Total Solar Eclipse Cruise _ Exploration of Japan

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					Total Solar Eclipse Cruise & Exploration of Japan
with MIT Professor Edmund Bertschinger July 15 – 31, 2009

Dear MIT Alumni and Friends, July 22, 2009 provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to view a total solar eclipse over six minutes in duration. The MIT Alumni Travel Program has secured a limited number of cabins on a vessel dedicated to maximizing the eclipse experience, and Professor Edmund Bertschinger, Head of the Department of Physics at MIT will deliver formal lectures and lead informal discussions throughout the program. After a brief tour of Beijing, China, board the Costa Classica, making ports of call in Cheju, South Korea, and Kagoshima, Japan, before arriving at the optimum eclipse viewing location, 24˚ 12.2” north, 144˚ 07.0” east. Members of the Harvard Museum of Natural Histroy, along with Harvard geologist Mark Van Baalen, and MIT alumnus Edwin Turner will join us on board the ship. Following the eclipse event, we disembark in Kobe, Japan and travel as an exclusive MIT group by bullet train to Hiroshima. We will cruise to Miyajima to see the famous floating torii gate, explore Kyoto's Zen temples, imperial palaces and serene gardens, and travel to Tokyo to experience the interplay between traditional Japan and contemporary society. Experiencing this astronomical event with Professor Bertschinger can not be repeated. Space on board this vessel is under high demand and is already filling quickly. If you have any questions, or would like to make a reservation, please call the MIT Alumni Travel Program at (800) 992-6749, or email us at You may also contact our tour operator, Siemer & Hand Travel, at (800) 451-4321.


Melissa Chapman Gresh Director MIT Alumni Travel Program P.S. Please visit our Web site at for details and updates on all our programs.

MIT Study Leader
Edmund Bertschinger is Professor of Physics; Head, Department of Physics at MIT. Professor Bertschinger is a theoretical astrophysicist whose research interests focus in cosmology and relativistic astrophysics. He received his B.S. in physics from the California Institute of Technology in 1979 and his PhD in Astrophysical Sciences from Princeton University in 1984. Following postdoctoral positions at the University of Virginia and at UC Berkeley, he joined the MIT faculty in 1986. Professor Bertschinger is passionate about education. He enjoys teaching classical mechanics, electromagnetism, quantum mechanics, relativity, and cosmology. In 2002 he received the Physics Department’s Buechner Teaching Prize for his undergraduate and graduate classes in relativity. Professor Bertschinger also loves working with students on research in astrophysics, cosmology, and general relativity. His former PhD students now hold faculty positions at Harvard, Princeton, and other fine universities.

Additional Faculty Aboard Ship
Edwin Turner is Professor of Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton University. After receiving degrees at MIT and Caltech, he spent brief periods at the Institute for Advanced Study and Harvard University. He has carried out extensive astronomical observations at Mt. Palomar Observatory, Kitt Peak National Observatory, NRAO's Very Large Array, Apache Point Observatory, the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan’s Subaru Telescope, and with the Hubble Space Telescope. Mark Van Baalen, Ph.D., is a geologist and Associate in Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University. He has viewed numerous solar eclipses over the past 35 years, using his knowledge of astronomy and climate to successfully select viewing sites.

Highlights of this extraordinary adventure…
■ Witness the longest total solar eclipse in a lifetime from the

center line of the path of totality with with MIT Professor Edmund Bertschinger
■ See Beijing’s Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square ■ Cruise aboard the Costa Classica from China to Japan ■ Travel by bullet train to Hiroshima, Kyoto, and Tokyo ■ Explore the tradition temples and gardens of historic Japan

and experience the vibrant contemporary culture

For more information, please contact the MIT Alumni Travel Program at (800) 992-6749, email us at, or call Siemer & Hand Travel at (800) 451-4321.
Cover photo: Total solar eclipse, "Floating" torii gate at Miyajima:, the Garden of Perpetual Emptiness. This page: Global view – path of totality, the Costa Classica.

