Autumn colors along the Hudson River Valley form the backdrop to this popular cruise. Included is a private visit to Olana—the magnificent Persian-style home of Hudson River School painter Frederic Church—and Springwood, home of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Other highlights include Eleanor Roosevelt’s Val-Kill, the Rockefeller’s Kykuit mansion, Lyndhurst, one of America’s finest Gothic Revival mansions and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
Grace Gary, an architectural historian with degrees from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College and the University of Virginia, is a veteran leader of more than 30 Trust tours. Most recently she served as the executive director of Nemours Mansion and Gardens in Wilmington, DE, where she oversaw an award-winning, multi-year, $70 million restoration of building and gardens. She and fellow National Trust lecturer Dwight Young are the authors of Nemours: A Portrait of Alfred I. DuPont’s House. Grace also is the author of two volumes in the Trust’s “Information” series and has also served as director of the Trust’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Office, Preservation PA, and Longue Vue House and Gardens. She was the first director of Colonial Williamsburg’s Tourism Leadership Center. Grace has led more than forty tours over thirty years to countries on four continents.
Saturday, October 19
New York City/West Point, NY
Arrive independently in New York City and board the M.V. American Star. Have lunch onboard the ship followed by a delightful afternoon touring the city. As the most populous city in the United States, each of New York City’s five boroughs is unique in its own special way. You’ll experience the sights, sounds, and history of the city and discover why it has often been referred to as the culture capital of the world. The tour ends at the National September 11th Memorial’s twin reflecting pools to honor the fallen victims of that tragic day. Enjoy the beautiful fall foliage along the Hudson River and an introductory lecture by architectural historian Dwight Young. Each evening, enjoy a lavish reception and multi-choice dinner aboard the ship. (L/R/D)
Sunday, October 20
West Point, NY
Take a guided tour of the United States Military Academy at West Point. Established in 1802, the Academy has a long, noble history dating back to the Revolutionary War. Visit the scenic overlook of Trophy Point—formerly the site of West Point graduation ceremonies and now the subject of numerous works of art. You’ll also see Cadet Chapel, known for its great pipe organ and stunning Gothic Revival architecture. Lastly, the Plain is West Point’s official parade grounds and has been used for drills, military maneuvers, and ceremonies for hundreds of years.
Monday, October 21
Wake up to a wonderful breakfast and visit Olana, the magnificent Persian-style home of one of the most influential Hudson River School painters, Frederic Church. Hailed by many as the queen of the Hudson Valley estates, this massive mansion has gorgeous views, 250-acre grounds, and contains over 800 pieces from Church’s art collection.
Tuesday, October 22
Tour Albany, New York’s famous capital city known for its extensive history, culture, architecture, and institutions of higher education. You’ll get the opportunity to explore the New York State Capitol building that was originally built in the late 1800s. The building is a shining example of French Renaissance style and was one of the most lavish structures from 19th-century America. A National Historic Landmark, the capitol building remains as one of the last great monumental structures built entirely from masonry. Additionally, visit the New York State Museum and its huge collection containing a working New York State carousel, the prehistoric Mastodon, and artifacts from the World Trade Center. Exhibits include Harlem in the 1920s, New York State transportation, Coney Island, gems and minerals, and the State’s industry. (B/L/R/D)
Wednesday, October 23
During the morning, visit the Roosevelt National Historic Site, which includes the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and his birthplace. This 35-room Roosevelt family estate called Springwood is set on 300 acres overlooking the river, and is a fitting legacy to the only U.S. President to serve a total of four terms. In the afternoon have your choice of visiting New York’s original capital, Kingston, where dozens of prerevolutionary stone houses remain standing and occupied. A large amount of the city is protected as a historic district, including the 1676 Senate House, the oldest public building in America and the place where the first roots of the American Revolution began. Visit the Old Dutch Church, one of the oldest churches still standing since it was built in 1659. Alternatively, take a special visit to Val-Kill, a National Historic Site dedicated to Eleanor Roosevelt, who was well known for her legendary community service and outreach programs. (B/L/R/D)
Thursday, October 24
Yonkers, NY/Sleepy Hollow, NY/New York City, NY
Begin the day with a private visit at Lyndhurst (1838). Alexander Jackson Davis designed the Gothic Revival mansion on 67 acres overlooking the Hudson. The grandeur of Lyndhurst, with its picturesque lawns and collection of Victorian decorative arts was built for William Paulding, mayor of New York City and subsequently owned by railroad magnate Jay Gould, whose daughter Anna, Duchess of Talleyrand-Perigord, bequeathed the mansion to the National Trust. In the afternoon, enjoy a trip to Kykuit (KYE-kut), the palatial estate in Pocantico Hills and National Trust Historic Site that was home to three generations of the Rockefeller family. It was Nelson Rockefeller who bequeathed this 40-room Colonial Revival mansion to the National Trust. See the family’s wonderful collection of antiques and art, and view the lovely inner garden. From the ship, you’ll view iconic New York City sights such as the Statue of Liberty, Manhattan’s stunning skyline, and the cliffs of the Palisade Mountains.
Friday, October 25
New York City, NY
Our program concludes this morning in Manhattan. Disembarkation is at 8:00 a.m. (B)