Alumni College Abroad

Icelandic Interlude & the Northern Lights -- SOLD OUT!

March 15-19, 2018

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Hosted by David Cohen, Professor of Astronomy, and Rachel Pastan, English Literature Instructor

Enjoy a long weekend escape to exotic Iceland. From steamy hot springs to top-notch spas, magnificent malls to art museums, this unique land is the perfect place to relax, recharge, explore and indulge in the wonders of this epic island. Perhaps the greatest draw is the Aurora Borealis – the Northern Lights. This is the best time of year to see them because it has to be totally dark to get the best effect – and this is a country where the sun never sets in the summer! On our arrival day, a local expert will give us a presentation on the aurora and then that evening we’ll head out to try and see the real thing (weather permitting). If we don’t succeed we’ll try again the next night … and the next…


Great Journey through Europe (The Netherlands, Germany, France, and Switzerland) -- SOLD OUT!

June 22-July 2, 2018 

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Hosted by Hansjakob Werlen, Professor of German Studies

This is a trip of a lifetime  providing you with the opportunity to recreate a large part of the traditional 17th-, 18th- and 19th-century "Grand Tour." Travel through four countries and the western heart of the Continent on this carefully planned, exclusive itinerary. Cruise Holland’s waterways, surrounded by polder land reclaimed from the North Sea, and the fairy-tale beauty of the UNESCO-designated Rhine River and its Rheingau wine region; experience three of the world’s legendary railways and visit four more important UNESCO World Heritage sites.


Cruising Alaska's Glaciers and the Inside Passage 

July 5-12, 2018

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Hosted by Jedidiah Siev, Assistant Professor of Psychology

Take part in this magnificent cruise from Juneau to Vancouver, British Columbia, through the pristine waters of the Inside Passage, Alaska, aboard the Deluxe small, all-suite ship, M.V. Star Legend. Pass towering mountains and untouched coastlines and watch for whales, harbor seals, porpoises, sea lions, sea otters and eagles, all in their natural habitat. See Sawyer Glacier and Hub-bard Glacier, listening for the loud cracking of ice as it calves into the sea. Call at the historic towns of Juneau and Sitka, where you will step back into the gold rush era and discover the living heritage of the Tlingit people.  


Art & Ales of Flanders

August 17-25, 2018

An optional extension to Amsterdam

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Hosted by Hansjakob Werlen, Professor of German Studies

We invite you to join fellow Swarthmore alumni, family, and friends on this custom-designed program to explore the Art and Ales of Flanders.  

Through centuries, the vibrant art of Flanders mirrored the rich history of the great Flemish cities, from the Dukes of Burgundy, through the wars with Spain’s Philip II, to the rise of the northern Netherlands (the Dutch Golden Age). Flemish painting, with its nonpareil technical virtuosity and realist textures, spans the centuries from Jan van Eyck (Ghent Altarpiece) and Rogier van der Weyden to Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Hieronymus Bosch and the Baroque master Peter Paul Rubens.

On this alumni trip, we explore the cities and art of Flanders, Brabant, and South Holland (Brussels, Ghent, Bruges, Antwerp, Rotterdam, and The Hague) in combination with an exploration of another world-famous tradition: the beers and culinary treasures of Belgium.


Waterways of Russia

August 26-September 6, 2018

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Hosted by Carr Everbach, Professor and Chair of Engineering

Experience the timeless pageantry and traditional folkways of Russia, revealed along the scenic rivers, lakes and canals that link St. Petersburg with Moscow. Between these two grand cultural capitals lies a countryside seemingly untouched by the modem age. We invite you to join fellow Swarthmore alumni, family and friends as we explore the preeminent artistic, historical and architectural treasures of classical Russian culture and several "Golden Ring" cities during a most excellent time of year.


Eclectic Peru: Ancient Civilizations, Art, & Quisine

​October 15-22, 2018

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Hosted by Desiree Diaz, Assistant Professor of Spanish

Travel with Swarthmore on a special eight-day tour to the captivating country of Peru! In a small group led by an experienced Peruvian guide, you will visit remote villages and lakes thousands of feet above sea level, explore ancient and enigmatic ruins, and discover a marvelous land. A land of treasures archeological, cultural, and natural, Peru draws those individuals eager to learn about the distant past – and encounter a fascinating present of colonial and indigenous influences. As our small group takes in some of the country’s highlights – Cuzco, Machu Picchu, and the Sacred Valley – we marvel at the riches of an intriguing land somewhat off the beaten path.


