MSA CULTURAL TOURS

FELLOW TRAVELERS
NEWSLETTER

FALL 2006

 

Hi everyone, how quickly the summer disappeared and how soon our fall travel schedule will commence. It was wonderful seeing so many of you at the First Annual Fellow Travelers Thank You Party. Our special thanks to Kelly and Dennis Barley for hosting the party at their beautiful home, and VERY special thanks to Kelly Barley for all of her hard work in helping make the gathering a grand success. We look forward to continuing the tradition next summer.

Here is a quick update on the status of the tours we are offering for 2006-2007. The November Sicily trip and October Culinary Tour are sold out. A few tickets remain for the New Years Eve Celebration.

Tickets remain for the two Portugal Trips, THE ALGARVE in January and HISTORICAL ORIGINS in February. We are just beginning to receive registrations for CLASSICAL GREECE TOUR in March.

INFORMATION SESSIONS

The schedules for the meetings are as follows. All meetings will be at Lee's Market in Westport starting at 7:30 PM.

1. Portugal and the Algarve and Historical Origins of Modern Portugal

We will have a combined Information Session on both of the Portuguese Trips on October 5th

2. Classical Greece.

There will be an information on the Greece Tour on October 19.

We would like to have some refreshments (wine and cheese etc), so it would be appreciated if you could RSVP if you plan to attend. We wouldn't want to over order on the wine. Good friend Al Lee who is allowing us the use of his meeting room has made a parking request.

The meeting room is located off the Wine Shop where there is very limited parking for his customers. Al has requested that we please park in his large and well-lighted main parking lot in from of the market. For those of you who have an interest in wines, you may want to arrive a little early as Lee's has one of the finest wine collections in the region.

AIRLINE FUEL COSTS AND TOUR PRICES

As many of you know, (see Spring NEWSLETTER), a primary reason why we are no longer offering tours in conjunction with the South Coast Learning Network was a philosophical difference over pricing. It was our desire to keep the tour cost as low as possible and thus, available to the largest possible population. As you can see from the tour pricing for 2006-07, that is exactly what we have attempted to do. Nevertheless, given the small profit margin we operate with, it is becoming essential in light of the current fuel crisis that we keep a vigilant eye on the bottom line. For example, we were recently informed that Alitalia has imposed a $61.00 fuel surcharge on every ticket for the November Sicily trip and Northwest/KLM has added $43.00 on each ticket for the October Culinary Tour. I anticipate similar charges will be imposed on the New Year's, Portugal and Greece tickets. The increase on the Sicily and Culinary tickets alone represent an unexpected expense of nearly $3000. While we feel it would be inappropriate to retroactively impose these new expenses on those that have already signed up and paid for a tour, a new policy must be adopted for the future. Effective November 1, we will implement a new policy that all fuel increases will be passed on to those who sign up for tours after November 1,2006. We hope you will understand that such action is essential in allowing us to continuing offering low cost tours.

MSA CULTURAL TOURS WEBSITE

http://www.msaculturaltours.com

We are making excellent progress in getting the website up and running. You can now go to the website and review the itineraries for 1) Greece, 2) Portugal, Spain & the Algarve, 3) Historical Origins of Modern Portugal, 4) Southern France, and 5) Andaluscia. We hope to have the Budapest, Prague, Vienna and the two-week Southern France/Northern Italy trip up by the end of the month.

2007-2008 TENTATIVE SCHEDULE

As we prepare to commence our 2006-2007 Travel Schedule, we are already planning 2007-2008. Here is the tentative schedule:

 

1. OCTOBER.

Budapest, Prague and Vienna. Many of you have requested this trip and we will have pre-registration applications and complete itinerary ready the end of November.

Anticipated price $1895.

2. NOVEMBER

We will offer a fall foliage tour of southern France and Northern Italy. We will of course offer a substantial discount to individuals who sign up for both trips.

ANTICIPATED PRICE $1795.00 FOR ONE TOUR and $2995.00 FOR BOTH TOURS.

ITINERARY 1

Day 1. Arrive Barcelona & overnight in Carcasonne

Day 2. Depart Carcasonne for Albi and Overnight in Albi.

Day 4. Depart Albi for Avignon. Overnight in Avignon (visit Pont du Gard on way to Avignon). Overnight Avignon

Day 5. Visit Arles. Overnight Avignon

Day 6. Early departure for Italy and the Piedmont. Overnight Aosta

Day 7. Explore Valle d' Aosta . Possible afternoon visit Turin (Torino)

Day 8. Very early departure for Milan Airport and Boston.

ITINERARY 2

Day 1 Arrive Milan & overnight Castel Aquarto.

Day 2. Depart Castel Aquarto for Genoa. Overnight Genoa.

Day 3. Depart Genoa for Gorges du Verdon, the Grand Canyon of France.

Overnight Moustiers-Ste-Marie.

Day 4. Explore Gorges du Verdon. Overnight Moustiers-Ste-Marie

Day 5. Depart Moustiers-Ste-Marie for Nimes

Day 6. Depart Nimes for Barcelona. Overnight Barcelona

Day 7. Barcelona. Overnight Barcelona

Day 8. Departure for Barcelona Airport and Boston.

3. DECEMBER

Pre-Christmas Tour of Germany. Hamburg and the famous Lüneburg Christmas Fair.

4. JANUARY

TWO TOURS OF ANDALUSIA.

ANTICIPATED PRICE $1795 FOR ONE TOUR, $2995 FOR BOTH TOURS.

ITINERARY 1

Day 1. Arrive Lisbon & proceed to Algarve. Overnight Lagos.

Day 2. Algarve, overnight Lagos.

Day 3. Depart Lagos for Sevilla. Overnight Sevilla.

Day 4. Sevilla. Overnight Sevilla

Day 5. Depart Sevilla for Gibraltar. Overnight Gibraltar.

Day 6. Depart Gibraltar for Cordoba. Overnight Cordoba.

Day 7. Depart Cordoba for Sergovia.

Day 8. Early Departure for U.S.

ITINERARY 2

Day 1. Arrive Madrid. Overnight Toledo.

Day 2 Depart Toledo for Granada. Overnight Granada.

Day 3 Granada. Overnight Granada.

Day 4. Depart Granada for Pueblos Blancos, Overnight Ronda.

Day 5. Depart Ronda for Cadiz

Day.6 Depart Cadiz for Evora

Day 7 Evora

Day 8. Early Morning Departure for U.S.

5.MARCH

SICILY

Traditional itinerary we have offered in November.

Night 1 in Enna, Night 2 & 3 in Erice and the last three nights in Taormina at the magnificent Villa Schuler. Complete itinerary is on website.

6. APRIL

LIGURIA AND TUSCANY

SEE WEBSITE FOR COMPLETE ITINERARY.

GAZETTE

Thanks to Ann Butler for all of the work she has done in helping organize the October Culinary Tour to the Abbuzzo and for hosting a gathering at her home in August.

Thanks to Skip and Ann Bedser for all of their help with the website.

Thanks to Sonia Fallon for contributing some of her splendid pictures to the Classical Greece website.

Thanks again to the Barley's for hosting the FIRST ANNUAL MSA CULTURAL TOURS THANK YOU PARTY. Thanks to all of you who attended for making it a great evening.

Thanks to all of you for your continued support.

IF YOU HAVE ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS PLEASE CONTACT:

BEN TAGGIE
P.O. BOX 79351
N. DARTMOUTH, MA 02747
E-MAIL btaggie@umassd.edu
PHONE: 508-979-TOUR (8687)

E-MAIL: msaculturaltours@comcast.com