Join Connoisseurs Tours as we explore our country’s rich history and unmatched natural beauty with trips to estates along the Hudson River, retracing the trail blazed by Lewis and Clark, exploring the gorgeous scenery of Maine by land and sea, and venturing to the vibrant tulip fields of the iconic Dutch landscape at the 2017 Philadelphia Flower Show.
Traveling in Connoisseurs’ style is to travel with a purpose; we don’t just “sightsee,” we visit destinations of significance with uniquely qualified experts - often from the local community - who bring an insider’s perspective to deepen our experience. At the same time, traveling in Connoisseurs’ style means planning leisure time to explore a township on our own or to relax in luxurious accommodations and appreciate fine foods and wines.
A Connoisseurs Tours journey is an effortless experience. We handle the details from the moment you pick up the phone or register online, to the day you return home. Our caring attention to detail and personalized service are why 90% of their guests return to travel with Connoisseurs Tours time and again!
Please take a look at our varied menu of journeys, each briefly described below, I’m sure there is something to pique everyone’s interest! And - new for 2017 - now you can make a risk-free reservation online with just a few clicks, and hold your space for 7 days before confirming your plans.
Warm Regards, Kathryn
A Journey through the Hudson River Valley This is an all time favorite on its fourth departure by popular demand. September 16 - 21, 2017 PRIVATE TOUR (Full) - Wait List Only
Join us as we delve deeper the Hudson River valley to discover the region that is home to great authors, musicians, captains of early industry, and the Hudson River School of art. We are setting out on the fourth departure to immerse ourselves in picturesque vistas along the Hudson River Valley and explore the area’s historical past, rich with architectural, cultural, artistic, and botanical sites.
We have engaged the services of the Hudson River Valley's top guide, Dr. Jeff Behnke, who will share his knowledge of history and folklore of the area as we enjoy visits to some of the area's most inspirational gardens and elegant estates. These estates, which much of the nation’s leading collections of furniture, Hudson River paintings, and decorative arts, include those of Washington Irving, Frederick Church, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt as well as Richard H. Jenrette’s Edgewater.
Along the way we will also take our time to visit Bellefield Gardens with the Beatrix Farrand Society (the only founding female member of the American Society of Landscape Architects) and visit iconic Hudson Valley landmarks such as Kykuit, Boscobel and enjoy the Hudson River’s winding waters to West Point via a private cruise aboard the Pride of the Hudson.
American History Series: In the Footsteps of a Confederate Civil War Soldier October 15 - 20, 2017 PRIVATE TOUR Limited Space Remaining
No war has had the abiding impact of the American Civil War. The four-year conflict spawned three constitutional amendments, led to the election of at least five presidents, laid waste to millions of acres of farm and forest, destroyed two-thirds of Southern wealth, slaughtered two-fifths of the region’s livestock, freed over four million people, swept three million men into military service, and killed 750,000 of them, more than all of America’s wars combined. "The war threatens to engulf us all," Ralph Waldo Emerson said in 1861, " no preoccupation can exclude it and no hermitage hide us. "
The war had its lighter side too — snowball fights involving thousands of men and letters home so achingly beautiful they are difficult to read. Reflecting on his soldier days, Oliver Wendell Holmes pronounced the whole experience "incommunicable." "We felt, and still feel, the passion of life to its top," he said of his generation. "In our youths, our hearts were touched with fire." Joshua Lawrence Chamberlin could not shake his war experience either: "In great deeds something abides," he said. "On great fields something stays."
Come, see, and hear what stays in this six-day tour of the nation's most vibrant battlegrounds. Conceived play-fully as an 'embed' with the Army of Northern Virginia (the army of Robert E. Lee), our tour will "march" north with Lee's Miserables, first to Antietam (the bloodiest single-day battle in American history) and then to Gettysburg, where Lee lost a third of his army, and where, four months later, Abraham Lincoln offered the benediction he thought Americans would "little note nor long remember."
