University offers cultural tours

The wonders of Egypt and the Renaissance in Italy await during a tour organized by Vancouver Island University.

The wonders of Egypt and the Renaissance in Italy await during a tour organized by Vancouver Island University.

An art and cultural tour to Egypt and Jordan is set for April 24 to May 5, organized and led by art history and studio professor Jane Cole.

In May, Liberal Studies Abroad at VIU presents a month-long interdisciplinary exploration of the Renaissance. The program, based in Florence, Italy, may be taken for credit or for general interest.

There has never been a better time to visit Egypt – in a safe setting with fewer crowds, said Cole, adding that Egyptians are a warm and welcoming people and the historical sites within their country are amazing.

Explore the pyramids, bazaars and Islamic architecture of Cairo, tour the amazing contents of pharaohs’ tombs and cruise down the Nile to the immense temples and tombs in the Valley of the Kings.

An optional four-day extension will fly you to Jordan where you will tour the capital, visit desert forts and spend a day at the ancient Arab-Roman city of Petra, now a famous movie site for numerous films including the Indiana Jones adventure, Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Offering basic economical travel, the package price for this Egyptian tour is $4412 which covers: all airfares, private coach travel, a four-day Nile cruise, accommodations, site entrances, breakfasts, some lunches and most dinners, gratuities and the services of a bilingual tour guide/Egyptologist.

Visit the tour website for specific information at:

Cole will give talks on the art and architecture of Egypt and Jordan prior to departure and during the trip. Schedules and daily itinerary may be adjusted by Cole to suit this field trip’s focus on art and history. Group size is limited to 35 participants and one third of the seats will be reserved for students until Oct. 31, when any remaining seats will be filled from a waitlist.

Discover the Renaissance program covers art, architecture, literature, science, music and philosophy, through the works of such figures as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Giotto, Donatello, Filippo Brunelleschi, Artemisia Gentileschi, Galileo, Clare of Assisi, Catherine of Siena, Palestrina, Monteverdi and Machiavelli.

All participants attend lectures, concerts and visits to museums, galleries and other artistic sites, in Florence, Siena, Assisi and elsewhere.

The program cost, which includes tuition but not air fare, is $3,895 for students, credit or audit, and $3,295 for companions. Further details are available at

More information on the Egypt and Jordan tour is available by contacting Cole at or attending free information sessions at the Nanaimo campus: Sept. 19, 7-8:30 p.m., or  Sept. 21, noon-1 p.m. and 4-5:30 p.m. in Bldg. 325, Room 204.

Application packages for Discover the Renaissance are available from or call 250-740-6194. A free information session is set for Sept. 28, 6:30 p.m. in Bldg. 355, Room 203.