We hope you are all enjoying the summer and that this newsletter finds you healthy, happy and rested. The MSA Annual Congress in Pula, Croatia was very successful with 200 participants and followed by a 5-day tour, with 38 academic colleagues, from Pula to Kotor, Montenegro and back. It is our intention to expand that itinerary and offer it as our 2013 spring MSA Tour (see below). In May we spent 20 days on the wonderful Seabourn Legend in the (very warm) Mediterranean. On August 12, we fly to Venice for 22 days on the Seabourn Spirit. These small luxury ships (about 200 passengers) are fantastic, but the high quality food, my appetite, and my total lack of self-control has me applying for a Jenny Craig Scholarship.


We visited Valletta, Malta on the Seabourn cruise and spent a day at the beautiful Phoenicia Hotel where we will be spending six luxurious nights. The hotel is even more impressive than we had imagined, the rooms are splendid, there are acres of magnificent gardens, and a wonderful swimming pool (bring your bathing suit, as it will still be warm in Malta in November). The hotel is an easy 10-minute walk to the historic center of Valletta. We still have four tickets remaining, from individuals who cancelled their participation in the tour, and we will hold those four airline tickets (Boston-Rome-Malta – Malta-Catania – Catania-Rome-Boston) until August 7, 2012. At which time we must return the tickets or be responsible to pay for them. It will still be possibly to sign up for the tour after August 7, but you will lose the group airfare rate and consequently the tour cost will increase for those signing up after August 7.

This is going to be a fantastic trip so please decide to join us on this wonderful trip before August 7. Please also note that there has been one change in the Sicilian itinerary found on the MSACT website at A feature for Day 11 had been the journey to Reggio Calabria to see the famous Riace Bronzes. The Reggio Museum has been closed for renovations for nearly two years. It was scheduled to re-open in 2011, in fact, we planned to take the students in the UMD Sicily Program there last year. However, because of the Italian financial crisis, the government lacks funds to complete the project and the museum will remain closed in November. We will still visit Syracusa, Savoca (like in the movie “The Godfather”) and Castelmola as scheduled.


The response for the proposed Vietnam Tour in the spring, 2013 was underwhelming so we have postponed Vietnam until 2014. This delay will also allow us the opportunity to spend two weeks there in March and more time to develop the tour. As an alternative we are organizing a tour of the Dalmatian (totally different from the one offered five years ago), which will include Trieste, Italy, Ljubljana, Slovenia, Trogir, the beautiful Dalmatian Island of Korcula and Dubrovnik, Croatia and the extraordinary and beautiful medieval city of Kotor, Montenegro. We will have more information and website presentation on this tour later in the summer.


This tour is an advanced work in progress with our colleague Mariano Merino with who we have offered two previous tours including “The Road to Santiago” in May 2012. Mariano has proposed offering a Second Half Seminar on Andalusia and the Jews in Spain in spring 2013 with a follow-up tour in November 2013. Please note that the proposed Andalusia Tour will be a MSA Tour, it will not be sponsored by Second Half. The Second Half Seminar will be to provide interested individuals an opportunity to learn more about the fascinating history and culture of Andalusia prior to the tour. The preliminary itinerary includes Granada, Cordoba, Seville, Cadiz, Gibraltar, the Pueblo Blanco’s (Ronda) and Jerez de la Fontera.

For additional information please contact Louise or Ben at:

Have a great summer and looking forward to seeing you and traveling with you in the near future.

Ben & Louise

MSA Cultural Tours
PO Box 79351
North Dartmouth, MA 02747
Phone 508 979-8687
Fax 508 999-7183