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Educational Travel

Virtual Tours

NEW! All-Canadian alumni armchair travel sessions

Educational Travel has gone virtual. During this pause of in-person alumni travel, we invite you to join us in our “armchair” travel experiences. Together with other Canadian alumni groups and our trusted travel partner Worldwide Quest, we’ll see and learn about the wonders of the world right from our own homes. Each experience is designed to feed your curiosity and provide content curated and delivered by experts in their fields. We aim to bring you interesting content throughout 2021 and would love to hear from you if there are places and topics on your bucket list that you would like to explore during your time at home. We can do our best to make it happen. Please contact Melanie Mclean at with any suggestions. Check out where we want to take you next, below. We hope you’ll join us!

The Enchantment of Georgia with Julia Zarankin

Apr. 29, 2021 | 12-1pm EST

In this special webinar for the Canadian university alumni community, discover the magic of Georgia, with its breathtaking mountain landscapes, exquisite cuisine and wine-making traditions, and formidable hospitality—the country is a true feast for the senses. Georgia’s wonderfully complicated history bears the traces of Greek, Mongol, Ottoman, Persian, and Russian conquests, all of which had an impact on the richness of its cultural heritage. From ancient cathedrals to medieval cave cities carved into mountainsides, Georgia’s architecture, art, scenery and cuisine will leave you spellbound. 

About the speaker: Julia Zarankin is an award-winning writer and lecturer who teaches courses to lifelong learners about Russian and European culture and literature at Hot Docs Curious Minds, the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies, and the Royal Conservatory of Music, among others. Recently awarded an Excellence in Teaching Award from the University of Toronto, she holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from Princeton University. A tour study leader for Worldwide Quest, Julia’s first book “Field Notes from an Unintentional Birder” is a Canadian bestseller.

two polar bears in Arctic

The Polar Bear: Forever icon of the Canadian North? 

Polar Bears are rightfully touted as emblems of the Canadian Arctic. However, a significant population also lives far below the Arctic Circle along the shores of Hudson Bay. In this special webinar presented by the Canadian university alumni community, Dr. Marty Obbard will introduce us to Polar Bear biology, discuss his field work with this species on Hudson Bay, and address questions of its long-term survival in a changing climate. Join us! 

About the speaker: Dr. Obbard is an emeritus research scientist and the former resident bear biologist with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, and adjunct professor at Trent University. A seasoned field-naturalist and explorer, Marty is very familiar with the landscapes and wildlife of the boreal forest and tundra. His love of the outdoors and tremendous respect he has for wildlife are obvious to anyone who interacts with him. 

Nature Hotspots in Canada with
author Debbie Olsen  

Debbie Olsen collaborated with a small group of nature writers to assemble a new book called 150 Nature Hot Spots in Canada: The Best Parks, Conservation Areas and Wild Places. She has visited every province and territory in Canada on her quest. Join this webinar with Olsen to learn more about some special place you may or may not have heard about and that you should place on your Canada hotspot list!  

About the speaker: Debbie Olsen is a Globe and Mail bestselling author, and an award-winning writer and photographer. Her presentation will be like her new book - filled with beautiful pictures and insider information to inspire you to visit the country we call home!

Migrating Monarch Butterflies with Jessica Linton 

The Monarch butterfly is famed for the annual migration it undertakes between its breeding areas in Canada and the USA and its mass overwintering sites in the highlands of Mexico. Butterfly expert Jessica Linton will tell us more about the amazing lifestyle of the Monarch, sharing experiences from their spectacular winter colonies in Mexico, as well as insights into the species’ survival and future.  

About the speaker: Jessica Linton is a consulting biologist who specializes in butterflies. Based in Ontario, her work has a heavy focus on species-at-risk including butterflies, the wildlife group about which Jessica is most passionate. She has over 10 years of experience conducting butterfly surveys, behavioral monitoring, and migration studies. She is an expert on the Monarch butterfly and has followed their migration to the highlands of Mexico, where she has led tour groups to observe the incredible overwintering masses. 

2020 Alumni Travel - COVID-19 Community Update 

Our travel partners are monitoring the COVID-19 situation and how it impacts upcoming trips. Please review any cancellation insurance coverage you have purchased. For the most up-to-date information about specific trips, please contact our travel partner directly.

  • GLP Worldwide   1-866-760-1987
  • Gohagan Travel  1-800-922-3088
  • Worldwide Quest 1-800-387-1483

For general enquires please contact York University’s Alumni Engagement contact, Melanie Mclean, at

For the latest updates on York’s response to COVID-19, visit

Upcoming Tours

River and houses in Norway

Norway and Lapland

Experience Norway’s beautiful fjords, charming ports, rare wildlife and travel to places no other cruise ships can before venturing into northern Finland. Go where no one else goes, with a crew and ship that that have Scandinavia in their DNA.

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Passion Play in Oberammergau

Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna, Salzburg and Munich

Join us for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the 42nd production of the time-honoured tradition, the Oberammergau Passion Play, reenacted every 10 years.

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Boat tour in Europe along the Rhine River

Great journey through Europe along the Rhine River

Join fellow alumni on this incredible journey through Europe to retrace the "Grand Tour," an elite tradition undertaken by enlightened ladies and gentlemen of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.

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Aerial photo of Santorini, Greece

Island life around the Greek Isles

Travel Athens, the birthplace of democracy, take a walking tour in Mykonos, the mythical birthplace of Apollo and Artemis, explore the island of Rhodes, and visit a a natural caldera in Santorini, among other beautiful and renowned places, on this historic tour.

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Landscape photo of pyramids of Giza, Egypt

Israel, Egypt and Jordan

Join us and explore some of the world’s greatest age-old monuments. Together we will explore the ancient city of Jerusalem, sail the Red Sea, visit the world-famous sites of Luxor and the Giza Pyramids in Cairo, discover the monuments of Petra, and float in the Dead Sea.

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African Explorer

Join us and traverse some of Namibia’s most spectacular landscapes on an epic journey. From deep canyons, wide-open plains, wild animals and the highest sand dunes in the world to lush forests, the African Explorer private train is your key to adventure.

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Past Tours

Field of poppies in Normandy, France

London, Normandy, Lille, Brussels and Amsterdam

As you visit memorials, trenches, and museums in Normandy, London and Amsterdam, you’ll learn about the important role Canadian forces played in the outcome of D-Day. Explore the locations that were the backdrops for pivotal battles and take time to honour the sacrifices made by the Allied soldiers.

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Field of flowers and windmill in Netherlands

Autumn in Provence

Join us for this exclusive nine-day French sojourn in Provence and the wine region of Burgundy and Beaujolais. In this historical region of southeastern France, visit six UNESCO World Heritage sites, including Old Lyon, Beaune, Avignon, and the Roman city of Orange. Taste iconic wines during private outings to Châteaus hosted by the ancestral owners.

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Don't forget your card

Remember to bring your York Alumni Card and/or your current York ID with you whenever you are using our Alumni and Friends benefits. Some partners will want it to confirm your eligibility for the discount offered. Unless otherwise stated, most benefits are for York University alumni, students, faculty and retirees only.

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