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

Eastern & Oriental Express - November 8 - 18, 2015

Save the dates for our 2016 trips!

Ecuador - Quito & Cuenca - March 2  12, 2016
Cuban Discovery - March 3 11, 2016
Atolls & Islands of French Polynesia - March 25 
April 4, 2016
Southern Grandeur - April 10  18, 2016 or April 24 – May 2, 2016
Mediterranean Wonders & Waterways - May 11 – 21, 2016
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 11 – 19, 2016
Adriatic Gems - November 1 – 9, 2016

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

Eastern & Oriental Express: Bangkok to Bali
Eastern & Oriental Express November 8 - 18, 2015
from $6,295 + VAT + air
AHI webinar via YouTube

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.)

2016 WIU Alumni Travel Programs

Ecuador ~ Quito & Cuenca Ecuador
March 2 – 12, 2016 (Please note change of date.)

$3,090 per person, double occupancy + VAT + air

Discover the incredible treasures of Ecuador, a small, diverse country on the equatorial line, on a 10-night journey that takes you through its ideal climate, indigenous and colonial culture and centuries’-old traditions. Explore the historic district of Quito, Ecuador’s capital and your home for a total of four nights, and travel outside the city to the town of Otavalo, which boasts bustling traditional crafts markets. Admire the rural scenery, which includes volcanoes and pristine lakes. Visit Mitad del Mundo, home to an equatorial marker that dates from the 18th century. Experience the vibrant open-air museum of Cuenca, a beautiful city in the heart of the Andes where you’ll spend six nights. Observe the artistic traditions of Chordeleg and Gualaceo, and journey to the Ingapirca ruins. This Alumni Campus Abroad program includes excursions, educational programs, accommodations and an extensive meal plan featuring wine with dinner. It also features an optional extension to embark on a four-night cruise of the stunning Galapagos Islands.

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

Cuban DiscoveryCuban Discovery
March 3 – 11, 2016
from $5,499 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 enriching journey developed for the WIU Alumni Association.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. Specially designed to showcase the island’s authentic spirit, this nine-day adventure goes beyond the tourist surface to reveal the rich culture, compelling history and architectural majesty of this long-forbidden island on the verge of great change. With an intimate group of up to 25 travelers, you’ll engage with the true heart and soul of this colorful country: the diverse, inspiring people who call it home. During your visits to Havana, Cienfuegos, Trinidad and Santa Clara, you will connect with Cuban citizens from all walks of life, including artists, educators and entrepreneurs, to discover the realities of this incredibly fascinating nation.

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

Atolls & Islands of French Polynesia Atolls & Islands of French Polynesia
March 25 - April 4, 2016
from $4,299 per person, double occupancy (including airfare)

From dreamy white-sand beaches fringed by sweet-scented vanilla groves and gently swaying palms to velvety emerald mountains towering over translucent lagoons that dazzle in every hue of electric blue, awaken your senses with the wonders of French Polynesia. Board Oceania Cruises’ state-of-the-art Marina, a masterpiece of elegance, and sail to Tahiti’s heart-shaped “Sister Island,” Moorea. Admire its picture-perfect beaches and crystalline lagoon, and then explore the pearl farms of the remote atoll, Raroia. Relax on the sugary white-sand beaches of Fakarava, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Encounter the pearl farms and pink-sand beaches of Rangiroa, the second-largest atoll in the world; snorkel Bora Bora’s sparkling seas, an underwater paradise teeming with colorful coral and tropical fish, and take in ancient temples set amid gorgeous scenery on Raiatea, a sacred oasis steeped in Polynesian culture. Before concluding your tranquil odyssey in Papeete, Tahiti, visit the “Garden Island,” Huahine, a vision of paradise with unspoiled beaches and pristine coves.

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

Southern GrandeurSouthern Grandeur
April 10  18, 2016 (please note additional date) or April 24 – May 2, 2016
from $1,999 per person (if booked by 12/18/15), double occupancy (airfare is additional)

Experience the unique grandeur of the American South as you cruise the Mississippi River aboard the majestic American Queen. Begin your adventure in New Orleans, where the well-preserved French Quarter charms with beautiful wrought-iron balconies, colorful courtyard gardens and Creole-style buildings. Then board the American Queen, the largest and most opulent riverboat in the world, and cruise to picturesque cities in Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. Admire the elegant Greek Revival-style mansion at Oak Alley Plantation, and stroll beneath the canopies of its 300-year-old live oak trees. Explore the lovely town of St. Francisville, home to more than 140 historic buildings on the National Register, and take in the stunning gardens and palatial antebellum mansions of Natchez, the oldest settlement on the Mississippi. Before your seven-night cruise concludes in Memphis, browse Vicksburg’s delightful antique shops and intriguing museums, or step back in time at the renowned Vicksburg National Military Park. 

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

Mediterranean Wonders & Waterways Mediterranean Wonders
May 11 – 21, 2016
from $3,299 per person, double occupancy (airfare included from select cities)

Experience the highlights of the Mediterranean, from the ancient ruins and cosmopolitan charm of Turkey to the rustic beauty and age-old wonders of Greece, Italy and Croatia. Board Oceania Cruises’ elegant Riviera in Athens and sail to Turkey’s vibrant port city of Kusadasi, a jumping-off point to explore the amazing ruins of Ephesus. Behold blue-domed, whitewashed villages on Santorini, and stroll past neoclassical mansions at Navplion, one of the most romantic towns in mainland Greece. Browse the charming taverns and shops that line Gythion’s bustling waterfront, or venture through the rugged countryside to see the ruins of Mystras, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Immerse yourself in the natural splendors at Corfu, a Greek isle drenched in greenery and sprinkled with cypress trees and wildflowers, and visit Dubrovnik, Croatia’s walled masterpiece. Encounter Acona’s mix of Roman ruins and ornate cathedrals, or travel to the medieval hillside towns of Umbria. Conclude your journey in enchanting Venice, a magical city laced with delicate bridges and captivating canals parted by gondolas.

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

European Hideaways European Hideaways
June 1 – 9, 2016
from $2,799 per person, double occupancy (airfare included from select cities)

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

$3,195 (if booked by 12/1/15) + VAT + 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 $4595 + VAT + air

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 NorthwestGreat Pacific Northwest
September 17 – 25, 2016
from $3,299 per person, 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.)

Spain ~ Ronda Spain - Ronda
October 11 – 19, 2016

from $2995 + 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 $2,399 per person, double occupancy (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.)