PROVENCE: Magic en Plein Air!


PROVENCE: Magic en Plein Air!
November 4 – 13, 2013

with an extension to Paris
November 13 – 16, 2013

Download the printable itinery & registration form.

Few places are as beautiful or as much treasured as Provence, the region of southern France whose associations range from Caesar, the Romans and Popes to prolific artists, splendid wine and unspoiled villages. On canvas, in the cafes and through the landscape, magic is in the air!

-Eight nights accommodation at four star properties.

Avignon: Three nights
4 Star Hotel Del’Horloge, Avignon

Aix-en-Provence: Three nights
4 Star Chateau de la Pioline

Nice: Two nights
4 Star Splendid Hotel, Nice

We are especially pleased that our favorite French guide, Gabrielle Greenway, will be joining us.

Other inclusions are:
-Breakfast daily at the hotel
-Two lunches
-Welcome dinner
-Two winery visits with tastings
-Private motor-coach throughout the tour
-Art historian guide each day
-Entrance fees to all featured museums and attractions
-Gratuities to driver and guide
-Full time tour manager
-Pre-departure meetings
-Comprehensive pre departure readings
-Detailed travel guide

Trip price: $4495 per person based on double occupancy. The single supplement is $650.

There will be a surcharge of $200 per person if there are under twenty paying passengers.
We require a minimum of ten paying passengers to offer the trip.

Paris Extension Trip Price: $955. The single supplement is $369.

Schedule By Day: November 4 – 13, 2013

Mon. November 4, 2013
Depart on overnight flight from JFK to London and on to Marseilles. Dinner, Breakfast in flight.

Tues. November 5, 2013
Transfer from Marseille Airport to Avignon, via private coach. Our guide will provide commentary en route through the beautiful Provencal countryside. We will settle in to our hotel neighborhood, and relax before our welcome dinner at a local restaurant. Avignon is where the popes pontificated in medieval times and people danced on (or under) the famous bridge. Once the majestic center of church power, today it’s an intimate, Provençal walled city. Great historic sights, mellow bars and fashionable shops along quaint cobbled streets make for wonderful strolling.

Wed. November 6, 2013
Breakfast served at our hotel

Private Coach & Guide: full day sightseeing of Avignon. In the 14th century, Avignon was the capital of Christendom, home to the popes, leaving a wonderful footprint of that period on view for today’s visitors. This beautiful walled, medieval city has become quite a cultural center. Its famous bridge, pont St-Benezet, built in 1177, has suffered various disasters, but today has four of its original arches still intact. Palais des Papes – The maze of corridors and rooms in the Palais de Papes were richly decorated by skilled artists and craftsmen brought from Italy. We will also visit the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Roman aqueduct, Pont du Gard.

Thurs. November 7, 2013
Breakfast served at our hotel, lunch at winery restaurant and wine tasting at another winery. Private coach and guide for a full day of sightseeing and touring of the Luberon hilltowns and Cote du Rhone. The Luberon region, stretching 40 miles along a ridge of rugged hills east of Avignon, nestles some of France’s most appealing hill towns and sensuous landscapes.

We will explore the Cotes du Rhone wine region of endless vineyards, mountains and old stone villages. We will visit Vaison la Romaine, Vacqueyras, Gigondas and if time permits, Rasteau. We will stop for wine tastings at a few wineries and enjoy a three course winery luncheon. Wine can be purchased and shipped home from the winery.

Fri. November 8, 2013
Breakfast served at our hotel

Private coach and guide: Touring Provence & the French Riviera

Head southwest through Provence to Aix-en-Provence, touring en route:

Aix en Provence
Aix en Provence is Marseille’s better-behaved, slightly younger brother. Founded in 123 BC by the Romans, today Aix (pronounced “X”) is a lively university town with elegant, aristocratic old quarters and squares lined with cafes and cooled by fountains. “Its good taste comes so naturally that not even the students can disturb it,” observed the travel writer Marcel Renébon. “It was the last city in France to give up its sedan chairs.” Arles was once the political center of the early Christian Church. It regained its former popularity when Van Gogh settled here, painting some of his most celebrated works. It features great ruins such as the Roman Arena plus eclectic museums. We will spend time at the Musee de l’Arles Antique. The collection includes one of the world’s most famous collections of Roman Christian sarcophagi as well as mosaics, sculptures and antiquities.

St. Remy is a sleepy village living the small-town Provencal life.

Two of the most famous residents of the elegant town of St. Remy were the Renaissance seer Nostrodamus and the painter Vincent Van Gogh, who spent most of the last year of his life in a sanitarium just outside of the town. From the window of his room he made 150 paintings and drawings.

The village consists of perfectly groomed houses decorated with subdued hues and touches of marble and stone door and window frames. We will spend time visiting the sites painted by Van Gogh and visit places he stayed, allowing time to wander this quaint village. We will continue our drive to the Chateau de la Pioline, our home for the next three nights. Set on ten acres, the property has lovely gardens and an in-ground pool.

