Since 2002, the Renaissance Academy has sponsored more than 25 high-end, intimately sized, concierge-style excursions abroad. Through unique, custom itineraries, participants have the opportunity to learn outside the classroom, to visit historic and cultural sites with outstanding local guides, to experience another culture - its customs, cuisine, language and history - and to delight in conversation and laughter with fellow travelers who share a love of learning and a sense of adventure. Our excursions generally include round-trip airfare; accommodations in four/five star hotels; most meals and gratuities; private English-speaking guides; deluxe motor coach transportation; and all entrance fees.
Register online at registerRA.fgcu.edu to receive complete itineraries, cost information and registration forms or call 239 425-3272. Reserve early!
Treasures of Peru
September 1-11, 2014
11 days - Land, Air, Train, from $4,250 Per Person
A land of treasures archaeological, cultural, and natural, Peru draws those eager to learn about the distant past – and encounter a fascinating present of colonial and indigenous influences. As our small group of just 24 guests take in some of the country’s highlights – Cuzco, Machu Picchu, and Lake Titicaca – we marvel at the riches of an intriguing land somewhat off the beaten path. Begin your 11-day discovery of Peru’s treasures in the capital of Lima with a city tour and visit to the Larco Herrera Museum. Next, fly to Cuzco, the archeological hub of the Americas. Acclimate to the high altitude as you tour the beautiful Sacred Valley, the Indian market at Pisac, and the extensive ruins at Ollantaytambo. Board the train for Machu Picchu—the stunning “Lost City of the Incas” and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll enjoy two guided visits to these enigmatic ruins by staying overnight and taking advantage of prime viewing opportunities before the crowds arrive. Return to historic Cuzco and stop at the ruins of Sacsayhuaman, an Incan masterpiece, then enjoy lunch in the home of a gracious Cuzco family. Travel overland through Peru’s scenic and rugged altiplano with its snow-capped mountains and remote villages to Lake Titicaca, one of the world’s highest navigable lakes. Spend a full day touring the lake and take a boat ride to the Floating Islands and Isla Taquile, known for the superb locally crafted textiles. Discover the Amazon’s amazing flora, fauna, and even villages on an optional 4-day/4-night post-tour extension. Course #SP4876
A Tour of the Emerald Isle
May 3-15, 2015
13 days - Pricing TBA
From Dublin to Galway, Killarney to Kilkenny, this full yet well-paced tour showcases Ireland’s many charms—both old and new. Outstanding accommodations available only to small groups, ours is limited to only 24 guests, enhance the magical Irish experience. Begin your 13-day trip in Dublin and tour the beautiful Irish capital, including visits to Trinity College and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Embark on an excursion to Inismor, the largest of the dramatic Aran Islands. Take in the magnificent scenery across both Galway and Kerry counties including the Cliffs of Moher, the Burren, and Connemara. Stop at Kylemore Abbey, Ireland’s most photographed castle. Enjoy dinner with local Irish families. Travel by boat to Muckross House, with the Kerry Folklife Centre showcasing the art and craft of bookbinding, pottery, and weaving. Experience one of Ireland’s most popular attractions, the stunning mountain and coastal scenery of the Ring of Kerry. Along the way, stop for an Irish sheepdog demonstration. Dine at Kate Kearney’s Cottage, a 150-year-old family run establishment at the entrance to the Gap of Dunloe. Visit the small town of Blarney and see the both the ruins of the 15th century castle and the Rock of Cashel. Conclude your journey in Kilkenny with a tour of the castle, considered one of the most beautiful in the country and a visit to the National Stud Farm on the way back to Dublin. An optional post-tour extension to Northern Ireland for 4 days/3 nights is also available. Savor the dramatic beauty of the Antrium Coast, one of the most scenic in all of Ireland and the British Isles, and encounter the lively capital city of Belfast on this optional extension. Course #SP5626
Discovering Eastern Europe
July 28 - August 13, 2015
19 days - Pricing TBA
Whether you’re seeking to recapture your ancestral heritage or simply to discover a beautiful and poignant part of the world, this small group tour, limited to 24 guests, offers ample opportunity for enrichment, enlightenment, and enjoyment. Both leisurely and comprehensive, it provides a generous overview of five distinctly different nations—Poland, Hungary, Austria, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic. Begin your 17-day tour in Poland’s capital, Warsaw, where sightseeing includes the faithfully rebuilt Old Town and guided visits to the Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration camps. Travel to Krakow and tour the Wieliczka Salt Mines, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Explore Budapest with comprehensive touring and time on your own to discover the “Paris of the East.” View the scenic Danube Bend. In Vienna, attend a classical music performance and enjoy sightseeing including an inside visit to majestic Schönbrunn Palace. Continue to old-world Bratislava and dine at the restaurant of a local family. Travel to the Czech Republic and enjoy a tour of elegant Prague, including Old Town Square, Prague Castle, and Charles Bridge. Extend your stay in this alluring Czech capital on an optional 3-day/2-night post-tour “On Your Own” extension.
