Along the Burma Road: Walks in the borderlands of Burma, China and Vietnam

Accompanied by Dr Charles Ramble, enjoy a number of easy walks (up to six hours per day) through this beautiful mountainous region, home to many ethnic minority groups who, over generations, have been marginalised to these remote lands. The journey begins in Burma’s Kachin State, one of the least visited areas in Asia and only just opening up to foreigners. Continue on to the southern borderland area of China with some of the country’s best preserved ancient villages. Cross into north Vietnam, an area of pristine beauty whose forests and eco-systems  are internationally recognised.

Italian and Adriatic highlights

Join Dr Damian Robinson, Director of the Oxford Centre for Maritime Archaeology, on this leisurely paced cruise around Italy and along the glorious Adriatic coast to Venice. Discover the marvellous Amalfi coast, cruising past the romantic island of Capri and volcanic island of Stromboli on your way to Taormina, Sicily, before heading across the Ionian Sea to the Greek island of Corfu. The fascinating Graeco-Roman site of Butrint, Albania, leads to the charming Croatian ports of Dubrovnik and Split, then the cruise culminates in Venice for an overnight stay with a special evening event.

Ancient Macedonia: Alexander the Great and the birthplace of the Hellenistic World

Discover the tumultuous forces which propelled the small ancient kingdom of Macedon (in modern-day Greece) into an unrivalled global empire. Its realms extended through Asia Minor, the Levant, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Persia and even as far as modern Pakistan. With classicist Dr Alphonso Moreno, learn about Macedon’s most influential rulers, Philip II and his son, the self-proclaimed demi-god Alexander the Great. Through their actions, Macedon became the hub of global advances in philosophy, arts, literature, engineering and science, changing the face of Europe and Asia forever.

Medieval Loire: A hotel barge cruise along the Canal Latéral à la Loire

Join medieval historian Dr Rowena Archer on this very popular barge itinerary, cruising through the picturesque villages and vineyards of the Upper Loire. Cruise peacefully along the picturesque Canal Latéral à la Loire aboard an intimate hotel barge, chartered for exclusive use. Medieval treasures await at the Chateau de la Chapelle d’Angillon, an 11thcentury Romanesque chateau, and the Cluniac priory church of Sainte-Croix-Notre-Dame. Explore the thousand-year-old vineyards and cellars of Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé amid outstanding scenery.

CERN: Geneva and the experiments changing our understanding of the world

Join experimental particle physicist Professor Ian Shipsey on a visit to Geneva to explore fundamental questions about the structure of our universe. Enjoy a private visit to CERN, home to the world’s largest and most complex scientific instruments including the Large Hadron Collider. Here, physicists are conducting ground-breaking research into dark matter and subatomic particles, with consequences which could forever change our understanding of our existence.

The art treasures of St Petersburg: Legacy of the Tsars

The beautiful city of St Petersburg, often known as the ‘Venice of the North,’ was founded by Peter the Great to demonstrate his wish that Russia was a major power with its roots firmly fixed in Europe. Accompanied by Professor Alexei Leporc, Curator of Western European Art at the Hermitage, explore this grandest of cities with its elegant buildings and unsurpassed palaces located both in the city and the surrounding countryside. The visit has been specially planned for March when the snow makes everything picturesque and the city looks magnificent.

Battle of the Pyrenees: Final stages of the Peninsular War

In 1813 Wellington defeated three French armies in an epic battle at Vitoria. The French suddenly found themselves with their backs to the Pyrenees, fighting to prevent the invasion of France. Take a riveting journey in the company of expert historians Colonel Nick Lipscombe and Professor Jeremy Black, through the dramatic landscape that witnessed the concluding events of Napoleon’s struggle for control over the Iberian Peninsula. Learn how combined British, Portuguese and Spanish armies finally broke Joseph Bonaparte’s French forces.

Battle of the Atlantic

The only thing that ever frightened Winston Churchill during the war, he once wrote, was ‘the U-boat peril’. Masterminded in Liverpool from the now carefully restored basement bunker of Western Approaches Command, the Atlantic campaign was crucial to ensuring a steady supply of men and provisions from America.

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