Sat. November 9, 2013
Breakfast served at our hotel

Long Distance Coach: Touring Provence & the French Riviera Half-day tour of Aix-en-Provence: Step back in time in what was once a Roman city. Fountains ripple while university students stroll by mansions. Artists and writers have found inspiration here, so there’s no shortage of their legacies. There will be time at leisure in downtown Aix to find an inviting sidewalk cafe for lunch on your own along Cours Mirabeau. This afternoon will be free to trace the footsteps of Cezanne in Aix. A few to wander include:

Studio at Les Lauvres:
Cézanne’s last studio in Aix is a place haunted by memory, where the spirit of the master lingers on. His equipment and the objects he took for models are still there, combining with other mementoes and the garden to recreate the living, intimate atmosphere of his presence.

The Manor of Jas de Bouffan
For lovers of Cézanne in France and around the world, as well as for the residents of Aix and Provence, the Jas de Bouffan estate – never before opened to the general public – is a fascinating attraction, a place which retains an aura of mystique despite its direct links with so many of the painter’s celebrated works.

Sun. November 10, 2013
Breakfast served at our hotel, lunch at a local restaurant

Long Distance Coach: Touring Provence & the French Riviera

Half-day tour along the Route de Cézanne in nearby Le Tholonet.
Le Tholonet is a small village situated close to Aix en Provence in the “Haute Vallée de l’Arc” which is worth visiting for several reasons. From the village there are magnificent views of Mount Saint-Victoire and the superb surrounding countryside. You will appreciate the picturesque rivers of the Arc and La Cause which cross the territory and meander between the vineyards and fields of wild flowers.

Le Tholonet was one of Paul Cezanne’s favorite places. Its red soil, grey rock and intense blue sky all complemented by Mount Sainte-Victoire offer a palette of extraordinary colors. You will discover the Chateau du Tholnet painted by Cezanne and which is today one of the stopping points on the Cezanne circuit, retracing the important sites during his time in the region. When leaving the village at the foot of the windmill you will come across a figure in the image of Cezanne which commemorates the centenary of his birth. We will have a three course lunch in the village and then return to the chateau to relax and enjoy the chateau property.

Mon. November 11, 2013
Breakfast served at our hotel

Today we will travel southwest via private coach to the French Riviera, stopping en route in Biot and Antibes. Biot is famous for its pottery, having survived many wars from ancient Roman times. This was also home to the famous painter Fernand Leger, where much of his work still remains. Today it features the marvelous glass blowers and a 15th century church. We will have time to wander through the village craft shops and bistros.

The Picasso Museum:
Antibes is a quaint port town that still has little fishing boats bobbing among the pleasure yachts. Picasso moved here for a time in 1946, leaving all his local works behind on his departure. The Picasso Museum was founded on the ancient acropolis of the Greek town of Antipolis. Up until the beginning of the seventeenth century, the castle was inhabited by the Grimaldi family. In 1925, the castle was bought by the town of Antibes and transformed into a history and archaeology museum. In 1966 the museum was named for Picasso and became the first museum dedicated to his work.

Tues. November 12, 2013

Breakfast served at our hotel.

We will leave our hotel in Nice for a full day excursion with guide and private coach to Monaco and St Paul de-Vence. Picture-perfect on a hilltop and ringed by ramparts, St Paul de-Vence has long been a magnet for artists and visitors to the French Riviera. Marc Chagall is buried in the pretty

In St. Paul de-Vence we will visit the Fondation Maeght, a contemporary art museum that Features the works of such artists as Bonnard, Braque, Calder, Chagall, Giacometti and Miro.

Wed. November 13, 2013
Breakfast served at our hotel. Some trip participants will be escorted to the airport for their departure home after breakfast and others will continue on for the Paris extension. Travelers continuing on for the Paris extension will transfer to the Nice train station for the TGV train to Paris. A private coach will meet us at the Paris station for our transfer to the Hotel Mayfair.

Situated in the first arrondissement, we have enjoyed previous stays at this quaint Parisian hotel and our frequent travelers have requested this hotel for our stay. It is close to a metro and within walking distance of major sites. For example, simply walk through the Tuileries Garden, and you are at the Musee d’Orsay, or step out in the opposite direction for the Louvre. With a three day, three zone Metro pass, you will have access to a wide range of sites. Edventures staff will be available to assist you in selecting yours sights and finding your way.

After arrival, we will become familiar with our hotel neighborhood before exploring at leisure.Thu and Fri. November 14 & 15, 2013 Breakfast at the hotel every dayWith our three day metro pass we are free to explore Paris. Options include the Louvre, Musee D’Orsay, Notre Dame, strolling the Champs-Ellysees or wandering along the Seine or travelling to Versaille.

Sat. November 16, 2013
After breakfast at our hotel a private coach will meet us for our transfer to the Charles DeGaulle Airport for our flight home.

Do you have questions about the trip? If so, contact Mary at Edventures
1 (607) 387-3322 or write to or visit our website,

You can also come to a trip overview presented at 11:30 AM at Saratoga Arts, 320 Broadway, Saratoga Springs on:

Saturday, April 20
Saturday, May 11 and
Saturday, June 22.

Enter through the gallery door on Broadway and ask to be directed to the board room, which is located down the hall in front of you.