Magical Realism of Colonial Cartagena January 31 - February 4, 2018 Limited Space Remaining
Connoisseurs Tours presents Colonial Cartagena, a five-day tour exploring the magical realism of Cartagena. In these five days, we explore the rich history of the old city and feel its many rhythms. Take a step away from the real to embrace the magical as we walk through centuries of history at every plaza, taste deliciously re-imagined Colombian cuisine, explore traditional Cumbia music, discover Spanish fortresses, and much more.
With a penchant for authenticity, our itinerary cultivates a more nuanced understanding of contemporary Colombian life while supporting sustainable, community-driven tourism. Our base will be the Hotel Sofitel Legend Santa Clara, a luxuriously renovated convent that dates back to 1621 that is consistently listed among the most elite hotels in the world.We invite you to step back in time and enjoy one of the most magical cities in the world.
The Colonies and The Caribbean February 11 - 18, 2018 PRIVATE TOUR (Filled) February 18 - 25, 2018 PRIVATE TOUR Limited Space Remaining
Expanding on the theme of The Rim of the Caribbean, we are once again embarking on a small luxury ship to sail through the Caribbean’s most elegant islands. Our onboard scholars will give us insight into the vital cultural and economic influence that these small Caribbean Islands had on the development of the thirteen colonies and the United States.
The Colonies and in particular Eighteenth-Century Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia sat on the outer edge of a booming plantation complex that stretched across the Caribbean and drew heavily on that colorful region for much of its cultural and economic life. From Alexander Hamilton and the Sugar Plantations of St. Kitts to the military stronghold of Antigua from which the British Empire’s navy was able to police (and in large part secure) its holdings, private shore excursions are available, designed exclusively for the NSCDA and guided by the most sought after historical luminaries of each island.
Aboard the luxurious Silver Wind which carries only 296 passengers, with personal butler service in every suite, we leave from old San Juan journeying to Virgin Gorda and Tortola, St. Maarten, St. Kitts, Dominica, Antigua, Barbuda, and Jost Van Dyke.
As we dive deeper into the the cultural and trade-based interplay between the Caribbean Islands and the Colonies, we’ve made sure to include ample time to enjoy the beautiful scenery and relax by the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean!
Staterooms and Suites are now on sale, prices beginning at $2650.00 per person double occupancy for reservations and payments received by August 30th.
Magical Realism of Colonial Cartagena February 14-18, 2018 PRIVATE TOUR Limited Space Available
The Colonial Dames of Georgia present Colonial Cartagena, a five-day tour exploring the magical realism of Cartagena. In these five days, we explore the rich history of the old city and feel its many rhythms. Take a step away from the real to embrace the magical as we walk through centuries of history at every plaza, taste deliciously re-imagined Colombian cuisine, explore traditional Cumbia music, discover Spanish fortresses, and much more.
With a penchant for authenticity, our itinerary cultivates a more nuanced understanding of contemporary Colombian life while supporting sustainable, community-driven tourism. Our base will be the Hotel Sofitel Legend Santa Clara, a luxuriously renovated convent that dates back to 1621 that is consistently listed among the most elite hotels in the world.We invite you to step back in time and enjoy one of the most magical cities in the world with fellow Dames and friends.
The Idyllic Hudson River Valley June 11-16, 2018 PRIVATE TOUR
The College of William & Mary Alumni Association presents the Idyllic Hudson River Valley, a six-day tour of the majestic Hudson River Valley designed to celebrate over 100 years of women shaping history. In New York State, just two hours north of one of the busiest cities in the world, rests another place where the slow-moving Hudson River snakes around the old estates of America’s wealthiest families; where 150 years ago, runaway slaves risked everything moving up the Underground Railroad to find a better life; where female patriots, painters, poets, and first-ladies changed the course of American history. No other region in the country can provide such a relaxing atmosphere while, at the same time, allowing us to better understand the lives of some of our nation’s most remarkable women and the place that shaped them, the bucolic Hudson River Valley. Join fellow women of William & Mary on this memorable trip designed specifically to commemorate 100 years of co-education at the College.