Are you asking yourself “Why travel with Cornell?”

Are you excited to get started checking off your bucket list? Or have you already been almost everywhere at least once? Either way, traveling with Cornell is a great option for anyone who loves to travel. With forty to sixty curated international and domestic departures annually to choose from, if there’s somewhere you want to go, it’s very likely we’re going there!

The people who travel with us are extremely interesting—like you!

It can be a hassle to plan your own trip. When you travel with Cornell Alumni Travel or Cornell’s Adult University, you save yourself the hassle of planning. But also, you get the benefit of unique itineraries by our award-winning partner companies. Our partners are deeply invested in providing high quality experiences for alumni, family, and friends. Additionally—and we don’t mean to brag—the people who travel with us are extremely interesting—like you!

Q: Will this be your first group tour?  A: Just the first of many!

But—especially if you’ve never taken a group tour before—you may have a lot of questions about what to expect. Are you wondering if this type of educational, small group travel is for you? Are you also wondering whether you are eligible to take our tours, even if you are not an alum of the university? Or are you wondering, among other things, if these trips are overly Cornell focused?

We know you have questions so we’ve gathered some of the most frequent questions we hear from people who are thinking about traveling with us and provided answers below. If you don’t see your question, please be sure to reach out!

Let’s turn “Why travel with Cornell?” into “When can I travel with Cornell?”

Thanks so much for your interest. We hope this helps to give you more insight into what we offer and we look forward to traveling with you soon!

What’s the difference between Cornell Alumni Travel and CAU?

  • CAU is Cornell's Adult University and offers a special, niche type of highly customized travel. Every CAU tour features at least one Cornell faculty person. These tours are great for people who want to learn in depth on tours related to a faculty person’s specific expertise, which may include history, ornithology, play writing, art--the sky's the limit!

  • On the other hand, Cornell Alumni Travel offerings are immersive journeys with broad appeal. While they do not feature faculty, your group may be accompanied by a Cornell staff person.

Is it expensive?

  • travel photo

    By and large, traveling on a group tour with Cornell alumni, family, and friends is quite affordable compared to if you spent the time and effort to put together the same itinerary for yourself. Our travel partners have optimized for price and value. You win in this situation because not only is it logistically easier to take a group tour, but it also compares favorably in price to a self-planned trip and may likely turn out to be cheaper.

Is everyone who travels with you a Cornell graduate?

  • mother and baby rhino

    Our tours are open to everybody, including alumni, family, and friends. That means if you’re reading this right now—no matter who you are—our tours are open to you, your family, and your friends. In practice, we see about 45% of our travelers are alumni, while the other 55% are non-alumni partners, Cornell parents of current students or alumni, friends, and even neighbors. The vibe of our groups is welcoming, inclusive, and curious. You will fit right in!

Does every tour have a professor on it?

  • yellow church in Mexico

    No. Only the tours in our niche brand “CAU” feature Cornell faculty. Our other tours may feature a Cornell staff member. Every tour is accompanied by a destination expert provided by our partner companies, who serves as the logistical manager throughout.

How big are the groups?

  • Land tours tend to include about 22–28 people. If a cruise is part of your tour, your group of 22–28 may be on a ship with other groups from peer universities, in which case your Cornell group will be together for excursions, special Cornell receptions, and have a reserved but optional seating area for meals onboard. In some cases, Cornell may offer an exclusively chartered cruise; for instance, a 40-person sailing through the Galapagos Islands.

Which companies do you partner with?

  • You can learn more about Cornell Alumni Travel’s well-vetted, award-winning partners and read guest testimonials. We’ll be sharing CAU partners soon, as well!

Be honest, is it really Cornell-y?

  • Australian coastline

    Every group differs and you can always tailor your experience to your own taste. Yes, we have been known to sing the Cornell alma mater on the top of a Saharan sand dune while sipping champagne at sunset. And sometimes we might play Cornell trivia on a long bus ride. But for the most part, Cornell is just a starting point—a way to get your group together—so you can take off for adventures around the world!

Are you ready to pick out your trip?

  • We offer tours throughout the year. Check out our "Browse by dates" page to see when we're going to your bucket list destinations.

Have another question?


Join our mailing list

Sign up for regular updates from CAU and Cornell Alumni Travel and never miss a trip.