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Exotic Istanbul: Where East Meets West

(with an optional four night extension to Cappadocia, Turkey)

Main tour:  April 26 -May 3, 2013
Extension: May 3 – 7, 2013

(Download a printable itinerary)
Click here to read more about our upcoming tours…

Location, location, location! That is the story of Turkey, where east meets west, Europe meets Asia, Christianity meets Islam and where the world’s oldest city was discovered. Turkey today is a splendid mosaic, a thriving democracy that is rich in Oriental history and European splendor. Full of marvelous mystery and intrigue, it’s a glistening city of tiled mosques, world-class cuisine and the whirl of a dervish.  Istanbul, Cappadocia and all things Turkish conjure exotic images most of us dream about but few actually experience in their lifetime. Join our magical carpet ride to a land that is far away, romantic and unforgettable. 


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Portugal: Glorious Eden

Click to download the full itinerary

Saratoga Arts and Soroptimist International of Saratoga County Present:

Portugal : Glorious Eden* November 3 – 11, 2012

*Famous British poet and traveler Lord Byron stopped by Sintra, Portugal in the 18th century, writing that the town is “perhaps in every respect the most delightful in Europe,” and calling it a “glorious Eden” in his epic poem Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage.

Imagine whimsical castles, tiled fortresses, wineries tumbling down steep hillsides and botanical collections centuries in the making…..join Saratoga Arts, Soroptomist International of Saratoga County and Edventures on an escape to Portugal this fall!

November 3- 11, 2012

Day 1 – Saturday, November 3
Depart Newark on direct flight to Lisbon. This non-stop flight includes meals, refreshments, and in-flight entertainment.
Meals: Dinner and breakfast

Day 2 – Sunday, November 4
Arrive Lisbon – Upon arrival, we will transfer to the Lutecia Hotel, our home for four nights.

The balance of the day is at leisure. This evening we will enjoy a welcome dinner at our hotel.

Lisbon is a city spruced up not just for tourists to see; it’s an authentic place that stands out in an increasingly homogeneous world. Although it boasts a range of must-see sights, its biggestpleasures are its street-life and setting, admired from a pavement cafe, from the scenic outlook of a hilltop, or simply by wandering around its enchanting neighborhoods. Not too many other cities have such an intriguing mix of the old and the new, or so many contrasting faces, making this a city for unhurried exploration and a place to get lost in, discovering its many distinctive sights and characteristic images. From the Moorish Alfama quarter to reminders of the Golden Age of Discoveries in Belém, to a royal residence in the Serra de Sintra, Lisbon offers an incredible adventure.

Overnight: Lisbon Meals: Dinner

Day 3 – Monday, November 5 Sightseeing Tour of Lisbon – This morning we will begin our sightseeing tour of Lisbon. Among our sights is the Belem Tower. Built in 1515 as a fortress to guard the entrance to Lisbon’s harbor, the Tower was the starting point for many of the voyages of discovery, and for sailors it was the last sight of their homeland. We will walk through the cobbled alleys of Alfama, the seaman’s quarter, and admire the wide Liberdade Avenue and visit to Jardim Botanical – Lisbon’s oldest botanical garden.

Next we will visit one of Lisbon’s most visited sights, the Coaches Museum (Museu Nacional dos Coches). The collection hosts the largest and most valuable collection of its type in the world. It is housed in a richly decorated 18th century royal riding school that is part of Belem Palace, illustrating the ostentation and staggering wealth of the old Portuguese elite.

We will then visit the delightful Tile Museum. Presenting five centuries of decorative ceramic tiles or azulejos, the museum traces the history and production of the art form. Its collection is the only of its kind in the world, and contains a splendid array of tiles from as early as the 15th century along with displays on how they were made.

The afternoon and evening are at leisure. Overnight: Lisbon
Meals: Breakfast

Day 4 – Tuesday, November Full day excursion along Estoril coast to Cascais and Sintra

We will depart today on a scenic drive along the Estoril coast with a short stop in Cascais, a popular resort favored by European nobility and kings in the early 20th century. Today it iscolorful cosmopolitan town with elegant pedestrian streets, luxuriant villas, fashionable shops, restaurants and bars. We then continue to Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage site because of the town’s Romantic architecture. On arrival we will visit the Sintra Royal Palace, an 15th-century royal residence, containing one of the largest tile collections in Portugal. Sintra was declared a World Heritage Site because:

“In the 19th century Sintra became the first center of European Romantic architecture. Ferdinand II turned a ruined monastery into a castle where this new
sensitivity was displayed in the use of Gothic, Egyptian, Moorish and Renaissance elements and in the creation of a park blending local and exotic species of trees. Other fine dwellings, built along the same lines in the surrounding area, created a unique combination of parks and gardens which influenced the development of landscape architecture throughout Europe.”

