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Upcoming Programs:
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Grand Canyon and Yellowstone with Ernie Ern  ~

September 9-20, 2011
Faculty: Ernie Ern, Professor of Environmental Sciences Emeritus

Price: $2,754 per person, double occupancy, land only

Air Inclusive from Dulles:
per person, double occupancy

Registration is Open

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Grand Canyon scenery Join U.Va. Geologist Ernie Ern in discovering America the Beautiful on this exploration of some of the United States' greatest natural treasures—the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Bryce Canyon, Monument Valley and Mesa Verde. You'll visit the stunning scenery and pristine landscapes of America, ranging from the yellow and orange hues of Zion to the colorful combinations of Santa Fe to the unmistakable brilliance of the Grand Canyon.

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Program Highlights

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Ernest H. Ern, Senior Vice President and Professor of Environmental Sciences Emeritus
Ernie and his wife, Petie, came to Charlottesville in 1962 and Ernie taught in the Department of Geology, later the Department of Environmental Sciences, for 39 years. Concurrently, he held administrative positions as Dean of Admissions, Vice President for Student Affairs and from 1993 to 2001, Senior Vice President of the University. From 1989 to 2001 the Erns lived on the Lawn in Pavilion X. His scholarly work includes analyses of geological conditions related to mining in the Appalachian region, as well as detailed analyses of rock formations in central Virginia and the Appalachian region. In 1998, Ern received the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award for excellence of character and service to humanity. (Greece '07, Dalmatian Coast '08, Italian Lakes & Swiss Alps '10)

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Day 1 -- Friday, September 9
Flight to New Mexico
A representative greets you at the Albuquerque airport and then accompanies you on the transfer to Santa Fe. Meet your fellow travelers at a welcome reception and dinner this evening.
Included meals: dinner

Day 2 -- Saturday, September 10
Sightseeing of Santa Fe
This morning, an expert local guide leads your sightseeing tour of Santa Fe, a city settled by a Spanish conquistador nearly 400 years ago. Today, the city is an exuberant blend of Spanish, Mexican and Native American influences, and on your tour you'll see some of its landmarks which may include the Cross of the Martyrs, Loretto Chapel and Saint Francis Cathedral. The afternoon is free to continue your explorations.
Included meals: breakfast

Day 3 -- Sunday, September 11
Durango & Mesa Verde
Cross the Colorado border and stop for lunch in Durango, an authentic Old West mining town. Then continue on to Mesa Verde. Tonight, enjoy an included dinner.
Included meals: breakfast, dinner

Grand Canyon sceneryDay 4 -- Monday, September 12
Mesa Verde & Monument Valley
This morning, visit Mesa Verde National Park. On your guided tour, you'll view the fascinating 800-year-old cliff dwellings that honeycomb the canyon walls. Later today, pass through Monument Valley before arriving in Kayenta, Arizona, where you'll spend the night.
Included meals: breakfast

Day 5 -- Tuesday, September 13
The Grand Canyon
Reach the Grand Canyon. The Colorado River runs one mile below the rim of the canyon, the sides of which reflect millions of years of geological evolution in their striated patterns. Begin your exploration of the canyon with this afternoon's visit to the South Rim. Dinner is included tonight.
Included meals: breakfast, dinner

Day 6 -- Wednesday, September 14
Free Day at the Grand Canyon
With a full free day to explore the Grand Canyon at your leisure, you might choose to walk along the rim or hike down to a plateau. Alternatively, soar over the canyon and take in breathtaking views on an optional helicopter ride.
Included meals: breakfast

Day 7 -- Thursday, September 15
Zion National Park
Pass by Lake Powell, a favorite southwestern vacation destination, on your way to Zion. During your visit to Zion National Park—including a tram ride—discover why the Mormon settlers of the 19th century named it after their heavenly city. Zion is famous for its dramatically eroded sedimentary rocks, whose yellow and orange hues create magnificent vistas contrasted with the thick green foliage along the riverbanks.
Included meals: breakfast

