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
Downeast Maine: Light and Liberty July 26 - August 2, 2017 PRIVATE TOURClosed for Reservations
This is a fun lighthearted journey! For centuries Maine has drawn artists, authors, musicians, critical thinkers, and barons of industry to its rugged coasts and lush landscapes. This journey strikes a balance of old and new, exploring Maine’s rich history, dynamic art scene, natural beauty, and did we mention the “lobstah”?
We will visit historic sites of significance surrounding colonial history and explore the gorgeous scenery of Maine by land and sea: cruising on a private historic schooner, visiting postcard-perfect Camden, and traveling via ferry to the rugged and tranquil Monhegan Island.
We will be traveling with well-connected and knowledgeable experts all along the way, gaining their insider’s perspective and expertise on Maine’s art, history, and the unique and varied aspects of the places we visit. With thoughtfully selected - and often historic - hotels and inns, we have also planned this journey with plenty of time to relax, rejuvenate, and enjoy the long mild days of the the summer months.
Highlights include : Portland, Camden, Monhegan Island , Castine, Mt. Desert Island. $3895 per person double occupancy
Epic Lewis and Clark Journey August 11 - 19, 2017Call to Register for Wait List - Confirming Travelers Daily
Embrace your pioneer spirit as you travel with Roger Smith and The Learning Center along the western route forged by Lewis and Clark more than 200 years ago. This fabulous American journey brings you the lush landscapes of the Columbia River Gorge, including magnificent Multnomah Falls and Mount St. Helens. You will tour the Maryhill Winery, learn about native American culture in situ, and much more.
On this gourmand tour, master chefs will prepare menus based on the best of food and wine from the Pacific Northwest. You will cruise on authentic paddle wheeler American Pride, featuring large, well-appointed staterooms with wide-open views, many with private balconies.
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.
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."
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.
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.