Return to Lisbon where the evening is free at leisure. Overnight: Lisbon
Meals: Breakfast

Day 5 – Wednesday, November 7 Full Day excursion to Obidos, Batalha

We will depart Lisbon in the morning heading north to Óbidos, an enchanting walled city whose narrow cobblestone streets reflect its medieval heritage. All of Obidos has been declared a national monument. It is known as the “Wedding Present Town” because it was a gift King Dinis gave to Queen Isabel on their wedding day in 1282, but that alone is not what makes it such an extraordinarily romantic place — what make it one of Europe’s most romantic medieval villages are its incredibly picturesque cobblestone streets lined with colorful houses filled with geraniums and bougainvillea, Gothic doorways and windows, whitewashed churches, flowerpots and dazzling tiles — all encircled by the walls of a 12th century castle.

Then to Batalha to see the 14th century abbey, a masterpiece of Portuguese “Manueline” architecture named after the king who reigned in the Age of Discovery. This style is characterized by the wide range of architecture brought back by the explorers and is a mixture of late Gothic, with Italian and Flemish influences and even those of East Indian temples.

Batalha’s abbey is one of Europe’s greatest Gothic masterpieces and is protected as a World Heritage monument. It was built in 1388 after King João I made a vow to the Virgin that he would build a magnificent monastery if she granted him a victory over the Castillians in the Battle of Aljubarrota. An equestrian statue of Nuno Alvares Pereira, the king’s commander at the battle, stands before the southern façade. The exterior possesses innumerable pinnacles, buttresses and openwork balustrades above Gothic and Flamboyant windows, while the front portal is decorated with statues of the apostles in intricate Gothic style.Return to Lisbon where the evening is free at leisure.
Overnight: Lisbon
Meals: Breakfast
Day 6 – Thursday, November 8

Battle of Aljubarrota. An equestrian statue of Nuno Alvares Pereira, the king’s commander at the battle, stands before the southern façade. The exterior possesses innumerable pinnacles, buttresses and openwork balustrades above Gothic and Flamboyant windows, while the front portal is decorated with statues of the apostles in intricate Gothic style.

Return to Lisbon where the evening is free at leisure. Overnight: Lisbon
Meals: Breakfast

Flight to Porto with afternoon tour

After breakfast, we will transfer to the airport for our flight to Oporto designated World Heritage status by UNESCO. On arrival at our hotel, Mercure Porto Centro, we will enjoy an afternoon tour of the city to introduce us to Portugal’s “second city” known as a city with soul, wine and beauty! The unhurried pace of life in Porto mirrors the graceful flow of ocean waves rolling on her shores and makes the strife in the world seem distant and remote. Look for brilliant blue skies set against red tile roofs and the sun glittering on
the Douro River which here meets the Atlantic Ocean in tumultuous vigor. Porto gave its name to the famous Port wine and to the country. Vineyards grow for mile upon mile
along the Douro’s steep slopes, and you will enjoy a visit to a Port Wine Cellar for a tasting. This evening is free at leisure.
Overnight: Porto
Meals: Breakfast

Day 7 – November 9 Full day tour to Guimaraes – Braga – Barcelos Today we depart Porto for the Minho, the northwest province of Portugal, known for its wonderful, effervescent Green Wine “Vinho Verde”. The Minho is home to two of Portugal’s most historic cities: Guimaraes, the first capital (1139) and Braga, the country’s main religious center. In Guimaraes we will stop at Colina Sagrada, the Castle and Palace of the Duques of Bragança. Near Braga we will see the sanctuary of Bom Jesus de Braga with its monumental baroque staircase cascading down a hill. We will continue to Barcelos, the town of the legendary rooster, now a symbol of Portugal. There are as many interpretations of the legend as there are roosters! The evening is at leisure.

Overnight: Porto Meals: Breakfast

Day 8 – November 10 Excursion to Amarante and the Douro River Valley – From Porto we will depart for Amarante, a beautiful riverside town immaculately set in a gorge of the Rio Tâmega, with the wooden balconies of its old houses leaning over the water. We will visit the Gardens of the Casa de Mateus. The beautiful baroque Casa has been made famous as the label on Mateus Wine. Then we enter the Port Wine region through vineyards clinging to the steep hillsides of the Douro Valley. The Douro River, rising in Spain and reaching the Atlantic Ocean in Porto, has created the spectacular Douro River Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Rambling vineyards and charming native farms called quintas cling to the steep sides of the Douro River Valley, creating an incomparable backdrop to one of Europe’s most unspoiled regions and to Port country—the oldest demarcated wine region in the world.

Overnight: Porto Meals: Breakfast

Day 9- Departure – After breakfast, transfer to the Porto Airport for departure flight (via Lisbon) to Newark.
Meals: Breakfast and meals en flight to the USA.

Tour package: $3490 double occupancy includes:

  • Direct flights to/from metro-NY to Lisbon;
  • Flight from Lisbon to Porto
  • Seven nights hotel: Lisbon and Porto including daily breakfast and one banquet dinner.Both hotels are located in the center of the city to make it easy for travelers to exploreon their own.
  • Tax deductible contribution to Saratoga Arts, Soroptimist International of SaratogaCounty or the NYS Retired Teachers’ Association
  • First class motorcoach transport for all ground excursions
  • Garden visits, wine tastings, castles, fortresses and culinary delights!
  • Expert local guides who will make Portugal come alive
  • Edventures tour manager
  • Time for shopping, photography and individual exploring
  • Small group travel
  • Gratuities for guides and bus drivers
  • Memories to last a lifetime!

