Upcoming Trips

Bearcat Explorers experience destinations near and far! Alumni, parents, and friends are invited to join us on the upcoming trips. At any point, feel free to contact the office at 503-370-6430, or email the trip contacts listed below.

2018 Trips

Tanzania Safari & Service

February 1-14, 2018

tanzania zebras

For the second straight year, we are headed to Tanzania for a special trip that will feature a wildlife safari and a rewarding service project at The Mungere School.

Thanks to Carrie O'Callaghan '00, our wonderful connection at Embark Exploration Company, we're able to offer travelers a once-in-a-lifetime adventure with the tour operator's signature safari, which promises a raw and uncensored look at the bush of Africa. Become attached to a litter of lion clubs, witness a herd of wildebeest fleeing from a pursuing leopard and be entertained by the hilarious antics of the meerkat -- all on the same journey! We'll be exploring several exotic and beautiful areas, including the Serengeti National Park, the Tarangire National Park and the legendary Ngorongoro Crater.

Our service project will be led by the Red Sweater Project, a non-profit founded by Ashley Holmer '02 that provides children in rural Tanzania with the opportunity to access an advanced secondary education at its Mungere School. This is an extraordinary opportunity to experience and provide service to a locally-supported education project focusing on sustainable development and the utilization of renewable energies. While the exact nature of this year's project has yet to be determined, alumni had a blast last year planting fruit trees while connecting with the children, and lent some much needed hands to improving the school's sanitation conditions.

The trip's itinerary includes lodging, meals, park fees, government taxes, transfers to and from Kilimanjaro Airport, an English-speaking guide and more. See the complete itinerary here.

A special thanks goes to our alumni connections, Carrie O'Callaghan '00 and Ashley Holmer '02, for helping organize this incredible trip.

View a special information presentation about the trip below!

tanzania from Willamette University on Vimeo.

For additional information, contact Kim Burris in the Alumni Office (503-370-6430 or kburris@willamette.edu).

  • Estimated Cost: $4200 for double occupancy
  • Single Supplement: $435
  • Booking deadline: Sept. 30, 2017
  • Complete Itinerary
  • Activity Level: Moderate to Active
  • Group Size: 6-12
  • Tour Hosts: Embark Exploration Company and Red Sweater Project

Antarctica, the Falklands & Cape Horn - SOLD OUT

February 25 - March 16, 2018


This will be a very special opportunity (and price!) to see some of the most spectacular scenery on earth! Alumni and friends will be treated to the amazing beauty of the Chilean Fjords, Tierra del Fuego, the Beagle Channel, Cape Horn and four days in Antarctica before finishing on the Falkland Islands (great for bird-watching) and Montevideo, Uruguay (a rising tourist destination). Most of our time will be spent aboard the MS Midnatsol, a state-of-the-art cruise ship built especially for this part of the world.

Our tour operator, Vantage, has selected the optimal time of year to visit this part of the world. It has also assembled the best possible value package for a trip of this magnitude. We have been given the 2016 price for a 2018 trip! In addition, Vantage offers a pre-payment discount of 10% if paid by Feb. 25, 2017. If you have any desire to see the "Seventh Continent" in your lifetime, this is likely the best opportunity and value you will see. And sharing this experience with other Willamette alumni and friends will make it even more memorable. A post-trip extension of six nights in Santiago, Chile and Easter Island is also available.

For additional information, contact Kim Burris in the Alumni Office (503-370-6430 or kburris@willamette.edu) or Jim Booth ’64 (503-910-3192 or jbooth@willamette.edu).

  • Cost: Begins at $7,999 per person double occupancy plus air ($1,399 from Portland; $1,049 from Seattle; and $949 from San Francisco and Los Angeles). A 10% pre-payment discount is available if paid by Feb. 25, 2017; lower discount thereafter.
  • Single supplement: $699. Discounts for pre-payment and previous Vantage travelers (within last two years) available.
  • Deposit: $500 per person
  • Final Payment Due: Nov. 25, 2017
  • Activity Level: Moderate to Active
  • Group Size: 20
  • Tour Host: Jim Booth '64

Glacial Adventures of Alaska

June 19-29, 2018

alaska glacier

We are very pleased to offer a fabulous five-star cruise through the Inland Passage to Alaska and back! We will travel from Seattle to the Hubbard Glacier on Oceania’s Regatta, the same 684-passenger ship that took us through the Panama Canal in 2015. Along the way, there will be stops in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Icy Strait Point, the Hubbard Glacier, Sitka, and Victoria. Your cost will be based on 2-for-1 cruise fares, and will include free airfare, free unlimited Internet access, and your choice of six shore excursions, a $600 shipboard credit or a free beverage package.

Our tour operator for this trip is Go Next, which did a great job for us on the Panama trip two years ago. They will provide us with assistance on travel arrangements prior to departure, support during the trip from an experienced program manager, a welcome reception, select shore excursion packages and a price below regular Oceania rates. This will be a truly luxurious, yet comprehensive tour of the Inland Passage. Pack comfortable and casual attire, as no formal wear will be required.

For brochure and registration information, contact Kim Burris in the Alumni Office (503-370-6430 or kburris@willamette.edu) or Jim Booth ’64 (503-910-3192 or jbooth@willamette.edu).

  • Cost: $3,049 per person, double occupancy
  • Deposit: $950
  • Final Payment Due: March 19, 2018
  • Activity Level: Light to moderate
  • Group Size: 22
  • Tour Host: Jim Booth '64

Majestic Canadian Rockies by Train, Seaplane & Ferry

NEW DATE - September 22-29, 2018

canada rockies

Note: Some details of this trip have been changed. See the description below.

We are pleased to offer a return to the spectacular Canadian Rockies (we last went in 2007), a region known for its glimmering icefields, soaring peaks and beautiful lakeside forests. This extraordinary trip will feature a dome-car train ride, a seaplane ride from Vancouver, B.C. to Victoria, a speed ferry ride from Victoria to Seattle, a snow coach ride on the Athabasca Glacier, and many other great activities for everyone in the family. The packed itinerary also boasts  scenic adventures — including 11 sightseeing excursions and cultural discoveries — but it will still be manageable for all age groups and for working people, as the trip covers just one work week (Saturday to Saturday). If you have not seen the exquisite beauty of Vancouver, Victoria, Jasper, the Columbia Ice Fields and the wine country around Kelowna, this would be an opportunity you won’t want to miss, especially with the camaraderie of Willamette alumni and friends.

While costs for North America tours have risen recently, travelers can offset this by taking advantage of the pre-payment discount of 10% offered by Vantage, our tour operator. There are further discounts for alumni who have traveled with Vantage in the last two years. The trip begins in Vancouver and ends in Seattle, so transportation costs will also be low.

For additional information, contact Kim Burris in the Alumni Office (503-370-6430 or kburris@willamette.edu) or Jim Booth ’64 (503-910-3192 or jbooth@willamette.edu).

  • Cost: $4,299 per person double occupancy plus air ($599 from west coast airports). A 10% pre-payment discount is available if paid by Sept. 22, 2017; declining discount thereafter. At least one FREE single supplement available. Three-day post extension available in Seattle for $449 per person.
  • Deposit: $500 per person
  • Final Payment Due: June 22, 2018
  • Activity Level: Moderate
  • Group Size: 26
  • Tour Host: Jim Booth '64

Additional trips are currently being planned! Stay Tuned!