17:00 PM

Valley City 8th Grader Wins Educational European River Cruise

Students, chaperones will fly to Amsterdam and sail through Belgium, Netherlands in March

Media Downloads: B-Roll / Sound Bites / Promotional Video

A Valley City student has won an educational river cruise in Europe though AAA-The Auto Club Group's Discovery Crew Contest.

Kylie Van Bruggen, along with her father, Tyler, will join 59 other 8th grade students and their chaperones on the trip in March. They will join up with the group in Amsterdam, then sail together on an AmaWaterways river cruise through Belgium and the Netherlands.

AAA partnered with AmaWaterways and Allianz Global Assistance to provide the river cruise, flights, travel insurance, and money for passports. This is the second time AAA – The Auto Club Group has hosted this contest.

This contest was open to all 8th graders throughout the 14 states that AAA – The Auto Club Group serves. A total of 60 winners were selected. The students entered the contest by answering three essay questions and submitting a selfie showing their passion for travel.

"We were amazed by the passionate responses from the many students who expressed their interest in going on this trip," said Debbie Haas, Vice President of Travel for AAA – The Auto Club Group. "The winners chosen are different in many ways, but each shares a similar enthusiasm for travel.

"Soon these students will immerse themselves in different cultures and see what it's like to be an 8th grader in two different countries," added Haas. "The students who attended the previous trip called it a life-changing experience, so we are excited to share this opportunity with another group of people."

During the trip, students will follow a custom-designed itinerary with ports of call and shore excursions focused on learning about local history, art, science, nature, and food. Besides sampling local cuisine and visiting historic landmarks like the Anne Frank House, students will enjoy tours that allow them to live out their passion for travel, like riding bicycles near the world-famous Holland windmills. On a more personal level, they will meet students at two different schools to see what life is like as an 8th grader in Belgium and the Netherlands.