September 5-15, 2015
11 days - Pricing TBA
Discover the astonishing natural history and rich cultural heritage of vast, unspoiled Iceland—a land perfect for exploring in a small group, limited to only 24 guests, as we discover traveling the breadth of the country viewing it’s stunning and unique natural scenery and staying in well-located, atmospheric small hotels. We start our 11-day tour in Borgarnes and visit the Reyholt Cultural Centre. Tour
the beautiful Snaefellsnes Peninsula with its small fishing villages, bizarre rock formations, and nesting cliff birds. Enjoy three nights in the region’s charming capital, Akureyri, situated at the base of a fjord and ringed by snow-capped mountains. Travel to one of the world’s natural wonders, Lake Myvatn and its environs of bubbling mud flats, lava fields, and lunar-like volcanic craters and stop at Godafoss, the “waterfall of the gods.” Visit the incredible “Glacial River Canyon” National Park and walk to jaw-dropping Dettifoss, Iceland’s “Niagara.” Embark on a bird-watching cruise to Puffin Island where, depending on the season, we may see thousands of seabirds: puffins, black guillemots, fulmars, and Arctic terns. Visit Thingvellier National Park, known both for its historic import and as the place where the fissure between the geological plates of North American and Europe is most evident. Spend two nights in Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik. Embark on a city tour and enjoy time on your own in this sophisticated city.
Moroccan Discovery: From the
Imperial Cities to the Sahara
September 12-25, 2015
14 days - Pricing TBA
Morocco — a land of dramatic contrasts — invites with its ancient ruins, sacred mosques, lush desert oases, imposing Kasbahs, spirited souks, and villages where life proceeds much as it has for centuries. Our small group tour, limited to just 24 guests, takes us from the imperial cities of Rabat, Meknes, Fez, and Marrakech to the High Atlas and vast Sahara. Our eyes, and hearts, are opened to a truly foreign land, an age old culture, and genuinely hospitable people. We begin our 14-day tour traveling to Rabat visiting the city’s highlights. View the ancient Roman ruins at Volubilis, one of five UNESCO sites we visit on tour. Travel to Fez and visit a Berber village to share tea with a local family in their cave dwelling. Set out on a private sunset excursion to the breathtakingly beautiful sand dunes at Merzouga on the edge of the Sahara. In the enormous silence we watch the sun set over the desert as we take a camel ride along the dunes. View the spectacular scenery en route to the snow-topped High Atlas including the 984-foot Todra Gorge. Set out on the fabled “Route of a Thousand Kasbahs” ancient caravan route. Stop at uninhabited Ait ben-Haddou, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of southern Morocco’s most scenic villages. Visit Marrakech and embark on a walking tour of the medina, ending at Djemaa el Fna Square. Conclude the tour in storied Casablanca, Morocco’s largest and most cosmopolitan city, and visit the magnificent Hassan II Mosque.