Two prime 2019 travel destinations – to explore the history and culture of Italy, and to enjoy an acclaimed Dutch-inspired tulip festival in Michigan – will be previewed by the Citizens Bank Travel Club at a special meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 11, at the Citizens Bank Annex, 285 E. College, in Batesville.
Every month, the travel club transports bank customers and guests to a variety of regional events and activities, and the club also schedules one major domestic trip and one premium international trip each year.
With input from its more than 400 members, the Travel Club has decided to tour “Classic Italy by Rail” in October 2019 as its premier international excursion, and also visit the unique Holland Tulip Festival next May in Holland, Mich., as the club’s prime domestic trip.
The Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy
“Classic Italy by Rail,” a 10-day adventure, begins on Oct. 7, 2019. For centuries, Italy was the center of global civilization, and it continues to fascinate with its historic cities, majestic vistas and hill towns that seem to be frozen in time. Citizens Bank travelers will explore Venice, “The City of Canals” for two days; then board a fast train to Florence for three days to visit the Tuscany region cities of Montecatini, Siena and Pisa (home of the Leaning Tower); and then it’s another fast train to Rome for three days to experience more than 2,500 years of history, including the Coliseum, the Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica at Vatican City.
The Grand Hotel on historic Mackinac Island in Michigan.
The acclaimed “Holland Tulip Festival” is the highlight of a nine-day domestic trip, which begins on May 8 in Chicago. Travelers also will experience a two-night stay at the prestigious Grand Hotel on historic Mackinac Island in northern Michigan. The trip will conclude May 16 in Detroit after visits to the Henry Ford Museum and to a Ford plant to watch F150 pickup trucks being assembled.
The remainder of the Travel Club’s 2019 calendar of events will be announced soon.
Recent and upcoming trips
Thirty members of the Citizens Bank Travel Club recently visited Eureka Springs for a three-day excursion to experience the Victorian resort village, which included a tour of Thorncrown Chapel, which was built in a woodland setting, rising 48 feet into the Ozark sky, and is considered “one of the finest religious spaces of modern times.”
Ann Reed, daughter-in-law of the couple that commissioned the construction of the Thorncrown Chapel in 1980, briefs the Citizens Bank Travel Club about the unique facility that is located deep in the Ozark woods near Eureka Springs.
Travel club members also spent two nights at the historic 1886 Crescent Hotel, which is also known as the “Most Haunted Hotel in America.” On one of the popular ghost tours, led by guide Lavoisare Blair Caruthers, the guests traversed each floor of the Crescent Hotel and its spooky basement as they learned about many strange happenings at the hotel over its 132-year history.
Perched high on a hillside, the Crescent Hotel has been recognized as one of America’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Ghost tour guide Lavoisare Blair Caruthers (center) discusses the ghostly occurrences that Crescent Hotel patrons have described over the years. Citizens Bank Travel Club members taking the tour include (from left) Steve and Jane Summers, Sarah Jones, Grace Mullin, Glenda Franks and Carmelyn Kanary.
Travel club member Saundra Shaw of Oil Trough took this photo from the window of a second-floor hotel room in Eureka Springs. Unusual lights shining into the room prompted Shaw to take this photo of what appears to be a skeleton or some type of creature suspended beyond the window.
The Citizens Bank Travel Club next journeys to Mississippi on Sept. 21-14 for the Natchez Fall Pilgrimage, where they will visit numerous antebellum homes, and enjoy lavish dinners and musical performances in some of the mansions.
In just a few weeks, 34 Travel Club members will embark on a 13-day exploration of the Alpine countries of Austria, Germany and Switzerland.
Previous Citizens Bank Travel Club international trips have taken travelers to the lush landscape of Ireland and through the mountains and icefields of the Canadian Rockies.
Domestic adventures have included last year’s journey to The Biltmore Estate near Asheville, N.C. and innumerable visits to interesting sites in and around the state of Arkansas.
There is no fee to become a member of the Citizens Bank Travel Club. Members pay only for their tickets to events, and any meals or lodging that may be involved. For additional information or to join the Citizens Bank Travel Club, contact Chuck Jones by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (870) 698-6233.