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Synopsis of each of our tours (in chronological order)
About the Serious Traveler
Travel Concepts International Inc. (TCI) was formed by League member Gwen Erwood in 1984, to organize tours, predominately for members of the League of Women Voters both men and women, a nonprofit, nonpartisan political organization encouraging active and informed citizen participation in the American political system. In 1987, the company was incorporated in the State of New York. The destinations, programs, and dates of travel are determined exclusively by Travel Concepts International. The inspiration for the series is to bring members together to further the League’s position of promoting peace in an interdependent world. Although Travel with the League began exclusively as a League of Women Voters project, our travelers thanks to word of mouth endorsements extend beyond League of Women Voters to include AAUW, United Nations Association, Peace Links, Rotary International and friends of those who travel. We share experiences, good humor, and a love of history and culture which are unparalleled. Many of our trips feature optional cultural exchanges and embassy visits, and foster lasting friendships. We carefully plan these Cultural Tours to Better Understand the World and Its People. The greatest compliment is that many members travel again and again, encouraging their friends to join. We sincerely appreciate your trust, and we’ll do our very best to make sure your travel experience is full, rewarding, and great fun! In 2006 we trademarked the name “Serious Traveler,” which is the name of our domain: www.serioustraveler.com, as well as the name of our newsletter. Serious Traveler defines both us and the exceptional people who travel with us. There are many TCI’s but only one Serious Traveler.
Passage Through Persian History & Culture with Caspian Pre-Trip Extension
Dates: October 31 - November 15, 2017
Price: $6980 from JFK via Turkish Airlines
Don’t let the naysayers diminish your enthusiasm. Experience Persian hospitality for yourself! Persepolis, a short drive from Shiraz, is one of the greatest archaeological sites in the world. Isfahan is a unique city with exquisite mosaic-clad domes, bridges and Persian gardens. Travel in security with our experienced Iranian tour manager. This perfect introductory tour also includes Kerman, the citadel of Rayen; Shiraz, the city of “Roses and Nightingales”; Pasargadae, the capital of Cyrus the Great; Yazd, the city in the desert and safe haven for Zoroastrians.
Easter Island and the Great West of South America
Dates: November 5 - 18, 2017
Price: $5950 from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Santiago, Chile (Airfare Additional)
From Buenos Aires, Argentina to the End of the Continent. Cruise from Ushuaia aboard the Stella Australis among the ice fields of Patagonia to Punta Arenas. On to Santiago and stargaze into the Earth’s clearest skies from Moon Valley in the Atacama Desert.
Ethiopia's Historic Route with Sebaratmu Giorgis & Timkat Festivals with Omo Valley Extension
Dates: January 17 - 29, 2018
Price: $5710 from Washington, IAD via Ethiopia Airlines
Experience the colorful religious festivals of Timkat and Sebaratumu Giorgis, led by richly clad Christians surrounding their rock-hewn churches of Lalibela. Make a two-day excursion to soak up the amazing and pristine nature of the Simien Mountains National Park. Ancient Axum, which purportedly holds the Ark of the Covenant. Sip Ethiopia coffee; you are 7 years younger here!
Sri Lanka - Pearl of the Indian Ocean
Dates: January 20 - February 1, 2018
Price: $4470 from Colombo, Sri Lanka (Airfare Additional)
Visit six of Sri Lanka’s UNESCO Sites—Anuradhapura, Dambulla, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, Kandy, Galle, Ruhunu National Park in Yala plus the enchanting Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage. Dine elegantly and stay in a historic beach resort in Bentota designed by iconic architect Geoffrey Bawa.
Uzbekistan & Turkmenistan - Jewels of the Silk Road
Dates: March 29 - April 12, 2018
Price: $6690 from New York, JFK via Turkish Airlines
Complete your Silk Road experience in a seldom-visited area. This tour connects Central Asia to the Near East. Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva, Tashauz, Ashgabat, Merv (Mary). The Ferghana pre-trip extension is optional.
