C.T. Campbell, a Luray native, calls upon more than 30 years of experience to teach aspiring anglers how to track down fish during private fly-fishing trips. Small groups of up to four trek to a private 1-mile stretch of the Shenandoah River, where they can cast for fish and take in the scenic vistas of Shenandoah National Park and the Blue Ridge Mountains. With all gear and equipment provided, visitors can concentrate on reeling in smallmouth bass and trout as C.T. takes care of all the lines, leaders, flies, and tackle. C.T. welcomes fishers of all skill levels and teaches the fundamental flies of this active style of fishing. Page Valley Fly Fishing Service practices catch-and-release fishing, so fishers will have to return their catches to the majestic river unless they can convince trophy fish to become animatronic singers mounted to their home-office walls.
The state- and NRA-certified instructors at MMTA Firearms Training Academy put safety above all else. In accommodating students, they facilitate both mobile and onsite training in classes and private lessons. These gatherings take place at locales such as nearby ranges and hotel conference rooms, where the instructors lead courses such as the NRA FIRST Steps Pistol Orientation along with lessons in specialized topics such as rifle shooting, personal protection, and training to become a range safety officer.
For almost three decades, the Lynchburg Symphony Orchestra has harnessed the melodious power of strings, horns, woodwinds, and percussion to re-create classical pieces and vivify modern works. Shows speckle the schedule throughout the year, welcoming duos for “Date Night!” performances, delighting the senses with songs by local choirs, and celebrating snowmen’s birthdays with classic holiday tunes.
In an annual event hosted by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation and the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, community members gather to listen to lectures on gardening, view cooking demonstrations, swap seeds, and taste local heirloom produce.
Monticello's columns and two-story windows form the backdrop as vendors and gardening experts discuss sustainable farming and healthy-food preparation throughout the estate’s West Lawn, vegetable garden, and LEED-certified visitor center. The master gardeners and chefs share sustainable gardening tips with a full day of workshops, while patrons sample fresh produce at the tasting tent and munch on barbecue, crêpes, and donuts at vendor tents. Throughout the day, local musicians strum guitars, and kids' programs keep miniature gardeners occupied with old-fashioned hoop-rolling games and a garden scavenger hunt.
On August 15, 1969, Sri Swami Satchidananda spoke at the opening ceremony of the Woodstock music festival, calling music “the celestial sound that controls the whole universe.” Devoting his life to the pursuit of unity, he founded Satchidananda Ashram - Yogaville, located on the banks of the James River with a distant view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Encompassing more than 600 acres of wooded landscape, the community provides a retreat for practitioners of varied skill levels who join one another to relax and practice the tenets of Integral Yoga, a synthesis of six branches of yoga developed by Sri Swami Satchidananda. At the center, the Satchidananda Ashram houses five sacred sites, including the Light of Truth Universal Shrine, or LOTUS, in which altars for every major religion let visitors of all faiths discover their personal enlightenment. Committed to the harmonious teachings of Sri Swami Satchidananda, the ashram’s instructors carry on the founder’s legacy by leading everything from workshops to multiple-day retreats.
The Institute for Shipboard Education was born from an idea to create a floating campus that reflected the ideals of the United Nations and the realities of globalization. As Chinese shipping magnate C.Y. Tung put it, “Ships can transport more than cargo—they can carry ideas.” From humble beginnings, the program went on to attract world-famous guest speakers including Mikhail Gorbachev, Mother Teresa, and Nelson Mandela. Today, the cruising university onboard the MV Explorer offers two-week Enrichment Voyages for learners of all ages, with educational programming that digs deep into each port of call's culture and history. This 15-day cruise incorporates both lectures and hands-on exploration as it passes along Mexico’s Baja peninsula toward the Isthmus of Panama and Ecuador. At each port on the itinerary, available excursions range from dive trips to volunteer service projects, such as plastering houses or feeding kindergarteners (additional fees apply for shore trips). Or you can set off on your own, armed with knowledge acquired from the recommended reading list.Days 1–3: After cruising from Ensenada, Mexico, to the southern tip of the Baja peninsula, the ship anchors at Cabo San Lucas. El Arco, the city’s iconic seaside arch, forms a scenic backdrop for a day of kayaking and snorkeling.Day 6: Puerto Quetzal in Guatemala lies within easy range of Antigua, named an UNESCO World Heritage Site for its well-preserved baroque architecture. It's ringed by mountains playing a very slow-moving game of duck-duck-goose. Day 7: Nicaragua’s largest Pacific port, Corinto, borders León, an old-world town dotted with 17th-century Spanish colonial churches such as the Cathedral of the Assumption.Days 9–10: Balboa, Panama, stands at the entrance to the Panama Canal—still an engineering marvel. The nearby overflow reservoir, Gatún Lake, is home to crocodiles, iguanas, and sloths.Days 12–13: Dipping toward South America, the ship docks at Manta, Ecuador, a trade city dating to pre-Columbian times. Pounding waves on Playa Murciélago create attractive surfing conditions.Day 15: The journey concludes at Puntarenas, Costa Rica, leaving you free to explore inland rainforests or head home. During each day at sea, college professors and other experts lead a string of seminars. Subjects are as varied as marine ecology, cultural anthropology, and photojournalism, and they often relate to the next port of call. The ship retains vestiges of its former life as a commercial liner. There are barstools in the 9,000-volume library, for instance, testifying to the space's former role as the ship's tavern. Despite the emphasis on education, there’s still plenty of relaxation aboard. The Wellness Center spa offers massages, manicures, and other pampering services. Nightly live entertainment offerings include an all-male a cappella group, a magician, and staged readings of old Love Boat scripts. During the day, you can even skip class to lounge by the pool, located on deck 7.See the full trip overview for more information.Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.