TRIP PRICE based on double room occupancy is $3470. The single supplement is $365.

SMALL GROUP FEE: A small group fee of $200 will be charged if enrollment falls below 20 travelers.

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Jane Austen Tour

Jane Austen Tour — January 3-12, 2013

Led by Dr. Catherine J. Golden, Skidmore College

Edventures is pleased to announce a Jane Austen Tour that departs for England on Thursday, January 3 and returns Saturday, January 12.  To bring the world of Jane Austen to life, we will travel to Steventon, Chawton, Winchester, and Bath for an exploration of areas central to Austen’s life and fiction.  Our visit will take travelers to the communities that were important to Jane’s personal development and provided inspiration for the characters and enduring novels we have come to love.

The tour will begin in the city of Winchester with a visit to the famous cathedral and Jane’s burial site.  From Winchester, we will take a day trip to two nearby communities:  Steventon, where Austen was born and lived until 1801 when she moved to Bath, and Chawton, her final home, which is now Jane Austen’s House Museum. Steventon is a small village where in Jane’s time the stagecoach went back and forth to London twice a day.  Its social life and traditions fueled her imagination and fill the pages of novels that she drafted in Steventon and later revised in Chawton and published under the titles of Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), and Northanger Abbey (published in 1818 after her death). Jane’s literary output thrived at Chawton where she conceived her other great novels—Mansfield Park (1814), Emma (1815), and Persuasion (also published in 1818 after her death).  Imagine seeing the table where she sat and revised Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice and the rooms where she conceived her other great novels.

Settling in Bath, we will use the facilities of this beautiful Georgian city as a living classroom to explore where Jane Austen lived from 1801-1806 and the settings vital to the characterization and plot of two novels set in Bath, Northanger Abbey (1818) and Persuasion (1818).  Time will be devoted to the Bath streets and locations important to Austen and her characters—including the Pump Room, part of the Roman Bath complex where the genteel went to see and be seen, and the magnificent Assembly Rooms with amazing chandeliers. Day trips include a visit to the coastal town of Lyme Regis, a setting important to Persuasion, and Lacock, which the BBC used as the setting for its productions of Emma and Pride and Prejudice (yes, the Colin Firth version) as well as for Cranford.  We will also enjoy the Roman Baths and the New Royal Baths opened only a few years ago, which offer the full range of spa services in a striking setting.  There will be plenty of free time to enjoy the waters and other activities that strike your fancy.

In keeping with Edventure’s mission of “Adventure Travel That Educates,” the trip will be led by Dr. Catherine J. Golden, Professor of English at Skidmore College where she teaches courses on Victorian literature and culture and Jane Austen. She is author of Posting It:  The Victorian Revolution in Letter Writing (2009)—winner of the SHARP George A. and Jean S. DeLong Book History Prize and the Chicago Philatelic Society’s 2011 Vermeil Medal—and Images of the Woman Reader in Victorian British and American Fiction (2003). She is editor of five books including Book Illustrated:  Text, Image, and Culture 1770-1930 (2000); her lectures include a presentation at the Smithsonian and the 2012 Moseley Distinguished Faculty Lecture at Skidmore. Catherine has led several study groups on Jane Austen on location, so Edventures travelers will benefit from her vast knowledge of the areas we will visit as well as her enthusiasm and expertise in all things Jane.

Do you want to receive more information?

Contact Edventures at, call Mary at 607-387-3322, and visit our website:

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A Weekend of Art & Tropical Paradise March 4 & 5, 2012

Saratoga Arts, Soroptimist International of Saratoga County and Edventures Presents:

A Weekend of Art & Tropical Paradise March 4 & 5, 2012
(Sunday and Monday)

This two day excursion features art and floral wonders in Philadelphia! Download Registration Form

Sunday, March 4:

Van Gogh Up Close – Philadelphia Museum of Art

Vincent van Gogh was an artist of exceptional intensity, not only in his use of color and exuberant application of paint, but also in his personal life. Drawn powerfully to nature, his works– particularly those created in the years just before he took his own life–engage the viewer with the strength of his emotions. This exhibition focuses on these tumultuous years, a period of feverish artistic experimentation that began when van Gogh left Antwerp for Paris in 1886 and continued until his death in

Auvers in 1890. Through some 40 masterpieces borrowed from collections around the world, Van Gogh Up Close is the first exhibition to explore the reasons and means by which this impassioned artist made such unusual changes to his painting style in the final years of his life.Monday, March 5 Previous travelers to the Philadelphia Flower show asked Edventures if we could visit it on Monday instead of Sunday in order to avoid the large weekend crowds. Please join us as we leave upstate snow behind and visit the islands of Hawaii on Monday.

Philadelphia Flower Show :
“Hawaii: Islands of Aloha!”

