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In January 2018 the BMB will embark upon its 6th International Performance Tour. You can count on this being one of the most enjoyable and most exotic trips ever taken by the BMB.
Many people use the term "the trip of a lifetime" to describe a trip to Europe or the Carribbean. This time the term "trip of a lifetime" is really accurate. Never again will you be offerred an 18 day trip to the other side of the world for such a small price. This is your chance to travel to truly exotic destinations with 200 of your friends and to do so safely and comfortably. You can even bring your non-BMB friend or family member.
Traveling internationally with the BMB is a little different from what you may have experienced traveling with other bands or choirs. The number of destinations and sites you'll visit is staggering. You'll have a lot of free time to explore these sites on your own.
Reservations: The trip roster is set at 204 travelers. This includes 198 travelers on our Turkish Air flight plus 6 others who are on different reservations.
Dates: The length of the trip is roughly 18 days, departing from Eau Claire on December 30. Classes begin on January 29 so we will be back with almost 2 weeks to spare. This trip is much longer than past BMB trips so you'll be getting more for your money.
Cost: The cost of the basic package is $3150. This will include airfare, ground transportation, cruise, hotel, tours, and most meals. It also takes care of all of extra costs such as shipping our equipment, transportation to the airport, taxes, port charges, and gratuities. Parents, alums, and friends are welcome to go on the trip as guests of BMB members.
Credit: You may receive academic credit for participating in the trip. Registering for the trip course is optional but we are applying to ULEC to have it count as a university LE requirement. Details later. To complete the course you will have to attend 5 informational seminars and write a reflective statement after the trip. Registering for the course also allows you to apply for financial aid to pay for the trip.
Weather: Singapore is just 88 miles north of the equator so the weather is consistent all year round. The daily high is 86 and the low is 73. Bali's weather is similar. Kuala Lumpur and Phuket are slightly warmer. While January is considered "monsoon" season that doesn't mean it rains all the time. Be prepared for sudden showers but they come and go. It rains even in paradise.
Excursions: In most of the ports you will be able to walk off the ship and directly to the attractions without purchasing any excurions. Singapore and Phuket are best discovered on your own and for the most part, at very little cost to you. You'll even be able to reboard the ship for lunch. The BMB will, however, provide excursions and tours in the locations where they are needed. For instance, Bali and Kuala Lumpur will require a little more assitance from us so we will arrange tours. The price of the Kuala Lumpur excursion is included in your tour package. It will include a trip to Batu Caves and the downtown towers. Due to the geography of Bali the BMB will arrange two other excursions for a modest add-on cost. These excursions will include sites such as the volcano, Hindu temples coffee plantations, the monkey park, a Balinese Gamelan performance, etc. Our hotel is located on the famous Kuta Beach.
Performances: We will perform onboard the ship and an additional 2-3 times in Singapore. Our shows will be stand-still performances (plus choregraphy but no drill.) We will not take large equipment to Bali so there will be no performances there. At the end of the regular BMB season the Trip band will continue to meet once a week to rehearse our stage show in preparation for the tour.
Incoming freshmen are welcome and encouraged to travel. Please identify yourself on the BMB application as a potential traveler. (The final question on application asks this question.)
Large equipment (drum line, sousaphones, baritones, tenor saxes) will not be carried on the airlines. It will be shipped in advance and will arrive in Singapore before we do. When we disembark the ship on January 12 we will leave the equipment in Singapore to be picked up and shipped back to Eau Claire. We will fly to Denpasar with basic luggage and small instruments only. Large equipment will arrive in Eau Claire later.
Point of Clarification
There are 3 major segments of the trip : 1. Singapore 2. the Cruise to Malaysia and Thailand 3. Bali
I usually refer to the 3rd segment as "Bali" but you may also hear it referred to as Denpasar, Kuta, or Indonesia. They are all correct. The airport is in the city of Denpasar (DPS), Kuta is the resort village where our hotel is, Bali is the name of the island, and the country is Indonesia.
No excursions provided. You can explore on your own.
Langkawi - 1 day in port
No excursions provided. You can explore on your own.
Beaches and natural beauty
Phuket - 2 days in port
No excursions provided. Phuket is one of the highlights of the trip. While you will be able to plan your two-day stay on your own you will be given plenty of information and suggestions in advance. You can spend time on the beaches or you can combine your resources for inexpensive taxis to places such as Phang Nga bay, Sea Caves, etc.
BMB will arrange two optional excursions while we are in Bali. The cost will be minimal. If you go on both of these excursions you'll still have an additional day to spend time on the beaches or explore Kuta on your own.
Jan 6 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (7am - 6pm) excursion
Jan 7 Penang, Malaysia (9am - 6pm)
Jan 8 Langkawi, Malaysia (7am - 6pm)
Jan 9 Phuket, Thailand (arrives 7am)
Jan 10 Pkuket, Thailand (leaves 5pm)
Jan 11 Day at Sea
Jan 12 Singapore (arrives 8am)
Fly from Singapore
(flight #1 leaves at 11:50am. flight #2 leaves at 4:55pm)
Arrive in Denpasar, Bali at either 2:40pm or 7:50pm
Jan 13 Bali optional excursion
Jan 14 Bali optional excursion
Jan 15 Bali
Jan 16 Leave Denpasar at either 7:25am or 3:40pm
Transfer in Singapore. Flight leaves approximately midnight
Jan 17 Arrive in Chicago around 5pm. Bus to Eau Claire
* Roundtrip coach transportation from Eau Claire to Chicago O'Hare
* Roundtrip airfare from Chicago to Singapore
* Roundtrip airfare from Singapore to Denpasar, Bali
* Four Hotel nights in Singapore
* Four Hotel nights in Kuta, Bali
* Complete cruise package
7 nights quad occupancy onboard the Mariner of the Seas
All meals, entertainment, etc.
Paid port charges
* All ground transportation
To and from airports, hotels, performance sites, cruise port etc.
* Excursion and tour in Kuala Lumpur
Excursions There will be two optional excursions in Bali. Each excursion will last most of the day and will probably cost around $40 each. You can opt to do none, one, or both. I am familiar with these locations so I will present the group with options and I'll plan the excursions based on the interest of the group. Each day will include multiple attractions from the list of the left.
Accommodations The price includes quad occupancy staterooms onboard the ship and double occupancy rooms in the hotels. You will have the option of upgrading to a double room on the ship for an extra fee.