Small Ships, Big Sights

Small Ships, Big Sights


For those who prefer small ships to cruise ships, check out these two upcoming alumni trips: a 10-day Danube River journey with stops in Prague, Vienna, and Budapest, and an eight-day naturalist adventure through southeast Alaska, complete with glaciers, fiords, and wildlife. Learn here what these two intimate trips have in common.

UNESCO Sites That Delight: Glacier Bay National Park is a highlight of Alaska’s Inside Passage and part of a 25-million-acre World Heritage UNESCO Site. It is also part of the National Park Service, which this year turns 100. Happy centenary!

From Prague’s historic monuments, museums, and galleries to Vienna’s Schönbrunn Imperial Palace, the ancient waterway of the Danube has more UNESCO World Heritage Sites than any other in Europe. What’s more, National Geographic listed the Danube as one of its Best Trips of 2016.

Hosts With the Most: In Alaska, guests will be treated to lectures by Ben van der Pluijm, a distinguished U-M professor of geology whose field work has taken him from the US to Mexico, Brazil, Spain, Tibet, Japan, Turkey, and New Zealand. His outreach activities include lectures on geology, global environmental change, and sustainability. He and his wife, Elisabeth (Lies) Quint, a U-M professor of obstetrics and gynecology, have participated in several prior international explorations. 

On the Danube, Todd Endelman, a recently retired U-M professor of modern Jewish history and the author of five books, will share his vast knowledge of the region. He visited Prague, Vienna, and Budapest in 1966, years before the collapse of Communism. Along with his wife, Judy, a museum consultant, he has hosted a number of Alumni Association trips — to Israel, Eastern Europe, Switzerland, and the Rhine.

Less Can Be More: The 143-foot Admiralty Dream is designed to go where large ships cannot — into southeast Alaska’s secluded coves, deep fiords, and snow-capped mountain ranges. But never fear, though the boat houses just 66 passengers, it still boasts a bar, sun deck, and lounge in addition to the dining room.

The Avalon Vista Danube River ship carries 166 passengers, but features impeccable big-ship amenities, like a fitness center, library, sky deck whirlpool, and hair salon. Enjoy all these features while you wind your way through the river landscapes of Germany, Austria, and Hungary.

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