MSA Newsletter
MSA CULTURAL TOURS

FELLOW TRAVELERS
NEWSLETTER

WINTER/SPRING 2009

 

 

We send greetings and wishes for a very happy 2009 to all our Fellow Travelers. For the third consecutive year we greeted the New Year in Europe. This year we were in Berlin with a small, but merry band of Fellow Travelers, and with a million other people, we welcomed 2009 near the historic Brandenburg Gate. There were so many fireworks going off for hours  (before and after the New Year) that it seemed we were on the Russian Front and the Luftwaffe had risen like the Phoenix.  Berlin is a wonderful and exciting city with much to see and enjoy, but it was rather cold. The consensus of the group was that if there were to be a 4th New YearŐs in Europe it should be further south.

 

In November with a large group of Fellow Travelers we toured Sardinia and Sicily for nine enjoyable days. The November weather was good and the tour introduced out first venture in sea travel when we took the overnight ferry from Cagliari to Trapani, Sicily. Everyone seemed to enjoy the voyage (particularly the parties that went with it). The final two nights were at the beautiful Villa Schuler in Taormina. Sardinia is such a popular venue that we are planning a future tour, which will focus on Northern Sardinia and Corsica. Wonderful place that it is, we are amazed at the extraordinary interest in Sardinia. The 2009 MSA Annual Congress will be held in Cagliari, Sardinia this May and over 300 proposals worldwide have been received for the Congress. By comparison, there were 110 papers presented in Luneburg, Germany last year and 160 at Evora, Portugal in 2007. Sardinia is obviously an attractive venue and we look forward to returning there with a group of Fellow Travelers.

 

2009

 

So what does 2009 have in store for the Fellow Travelers? Planning our European ventures remains increasingly difficult with the shifting economic sands. The current health of the U.S./WORLD economy aside, trying to anticipate the future value of the Euro is nearly impossible. During last summers Sicily Program the Euro neared $1.60, when we took the Roger Williams University group to Greece in March it was $1.45, in November it went down to $1.28 and recently I wired funds to Croatia at $1.39. These fluctuations can drive one crazy when trying to establish a budget for 9-12 months in the future. When I wrote the 2008 SUMMER/ FALL NEWSLETTER, crude oil was a $100 a barrel; it approached $150 before taking an incredible nosedive last month to the low $30Ős. Oil prices not only affect airfares but also land travel, the cost for a coach has risen dramatically from $550 a day several years ago to $800 a day in Sardinia and Sicily last November. Consequently, as you observe our Tour prices increasing, it is not because we have succumbed to the ÔDeadly SinsÓ of Avarice & Greed, ITŐS THE ECONOMY. But enough of this lugubrious rhetoric, too many words in the hands of an old didactic professor can be a dangerous thing. Let us abandon Travel Economics 101, and return to plans for the future.

 

ADRIATIC HOLIDAY APRIL 1-13, 2009

BUDAPEST, CROATIA, & VENICE

 

We have 3 tickets remaining and are very anxious to fill the tour. It is a wonderful opportunity to see an extraordinary part of the world. For complete details and a virtual tour please take a look at the Cultural Tours site: msaculturaltours.com.

 

We would be more than happy to conduct a no commitment information session for any of you who may want to learn more about the trip. Just send us an e-mail msaculturaltours@comcast.net or call Ben at 508-264-4854. MSA Tours wants you.

 

THE GREAT AMERICAN WEST

OCTOBER 2-11, 2009      $2195.   NINE NIGHTS

 

Some 25 of you expressed interest in this trip on the Tour Interest Sheet that accompanied the SUMMER/FALL NEWSLETTER. Please note there has been a modification of the itinerary announced in that NEWSLETTER. The original intention had been to end the tour in Seattle. However, when we examined the itinerary more closely and checked driving times, we realized it was overly ambitious for a 9-day tour. Driving to Seattle had two major disadvantages, a vast amount of bus time (The American West is a BIG place) and sending an empty bus (at the cost of $1500-$2000) back to its point of origin. Thus, we have modified the itinerary by dropping the Pacific Northwest and adding Bryce and Zion National Parks, and Las Vegas. If this inaugural domestic tour is successful, we will offer a Pacific Northwest and Canadian Rockies Tour in 2010.

 

ITINERARY.

 

DAY 1. SALT LAKE CITY.

DAY 2. BEAR LAKE, IDAHO

DAY 3. JACKSON HOLE, GRAND TETONS

DAY 4. YELLSTONE NATIONAL PARK

DAY 5. YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK

DAY 6. CRATERS OF THE MOON NATIONAL MONUMENT

DAY 7. BRYCE NATIONAL PARK

DAY 8. ZION NATIONAL PARK

DAY 9. LAS VEGAS

DAY 10 RETURN HOME

 

We hope to have a virtual tour on the website in the next two weeks. To provide you with additional information about this tour, we will organize information sessions. For those of you who did not previously expressed interest, but would now be interested, please contact us so we can add you to the list. PLEASE SEE BELOW FOR DETAILS ON INFORMATION SESSIONS.

 

 

GRAND TOUR OF HISTORIC SPAIN
NOVEMBER 5-15, 2009 - NINE NIGHTS $2395

 

While past tours have taken us to Andalusia (or Moorish Spain) in the south of the Peninsula, this 9-day tour will focus on the seminal centers of early Christian Spain. Specifically, we will travel through the northern territory, which made up the Kingdoms of Castile and Leon.  Among the destinations to be visited are Toledo, Segovia, Salamanca, Avila, Burgos, Leon and Madrid.

 

DAY 1 DEPART USA FOR SPAIN

DAYS 2 & 3 TOLEDO

DAY 4 EL ESCORIAL, VALLEY OF THE FALLEN, AND SEGOVIA

DAY 5 AVILA

DAY 6 SALAMANCA

DAY 7 LEON

DAY 8 BURGOS

DAYS 9 &10 MADRID

DAY 11 RETURN USA 

 

Please go to the MSACT Website for complete details and a virtual tour.
PLEASE SEE BELOW FOR DETAILS ON INFORMATION SESSIONS.  

 

NORTHERN GREECE & CORFU 

APRIL 2-12, 2010     NINE NIGHTS $2495

 

This tour will include two days on the Island of Corfu (ancient Corcyra), a day in Albania to visit the ancient ruins at Butrint  (16 miles south of Saranda), and visits to the Ancient Oracle of Dodoni, the incredible mountain peak monasteries of Meteora, Thermopylae (of  the 300 Spartans), Delphi, and Athens.  Please go to the MSACT Website for complete details and a virtual tour.
PLEASE SEE BELOW FOR DETAILS ON INFORMATION SESSIONS.

 

 

INFORMATION SESSIONS

 

Last summer when we sent out the SUMMER/FALL NEWSLETTER we included a TOUR INFORMATION FORM. The purpose was to help us determine the degree of interest and to plan the appropriate information sessions. We have lists of names for the AMERICAN WEST, THE GRAND TOUR OF HISTORIC SPAIN AND NORTHERN GREECE AND CORFU.

We will be contacting the individuals on our lists by e-mail to find appropriate dates for the Information Sessions. If you are not contacted within 2 weeks of having received this NEWSLETTER it means you are not on our list so PLEASE contact us.

 

 

MSA CULTURAL TOURS

P.O. BOX 79351    N. DARTMOUTH, MA. 02747

EMAIL: msaculturaltours@comcast.net

PHONE: 508-877-979-8687

PHONE: BEN 508 264 4854 cell

ONLINE AT:  www.msaculturaltours.com