London on Stage

Jan. 6-13, 2019

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Hosted by K. Elizabeth Stevens, Associate Professor & Chair of Theater

Vibrantly alive, with a tradition steeped in the arts, London is rightly considered to be the theater capital of the world. From Shakespeare to Andrew Lloyd Weber, the tradition of the London stage is rich and varied, and we’ve included four theater performances on this tour, in London along with generous free time in the city. Our tour is designed to go beyond the proscenium arch, to take you behind the scenes for an intimate look at the city’s rich dramatic heritage.

In order to provide you with background and insight into modern London, we have included lectures by our Swarthmore faculty host, a private visit to Kenwood House with antiques and fine art expert David Fletcher, behind the stage tour at the National Theatre, a workshop at the Globe Theatre, discussions with Michael Billington, a theater critic from the Guardian newspaper, and Lord Lexden, a member of the House of Lords, a major government advisor and the official historian of the Conservative Party. We hope you will join us on this custom-designed itinerary created exclusively for our Swarthmore Alumni College Abroad program.


The Pride of Africa: Namibia, Bostwana, & Zimbabwe

March 7-21, 2019

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Hosted by Tim Burke, Professor and Chair of History

Take part in this incredible journey to experience the wonders of four nations in southern Africa, where nature’s spectacle is at its most dramatic, history is rich, culture is diverse and the “Big Five” game viewing in pristine natural habitats is extraordinary. Witness the remarkable achievements of the young nations of Namibia and Botswana, unique in their way of life and home to one of the densest game populations on the planet; walk in the footsteps of Nelson Mandela in South Africa; and behold the majestic natural beauty of Zimbabwe’s incomparable Victoria Falls—one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.

Few experiences can match this exclusive, in-depth itinerary and exciting, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel the breadth of southern Africa. On Namibia’s legendary Chobe River, enjoy a three-night river safari featuring naturalist-guided excursions by small watercraft—a fantastic perspective from which to observe the magnificent wildlife gathering along the banks of the Chobe—with accommodations aboard the exclusively chartered, Five-Star ZAMBEZI QUEEN, featuring only 14 beautifully appointed Staterooms, each with a private balcony. During your classic land safari aboard four-wheel-drive vehicles, enjoy superb game viewing in seldom-visited Botswana, a sanctuary for nearly all of the southern African mammal species.


Waterways of Holland and Belgium

April 25-May 3, 2019

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"God created the Heavens and the Earth, but the Dutch created Holland." Indeed, not only did they wrest a portion of their land from the sea, but they succeed in building upon it an enchanted realm carpeted by vibrantly hued flowers and traced with storied waterways unparalleled anywhere else in the world.

Discover the true essence of river life in the Low Countries with an included excursion in every port and see firsthand this sublime region's breathtaking tulip fields in full bloom. Our expert-guided tours explore two UNESCO World Heritage sites - distinctive 16th and 17th century house-lined canals of Amsterdam and the well-preserved, medieval Flemish jewel of Bruges-as well as the "Golden Age" trading town of Hoorn, the world famous Keukenhof Gardens, the mercantile town of Antwerp, the quaint village of Giethoorn, the captivating ancient city of Maastricht ­ rarely visited by American travelers and unique to this itinerary-and the poignant World War II American Military Cemetery in nearby Margraten. Discover the artistic legacy of the world-class Kröller-Müller Museum and the rich history of the medieval Dutch-speaking county of Flanders.


Celtic Lands: D-Day 75th Anniversary Cruise (Portsmouth to Glasgow)

June 4-14, 2019

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Featuring Dwight David Eisenhower II and Allen Packwood, Curator of the Churchill Archives

Hosted by Liliya Yatsunyk, Associate Professor of Bioinorganic Chemistry

Experience the rich traditions and astonishing beauty of the British Isles and Northern France’s storied coastline during this once-in-a-lifetime Celtic Lands voyage celebrating the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings. By exclusive arrangement, walk the hallowed D-Day beaches of Normandy 75 years to the day after the invasion with Dwight David Eisenhower II, grandson of General and President Dwight D. Eisenhower and meet Allen Packwood, an expert on British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Director of the Churchill Archives Center and a fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge, England. Professor Eisenhower and Mr. Packwood will join us for a portion of the cruise to lecture and share their insights regarding two of the most influential figures of the 20th century. We will have two full-day excursions to the historic beaches of Normandy with visits to Utah and Omaha Beaches, Sainte-Mere-Eglise, the first French village to be liberated by American forces; and the American Military Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer.