Day 8 -- Friday, September 16
Bryce Canyon National Park
Your journey through Utah continues with today's visit to Bryce Canyon National Park. Bryce Canyon is known for its distinctive pink sandstone, which forms awe-inspiring arches, spires, steps and bridges across the landscape. Tour the park by bus and by foot for up-close views of this fascinating phenomenon. Later today, reach Salt Lake City, capital of Utah and host city of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, for an overnight stop.
Included meals: breakfast

Day 9 -- Saturday, September 17
Grand Teton National Park
Cross into Wyoming and visit Grand Teton National Park. The Grand Teton, which is the highest mountain of the Teton range, rises to 13,770 feet above sea level, while 12 other Teton peaks are higher than 12,000 feet. This range is particularly interesting to geologists because it is the youngest range in the Rockies but displays some of North America's oldest rocks. Reach the town of Jackson, a colorful resort town popular with skiers, hikers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Included meals: breakfast

Grand Canyon sceneryDay 10 -- Sunday, September 18
Yellowstone National Park
Today's destination is Yellowstone, the world's first national park (so designated in 1872). See the park's famous hot springs and geysers, including Old Faithful. Wildlife within the park includes grizzly bears, wolves, bison and elk. You'll spend the entire day experiencing the majesty of Yellowstone's awe-inspiring views and terrain.
Included meals: breakfast

Day 11 -- Monday, September 19
Enjoy a free day in Jackson to peruse the shops and Restaurants of this charming city. Alternatively, opt for our unforgettable hot air balloon ride above the Jackson Hole area or a scenic float down the Snake River. Join your fellow travelers tonight for an included farewell dinner.
Included meals: breakfast, dinner

Day 12 -- Tuesday, September 20
Return Home
This morning, a representative escorts you to the airport for your return flight home.
Included meals: breakfast

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Program Fees

$3,358 per person, double occupancy with economy-class roundtrip airfare from Dulles International Airport. (IAD). A limited number of single rooms are available for a supplement of $765 per person, added to double occupancy rates.

Air Inclusive Price includes:

Does not include:

$2,754 per person, double occupancy, land only
Price includes:

Does not include:

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How To Register

Ready to register? The best way to do this is by phone so that we can ensure we are meeting all of your needs. Please call us at 866-765-2646 or e-mail with your contact information and the best time to reach you.

A deposit of $300 per person is required to reserve your spot. Final invoicing will be done approximately 90 days prior to departure. Final payment is due 70 days prior to departure.

Deposits can be made via check or credit card (Visa, MasterCard, or American Express).

Early registration is encouraged as space is limited.

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General Terms & Conditions

These are abbreviated Terms and Conditions. The full terms and conditions will be sent to you upon registration, can be sent to you upon request or downloaded in pdf here .

Terms of reservation
The reservation fee is refundable within 72 hours of booking. After 72 hours, cancellation fees apply.

Departure fees and surcharges

Departure fees and surcharges imposed by airlines, governmental agencies and, occasionally, hotels and/or other providers of services are subject to change.

The following cancellation fee schedule applies to this tour. If you are booked in a double room and your roommate cancels, you will be responsible for paying the single supplement fee. If you purchased Travel Protection and are canceling for a reason covered under the policy guidelines, cancellation fees will be reimbursed to you directly from the insurance company. All Travel Protection packages are non-refundable.

Days Prior to Departure Cancellation Fee
71 days or more $300
70–46 days $450
45–8 days $1,000 or 100%* if less than $1,000
7–0 days 100%*
* Percentages listed above are of the total tour cost including reservation fee.

Revision fees
Any changes (including but not limited to travel dates, gateways, and identification name for travel documents) may be subject to a service charge of $75 plus any costs incurred from suppliers.

Baggage Allowance
One suitcase and one carry-on bag are permitted. Please keep in mind airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage and may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage.

Please be aware that you will be traveling at altitudes between 7,000 and 9,000 feet above sea level on this tour. If you suffer from heart problems or respiratory ailments, please speak to your doctor regarding any potential health risks. Even healthy travelers may experience altitude sickness. It is always advisable to check with your health-care provider for personal travel requirements.

Go Ahead Vacations, Inc., its affiliates, and their employees, officers, directors and shareholders are not responsible for any injury, loss or damage to person or property, death, delay or inconvenience. The tour operator for your trip is EF Cultural Travel Ltd.

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