Road Scholar : Home
Amazon Explorer

Program Number: 19625RJ
Start and End Dates:
11/26/2013 - 12/22/2013; 11/19/2014 - 12/18/2014;
Duration: 26 nights
Location: United States/French Guiana/Brazil/St. Barts/St. Vincent & The Grenadines/Barbados/Aruba
Price starting at: $7,799.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Ocean Cruises
Meals: 77; 26 Breakfasts, 25 Lunches, 26 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Journey into the heart of the Amazon as you sail along its legendary river, meet local people who inhabit many of its islands and see plant and animal species that make this region like no other. Excursions to St. Lucia, Curacao, Tobago, Guadaploupe and Barbados offer a first-hand look into the natural beauty of these exquisite islands.




Activity Particulars

Participants must be able to walk up and down the gangway, uneven terrain and some travel on bumpy roads and rustic boats throughout program.



Itinerary At-a-Glance

Ft Lauderdale, Florida, 1 night; Aboard ms Prinsendam, 12 nights; Amazon Jungle, 1 night; aboard ms Prinsendam, 13 nights.



Days 1-5: Arrival Fort Lauderdale / embark ms Prinsendam / At Sea / St. Thomas, USVI

Sail along the Florida Straits and the Caribbean Sea
before arriving in St. Thomas. Learn the history of this United States territory, from the Dutch Colonial period, to it's role in World War II, until the present day.



Days 6-8:
Basse Terre, Guadaloupe / Castries, St. Lucia / Bridgetown, Barbados

Explore Napoleon's Fort on the island of Guadeloupe. Visit Pigeon Cove with a local historian and drive along the panoramic views of St. Lucia. Wind your way through the greenery of Fisherpond Sugar Cane Estate and Coffee Gully via 4x4 open-back jeeps.



Days 9-12: At Sea / Devil's Island, French Guiana / At Sea / Macapa, Brazil

Explore the fascinating history of Devil's Island, a French Penal colony, on your own. Board a traditional Amazon boat to visit small villages along this magnificent river.



Days 13-21: Santarem / Boca da Valeria / Amazon Jungle / Jungle Trekking / Parintins / Alter do Chao / Amazon Cruising / At Sea

Discover the “meeting of the waters,” an unusual phenomenon that occurs when the Amazon and Tapajós rivers meet. Visit the Monkey Forest, a center for rehabilitation and
re-introduction of wild animals. Stroll through St. Lucia Aboretum to learn more about the flora and fauna of the Amazon.



Days 22-23: Scarborough, Tobago / At Sea

Meet local Tobagonians at the local market. Snorkel in Buccoo Reef, one of the most accessible reefs in the Caribbean.



Days 24-25: Willemstad, Curacao / At Sea

From Willemstad, explore the island of Curacao from the Boka Tabla National Park to the beautifully restored Tula Museum.



Day 26-27: At Sea/Ft. Lauderdale/disembark/departure


ms Prinsendam

Designed expressly to explore the rare corners of the world, the Prinsendam accommodates fewer than 800 guests, offering the intimate feel of a yacht with the spaciousness of a large cruise ship



Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Peter Alden

Peter Alden is a world renowned naturalist, lecturer, ecotourism expert and author of 15 books on American and African wildlife, including the National Audubon Society’s Regional Field Guide Series. He is considered to be an authority on birds and larger mammals of the world and is often consulted by the media for his expertise. Peter is also a highly entertaining and widely sought after lecturer on topics that include world wildlife, the Polar regions and biodiversity of the northeast.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   MS Prinsendam
  ms Prinsendam, At Sea 12 nights
   Amazon Eco Park Jungle Lodge
  Amazon Jungle, Brazil 1 night
   MS Prinsendam
  ms Prinsendam, At Sea 13 nights
 MS Prinsendam
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: Designed to explore the remote corners of the world in elegance and style, the ms Prinsendam is our most intimate ship. Accommodating just 835 passengers, she gives guests the feel of a classic yacht with the spaciousness of a cruise ship. The ms Prinsendam offers many cozy areas in which to find your favorite spot, most of her staterooms feature commanding ocean views and many have private verandahs. A special signature sculpture dominates the three-story atrium featuring etched fish, turtles and dolphins climbing a stunning cylinder of Bolle glass and lit with state-of-the-art fiber optics. Other works of art include a remarkable abstract marble sculpture of a Viking ship by contemporary Norwegian artist Nicholas Widerberg, a series of paintings by impressionist painter Neil Pinkett, and an outstanding collection of Roman Amphorae from 50 - 150 AD. The ms Prinsendam, or "Princes" ship, is truly a classic ship worthy of her name.
  Ship Information: Ship's Registry: The Netherlands Passenger capacity: 835 Crew members: 470 Gross Tonnage: 37,983 grt. Length: 669 feet Beam: 106 feet Maximum speed: 22 knots
  Contact info: 300 Elliott Avenue West
Seattle, WA 98119 USA
phone: 206-281-3535
web: www.hollandamerica.com/cruise-vacation-onboard/Prinsendam
  Room amenities: With 25 percent more living space than any other ship in its category, enjoy elegant and refined details such as fine linens, fluffy Egyptian cotton towels and bathrobes, massage showerheads and flat-screen televisions.
  Facility amenities: The ms Prinsendam boasts 22 spacious public rooms, features commanding ocean views in 93 percent of her staterooms and private verandahs in 67 percent of her staterooms. The two-tier La Fontaine Dining Room features impeccable service and an extensive wine list, and offers five-course menus, from continental cuisine to vegetarian and low-carb options. The intimate reservations-only Pinnacle Grill offers an elegant, sophisticated dining experience and features premium hand-selected cuts of Sterling Silver beef, inspired seafood dishes and many select wines rated "Excellent" by Wine Spectator - as well as distinctive Bvlgari china, Riedel stemware and Frette linens. The Lido Restaurant offers a relaxed ambiance for all three meals and features a variety of fresh, cooked-to-order specialties. The Culinary Arts Center, presented by Food & Wine magazine, is the setting for gourmet cooking demonstrations and interactive classes. The Queen's Show Lounge features Las Vegas-style productions, talented vocalists, illusionists, comedians and variety acts.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Amazon Eco Park Jungle Lodge
Type: Lodge
  Description: Ecopark Jungle Lodge is located on the Tarumã River, approximately one hour from the Manaus airport.There is unlimited opportunity for guests to view different bird species, giant trees, exotic orchids, medicinal plants, and much more! All bungalows are comfortable and pleasantly decorated, while maintaining a rustic and original atmosphere.
  Contact info: Avenida Eduardo Ribeiro
Amazon Jungle,  69005-1 Brazil
phone: +55 92 9146 0594
web: www.amazonecopark.com.br/en/the-hotel
  Room amenities: air conditioning, electric showers and screened windows
  Facility amenities: Pier for embarking and disembarking of guests; large open air reception area with bar; handicraft and convenience boutique; open air, thatched roof restaurant (kitchen is open to guests); air conditioned events salon; games salon; air conditioned TV and meeting salon; thatched roof hammock area; 4 natural bathing pools and private beach.There are several fresh water streams, jungle trails with diverse vegetation, including virgin forests, natural savannas, and creeks for canoeing.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Bathroom: All bathrooms have showers only.


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
This program starts in Ft. Lauderdale on Day 1 You will be staying at MS Prinsendam that night.
  End of Program:
The program ends in Ft. Lauderdale on Day 27 You will be staying at MS Prinsendam the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. A Yellow Fever certificate or an official waiver is required to embark the ship. Please consult with you doctor or a travel clinic and check the CDC website for updates.
  Required innoculations:
Yes: A Yellow Fever certificate or an official waiver is required to embark the ship. Please consult with your doctor or a travel clinic and check the CDC website for updates and details of suggested shots. The CDC reports a risk of malaria in the Brazilian Amazon.
  Parking availability:
The Ft. Lauderdale Airport has long term parking available at Airport Economy Parking. Please see the following website for more information: www.fortlauderdaleinternationalairport.com/parking.php
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Taxis are available to the cruise terminal.
To Start of Program
  Location:  ms Prinsendam
  Transportation to site: Transfers from the airport to the ship are included for all participants through Holland America if you are arriving on the group date. Details will be provided in the final mailing sent approximately five weeks prior to departure. Avoid arriving after 2:00PM. The ship is currently scheduled to leave at 5:00PM but this is subject to change. For aid in booking a pre or post program night, please contact Road Scholar Travel Services.
  From End of Program
  Location:  In flight
  Transportation from site: Transfers from the ship to the the airport are provided by the Port Authority. A shuttle is available outside of the cruise terminal and runs every 15 minutes. Avoid scheduling flights prior to 12:30PM. The ship is scheduled to arrive at 7:00AM but this is subject to change.


