Upcoming Trips

WU Explorers experience destinations near and far! Check below for up-to-date descriptions and details. At any point, feel free to email Jim Booth with inquiries.

2015 Trips

Portugal & The Douro River Wine Country

May 16-27, 2015


We are finally offering an opportunity to visit Portugal! This river cruise will provide the best in comfort, while we visit historic Lisbon and the spectacular Douro River wine country. Meaning ‘River of Gold’ and now designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Douro will provide a path along graceful terraced vineyards as we glide upriver to Salamanca, Spain, another of 5 UNESCO Sites we will visit on this trip.  

Included highlights will feature nine sightseeing tours plus Cultural Connections, 26 meals (wine, beer and soft drinks with dinner), free wi-fi, and the intimate, outside staterooms of the four-star ms Douro Spirit. In addition, our tour operator, Vantage Deluxe World Travel, offers a pre-trip to Madeira, Portugal and/or a post-trip to Barcelona, Spain. This is the prime time to visit Portugal, so we expect this trip to sell out. Contact Jim Booth at 503-910-3192 or jbooth@willamette.edu to secure your spot, or deposit directly with Cheryl (617-878-6119) or Patrick (617-878-6109) at Vantage.

  • Cost begins at $3,299 per person, not including air or port charges of $147. Air from NY is $1,649 and Portland $1,999 (includes all taxes and transfers). 10% discount for pre-payment before May 15, 2014; lower % thereafter.
  • Deposit: $500 per person (can pay by credit card directly to Vantage Travel).
  • Final payment due:  February 16, 2015
  • Activity level: Light to moderate
  • Group size: 24
  • Trip host: Jim Booth ‘64

Highlights of Japan

October 16-25, 2015

japan trip

Join us for a special journey through the history, mystery and charm of Japan in commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the sister university exchange relationship between Willamette and Tokyo International University. Discover an amazing variety of places from modern Tokyo, Kawagoe (known as "Little Edo," it is the sister city to Salem, Oregon and home of TIU), the peaceful countryside of Takayama and the timeless ancient capital of Kyoto with its thousands of shrines and temples.

Destinations include Tokyo, Kawagoe, Hakone, Takayama, Shirakawago, Kanazawa and Kyoto. Included highlights will feature sightseeing tours, an English speaking guide, economy reserved train seats, 15 meals and much more. Our tour operator, Imperial Asia Tours, specializes in deluxe Asian tours. This is a once in a lifetime trip and we expect it to sell out. Book directly through Vick Travel, our Salem-based agent -- contact Cori Duda at coriduda@aol.com or (503) 365-2883.

  • Cost per person is $3,955 in twin-share/double ($945 single supplement)
  • Deposit: $500 per person due by March 31, 2015 (pay by check directly to Vick Travel)
  • Final payment due: August 3, 2015
  • Activity level: moderate
  • Group size: 25
  • Trip host: James Lippincott

San Juan Islands Kayak

Kayak the San Juans

Early August (details TBA)

Join fellow alumni and Professor Luke Ettinger as we enjoy a three day, two night expedition in the beautiful Puget Sound. We're returning for our third outing with Discovery Sea Kayaks, a company that has been named a "best travel company on earth" two years in a row by National Geographic Adventure Magazine. Our travel route will offer a taste of all the island beauty from West Side views along killer whale habitat to island hopping the East Side of the San Juan Island. Final details to be announced soon. Final details and registration will be announced soon.

  • No sea kayaking experience is required
  • Cost per person is $599
  • All gear, tents, drybags, food and drink, and guide services are included
  • Quality Fiberglass Seaward G3 Passat Kayaks
  • Trip will begin and end in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island
  • Transportation to and from Friday Harbor on your own
  • Activity level: moderate-high (the pace will be set depending on what's most comfortable for the group)
  • Group size: 25 max.
  • Trip host: James Lippincott

Contact James Lippincott, Willamette Assistant Vice President for Alumni and Parent Relations, for more information.

Ashland, Oregon - Shakespeare on a Budget

October 17, 2015 (details TBA)

We return to Southern Oregon this year following last year's very popular outing connection alumni with theatre faculty and current students! Our group will enjoy two shows together -- Guys and Dolls followed by Much Ado About Nothing -- as well group meals and pre- and post-show talks with the professors. Transportation and lodging arrangements are on your own.

Contact Colleen Sump, Director for Alumni & Parent Engagement, for more information.

2016 Trips

Panama Canal Cruise

January, 2016 (details TBA)

Enjoy a luxury cruise form Los Angeles to Miami through the world famous Panama Canal. More details soon! 

Contact Jim Booth, Director of Alumni Travel Programs, for more information.

Tanzania - Kilimanjaro Climb & Red Sweater Project

Kilimanjaro trip

July, 2016 (details TBA)

We are exploring plans for a special 12 day trip to Tanzania including a Mount Kilimanjaro expedition and the opportunity to explore some unique Willamette connections!

Our two featured alumni connections are through Carrie O'Callaghan '00 and Ashley Holmer '02. Carrie and her husband, Donovan, have lived on Mt. Kilimanjaro and now operate Embark Adventures offering once-in-a-lifetime adventures for those who want to explore the most remote corners of the planet. Carrie will join us in Tanzania and arrange for unique interactions with locals and visits to off-the-beaten-path locations before and after the climb. Our group will also have the opportunity to visit The Mungere School founded by Ashley's nonprofit organization, Red Sweater Project. Located at the base of the Great Rift Valley escarpment, The Mungere School provides children in rural Tanzania the opportunity to access and advanced secondary education. This is an extraordinary opportunity to experience a locally supported education project focusing on sustainable development and the utilization of renewable energies.

Kilimanjaro beckons, and our group of Bearcat adventurers will climb the "Everyman's Everest" via the Lemosho Route. This is the road less traveled with fewer than 10 percent of Kili climbers, but is one of the more exciting routes on the mountain, and is still manageable by the average adventurer. At 72 km (almost 45 miles), this route is longer and allows for more thorough acclimatization, a higher success rate to the summit, and affords greater potential to see a variety of wildlife through dense jungle. The trail passes through five ecosystems, from dense forest and heather up through alpine desert and the glorious summit. Our group will enjoy a high ratio of guides to climbers with expert climbing expedition gear.

Travelers will have the option of adding additional days for a Serengeti safari and visit to Ngorongoro Crater.

If you're interested in participating and would like more information, please contact James Lippincott, Willamette Assistant Vice President for Alumni and Parent Relations.

Additional trips are currently being planned. Stay Tuned!