2020 International Performance Tour

Australia & New Zealand

My favorite part of BMB was going on the International trip to Southeast Asia, especially Phuket, with the band and getting to experience new cultures and places with my friends.
— Vanessa Larson - Mellophone Section Leader
 
 

Background

The BMB takes a major international performance tour every other year (even numbered years.)  Our trips are never the typical band trip to a common location which lasts for about 10 days.  Instead, we push the envelope and explore exotic places that most people aren't likely to visit more than once in their lives. Our tours typically last 14-19 days. Our most recent trip was to Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Bali in January 2018.  Our upcoming trip, scheduled for January 2020 is a 19-day adventure to Australia and New Zealand.  While we can't guarantee the budget this far in advance we always work toward a budget of around $3,000.  This trip will present a challenge to stay within that budget but we will do our best.

One of the ways we get our price so low is by performing on cruise ships.  Cruising not only lowers the cost per day and allows you to see a higher number of locations, it allows ensures that your meals are covered.  BMB has a unique relationship with Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Lines and we are fortunate to get some great deals as a part of their onboard entertainment. 

You can count on this being one of the most enjoyable and most exciting trips ever taken by the BMB.

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.  You will be given information and prepped on each port of call but you will be basically free at each port to explore the location with your friends.  Unlike Bali this trip will probably not have any built in excursions.

Dates

The length of the trip is roughly 19 days, departing from Eau Claire around January 12. Classes begin on February 4 so we will be back in plenty of time. The cruise dates are January 18-30.

Cost

Our budget goal this year is $3100.  At this point this is just a goal.  That cost can't be guaranteed until spring.  This is the basic package for quad occupancy student rate.  It 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.  The price for adult, non-student guest is $300 higher.  Double rooms, suites, balcony rooms, etc. will also be available but they can get expensive. 

Credit

You may receive academic credit for participating in the trip.  Registering for the trip course is optional.  To complete the course you will have to attend 5 informational seminars and write a reflective statement after the trip.  Registering for the course may also allow you to apply for financial aid to help you pay for the trip.

Weather

Australia and New Zealand are in the southern hemisphere, so January is mid-summer.  While this will be primarily a warm weather vacation the temperature will be quite varied in different locations.  The average daily high in Sydney (January) is 78 degrees.  However, this trip will also take us to the southernmost point of New Zealand where the weather is considerably cooler.  At that point we will be only 3,000 miles from the edge of Antarctica.  This part of the trip will be similar to an Alaskan cruise or a cruise of the Norwegian fjords.  The scenery is spectacular and the average daily high temperature is only 59 degrees.  For reference search Milford Sound, Dusky Sound, and Doubtful Sound.

Average January Temperatures

Eau Claire          high 22 low 4
Sydney                high 78 low 66
Auckland             high 74 low 61
Dunedin              high 63 low 54
Milford Sound    high 59 low 41

Performances

We will perform onboard the ship and an additional 2 times in Sydney.  We have requested permission to play on the grounds of the Sydney Opera House.

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 Sydney before us. 

Link to the Royal Caribbean cruise

Proposed Itinerary leaving on January 12, 2020

Jan 12—Leave Eau Claire
Jan 13—Lost day due to date line (change planes)
Jan 14—Arrive in Sydney
Jan 15—Sydney
Jan 16—Sydney
Jan 17—Sydney (Opera House concerts)
Jan 18—Sydney & board ship
Jan 19—At Sea
Jan 20—At Sea (concerts)
Jan 21—Cruise Milford Sound, Dusky Sound & Doubtful Sound
Jan 22—Dunedin (Port Chalmers), New Zealand
Jan 23—Akaroa, New Zealand (Christchurch)
Jan 24—At Sea (concerts)
Jan 25—Auckland, New Zealand
Jan 26—Tauranga, New Zealand
Jan 27—Bay of Islands, New Zealand
Jan 28—At Sea (concerts)
Jan 29—At Sea
Jan 30—Arrive in Sydney, Australia
Flight departure PM
Jan 31—Arrive in USA

Where has the BMB been?

London, England
Paris, France
Barcelona, Spain
Palma, Mallorca
Palermo, Sicily
Cagliari, Italy
Naples, Italy
Rome, Italy
Florence, Italy
Milan, Italy
Venice, Italy
Athens, Greece
Olympia, Greece
Izmir, Turkey
Istanbul, Turkey
Haifa, Israel
Jerusalem, Israel
Tokyo, Japan
Shanghai, China
Singapore, Singapore
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Penang, Malaysia
Langkawi, Malaysia
Phuket, Thailand
Bali, Indonesia
St. Louis, Missouri
Chicago, Illinois
Indianapolis, Indiana
Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Minneapolis, Minnesota