Tour the Forbidden City, the seat of power for the past two dynasties. This is a vast complex of ornatelyroofed pavilions, courtyards, and opulent golden halls. Also see Tiananmen Square, the largest plaza in the world, site of Chairman Mao's tomb and the Great Hall of the People. Proceed to Tianjin and board the Costa Classica.

After disembarking in Kobe, the MIT group travels by bullet train to Hiroshima. Visit the Peace Memorial Park, with is monuments and museum dedicated to “no more The Golden Pavillion, Kyoto Hiroshimas.” Visit Miyajima Island to see Itskushima Jinja, the famous floating torii gate. In Kyoto see the opulence of the goldCosta Classica leafed Kinkakuji Temple Elegant cabins, attention to detail and warm and the serene simplicity and relaxing colors make Costa Classica a very of the Zen Garden of comfortable ship, and a passenger to staff ratio of just two to one ensures superb service. The Emptiness. Tour the 17ththeater, ballroom, and other meeting spaces are century Nijo Castle and its ideal for ship board lectures and entertainment. gardens. Make a special Several food and beverage outlets, both indoors visit to the ancient Saihoji and on deck provide dining options. Temple, with more than 120 types of moss, resemThis sailing is specifically dedicated to viewing bling a beautiful green the eclipse. While the plan is to navigate to the coordinates for the longest duration, state-ofcarpet. On an excursion to the-art weather instrumentation, and the ship’s Nara see the world’s speed, make it possible to change plans if neclargest wooden structure, essary to intersect the path of totality anywhere Todaiki Temple, housing along a 1,500-mile range, for an optimal experithe world’s largest ence. There is plenty of open deck space for Buddha. Also experience everyone on board to have ample viewing the striking modern archispace. Furthermore, the ship’s size, 722 feet in length, with a beam of 102 feet, equipped with tecture of I.M. Pei’s Miho hydraulic "fin" stabilizers, makes this a very staMuseum built in a specble viewing platform. There are lectures and tacular mountain setting ample time for discussion during days at sea. reached by a tunnel and suspended footbridge. ReA shore excursion is included in Cheju, South board the bullet train Korea, a scenic resort island off the southern tip bound for lovely Hakone, of the Korean Peninsula, noted for its numerous volcanoes and spectacular coastline. An addiin the shadow of Mt. Fuji, tional shore excursion is specially arranged in and enjoy a relaxing boat Kagoshima, Japan, focusing on Iso Garden, the ride on Lake Ashi. Tokyo is enormous grounds of a 17th-century villa, and a a city where traditional walk through a bamboo grove for exquisite and contemporary Japan views of the bay and Mt. Sakurajima, one of the world’s most active volcanoes.

meet. In addition to the fine Asakusa Kannon Temple and Meiji Shinto Shrine, also experience the trendy areas of Roppongi Hills and Omotesando. Throughout our journey every effort will be made to meet with local MIT alumni.

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One night at the Peninsula Plaza Hotel Welcome dinner and breakfast Sightseeing excursion

Aboard Ship:
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Program Schedule
July July July July July July July July July July July July July July July July July 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 Depart USA Arrive Beijing Depart Tianjin At Sea Cheju, South Korea Kagoshima, Japan At Sea Eclipse At Sea At Sea Kobe - Hiroshima Hiroshima Kyoto Kyoto Kyoto Tokyo Tokyo USA

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All meals, with welcome and farewell receptions Shore excursions in Cheju and Kagoshima, with gratuities to drivers and guides Eclipse lectures, discussions, and viewing advice Gratuities to shipboard staff Port taxes

In Japan:
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Two nights at the Rihga Royal Hotel, Hiroshima Three nights at the ANA Hotel, Kyoto Two nights at the Keio Plaza Hotel, Tokyo Seven breakfasts, five lunches and three dinners Sightseeing and entrance fees, with gratuities to drivers and guides Travel by bullet train and deluxe motorcoach

Throughout the program:
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Siemer & Hand Tour manager and knowledgeable English-speaking guides Transportation between airports, hotels, train stations and piers including luggage handling for those traveling on program dates Pre-departure trip planning information and suggested reading list