Required innoculations:

Yes: A Yellow Fever certificate or an official waiver is required to embark the ship. Please consult with your doctor or a travel clinic and check the CDC website for updates and details of suggested shots. The CDC reports a risk of malaria in the Brazilian Amazon.

The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrive Ft. Lauderdale
(Tuesday, November 26)
   
 Afternoon: Arrive Ft. Lauderdale Airport, transfer to the ship to embark. Transfer information will be provided in the final material, but avoid arriving prior to 10AM or later than 3 PM.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: MS Prinsendam
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: At Sea (Florida Straits)
(Wednesday, November 27)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Meet with your group for the scheduled Road Scholar Orientation. This morning we will review the program details take time to introduce each other and review our lecture series.Our study leader's lecture theme is "The Scenic, Cultural and Wildlife Highlights of the Caribbean, the Amazon and South America."
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: Enjoy the rest of the day with your fellow Road Scholar travelers or other passengers and participate in the broad choice of activities, including the ship's special guest speaker series (these are announced in the daily program when on board) Join your group in the late afternoon for a welcome cocktail party hosted by your study leader.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: MS Prinsendam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: At Sea (Caribbean Sea)
(Thursday, November 28)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Enjoy a morning lecture highlighting the underwater marine life of the area while cruising in caribbean waters.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: Aftenoon free to enjoy your choice of ship-board activities or lectures.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: MS Prinsendam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Road Town, Tortola, BVI
(Friday, November 29)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard
 Morning: Discover the island of Tortola by coach.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure in Road Town to explore on your own. Ship departs early evening.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
 Evening: At leisure
   
Accommodations: MS Prinsendam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Gustavia, St. Barts
(Saturday, November 30)

Note: Participants with limited mobility may find it difficult to embark or disembark due to steep gangways and steps.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Disembark and stop first at the lighthouse for a view of the ship at anchor, then head to La Tourmente-the crossroads of St. Bart's where cars and aircraft use the same stretch of road. Visit the salines (salt ponds) that were once the industrial backbone of the island. Enjoy the view at Grand Fond, and head on to Toiny and the home of former ballet dancer Rudolph Noureyev. Visit Marigot, famous for the wine cellar of La Cave, boasting more than 300,000 bottles of wine. The town of Coupe-Gorge (Cutthroat) is named for the unsociable activities of the pirates who occupied the area centuries ago. Take the leeward road past Colombier and Corossol. Return to the ship for lunch, or remain at St. Jean beach to spend more time and return on your own.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard. Alternatively you may want to stay on shore and enjoy lunch on your own.
 Afternoon: Ship departs at 15:00.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: MS Prinsendam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Castries, St. Lucia
(Sunday, December 1)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Enjoy a morning's drive along the panoramic island of St. Lucia, from the capital of Castries on the coast, to the farming community of Baoneau inland. Stop on Pigeon Island, in turn home to Carib Indians, pirates and the British Navy. Take a walk with a local historian through the ruins on the island. Then meet with a minister of the government who will explain the political system of St. Lucia.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: Enjoy the rest of the day with your fellow Road Scholar travelers or other passengers and participate in the broad choice of activities, including the ship’s special guest speaker series (these are announced in the daily program when on board).
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: MS Prinsendam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: At Sea (Atlantic)
(Monday, December 2)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Enjoy a morning lecture on the Amazon river, its people, issues and threats.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: Enjoy an afternoon lecture and other ship-board activities as the Ms. Prinsendam heads toward Devil's Island of the coast of French Guiana.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: MS Prinsendam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Devil's Island, French Guiana, tender port
(Tuesday, December 3)

