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Historic Homes and Gardens of the Colonial South

Program Number: 20811RJ
Start and End Dates:
4/24/2013 - 5/5/2013;
Duration: 11 nights
Location: Georgia/South Carolina/North Carolina/Virginia
Price starting at: $5,230.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Small Ship Cruising
Meals: 32; 11 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 11 Dinners    
Meal Options: Gluten Free; Low Fat; Low Salt; Vegetarian    

Each spring, the American South becomes a lush garden awaiting exploration. Savor the colors, aromas and new life of the season as you voyage to colonial cities and palatial plantations and find historic and hidden treasures.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to one mile per day, some on uneven terrain. Standing for up to two hours at a time, up to four hours a day. Mobility is essential, as small boats and tenders are sometimes used for disembarkation and re-embarkation. There is no elevator on the ship.

Itinerary At-a-Glance

Savannah, Ga., 1 night; aboard Yorktown, 10 nights.

Days 1-3: Arrival Savannah, Ga. / embark Yorktown:

Expert-led walks in Georgia’s oldest city introduce you to its lovely architecture and 21 open squares brimming with azaleas, palmettos, English yews and giant oaks. Lodging: Comfortable hotel.

Day 4: Beaufort, S.C.:

Discover the magnificent antebellum homes and gardens of this small Lowcountry city that was once among America’s wealthiest thanks to King Cotton.

Days 5-6: Charleston:

Spend two days experiencing this meticulously preserved colonial seaport. Field trips include the Heyward-Washington House and Middleton Place, boasting 65 acres of blooming rhododendrons, magnolias and dogwoods.

Day 7: Wilmington, N.C.:

Walk in Wilmington’s historic district, a veritable open-air museum of 19th-century architecture, and step inside the Burgwin-Wright House. Visit Airlie Gardens, known for its collection of more than 100,000 azaleas and camellias.

Day 8: New Bern:

Journey through the Croatan National Forest to Tryon Palace. Explore the mansion and its Victorian-style gardens, where three centuries of gardening history are on display.

Days 9-10: Intracoastal Waterway / Williamsburg, Va.:

Take part in lively onboard lectures as you navigate the Intracoastal Waterway. Go ashore to enjoy a day in Colonial Williamsburg, the country’s premiere living museum.

Day 11: Hopewell:

Venture to Berkeley Plantation, childhood home of President William Henry Harrison. Continue to Westover Plantation, whose magnificent formal gardens boast fine views of the James River.

Day 12: Richmond / disembark / departure


Built and registered in America and staffed by American officers and crew, the Yorktown is the perfect vessel for exploring America’s great coastal waterways. With a draft of only nine feet, it can sail where larger vessels cannot go, and its American registry allows it to operate domestic itineraries unavailable to foreign-flag ships. Passengers enjoy an informal onboard atmosphere and tend to spend much of their time underway enjoying lectures and concerts in the lounge or reading and relaxing on the sun deck.

Meals and Lodgings
   Andaz Savannah
  Savannah, GA 1 night
  Savannah, GA
Yorktown - At Sea
10 nights
 Andaz Savannah
Type: Boutique Hotel
  Description: Debuting at the end of January 2009, the Andaz Savannah combines modern luxuries with a unique Savannah graciousness and sense of place. Ideally located in Savannah's Historic District, this new boutique hotel is within a block of Ellis Square, City Market, River Street, famous Broughton Street shopping, and the city’s nightlife and entertainment.
  Contact info: 14 Barnard Street
Savannah, GA 31401 USA
phone: 912-233-2116
  Room amenities: Each room features a phone, television, complimentary newspaper, air conditioning, minibar, coffee and tea making facilities, hair dryer, bathrobes, iron and ironing board, clock radio, free Wi-Fi, and in-room safe (laptop compatible).
  Facility amenities: This hotel features parking (for a fee), a rooftop terrace, luggage storage, swimming pool, spa, 24-hour fitness facilities, air conditioning, dry cleaning and laundry services, free Wi-Fi, safe-deposit box at front desk, bar, coffee shop, and a restaurant.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: N/A Please contact Road Scholar in Amherst, MA if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights 413-253-9736.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM

Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: The Yorktown is the perfect vessel for relaxed and convivial exploration of America’s great coastal waterways. Built in Florida in 1988 specifically for coastal cruising and certified by the U. S. Coast Guard, the Yorktown flies the American flag and is staffed by friendly and experienced American officers and crew. With a draft of only 9 feet, the Yorktown is able to maneuver in secluded waterways and visit small ports that are inaccessible to larger vessels. And Yorktown’s American registry makes it possible to operate domestic itineraries unavailable to foreign-flag ships. The ship’s cuisine, served in a dining room large enough to accommodate all guests at once, emphasizes American regional culinary traditions. Accommodating only 130 guests in 65 exterior cabins, the Yorktown enjoys an atmosphere of warm and relaxed informality that endears it to repeat and new guests alike.
  Ship Information: Length: 257 feet Beam: 43 feet Draft: 8 feet Cabins: 69 Flag: American
  Contact info: Travel Dynamics International
132 East 70th Street
New York, NY 10021 USA
phone: 800-257-5767
  Room amenities: Most cabins have large picture windows, and each is furnished with comfortable beds, a writing desk, ample storage, a clock/radio/CD player, and has a private bathroom. Your cabin is the perfect place for peace and quiet and for private rest and reflection.
  Facility amenities: The ship offers a dining room, spacious observation lounge, large sun deck, library, and swimming platform. Both the lounge and dining room are surrounded by large picture windows that afford unobstructed views of the passing scenery. The water aboard ship is safe to drink, and bottled water will be provided on group excursions. Cash (USD) and credit cards are the preferred forms of payment aboard ship. For telephone communication onboard, you may use the ship's Maritime service satellite system which will be charged to a credit card. Email access on board: Internet-ready laptop computers will be available for use on board from which personal emails can be received and sent by accessing your own web-based email account. A fee will be charged for each 30 minutes of use. There is also wireless Internet access available for a fee.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Check out time: 9:00 AM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Savannah, Georgia. Welcome Orientation at 5:00 PM with the Group Leaders in the Parlor Soleil at the hotel. You will be staying at Andaz Savannah that night.
  End of Program:
Richmond, Virginia. After breakfast on the last day. You will be staying at Yorktown the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. The TDI Traveler Information Form is required. All participants are required to have a government issued ID (driver's license, passport, etc.) in order to embark the Yorktown.
  Parking availability:
The program starts in Savannah and ends in Richmond, no parking is available.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Savannah, GA
  Nearest airport:  SAV
  From End of Program
  Location:  Yorktown - At Sea
Travel Details

To the Andaz Savannah from the Airport


From Airport






Take a taxi from the airport to the hotel. It will cost approximately $25 and will take approximately 20 minutes to travel 10 miles.


To the Andaz Savannah from the Airport via priviate car


From Airport




Commercial Van/Shuttle
Advanced Reservations Required


A private car transfer from the Savannah Internation Airport to the Andaz Savannah is $116 for 1-2 people or $128 for 3-4 people. Please call 912-236-9114 for reservations. Rates subject to change.


From the Richmond dock to the Richmond International Airport


To Airport






Take a taxi from the dock to the airport. It will cost approximately $20 and will take approximately 14 minutes to travel 6.5 miles.