Get ready to plan your garden for next year! Join us in the City of Brotherly Love at the world’s largest indoor flower show. From towering waterfalls and waves of orchids to glowing volcanoes and serene sunsets, the 2012 Flower Show is an immersion in the dramatic landscapes and tranquil spirit of Hawaii. Guests will be welcomed by giant waves of orchids arching over the entrance, a rainbow of native and tropical plants, and a blend of special digital effects and fantastic plants that recreate Hawaii’s landscapes. The six Big Islands will be represented in showcase gardens that highlight each unique culture through flowers, plants, stories, entertainment and art. Gardeners of all levels will be inspired by 10 acres of exhibits, an interactive design studio, and a full program of workshops and presentations.

YOUR HOTEL: Overnight accommodation on Sunday evening will be at the Hilton Garden Inn and includes a full American breakfast buffet.

TRANSPORTATION: Roundtrip private tour bus will be provided with a pickup in Saratoga Springs and the Crossgates Mall.

Trip Cost is $377 per person (double occupancy)

We have kept the same price since 2010!!! Add: $100 if you would prefer a single guestroom.

Trip price includes private motorcoach transportation, admission fee to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, overnight accommodations at the Hilton Garden Inn with full American breakfast, and ticket to the Philadelphia Flower Show.

Registration Deadline is February 1.

Register early – space is limited. Last year’s trip sold out. For additional information,

Email: or Phone: 1 (607) 387-3322 Find us at

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Preview of Trip to New Zealand and Sydney, Australia

Saratoga Arts and Soroptimist International of Saratoga County are pleased to announce a 13-day tour Down Under March 25-April 6, 2012. “Splendor in the Land of the Maori: Gardens, Wineries and Landscapes” will bring travelers to New Zealand’s two major islands and its spectacularly beautiful landscapes of vast alpine mountain chains, sweeping coastlines, deeply indented fiords and lush rainforests.  The trip will begin in Queenstown set in the magnificent mountain ranges known as “The Remarkables” and visit landscapes featured in the film, “Lord of the Rings.”  Ancient forests unchanged for 80 million years, an exploration of Maori culture in museums and villages, visits to wineries and private gardens are only a few of the included sights and events.

The tour concludes with a two-night visit to Sydney and its famous opera house, Harbour Bridge, and beaches.

The trip is designed by Edventures, a boutique tour company featuring rich educational experience in a small group setting.  A portion of the trip cost is a tax deductible charitable contribution.

Cost is $5499 double occupancy and includes international airfare from San Francisco.  Inquire about a discount for early sign-up.

A trip overview will be presented at Saratoga Arts, 320 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, on the following dates:

Saturday, September 17 and 24 at 11:30 a.m.

Saturday, October 15 at 11:30 a.m.

You can find the full itinerary at  Questions?  Contact Mary at or call (607) 387-3322.

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Splendor in the Land of the Maori




New Zealand and Sydney, Australia

Splendor in the Land of the Maori: Gardens, Wineries and Landscapes

March 25 – April 6, 2012

Edventures is pleased to announce a 13-day tour  ̳Down Under‘ March 25-April 6, 2012. ―Splendor in the Land of the Maori: Gardens, Wineries and Landscapes‖ will bring travelers to New Zealand‘s two major islands and its spectacularly beautiful landscapes of vast alpine mountain chains, sweeping coastlines, deeply indented fiords and lush rainforests. The trip will explore Queenstown, set in the magnificent mountain ranges known as ―The Remarkables‖ and visit landscapes featured in the film, ―Lord of the Rings.‖ Ancient forests unchanged for 80 million years, an exploration of Maori culture in museums and villages, visits to wineries, public and private gardens are only some of the included sights and events.

The tour concludes with a two-night visit to Sydney and its famous opera house, Harbor Bridge, and beaches.

25 March, 2012 Depart from San Francisco via Air New Zealand to Queenstown, New Zealand. Travelers will meet in San Francisco. If you would like to arrive a day or two early, please note on the trip reservation form that we have obtained special hotel rates for our travelers.

26 March, 2012 Enroute to Queenstown

27 March, 2012 Upon arrival in Queenstown we will meet our local tour guide and deluxe motor coach and transfer to our hotel.

The Remarkables mountain range nestles above Queenstown.

Overnight: Queenstown Meals: Breakfast

28 March, 2012

A mountain resort city, Queenstown is set along placid Lake Wakatipu, with the mountain range known as the Remarkables on the horizon. The range lives up to its name by rising sharply to create an impressive mountain scape. From Queenstown, the mountain range creates a stunning backdrop.

This evening is at leisure to rest and explore the charming pedestrian mall of downtown Queenstown.

After breakfast, enjoy a relaxed tour of the Gibbston Valley area and enjoy a wine tasting with lunch at Gibbston Valley Winery. Its underground cave was blasted out of the mountains, creating an ideal environment for its award winning boutique wines. We will also visit the Amisfield Wine Company whose iconic stone building has stunning views of snowcapped mountains and the beautiful Lake Hayes. It is renowned for its Pinot Noirs and aromatic whites.

New Zealand is famous for the invention of extreme adventure sports, so in the afternoon we will visit the AJ Hackett bungy bridge, where bungy jumping is an optional activity. We will then return to Queenstown and visit a local private Queenstown garden. Your hosts are local gardening enthusiasts and will be happy to share their knowledge and gardening tips. Nestled in the heart of the rural Wakatipu, each gardener draws their inspiration from the spectacular alpine landscape.