Note: Passengers with limited mobility may find it difficult to embark and disembark due to steep gangways and steps.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Enjoy a morning lecture on Devil's Island and the three Guianas led by your study leader.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: Disembark on local tenders and join your study leader on an exploration of the island. The most notorious of the three Salvation islands, Devil's Island functioned for generations as a French penal colony. Once known as the Dry Guillotine, because so many prisoners died there, the island today seems haunted by the spirits of former prisoners. Henri Charriere, better known as Papillon, claimed to be the only prisoner ever to escape the island.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: MS Prinsendam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: At Sea (Atlantic)
(Wednesday, December 4)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Enjoy a morning lecture on Amazonian wildlife led by your study leader.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: Afternoon workshop: Learn to speak and pronounce some useful words and phrases in Brazilian Portuguese.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: MS Prinsendam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Cruising the Amazon River, Macapa Brazil, tender port
(Thursday, December 5)

Note: Participants with limited mobility may find embarkation and disembarkation challenging as well as sitting on the traditional Amazonian boat.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Relax on the Amazon River in a safe and traditional Amazon boat. Among the attractions are a small beach and villages by the riverside. See the daily life and survival techniques of the inhabitants on the islands in the middle of the the Amazon. Local people will show traditional medicinal plants, how they make their dishes, hand woven baskets and shrimp traps. Take a jungle walk with an opportunity to see some important trees from the region and how the locals make their own wooden boats in an artisanal way.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure to explore on your own.
 Dinner: Dinner on board
 Evening: At leisure
   
Accommodations: MS Prinsendam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Santarem Brazil
(Friday, December 6)

Note: Participants with limited mobility may find it difficult to embark or disembark the tenders due to steep gangways and steps.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board
 Morning: Enjoy the the morning to participate in the broad choice of activities, including the ship’s special guest speaker series (these are announced in the daily program when on board).
 Lunch: Lunch on board
 Afternoon: Begin at the dock in Santarem on board a regional boat flowing downstream towards the unusual phenomenon called the “Meeting of the Waters”. This is where the Amazon and Tapajós Rivers come together. Continue to the Maica Area, which is a natural outlet of the Amazon River. This is a much smaller stream, making it easier to see the sights as the boat meanders through the flood plain. The beautiful landscape of this area shows the natural ways of the Amazon Basin. Bird watching is one of the highlights of this tour. It is common to identify many different species of birds. There is also a great possibility to see fresh water dolphins. Before returning to Santarém, the boat captain will make a stop for Piranha Fishing.
 Dinner: Dinner on board
 Evening: At leisure
   
Accommodations: MS Prinsendam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Boca De Valeria, Brazil
(Saturday, December 7)

Note: Participants with limited mobility may find it difficult to embark or disembark due to steep gangways and steps and the small boats used in the Amazon



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Tender to shore. This is a leisure port. Neither Road Scholar nor the ship have any structured activity organized. The village is a stop that is meant to showcase an Amazonian village that remains fairly secluded and difficult to access. Walk around and enjoy the stop, take pictures and see some local handy craft. Over the years the village is changing as more ships stop, but it remains a charming and interesting portrayal of a rural town undergoing sudden economic growth.
 Lunch: Lunch aboard ship after returning to ship by tender.
 Afternoon: Enjoy the afternoon at leisure to rest onboard or take part in the ships activities.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: At leisure
   
Accommodations: MS Prinsendam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Manaus Disembarkation and the Amazon Jungle
(Sunday, December 8)

Note: Participants with limited mobility may find it difficult to embark or disembark small boats and walk in the jungle on uneven footpaths.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Bring your overnight bag and meet as a group prior to disembarking for a Road Scholar exclusive overnight at the Amazon EcoPark Lodge. Set off into the Amazon with your Study Leader. Please pack only a carry on overnight bag (no suitcases permitted).
 Lunch: Late lunch at the Monkey Forest Park.
 Afternoon: Visit to the Monkey Forest: The Monkey Forest Center is a center dedicated to the rehabilitation and re-introduction of wild animals into the Amazon. It was created in 1991 with the goal of rescuing animals that have been reclaimed from illegal commerce. In this center, the animals are initially put into quarantine to be evaluated and cared for by a dynamic team of veterinarians and biologists. The end goal is to release the animal or its young back into the wild. So far, the facility has had amazing success, and the animals there manage to reproduce naturally, creating new families and ensuring survival of the species.
 Dinner: Dinner at the lodge
 Evening: Alligator Spotting: Depart the Amazon EcoPark Lodge in paddle or motorized canoes, to appreciate the sounds of the jungle at night. With a little luck and good vision, you may even be able to spot small alligators called jacare, or other nightly creatures. Spot a gator, and the experienced guide will carefully try to catch it and bring it into the canoe. He will give a brief explanation of their habitat while you have the chance to see the creature up close. The alligator will then be safely released back into the river. No harm is ever done to the animals. The guide is highly experienced in this exercise and is dedicated to wildlife safety and preservation.
   