Cruise the waters of the Irish and Celtic Seas and sail across the English Channel aboard the exclusively chartered, Five-Star, small ship LE BORÉAL -to explore cities, villages and islands that abound with Celtic heritage, calling at ports inaccessible to larger vessels.

Discover Scotland's misty, seldom-visited Inner Hebridean Islands; admire the austere beauty of the Scottish Highlands aboard The Jacobite steam train, better recognized as Harry Potter's Hogwarts Express and one of the great railway journeys of the world; and call on the majestic Isle of Skye, where the traditional Gaelic language is still spoken today. In North Wales, follow in the footsteps of medieval and modern princes and enjoy a private, specially arranged musical performance by the renowned Welsh Maelgwyn Choir. In Dublin, Ireland, view treasures of Celtic heritage and experience the lively delights of traditional Irish song and dance.


Total Solar Eclipse: Chile 2019

June 26-July 4, 2019

An optional extension to the Atacama Desert

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Join Swarthmore Alumni College Abroad for a truly unique and once in a lifetime experience – a total solar eclipse in the beauty of the mountains of Chile. The Coquimbo region in Chile will be along the main path of the Total Solar Eclipse on July 2nd, 2019.  The clear skies of northern Chile make this region an excellent location to view the total solar eclipse.  The location is known for its world-class telescopes and boutique observatories.  The 7-nights/ 8-day itinerary will start with a tour of Santiago, Chile’s culturally vibrant capital, the port city of Valparaiso declared as a world heritage site by UNESCO and the Colchagua Valley, known for its famous wine for wine tasting.  You will then drive north to Coquimbo and La Serena to get ready for the eclipse observation with some pre-and post eclipse excursions.  The optional extension to San Pedro de Atacama is available for those who want to continue exploring the beauty of the northern Chilean desert, known as the driest place on earth.


Changing Tides of History: Cruising the Baltic Sea

July 29-August 7, 2019

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Featuring Lech Walesa and Sergei Khrushechev

Hosted by Allen Kuharski, Stephen Lang Professor and Chair of Theater

This unique Baltic Sea Voyage features six Baltic countries and seven UNESCO World Heritage sites and is planned during the best time of year when you can experience the luminous “White Nights” of the summer solstice.

As travelers, you will hear firsthand from historic world leader, Nobel Peace Prize Laurerate and former President of Poland, Lech Walesa, and noted author and award-winning scholar Sergei Khrushchev, son of Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushechev.

This program will enable you to immerse yourself in the historic epic acclaimed State Hermitage Museum Center of the Solidarity Movement in Gdansk, Poland; enjoy the well-preserved medieval Old Town of Tallinn, Estonia; and spend two days docked in the heart of regal St. Petersburg, with an early opening tour of the world-acclaimed State Hermitage Museum and visits to the Peter and Paul Fortress and the spectacular czarist palaces of Petrodvorets and Pushkin.


Island Life in Ancient Greece: An Aegean Odyssey

September 12-20, 2019

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Join us for this unparalleled and comprehensive nine-day Aegean odyssey to the very cradle of Western civilization and the classical world. Cruise round trip Athens, Greece, aboard the exclusively chartered, newest Five-Star small ship LE BOUGAINVILLE, launching in 2018. Call on Santorini, Delos, Mykonos, Patmos and medieval Rhodes--islands steeped in myth and history. Visit the extraordinary wonder of Meteora, where 14th- and 15th-century monasteries stand high atop soaring natural sandstone pinnacles and the beautiful seaside town of Nafplion where we will visit Mycenae, the legendary home of Agamemnon and the ancient site of Epidaurus, with is magnificent theatre.  Enjoy guided tours in these storied destinations, free time to encounter their mysteries and delights at your own pace during the best time of the year, and opportunities to visit seven magnificent UNESCO World Heritage sites. Meet local residents during the specially arranged ISLAND LIFE(r) FORUM for a personal perspective on the true character of the Aegean Sea's maritime culture.


Recent past trips:

China, Dec. 2017

Cuba, Jan. 2018