Colorful Orthodox Easter in Bulgaria
Dates: March 31 - April 15, 2018
Price: $4660 from Sofia, Bulgaria (Airfare Additional)
We’ll be in Sofia for the Palm Sunday Festival. In Kazanluk you’ll meet the Thracians. Visit small towns like Koprivshtitsa, Tryavna, Bozhentsi, which you’ve probably never heard of, but will stay in your memory forever. Celebrate Orthodox Easter Sunday in Plovdiv which will be the 2019 Cultural Capital of Europe. Rila Monastery and the Rhodopes, too in the wonderful company of our guide, who will show you places you might never find on your own, and bring them alive with their vast knowledge and love of Balkan culture.
Mashad & Northwest Iran
Dates: April 11 - 24, 2018
Price: $6490 from New York, JFK via Turkish Airlines
Travelers still charmed with Iran will find new delights. Begin in Ferdowsi’s Mashad and see Omar Khayyám’s Nishapur, then explore the Caspian region, 1,000-year-old village of Masuleh and tea plantations of Fuman via Rasht. On to the resort town of Anzali, Mausoleum of Ardabil, Jolfa with its Armenian Monastic Ensemble, Zanjan, Soltaniyeh, and Tabriz with its bustling bazaar.
Treasures of Iran
Dates: April 22 - May 5, 2018
Price: $6880 from New York, JFK via Turkish Airlines
Be inspired by the mosaics, architecture and gardens of Persia. See the fabulous crown jewels in Tehran. Persepolis, Shiraz, and Yazd can’t be missed. Stay in a delightful caravanserai in the exquisite and dazzling Isfahan, where you’ll soak up the beauty that has enthralled visitors for centuries.
Dates: May 4 - 12, 2018
Price: $4880 from New York, JFK via Turkish Airlines
Take as a short and sweet 9-day trip, seeing just the highlights. Fly direct into Shiraz. We’ll marvel at Persepolis, Naghsh-é-Rostam, Pasargadae. Stroll through the pink-tiled Nasir-ol-molk, Narenjestan house and gardens and pay our respects at the Tomb of Hafez. Enjoy nature and the Bedouin grasslands en route to the Roof of Iran - Shahrekord. Finally see the Pearl of Iran, Isfahan with its Royal Square, its romantic bridges and its beautifully-tiled mosques. Return flight from Isfahan.
Albania with a Taste of Macedonia & Northern Greece
Dates: May 19 - 29, 2018
Price: $2840 from Tirana, Albania (Airfare Additional)
Our archaeologist guide will meet you in Tirana and introduce you to Kruja, Durres, Apollonia, Saranda, Gjirokastra, Permet, Korça, and Lake Ohrid. The highlight is the UNESCO site of Butrint, where our host Auron Tare was a founding director.
Ethiopia's Historic Route with Meskel Festival with Omo Valley Extension
Dates: September 17 - 29, 2018
Price: $5710 from Washington, IAD via Ethiopia Airlines
Experience the colorful religious festivals, led by richly clad Christians surrounding their rock-hewn churches of Lalibela. Make a two-day excursion to soak up the amazing and pristine nature of the Simien Mountains National Park. Ancient Axum, which purportedly holds the Ark of the Covenant. Sip Ethiopia coffee; you are 7 years younger here!
Crafts & Culture of Ecuador
Dates: September 27 - October 8, 2018
Price: from Quito, Ecuador to Guayaquil, Ecuador (Airfare Additional)
Join expert Mauricio for visits to artisan’s workshops in Otavalo, Puyo and Guayaquil. From the Amazon rainforests to the western lowlands, see ancient Inca ruins, the majestic Andes and the Avenue of the Volcanoes. Take the train on Devils’ Nose.
Wild Europe to the East - Balkans
Dates: October 14 - 27, 2018
Price: $TBA from Sofia, Bulgaria (Airfare Additional)
Walk on the wild side of Eastern Europe in Bulgaria, Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Albania. Five countries in two weeks with a delightful treat every day!