■ PROGRAM COST EXCLUDES: International airfare; transfers for those not traveling on program dates; meals not specified in the daily itinerary; charges for items of a personal nature including laundry, beverages, and excess baggage charges; independent travel arrangements; travel and accident insurance; inoculations; and passport and visa fees. ■ HEALTH: All participants must be in good health. This program is mildly active and involves walking over uneven surfaces and climbing stairs. Not all locations may be handicapped accessible. Any condition that may require special medical attention or other accommodation must be reported at the time of your reservation. ■ DEPOSITS AND FINAL PAYMENTS: Reservations will be accepted in order of receipt if accompanied by a completed reservation form and a deposit of $1,500 per person. A second deposit of $1,500 is due November 3, 2008, and must be paid by check. Final payment is due by January 15, 2009, and must be paid by check. If there is a significant change in the value of the dollar, a sharp rise in the cost of fuel or other unanticipated circumstance, there may be a slight increase in the cost of the program. ■ CANCELLATIONS AND REFUNDS: Refunds, less a cancellation fee of $500 per person, will be made if we are notified on or before November 3, 2008. Following the second deposit, refunds, less a cancellation fee of $1,750 per person, will be made if we are notified on or before January 15, 2009. No refunds will be granted after that date. All cancellations must be in writing. Trip cancellation/interruption, medical and baggage insurance are highly recommended and should be considered for your protection, and will be made available to you upon receipt of your initial deposit. ■ TRAVEL INSURANCE:Travel insurance is strongly recommended. An application will be sent to particitpants upon enrollment. ■ RESPONSIBILITY: A detailed statement of limitations and exclusions of liability of Siemer & Hand Travel, Inc. and the MIT Alumni Travel Program for.loss of property, injury, illness or death will be provided to passengers upon enrollment and is available to prospective travelers upon request. ■ SIEMER & HAND TRAVEL, INC.: Seller of fine travel programs since 1959. CST 100 4239-10

Bamboo garden

E category cabins are inside on Venice Deck. D category cabins are inside on Amalfi Deck. C category cabins are outside on Venice Deck, with a porthole. B category cabins are outside on Amalfi Deck, with a porthole. A category cabins are outside on Genoa Deck, with a porthole.

• Genoa • Amalfi • Venice

All inside cabins have two lower beds. Most outside cabins have two lower beds, but some have queen beds. Every category includes some cabins with a third berth that can fold out of the wall to make a triple cabin. All have a writing table and chair, private bathroom with shower and ample closet space. All cabins are approximately 175 square feet.
These rates are based on double occupancy. Single occupancy of a double cabin is 175% of the stated rates. Triple occupancy is $6,195 in any category for the third person.

CATEGORY E D C B A . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

RATES .$ 7,995 .$ 8,495 .$ 9,395 .$ 9,995 .$10,295

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Name (As it appears on passport) Name (As it appears on passport) Address City/State/ZIP Telephone Email Home

MIT Affiliation MIT Affiliation


ACCOMMODATIONS: Cabin Category Preference 1st Choice:_______ 2nd Choice:__________ ❑ I desire single accommodations, and understand that the cost is 175% of the appropriate category price (subject to availability). ❑ I will share accommodations with: ______________________________________________________ ❑ I prefer to share if a roommate can be found. I understand that if a roommate is not found I will pay the single price of 175% of the double cabin price. Please make check payable to Siemer & Hand Travel and mail to: MIT Alumni Travel Program, Building W59-200, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139 Enclosed is my deposit for $________($1,500 per person) to hold ______ place(s) on the Total Solar Eclipse & Japan program. Or charge my deposit to: ❑ MasterCard ❑ Visa ❑ Diners Club ❑ American Express ❑ Discover Card

Number Signature as it appears on credit card:


I/We have read the General Information and understand and agree to the terms and conditions stated herein: Signature(s) Date MITJECL09

For further information, please contact the MIT Alumni Travel Program at (800) 992-6749, email us at, or call Siemer & Hand Travel at (800) 451-4321.

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