Illinois State University Alumni Association and AHI Travel are offering two vacation packages. ISU alumni have the chance to sail to Alaska with a luxurious Alaskan cruise, or travel away and explore the culture and geography that defines Ireland.

Those choosing to embark on the Alaskan cruise will begin the seven-day journey August 12, 2009. Once aboard the Seven Seas Mariner, the ship will cruise from Vancouver, B.C. to Seward, Alaska. Passengers will have the opportunity to enjoy scenic views of the Inside Passage.

The cruise provides a great opportunity to encounter the people, culture and environment of Alaska with an intimacy not found on larger ships. Travelers have the option to personalize their cruise experience by participating in the ship’s signature enrichment programs. Along with the enrichment programs, guests are encouraged to take part in an all-inclusive on-board beverage program. The ship offers open-seating dining with a choice of restaurants, full entertainment programs, port-intensive itineraries and a guest lecturer program.

The Seven Seas Mariner takes pride in the services provided to all guests. The unsurpassed services and attention to detail help create the flexible, relaxed and elegant atmosphere that guests enjoy.

Traveling to Ireland will provide alumni the opportunity to see many different parts of Irish culture and geography. The trip’s destinations vary, beginning with a chance to receive an early glimpse into Celtic life at Graggaunowen. Travelers can explore the Burren, one of Europe’s most mysterious geographical regions, and then witness the towering majesty of the sandstone Cliff’s of Moher. Travelers also have the opportunity to cruise out to the Aran Island of Inishmore to view prehistoric monuments.

Cultural aspects of Ireland come forward, starting with a journey to Coole Park. At this location, the famous copper beech bears the initials of Ireland’s famous writers. Following Coole Park, travelers can venture to Thor Ballylee, the summer home of W.B. Yates. After all the traveling, a relaxing night of traditional Irish storytelling is offered. The storytelling, or shanachi, has preserved Irish history and tradition for centuries.

Choosing between two exceptional trips can be difficult, but either choice is sure to produce an extraordinary experience. For more information on either trip or to register, please visit the travel Web site.