Accommodations: Amazon Eco Park Jungle Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Jungle Trekking and Manaus, Brazil
(Monday, December 9)

Note: Participants with limited mobility may find it difficult to embark or disembark the tenders due to steep gangways and steps.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the lodge.
 Morning: Nature Hike: Enjoy an introductory presentation on the rainforest and jungle survival with an experienced guide. On the trail, enjoy a close-up view of the jungle surroundings. Learn how locals construct animal traps and shelters, and how they find vines which contain drinkable water.
 Lunch: Lunch at the lodge.
 Afternoon: Return to Manaus and enjoy a brief city discovery. Manaus is the gateway to the largest tropical forest of the planet: The Amazon Forest. Its golden age was the turn of last century, when the exportation of natural rubber made it one of the richest cities in the world. See the lavish Opera House, entirely built with material imported from Europe during the rubber boom.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: MS Prinsendam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Parintins, Brazil, tender port
(Tuesday, December 10)

Note: Participants with limited mobility may find it difficult to embark or disembark the tenders due to steep gangways and steps.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Morning at leisure to explore the town or to relax.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard
 Afternoon: Depart by coach for a panoramic overview of Parintins. Drive by the club of Caprichoso Boi, the Liberty Square and to the Bumbódromo where the annual Festival is held. Make a short stop in this arena, where some fresh water will be served. Then visit the Cathedral before going along the shore back to the port.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: MS Prinsendam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16: Alter do Chao, Brazil, tender port
(Wednesday, December 11)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Field Trip "Guided Nature Walk": Enjoy a guided nature walk in Alter do Chao. Learn about more of the plant and animal life native to the area near this stilted village.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: Enjoy the rest of the day with your fellow Road Scholar travelers or other passengers and participate in the broad choice of activities, including the ship’s special guest speaker series (these are announced in the daily program when on board).
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: MS Prinsendam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17: Cruising the Amazon River
(Thursday, December 12)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Meet with your group for the scheduled Road Scholar lecture series. Our theme is the Natural Wonders of the Caribbean and the Amazon.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: Enjoy the rest of the day with your fellow Road Scholar travelers or other passengers and participate in the broad choice of activities, including the ship’s special guest speaker series (these are announced in the daily program when on board).
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: MS Prinsendam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 18: At Sea (Atlantic)
(Friday, December 13)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Meet with your group for the scheduled Road Scholar lecture series. Our theme is the Natural Wonders of the Caribbean and the Amazon.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: Enjoy the rest of the day with your fellow Road Scholar travelers or other passengers and participate in the broad choice of activities, including the ship’s special guest speaker series (these are announced in the daily program when on board).
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: MS Prinsendam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 19: At Sea
(Saturday, December 14)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Enjoy the shipboard lecture series and other activities.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure to enjoy shipboard activities and lectures.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: MS Prinsendam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 20: Bridgetown, Barbados
(Sunday, December 15)

Note: Riding on 4x4 vehicles along bumpy terrain for several hours. Walking up to 30 minutes at a time in gully and in town.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Via 4x4 vehicles head into the interior of the island, which is often inaccessible by other forms of transport. The 4x4 convoy will wind its way through the greenery of Fisherpond Sugar Cane Estate and Coffee Gully through “de heart of Barbados” to Welchman Hall Gully for a relaxed “eco” walk through this natural phenomenon. A brief talk will be given before the gully walk by one of the island’s foremost authorities on ‘island gullies’ and the natural treasures they preserve. The jeeps will meet the group at the end of the trail.
 Lunch: Lunch at Sunbury Plantation
 Afternoon: Take some free time to enjoy Bridgetown, or join your group leader for a walk around this beautiful city.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: MS Prinsendam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 21: Port Elizabeth, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, tender port
(Monday, December 16)

Note: Participants with limited mobility may find it difficult to embark or disembark the tenders due to steep gangways and steps



