Art & Culture Tour of Italy and Greece 2016

Information sessions:

Mon. Sept. 21, 4 pm, art Building 325, Room 204
Weds. Sept. 23, 11:30 am, art Building 325, Room 204
Weds. Oct. 21, 11:30 am, art Building 325, Room 204

Program Overview

Proposed dates abroad: May 6 - May 16/20, 2016

Experience the wonders of Italy and Greece on an eleven day private tour led by Art Professor Jane Cole. Enjoy a fabulous opportunity to see great art and architecture in a friendly group dynamic. Visit the preserved city of Pompeii, gaze at the Sistine Chapel and walk the streets of ancient Rome. You will tour the Great Theatre of Epidaurus and climb the Athenian Acropolis to see the famous Parthenon. Sample international cuisine and meet interesting people at an outstanding tour price. Comfortable temperatures and fewer travelers make May an ideal month for this tour. Students and community members are welcome—bring your friends and family! Come for pleasure or take studio credit courses. Participants are free to explore on their own if they don’t wish to join daily tour activities.

Consider an optional extension of an Idyllic Aegean 4 night, 5 day cruise of the beautiful Greek Islands! This includes a stop at the amazing Greco-Roman city of Ephesus located in western Turkey.

The main tour is offered through GoAheadTours; however the itinerary will be adjusted by the tour leader to suit this tour's focus on art and culture. For more information visit the Italy and Greece with Jane Cole site or contact

Main Tour Itinerary
May 6 - Overnight flight to Naples, Italy
May 7 - Sorrento, Italy
May 8 - Boat trip to the Isle of Capri
May 9 - Rome, via Pompeii
May 10 - Tour Ancient Rome
May 11 - Rome (optional Vatican City) - free excursion if you register before May 26, 2015
May 12 - Fly to Athens, Greece
May 13 - Visit ancient Epidaurus & Mycenae
May 14 - Tour Athens and the Acropolis
May 15 - Athens (optional art museum)
May 16 - Flight home or transfer to the optional cruise of the Greek Islands

The optional extension of a 4-night/5-day cruise of the Greek Islands is offered by Celestyal Cruise lines.
View a video of the cruise.

Optional Cruise of the Greek Islands!
May 16 - Depart Piraeus (Athens)
Mykonos, Greece
May 17 - Kusadasi, Turkey (Ephesus)
Patmos, Greece
May 18 - Rhodes, Greece
May 19 - Heraklion (Crete) Greece
Santorini, Greece
May 20 - Disembark Piraeus (Athens)


Costs for Main Tour per person:
Package price from Vancouver $ 4114 (price subject to change) (Payable to GoAhead Tours)
Land only price (Rome to Athens) $ 2459
Tips & fees $ 185 (Payable to Vancouver Island University) Due March 30, 2016

Participants paying their deposit of $300 by the end of October, 2015 will receive $75 towards an optional excursion.

Balance of fees are due February 28, 2016. Participants paying their deposit of $300 by May 26, 2015 will receive a free opional excursion. We recommend that you select the "Iconic Sites, Vatican City" (value $99) to St. Peter's Basilica and Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel.

Main Tour Includes:

• Airfare to and from Europe, and flight from Rome to Athens
• Nine nights in comfortable twin bed rooms with private bathrooms
• All hotel service charges and taxes
• All breakfasts and four 3-course dinners with wine/beer
• Private deluxe motor coach
• Services of a bilingual tour director
• Guided sightseeing, entrance fees to selected sights, art talks by Tour Leader

Main Tour DOES NOT Include:

• Single room supplement
• Pre-stay or post-stay option available
• Lunches and some dinners
• Overseas health insurance (VIU condition of travel)
• Optional cruise of the Greek Islands
• VIU tuition & student fees (if taking courses)

Costs for optional cruise TBA:

Celestyal Cruises will announce the price in November 2015. The current company price for May 2015 is $984 US; however some travel agencies are offering it for as low as $600 US.

Schengen Visa required for International VIU students going to Europe

You will need a Schengen Visa if your passport is issued by a red country on this map.

You need a Schengen visa issued by Germany as that is both your place of entry into Europe and the country where you will stay longest. As of July 1st, 2014, The Consulate General of Switzerland in Vancouver represents the Republic of Finland for the issuance of visas for short stays in the Schengen area for applications from British Columbia.

You will need an appointment at the Consulate which you can make by email: In your email, suggest three days that are good for you to meet. They only make appointments Monday through Friday, between 9 am and 1 pm.

Address of the Swiss Consulate General in Vancouver:

Consulate General of Switzerland
World Trade Centre
790-999 Canada Place
Vancouver, BC, V6C 3E1

Tel. +1 604 684 2231

Italy Visa Application Requirements *Apply Visa to Country most time spent in.

On-line Schengen application form

  • Non-Refundable Schengen Visa Fee: $90 Canadian funds in cash or money order

Application Procedure

To enrol in the main tour: phone GoAhead Tours at 1-800-438-7672 and quote tour # 61298917 or visit the the Italy and Greece with Jane Cole site. 

All participants will be required to complete a VIU Education Abroad on-line application form and submit a copy of:

• passport
• proof of insurance and
waiver and cancellation forms to be signed

to Education Abroad by March 30, 2016.

Price is guaranteed with down payment of $300 which is refundable in the first 72 hours, after that, it is transferable to another traveler interested in booking on the tour (space provided). This tour is open to both students and the general public.One-third of the seats will be reserved for students until October 15, 2015. GoAhead Tours will maintain a waitlist if necessary.

To enroll on the cruise: participants will be notified how to register in November 2015.

Conditions & Expectations

This is a basic economy tour. Meals and hotels will be plain at times. The tour has an active travel pace and travelers should be in good health and prepared for uneven walking terrain. People are free to do their “own thing” if they wish. Those who can’t keep up to the walking group should expect to make arrangements for themselves for the day. Since we will have a type of classroom environment, participants must “think for the group dynamic” and follow instructions that are best for the group such as coming in close so all can hear. This tour may not be suitable for people who are very independent.

All Canadian passport holders require a passport with an expiry date November 22, 2016 or later (six months after return); no visas are required. Non-Canadians require a Schengen passport for Italy and Greece.
GoAhead Tours will allow travellers to fly from any Airport. They also can change flights for a prestay or a poststay in Europe and arrange transit to and from airports. Many participants come as singles and those who would like a roommate should tell the tour leaders who will try to facilitate people finding the roommate.

Academic Courses

Visual Arts courses are available for credit in conjunction with this tour. All courses have pre-departure and after-return classes. Courses: Arts 355 -Painting IV; Arts 484-Advanced Studio Multi-Disciplinary, and Independent Studies: Arts 303 306-Drawing; Arts 320 323-Design; Arts 350-353-Painting; Arts 356-359-Watercolour; Arts 480-483-Multi-Media.

Students are responsible for the cost of VIU Tuition and fees.

Financial Assistance

International Education Stipend:
VIU students taking the Art Tour for credit may be eligible to receive $350 International Education Stipend for participating in intercultural and international activities. More information at:

Scholarships, Awards and Grants (Be aware of deadlines)

Students taking a minimum of nine credits in summer session may be eligible for BC Student Assistance. Contact VIU Student Financial Aid (Building 200).


For more information, contact:

Maggie James, Tour Assistant

Jane Cole, Organizer & Tour Leader
Art History Professor, VIU
Italy and Greec with Jane Cole
Facebook Art and Culture Tours