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Release: Oct. 19, 1999

Iowa Voyagers program offers exciting travel destinations

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Whether it’s exploring the Amazon or hiking through the mountains of Yellowstone, University of Iowa Alumni Association’s Iowa Voyagers travel program has a wide variety of vacation destinations, whether your interests are educational, family oriented or adventure. With such exotic locations as Antarctica and the Galapagos Islands, the program has something for everyone — and you don’t have to be an alum to join the fun.

Last year, more than 400 people took part in the Iowa Voyagers program compared with the 43 people who traveled in the Alumni Association’s first annual trip in 1961. Iowa Voyagers will offer 30 trips in 2000.

"The Alumni Association offers the travel program to give people access to high quality educational tours. It’s another link in the continuing lifelong learning process between the university and its alumni and friends," said Diane Baker-Gruwell, the program director.

New to this year’s program is the Salzburg, Austria trip to see "Passion Play," a performance that occurs only once every ten years. Other new attractions include excursions to Vienna, Baja and the Sea of Cortez, the "Great Ports of Europe" trip, and the Voyage of the Vikings, among others.

Former Hawkeye football Coach Hayden Fry and his wife Shirley will host the "Great Ports of Europe cruise June 8 to 20, 2000.

"We’re just thrilled to have the Frys’ accompany our travelers on this cruise. They’ve done so much for Iowa, and they are wonderful people," said Baker-Gruwell. Ports of call for the trip include Rome, Malaga and Cadiz in Spain, Casablanca, Lisbon, Bordeaux, and London.

UI teaching staff accompany Voyagers travelers on many of their trips. Travelers are able to benefit from the additional knowledge faculty members can provide. For example, Professor David Nelson, the director of the School of Music, will be hosting the Danube River cruise in August. Dr. Christine Grant, director of women’s athletics, hosts the July trip to Scotland.

Among the most popular vacations are the Alumni Campus Abroad trips (ACA), which focus on one area and immerse the visitors in the local culture, art, architecture and history. The in-depth focus gives travelers the opportunity to become quite familiar with a specific region. ACA destinations include Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Provence and Southern Italy.

For those more interested in family excursions, ACA trips to Yellowstone and the Swiss Alps provide the perfect combination of education and getaway. Both of these programs include activities designed to appeal to all members of the family, from young children to grandparents.

Traditional favorites such as the Danube River cruise, Alaskan wilderness and glacier expedition, African safari, the Baltic Sea Cruise and the Lewis and Clark expedition also are offered for 2000.

The trips range anywhere from under $500 per person for the Yellowstone vacation to $5,000 per person for the Crown Jewels of the East and West. Tours begin Jan. 18, 2000 and continue through Oct. 20, 2000. You do not have to be a UI graduate to register for one of the Voyager trips.

"Anyone interested in having a high-quality, educational travel experience is welcome to join us," Baker-Gruwell said.

Iowa Voyagers will present its "Tour 2000" preview show Friday, Oct. 22 from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Morse Board Room on the fourth floor of the Levitt Center for University Advancement. Door prizes will be given away along with presentations about the trips. Anyone who places a deposit on a Voyagers trip at the show will receive a $100 per person discount. The event is free and open to the public. Anyone interested in traveling is encouraged to attend.

To learn more about these opportunities and others provided by the UI Alumni Association, log onto or contact Baker-Gruwell at (319) 335-3293.