Overnight: Queenstown Meals: Breakfast, lunch

29 March, 2012

Breakfast at hotel. Today is open for a variety of activities. First, this is the day to take an optional day- long trip to Milford Sound, which is part of the World Heritage Fiordland National Park. This may be the only opportunity you have in your lifetime to visit a fiord. Milford Sound is a place of awe-inspiring landscapes, dramatic rivers and cascading waterfalls from the steep cliffs that surround the fiord. Your journey to the sound will take you through Home Tunnel, almost one mile long and drilled through solid rock. You will also visit Eglinton Valley, a place of ancient alpine

forest and gushing waterfalls. The boat trip not only provides spectacular views but also sightings of seals, birds, and other wildlife. With luck you will see the rarest penguin in the world, the Fiordland crested penguin. Additional details are at the end of the itinerary.

If you choose not to take this optional boat trip, your day is at leisure to explore the natural areas around Queenstown, lunch in one of the many charming restaurants in Queenstown, take a cable car ride or shop for some wonderful New Zealand knitwear.

Overnight: Queenstown Meals: Breakfast

30 March, 2012 After breakfast, we travel to Glenorchy, located on the northern arm of Lake Wakatipu. We will travel the back country route by 4WD safari vehicle and stop to view some of New Zealand‘s most spectacular scenery that has framed the epic backdrop for many international movies, including the ‘Lord of the Rings.’ We will then hike through the nearby primordial forest where a naturalist will help us understand the history of the area, its flora and fauna and the value placed on the location by the Maori people. We will then board a jetboat for a ride in the gorge of Mt. Aspiring National Park. We will navigate the ever changing shallow channels of the glacier fed Dart River‘s braided river system, with our expert jet boat driver stopping along the way to highlight points of interest that make this a unique area of natural and cultural importance. We have some free time on our own for lunch and to shop for some of some of the country‘s famed ―possum socks.‖

This evening we will cruise Lake Wakatipu on a vintage steam ship to a traditional farm, the Colonel‘s Homestead, where we will enjoy a dinner of the best of New Zealand meats and seafood. This will be followed by an entertaining presentation that provides a glimpse into high country farming life. On your return cruise to Queenstown, relax with a drink from the bar, join a lively sing-along, or watch the crew feed the steam engine.

Overnight: Queenstown Meals: Breakfast, dinner and cruise

31 March, 2012 Today we will leave the south island and fly to New Zealand‘s north island and the city of Rotorua.

We begin our discovery of the Maori with a powhiri (welcome ceremony) before we enter the village, with crackling open fires in front of traditional whare (houses). We’ll hear traditional Maori instruments and watch the daily activities of days gone by. In the wharenui (meeting house), a Rangiatea culture group offers a powerful display of haka song and dance. Then, as new friendships are forged, we will dine on a traditional hangi feast, where the food is cooked slowly beneath the ground in earth ovens. This is an amazing re- enactment based on actual events from history, with real characters, traditional arts and crafts, and power filled song and dance. This dinner theater is a great way to understand the Maori traditional culture combined with a meal typical of the Maori.

Overnight: Rotorua, Meals: Breakfast, dinner & show

01 April, 2012 After breakfast we begin a full day of sightseeing. We will visit the Rotorua Museum which is housed in the historic Bath House building, located in the Government Gardens.

Next we will visit Te Puia Thermal Reserve and Maori Arts and Crafts Institute. Te Puia is the premier Māori cultural center in New Zealand, a place of gushing waters, steaming vents, boiling mud pools and spectacular geysers. The Māori tradition lives on at Te Whakarewarewa, with guided tours and attractions featuring Māori culture, and the National Carving and Weaving Schools of New Zealand. For more information, see

Our next stop will be to visit Wai-O-Tapu. Sculptured out of volcanic activity and thousands of years in the making, Wai-O-Tapu is considered to be New Zealand‘s most colorful and diverse geothermal sightseeing attraction. You are introduced to a uniquely different natural landscape – the key to what you see lies below the surface – one of the most extensive geothermal systems in New Zealand.

In the late afternoon you may wish to take a spa treatment at the Polynesian Spa which is open until approximately 9 pm for optional swims and spa delights. You can get more information at

Overnight: Rotorua, Meals: Breakfast

02 April, 2012

After breakfast we will take a scenic drive to Hamilton where we will visit the Hamilton Gardens (, with their collection of mature gardens from around the world such as a Chinese Scholars Garden, an English Flower Garden, a Japanese Garden of Contemplation, an American Modernist Garden and an Italian Renaissance Garden. The Garden Collections include the Rogers Rose Garden, the New Zealand Cultivar Garden, the Rhododendron Lawn, the Hamilton Camellia

Garden and the Victorian Flower Garden. For those more interested in the food which a garden can produce there are the Herb Garden, the Kitchen Garden and the Sustainable Backyard Garden.

In the afternoon we will continue to Auckland with a visit to the Auckland Botanic Gardens ( and, time permitting, the Parnell Rose Gardens.