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Day of leisure -- Explore this tiny island paradise at your own pace. Bequia Island is just five miles by two in size (actually the largest of the Grenadines), but it has exceptional charm and an unexpected amount to offer. Its diminutive town, Port Elizabeth, has one of the prettiest and most atmospheric waterfronts in the whole Caribbean – there is a small, active centre where the ferries put in and a line of bars and restaurants that stretch along a shoreside walkway under palms.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure to explore on your own or relax.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: MS Prinsendam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 22: At Sea (Caribbean Sea)
(Tuesday, December 17)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Meet with your group for the scheduled Road Scholar lecture series. Our theme is the Natural Wonders of the Caribbean and the Amazon.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: Enjoy the rest of the day with your fellow Road Scholar travelers or other passengers and participate in the broad choice of activities, including the ship’s special guest speaker series (these are announced in the daily program when on board).
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: MS Prinsendam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 23: Willemstad, Curacao
(Wednesday, December 18)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Check out the beauty of Curaçao—the island and all the natural resources it enjoys. You’ll leave town immediately and drive westward out of the city. On the way, you’ll see several plantation homes and old slave houses. Your guide will give plenty of information. The Boka Tabla, your first stop, is a National Park. See how the wild sea meets the coast—waves explode against wild rock formations—a testament to nature’s raw power. At West Point, snap a few photos from the coach and enjoy the beautiful view over the Caribbean Sea at Playa Forti. From here you’ll drive to the Tula Museum, located in a beautifully restored plantation house. Take in the view over the hills, the plantation and the Caribbean Sea. This museum and its docent guides offer an interactive look at how the people used to live on the island, during and after slavery. The next stop is at the most beautiful tropical beach on the island, with its unforgettable azure blue sea and stunning white beach. On your way back you have a short photo stop from the bus at the Jan Kok salt lakes, where you might be lucky enough to spot some flamingos.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: Enjoy the rest of the day with your fellow Road Scholar travelers or other passengers and participate in the broad choice of activities, including the ship’s special guest speaker series (these are announced in the daily program when on board).
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: MS Prinsendam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 24: Oranjestad, Aruba
(Thursday, December 19)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Take a field trip through Aruba to get the full Aruban Experience. Enjoy a morning packed full of activities: learn about aloe vera production, visit the Casibari rock formation, enjoy fresh coconut water straight from the coconut, visit the ruins of abandoned gold mines, see the famous Divi Divi trees and the Aruba cactus, pass by old cunoco houses and typical Aruban homes. View Aruba's natural bridge carved by the ocean out of the coral stone before continuing on to Ayo Park to see a 500 year old Arrowak Indian cave drawing. Visit Alto Vista Chapel built by a Spanish preacher to Christianize the native Arubans, then continue on to the Noord District on the Western side of the Island. Make a stop at the California Lighthouse before returning to the ship via Palm, Eagle and Boca Druif Beaches.
 Lunch: On board.
 Afternoon: Enjoy the afternoon to yourself to explore Aruba, or to lounge on one of its famous beaches.
 Dinner: On board.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: MS Prinsendam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 25: At Sea (Caribbean)
(Friday, December 20)
   
 Breakfast: On board.
 Morning: Enjoy a morning presentation led by your Study Leader
 Lunch: On board.
 Afternoon: Enjoy the rest of the day with your fellow Road Scholar travelers or other passengers and participate in the broad choice of activities, including the ship’s special guest speaker series (these are announced in the daily program when on board).
 Dinner: On board.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: MS Prinsendam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 26: At Sea (Florida Straits)
(Saturday, December 21)
   
 Breakfast: On board.
 Morning: Attend an expert-led presentation conducted by your Study Leader. Enjoy the rest of the morning at leisure.
 Lunch: On board.
 Afternoon: Enjoy the rest of the day with your fellow Road Scholar travelers or other passengers and participate in the broad choice of activities, including the ship’s special guest speaker series (these are announced in the daily program when on board).
 Dinner: Enjoy your dinner aboard ship. This farewell dinner is a great opportunity to exchange contact information with your fellow travellers.
 Evening: Take the evening to pack your luggage, and enjoy your final night aboard the ms Prinsendam.
   
