We are in the very early stages of planning our 7th BMB International Performance Tour. None of the information below is settled. This page serves only to give you an idea of what we are thinking so you can start your own planning process.
Background. The BMB takes a major international performance tour every other year (even numbered years.) Our most recent trip was in January 2018 to Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Bali. Our upcoming trip is scheduled for January 2020. At this time our most likely destination is Autralia and New Zealand. Our trips are not the typical "band trip" to Europe for 10 days. We push the envelope and explore place that most people aren't likely to visit more than once in their lives. Our typical trip lasts between 13 and 19 days. 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.
Reservations: Please put yourself on the preliminary travel roster by filling out the survey here. Please copy and paste this URL into your browser.
Dates: The length of the trip is roughly 18 days, departing from Eau Claire around January 12 Classes begin on February 4 so we will be back in plenty of time. The exact trip dates will depend on the available and the price of the cruise that best fits our needs. Unfortunately, we can't order a cruise ship on any day we want it, going wherever we want. The prices vary greatly depending on the departure date so keeping the price within our budget means we don't have much control over the travel calendar.
Cost: Our budget goal this year is $3100. At this point this is just a goal. That cost can't be guaranteed until spring 2019. 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 pay for the trip.
Weather: Australia and New Zealand are south of the equator so January is mid summer. This will be a warm weather vacation.
Performances: We will perform onboard the ship and an additional 2-3 times in Sydney.
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.
Here is ONE PRELIMINARY projection of what the trip may look like.
This proposed itinerary is based on an itinerary from Royal Caribbean. It is our most likely cruise choice.