Overnight: Queenstown Meals: Breakfast

03 April, 2012

Our full day of sightseeing begins with a visit to the Auckland Museum where you will tour the section devoted to the Maori. This will be followed with a wilderness tour

to the Waitakere Ranges, a large regional park only half an hour away from Auckland and a jewel box of 40,000 acres of geographic diversity, including a rainforest, spectacular rocky outcrops, streams, waterfalls and beaches.

At its peak we will experience breathtaking views from the Tasman Sea to the Pacific Ocean. After a picnic lunch we will visit the black sand volcanic beach overlooking the Tasman Sea and

return via the Rose Helleby Cottage, which is located high up on the hills in the Waitakere Ranges and offers spectacular views over bush country to Auckland and its surrounding waters.

This evening there is an optional dinner cruise aboard the Pride of Auckland sailing yacht which departs from Auckland‘s Viaduct Basin. It was created when New Zealand won the America‘s Cup Sailing Regatta and is the largest yacht marina in the southern hemisphere. Following a seafood dinner (alternative menus available), the Pride of Auckland sets its sails and brings its passengers on a harbor cruise, passing under the Harbor Bridge to Chelsea sugar works, Devonport Naval Base and the City’s waterfront. Guests are welcome to participate in sailing the yacht or can just sit back, relax and enjoy the sail

Overnight: Auckland Meals: Breakfast and lunch

04 April, 2012

Today we fly to Sydney. Upon arrival, a local assistant will meet us and accompany us to the hotel. Sydney is a thriving harbourside metropolis populated by almost four million people and is Australia’s best known city. It was

the first site of European settlement on the Australian continent – one vastly different from today’s cosmopolitan showcase. The city’s most famous landmarks include The Harbor Bridge, The Opera House and the Centrepoint Tower. With the harbor as the Sydney’s heart, the city proper is bounded by water to the north and west and fringed to the east by the extensive green parklands of the Botanical Gardens and the Domain. Sydney is an exciting and interesting city to experience.

Overnight: Sydney Meals: Breakfast

05 April, 2012 Sydney City Tour After breakfast, we will meet our local coach for a panoramic sightseeing tour of Sydney and the southern beaches. We will see the historic buildings of Governor Macquarie’s time in The Rocks, Mac Quarie St. with Parliament House and St

Mary’s Cathedral. Moving on to more modern style

architecture we stop at Mrs MacQuaries Chair in the Domain alongside the Botanical gardens for fine views of the Sydney

Opera House. We also take in the picturesque views of the Sydney Harbour, Double Bay, Rose Bay, Vaucluse and the Sydney Harbor heads. We end our

tour with a stop at the famous Bondi Beach.

Overnight: Sydney Meals: Breakfast

06 April, 2012 Today we return home.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner





Full day tour to Milford Sound: $195 per person Milford Sound is a world-renowned natural wonder. Nowhere else in fiord land do the mountains stand so tall, straight out of the sea. Luxuriant rainforests cling to sheer rock walls and waterfalls tumble hundreds of feet to the sea below. We will depart via motor coach from Queenstown, connecting to our cruise boat at Milford Sound. There are frequent stops along the way for visits to sights of natural wonders. Amazing photo opportunities are available. An included lunch will be on board.

360 degrees Shotover River trip: $89 per person (must be pre-purchased before departure to get this price—approximately $100 US on site)

World famous as the ultimate jet boating experience, Shotover Jet has thrilled over 3 million people since 1970, and now it’s your turn! Take a unique breathtaking ride

through dramatic and narrow Canyons, and hold on tight for Queenstown’s only exhilarating full 360° spins. ‘Can you handle the canyons?’ with award winning Shotover Jet, ‘The World’s Most Exciting Jet Boating Ride’ and the only company permitted to operate in the spectacular Shotover River Canyons. (

3)      Pride of Auckland dinner cruise: $119 per person (must be pre-purchased before departure to get this price)

Bungy Jump (to be booked and paid locally) in Queenstown

TRIP PRICE based on double room occupancy is $5,499. The single supplement is $899. SMALL GROUP FEE: A small group fee of $200 will be charged if the group number falls

below 20. PAYMENT SCHEDULE: A deposit of $500 per person is due at time of registration.

DISCOUNT FOR EARLY SIGN-UP: Travelers who send in their registration fee by November 30, 2011, will receive a discount of $100.


      Flights San Francisco to Queenstown on Air New Zealand with return from Sydney to San Francisco via Auckland.

     Airline fuel surcharges of $300, subject to change until airline tickets are issued.     10 nights accommodations at the following hotels or similar

4 nights Copthorne Hotel, Queenstown, New Zealand 2 nights Distinction Hotel, Rotorua, New Zealand 2 nights Heritage Auckland Hotel & Towers, Auckland, New Zealand 2 nights Menzies Hotel, Sydney, Australia

     Sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned motor coach

     Daily breakfast, 2 lunches, 2 dinners

     Entrance fees per itinerary  Gratuities

     Porterage of one piece per person on arrival and departure at each hotel

    Tax deductible donation to the sponsoring organization.

     Pre-departure materials.

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