Lamar University will initiate its Alumni and Friends travel program in May 2011 with a nine-day trip to Normandy and Paris.

Through the new LU program, travelers will encounter the life, people, history, art, architecture, food, wine and culture of the region and city. “The expertly planned itinerary balances the benefits of group travel with leisure time and best of all, participants will travel amid the camaraderie of Lamar University alumni and friends,” said Camille Mouton, vice president for university advancement.

Participation in the program is not limited to Lamar University alumni, Mouton said. “Making great trips available for our alumni and friends is one tangible way we can say ‘thank you’ for the terrific support they have given to Lamar University,” said Juan Zabala, executive director of alumni affairs.

“This inaugural trip and those planned in the future are not only opportunity to share experiences with wonderful fellow alumni and supporters of Lamar, they also provide exceptional educational opportunities that will enlarge our experiences and enrich our lives. We hope a great number of alumni and friends will be able to participate for the years to come.”

The nine-day trip begins May 1 and includes six nights in Normandy and two nights in Paris. The package includes excursions, educational opportunities and time for independent exploration. The cost of the trip is $3,070 including taxes, but not airfare. An early booking discount of $250 applies for those who sign up before Dec. 21. The inaugural tour in the program is limited to 36 travelers.

The tour includes accommodations for six nights in Honfleur at the first-class Mercure Honfleur Hotel, and two nights in Paris at the first-class Hotel Jules Paris. An extensive meal program includes eight breakfasts, four lunches and four dinners. Plenty of leisure time is also available to try local cuisine independently, and opportunity to sample authentic regional specialties at featured local restaurants.

Local experts will provide insights into the region through informative educational programs as participants explore Honfleur, Graindorge, Chateau de Breuil, Lisieux, Giverny, Rouen, Bayeux and Caen. The tour will include travel to historic D-Day beaches and many of the sights of Paris. Travelers will benefit from English-speaking local guides and a professional campus director. Tipping of excursion guides and drivers is included.

Reservations for the tour can be made by calling (800) 323-7373. AHI Travel also can assist in making flight arrangements. For questions about the tour, or the new Alumni and Friends Travel Program, call the University Advancement office at (409) 880-8419 or visit on the Internet. – 30- — Brian Sattler Director, Public Relations Lamar University (409) 880-8396 (409) 880-1873 (fax)