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Update on future Journey to the Homeland Tours sponsored by the North Dakota State University Libraries

To: Persons interested in the Journey to the Homeland Tours

From: Michael M. Miller, Germans from Russia Bibliographer
Tour Director, Journey to the Homeland Tours

Usually, a successful Journey to the Homeland Tour will produce supplemental revenue for the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection. Such revenue is used to help continue the tour program and support projects for the collection such as the addition of materials to the collection itself, the Oral History Interviews, and traveling exhibits.

Best regards from Fargo and from the North Dakota State University campus.

We are pleased that there continues to be such a growing interest to visit Odessa, Ukraine and the former Bessarabian, Black Sea, and Crimean German villages.

Our Journey to the Homeland Tours to Odessa, Ukraine and to Stuttgart, Germany, have been sponsored since June, 1996. We have now offered seven tours since 1996.

Dates for the next tour will be 23 May - 4 June 2001. This tour includes the following: 1) 23 - 30 May, Odessa, Ukraine, and the former Bessarabian, Black Sea and Crimean German villages; 2) 30 May - 4 June, 2001, Stuttgart, Germany including 1 June for a day-trip to Alsace France, and 2 June for the large Germans from Russia gathering called the Bundestreffen at Messe-Killesberg, Stuttgart.

The primary city of departure will be O'Hare International Airport, Chicago via Austrian Airlines. Tour memers from throughout the USA and Canada are normally expected to travel from their city of departure to Chicago.

It is important that each tour member visit their ancestral German villages in the former Bessarabia or the Black Sea German villages near Odessa, Ukraine. We make every effort for this to happen. Excellent contacts in Odessa have been established with Odessa Intourist, guides, drivers and translators.

E-mail messages from St. Petersburg, Odessa and Stuttgart were prepared by tour members during their memorable days in Russian, Ukraine and Germany for the 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2000 tours. These e-mail messages appear at the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection website at "Journey to the Homeland Tours: Germany and Ukraine."

The economy and lifestyle in Odessa is quickly changing. We realized considerable improvements in the city and at the Chornye More Hotel where we stayed for the 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2000 tours. We plan to stay at this hotel for the June, 2001 tour. With these rapid changes and U.S. dollar rates, advancements bring some increasing costs for hotels, meals and airfares.

The total tour cost for 2001 is $4,850. The tour package includes the following:

  1. Austrian Airlines - Chicago - Vienna roundtrip.
  2. Austrian Airlines - Vienna - Odessa / Odessa - Vienna - Stuttgart roundtrip.
  3. Hotel lodging in Odessa including breakfast, lunch, dinner and box lunches for village visits.
  4. Hotel lodging in Stuttgart including full buffet breakfast.
  5. Van or Auto transportation to former German villages near Odessa including driver and English translator.
  6. Bus transfers from Odessa and Stuttgart airports to hotel.
  7. Bus tour of Odessa with professional guide.
  8. Bus transfer from Odessa hotel to Odessa State Archives for genealogical research.
  9. Service charges for tour preparations by NDSU Libraries and Odessa Intourist.
  10. Visits in Stuttgart (city tour), and Germans from Russia societies and museums.

Perhaps individual tour members will be able to return from Germany at a later date if they desire. For travel adjustments, please contact the Tour Director.

Travel insurance, visas, and other information will be provided once person has completed the confirmed tour registration forms.

2001 Journey to the Homeland Tour dates:

22 May Chicago - Vienna, Austria (Austrian Airlines)
23 May Vienna, Austria - Odessa, Ukraine (Austrian Airlines)
23 - 30 May Odessa and former German villages
30 May Odessa, Ukraine - Vienna, Austria (Austrian Airlines)
Vienna, Austria - Stuttgart, Germany (Tyrolean Airlines)
30 May - 4 June Stuttgart, Germany and Alsace, France
(including Bundestreffen on 2 June at Killesberg-Messe, Stuttgart)
4 June Stuttgart - Chicago (Austrian Airlines)

If there are family members who wish to join the tour as a group, please notify them so that you persons can join the same tour especially for the visits to the former German villages.

To register for the 22 May - 4 June, 2001 tour, please send your first payment of $500 US payable to Journey to the Homeland Tours to the following address: Journey to the Homeland Tours, Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, NDSU Libraries, PO Box 5599, Fargo, ND 58105-5599. Please note that tour reservations are accepted according to the postmark on the initial check received for payment. We limit each tour group to no more than 30 persons!

For the 22 May - 4 June, 2001 tour, the minimum number of paid tour registrations needs to be 15 or more persons. We will contact persons by March, 2001, regarding plans for the May, 2001 tour if registrations are 14 or less.

We are exploring plans for a Journey to the Homeland tour to the former Crimean villages for 2001, and 2002. We need to know who may be seriously interested in a Crimean tour. The tour will likely include travel to Odessa and then by vans to Crimean area. The tour may also include days in Germany. The total length of tour will be about 14 days.

We have established good e-mail contacts with the German Rebirth Society in Crimea as well as with the university there. They are anxious to share their Ukrainian/German friendship with Americans of Crimean German ancestry.

Please advise if you wish to be placed on our priority list for the tour in the year 2001. To be placed on the May, 2001 tour priority list, a $500 first payment fee is required.

Please print, forward and share the 2001 and 2002 tour information with interested persons.

We hope that you will consider joining us for one of our future Journey to the Homeland Tours. It is truly an unforgettable experience to last a lifetime!

Click here for the 2001 Journey to the Homeland Tour form
Click here for the 2002 Journey to the Homeland Tour form

If you have questions or need additional information, contact:

Michael M. Miller
Journey to the Homeland Tours
North Dakota State University Libraries
PO Box 5599
Fargo ND 58105-5599
Tel: 701-231-8416
Fax: 701-231-7138
E-mail: Michael.Miller@ndsu.edu)

Permission to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested by contacting Michael M. Miller