Simien Mountains National Park. Ancient Axum, which purportedly holds the Ark of the Covenant. Sip Ethiopia coffee; you are 7 years younger here!
Treasures of Russia
Dates: September 28 - October 10, 2017
Price: $4880 from New York, JFK via Finnair
Red Square at night in Moscow, three days in the countryside of the Golden Ring with Vladimir, Suzdal and Fedoskino. St. Petersburg by Sapsan fast train. Travel with retired American diplomat, Charles Magee, who will present personal insight into U.S.-Russian relations and invite you as VIP guests to the Consulate in St. Petersburg.
Crafts & Culture of Ecuador
Dates: September 28 - October 9, 2017
Price: $3990 from Quito, Ecuador to Guayaquil, Ecuador (Airfare Additional)
Join expert Mauricio for visits to artisan’s workshops in Otavalo, Puyo and Guayaquil. From the Amazon rainforests to the western lowlands, see ancient Inca ruins, the majestic Andes and the Avenue of the Volcanoes. Take the train on Devils’ Nose.
Persian History & Culture Revisited
Dates: October 6 - 21, 2017
Price: $$7210 from New York, JFK via Turkish Airlines
See seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites and all four Persian capitals: Ecbatana, Susa, Pasargadae, and Persepolis. From Tehran travel west to Hamadan to see the tomb of Esther and the monument to Avicenna, Persian Father of Modern Medicine. Continue to Kermanshah and Ahwaz to visit the site of Susa and the Chogha-Zanbil ziggurat. We won’t miss Shiraz, Persepolis, Pasargadae, the capital of Cyrus the Great, and everyone’s favorite, Isfahan. We’ll take in the desert city of Yazd to learn about ancient technological systems using bafgirs (wind-catchers), qanats (water channels from the mountains), and yakhchals (ice houses), making life in the desert along the Silk Road thrive. We still have a place for you. Call today!
Colombia - Land of Coffee & Culture
Dates: October 9 - 19, 2017
Price: $3990 from Bogotá, Colombia to Cartagena, Colombia (Airfare Additional)
See Bogotá’s galleries and their artists, learn of Villa de Leyva’s colonial history, explore the Coffee Region and relax in the Caribbean town of Cartagena.
Phi Mu Foundation Presents
French Barge Cruise
Dates: October 13 - 19, 2017
Price: $2350 from Besançon to Montbéliard, France (Airfare Additional)
Cruise through the breathtaking Doubs River Valley aboard our deluxe barge, the MS Jeanine. Begin in Besançon with a tour of its citadel named a UNESCO site. Explore the characteristic Franche-Comté architecture of Baumes-les-Dames and its 5th century Abbey. Walk through Montbéliard - thriving as early as 983 AD as a part of the Roman Empire.
Wild Europe to the East - Balkans
Dates: October 15 - 28, 2017
Price: $4520 from Sofia, Bulgaria (Airfare Additional)
Walk on the wild side of Eastern Europe in Bulgaria, Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Albania. Five countries in two weeks with a delightful treat every day!
Easter Island and the Great West of South America
Dates: November 5 - 18, 2017
Price: $5950 from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Santiago, Chile (Airfare Additional)
From Buenos Aires, Argentina to the End of the Continent. Cruise from Ushuaia aboard the Stella Australis among the ice fields of Patagonia to Punta Arenas. On to Santiago and stargaze into the Earth’s clearest skies from Moon Valley in the Atacama Desert.
Passage Through Persian History & Culture with Caspian Pre-Trip Extension
Dates: October 31 - November 15, 2017
Price: $6980 from JFK via Turkish Airlines
Don’t let the naysayers diminish your enthusiasm. Experience Persian hospitality for yourself! Persepolis, a short drive from Shiraz, is one of the greatest archaeological sites in the world. Isfahan is a unique city with exquisite mosaic-clad domes, bridges and Persian gardens. Travel in security with our experienced Iranian tour manager. This perfect introductory tour also includes Kerman, the citadel of Rayen; Shiraz, the city of “Roses and Nightingales”; Pasargadae, the capital of Cyrus the Great; Yazd, the city in the desert and safe haven for Zoroastrians.
Ethiopia's Historic Route with Sebaratmu Giorgis & Timkat Festivals with Omo Valley Extension
Dates: January 17 - 29, 2018
Price: $TBA from Washington, IAD via Ethiopia Airlines
Experience the colorful religious festivals of Timkat and Sebaratumu Giorgis, led by richly clad Christians surrounding their rock-hewn churches of Lalibela. Make a two-day excursion to soak up the amazing and pristine nature of the Simien Mountains National Park. Ancient Axum, which purportedly holds the Ark of the Covenant. Sip Ethiopia coffee; you are 7 years younger here!
Sri Lanka - Pearl of the Indian Ocean
Dates: January 20 - February 1, 2018
Price: $TBA from Colombo, Sri Lanka (Airfare Additional)
Visit six of Sri Lanka’s UNESCO Sites—Anuradhapura, Dambulla, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, Kandy, Galle, Ruhunu National Park in Yala plus the enchanting Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage. Dine elegantly and stay in a historic beach resort in Bentota designed by iconic architect Geoffrey Bawa.
Colorful Orthodox Easter in Bulgaria
Dates: March 31 - April 15, 2018
Price: from Sofia, Bulgaria (Airfare Additional)
We’ll be in Sofia for the Palm Sunday Festival. In Kazanluk you’ll meet the Thracians. Visit small towns like Koprivshtitsa, Tryavna, Gabrovo, Bozhentsi, which you’ve probably never heard of, but will stay in your memory forever. Celebrate Orthodox Easter Sunday in Plovdiv which will be the 2019 Cultural Capital of Europe. Rila Monastery and the Rhodopes, too in the wonderful company of our guide, who will show you places you might never find on your own, and bring them alive with their vast knowledge and love of Balkan culture.
Dates: May 4 - 12, 2018
Price: $TBA from New York, JFK via Turkish Airlines
Take as a short and sweet 9-day trip, seeing just the highlights. Fly direct into Shiraz. We’ll marvel at Persepolis, Naghsh-é-Rostam, Pasargadae. Stroll through the pink-tiled Nasir-ol-molk, Narenjestan house and gardens and pay our respects at the Tomb of Hafez. Enjoy nature and the Bedouin grasslands en route to the Roof of Iran - Shahrekord. Finally see the Pearl of Iran, Isfahan with its Royal Square, its romantic bridges and its beautifully-tiled mosques. Return flight from Isfahan.