Accommodations: MS Prinsendam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 27: Ft. Lauderdale, FL
(Sunday, December 22)
   
 Breakfast: On board.
 Morning: The ship is scheduled to arrive in Ft. Lauderdale at 7:00AM local time. Transfer to the airport. Please make no flight arrangements prior to 12:00PM on this day.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


A Continent of Islands, Searching for the Caribbean Destiny


Author: Mark Kurlansky


Description: A wonderfully observed social history of the Caribbean by a far-ranging journalist and favorite author. Kurlansky has a knack for honing in on the small details that make the Caribbean culturally unique, offering frank insight on music, religion, healthcare and the influence of the United States.



A Small Place


Author: Jamaica Kincaid


Description: Antigua-born Kincaid meditates on the politics, history and culture of the islands in these remarkable short essays. A useful antidote to the usual fun-in-the-sun approach of the local tourist office, she exposes the poverty, corruption and startling beauty of the Caribbean.



Brazil: Amazon & Pantanal, Travellers' Wildlife Guides


Author: Les Beletsky, David Pearson


Description: A comprehensive handbook to the flora, fauna and habitats of Brazil. The 100 color plates feature 90 species of amphibians and reptiles, 310 birds, 70 mammals, 30 insects and 50 common trees and plants.



In Trouble Again


Author: Redmond O'Hanlon


Description: As funny as he is insightful, O'Hanlon starts his comic masterpiece of a journey between the Orinoco and the Amazon with a litany of the insects, protozoa, snakes and predators that can do you harm.



Insight Guide Brazil


Author: Insight Guides


Description: A profusely illustrated overview of the country, this guide features concise essays by well regarded authors on natural history, politics and culture. With hundreds of photos and maps.



Northern South America Map


Author: Reise & Verkehrsverlag


Description: A map of the northern half of South America, at a scale of 1:4,000,000.



Papillon


Author: Henri Charriere


Description: Charriere recounts in heart-stopping detail his escape from the notorious French penal colony Devil's Island in this modern classic, originally published in 1968 in the New Yorker (and made into a memorable film).



Snorkeling Guide to Marine Life


Author: Paul Humann


Description: Humann's compact guide illustrates Caribbean fishes, corals, invertebrates and plants commonly encountered in shallower water.



State of Wonder, A Novel


Author: Ann Patchett


Description: Pharmacologist Marina Singh travels to the heart of the Amazon to investigate the reported death of her colleague, a field researcher for a top-secret fertility drug.



Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice


Author: Mark Plotkin


Description: In this marvelous book, Plotkin recounts his work documenting the use of medicinal plants among remote tribes in the Northwest Amazon of Suriname, Venezuela, Guyana and French Guiana. A portrait of people and their environment, a tale of adventure and, most of all, a moving example of science in the service of preservation.



The Sea and the Jungle


Author: H.M. Tomlinson


Description: First published in 1912, this is a thoroughly unromanticized, absorbing account of a 2,000-mile journey by steamship deep into the Amazon. Understated and often hilarious.



The Smithsonian Atlas of the Amazon


Author: Michael Goulding, Ronaldo Barthem, Efrem Ferreira


Description: This beautiful, profusely illustrated atlas of the river includes its major tributaries and 150 full-color maps. Goulding (Floods of Fortune) and Brazilian biologists Barthem and Ferreira provide the accompanying text.



The Traveller's Tree


Author: Patrick Leigh Fermor


Description: Flush from his adventures in the war -- and in the company of the Greek artist Costa and Joan (later his wife), Leigh Fermor set out from Southampton for the Caribbean in late 1947, hopping among scattered islands.



Tree of Rivers, The Story of the Amazon


Author: John Hemming


Description: Hemming captures the ambition, greed and awe of naturalists, explorers and missionaries -- and their devastating impact on native peoples -- in this absorbing human history.



Tropical Nature


Author: Adrian Forsyth, Ken Miyata


Description: A lucid portrait of the tropics as seen by two uncommonly observant and thoughtful field biologists. Its 17 marvelous essays introduce the habitats, ecology, plants and animals of the Central and South American rainforest.



Whales, Dolphins, and Other Marine Mammals of the World


Author: Hadoram Shirihai, Brett Jarrett (Illustrator)


Description: This eye-catching Princeton Field Guide by Shirihai and illustrator Jarrett is noteworthy for its 450 excellent color photographs, range maps and text, all bundled in a compact package.





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