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  • Alliance International Tour Program Cruises Rhine River

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    April 21, 2017
    The Charleston Area Alliance International Tour Program just completed an 11-day sailing on the Rhine River exploring some of Europe’s most exciting river ports. 

    More than 25 Alliance members and guests from the Kanawha Valley joined the 2017 International Tour for two nights in Lucerne, Switzerland before cruising from Basel, Switzerland to Amsterdam, The Netherlands. 

    The group hit all the highlights of the legendary Rhine – venturing into the Black Forest’s dense mountain ranges and picturesque villages; touring Strasbourg’s charming neighborhoods through canals; exploring Rudesheim’s cobblestone streets and colorful frescoed buildings; cruising through the Rhine River Gorge with hillsides dotted with castles and historic towns; and strolling the colorful acres of tulips at Keukenhof Gardens.

    “Seeing Europe on a river cruise is a unique experience,” said Maureen O’Toole, ImageServ LLC owner and Alliance board member. “We explored historic cities and spectacular scenery, but we also had the opportunity to relax on the ship with friends and colleagues. I’ve made professional connections with fellow Alliance travelers that are beneficial long after the trip is over.” 

    Since 2010, the Alliance has provided annual group travel experiences to destinations throughout the globe including China, Eastern Europe (Hungary, Czech Republic & Austria), Italy, Ireland and Spain. The tours offer a view of different cultures, business practices and intriguing historical sites and locations. Through the program, the Alliance aims to give local community members exposure to the economic opportunities that exist now and in the future, an opportunity to establish relationships that can result in win-win projects, assistance with generating new exports and education of the global economy. To date, more than 300 local travelers have participated in the program. 

    Many travelers have gone on multiple International Tours with the Alliance, while others register for the trip based on their desire to explore a specific destination. Joe and Faye Guilfoile have traveled with the Alliance on all of its International Tours, from the Great Wall of China to the 18th-century Royal Palace in Madrid, Spain. 

    “What a wonderful experience,” said Joe Guilfoile. “From travel arrangements, city tours and excursions to meals with our fellow travelers, the Alliance International Tour is a great way to see the world.” 

    On many of the tours, the Alliance has organized educational activities with business enterprises, artists, architects and educators to facilitate interactions, both personally and professionally. During the Italian Tour, travelers visited with Pasquale Catalfamo, partner at Catalfer SLR, an Italian chemical manufacturing company whose North American subsidiary New Finishing Line LLC is located in the Alliance’s Small Business Incubator. 

    The Alliance travel experiences provide the comfort and security of exploring other cultures while the Alliance takes care of the details. 

    “When you travel with the Alliance, you visit beautiful locations and participate in exclusive opportunities and specially curated experiences,” said Jeri Adkins, the Alliance’s vice president of administration.  “The progam is successful thanks to an amazing group of travelers who enjoy learning about other culures and sharing new experiences with friends and colleagues.” 

    If you are interested in learning more about the Alliance’s International Tour Program, contact Jeri Adkins at jadkins@charlestonareaalliance.org.