Driving Directions
  From I-16 to the Andaz Savannah Head East on I-16 E. Continue onto Montgomery Street. Turn right onto Congress Street, turn left onto Barnard Street, turn left onto Bryan Street, and take the first right onto Barnard Street. The hotel will be on the right.
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: Welcome Orientation
(Wednesday, April 24)
 Afternoon: Independent arrivals to Savannah, Georgia and transfer to the hotel. Welcome Orientation at 5:00 PM with the Group Leader in the Parlor Soleil at the hotel.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner at hotel.
Accommodations: Andaz Savannah
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Savannah, Georgia / Embarkation
(Thursday, April 25)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the Parlor Soleil.
 Morning: This morning, take in a lecture about Savannah's historic homes and gardens.
 Lunch: Savannah's stately Georgian Mansion facing Reynolds Square has an exciting history; built on land granted from the crown of England, James Habersham, Jr. lived in his mansion from 1771 to 1800. This wealthy planter's home held many secret meetings that helped secure the independence of the 13 colonies from England. Later it was called the Olde Pink House when the soft native brick began to bleed through the plastered walls and mysteriously changed the color of the Habersham House from white to Jamaican pink. Alarming sounds of guns and cannons and Sherman's march to the sea in 1865 opened the Halls of Habersham to the military Generals, after Sherman presented the city of Savannah as a Christmas gift to President Lincoln, General York set up headquarters in the Olde Pink Mansion and the rooms again made history. Our lunch will be served in the glorious Habersham Grand Ballroom.
 Afternoon: It’s a march through Civil War era Savannah. Hear the strategies of the blue and the gray. See Civil War era Savannah, and the houses and buildings involved in the great war between the states. “...I beg to present to you as a Christmas Gift, the City of Savannah with 150 heavy guns and plenty of ammunition and also about 25,000 bails of cotton...” So reads Union General William T. Sherman's telegram to President Lincoln on Dec. 22, 1864 after the occupation of Savannah, ending his army’s infamous “march to the sea.” For Savannah, the Civil War began in January of 1860 with the seizing of Ft. Pulaski by Georgian troops, preceding the bombardment of Ft. Sumter in Charleston by some three months before the "official" start of the war. We will have the unique opportunity to visit and explore the Green-Meldrin Home, which General Sherman used as his headquarters. It is one of the finest examples of Gothic and Revival architecture and the most expensive 19th century house in Savannah, with its unique crenellated parapet and “oriel” windows that add to the gothic flavor. This walking excursion will take us on a journey through Savannah’s experience in the Civil War and present us with an understanding of the military and social aspects and the historic homes that stood here and played their own part during this time. Transfer to the Yorktown for 4:00 PM embarkation. Welcome and embarkation briefing.
 Dinner: Welcome Dinner on board and Road Scholar Champagne Toast.
Accommodations: Yorktown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Savannah, Georgia
(Friday, April 26)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Depart the ship in the morning and transfer by bus to historic Forsyth Park. Stroll through the park to view the live oaks, gardens and iconic White Fountain in the heart of the Historic District. Continue on a guided walking excursion and explore the houses and gardens at the Mercer-Williams House and the Andrew-Low House.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Free time in the afternoon to explore the lovely streets and squares. Later, enjoy a shipboard guest lecture.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
Accommodations: Yorktown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Beaufort, South Carolina
(Saturday, April 27)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Arrive in the morning at Beaufort, an important cultural center of South Carolina’s lowcountry. Although the city has celebrated its tercentennial, human habitation in the area has existed for more than 4,000 years. Join a guided walking excursion to learn more about its history, culture, and commerce.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: In the afternoon, welcome aboard a troupe of storytellers, dancers, and singers who retell the rich history of the founders, planters and Gullah slaves through diaries, dance, and folk tales.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Enjoy a shipboard guest performance by musicians from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
Accommodations: Yorktown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Charleston, South Carolina
(Sunday, April 28)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: The Yorktown arrives at Charleston after breakfast. Board coaches and drive to Middleton Place Plantation for a field trip to the house and gardens.
 Lunch: Return to Charleston for lunch on board.
 Afternoon: In Charleston enjoy an excursion to historic sites including the Hayward-Washington House and garden, St. Michaels Church, the Citadel, and the Summerall Chapel.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Attend a shipboard guest lecture. Spend the evening at leisure to relax on board or explore Charleston. The Yorktown remains overnight in port.
Accommodations: Yorktown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Charleston, South Carolina
(Monday, April 29)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Depart the ship and drive to Drayton Hall for a unique excursion of this historic building, its gardens, and outbuildings.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Sail in the afternoon and enjoy a concert by pianist Wu Han, violinist Arnaud Sussman, and cellist Mihai Marica.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
Accommodations: Yorktown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Wilmington, North Carolina
(Tuesday, April 30)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Today explore Airlie Gardens; established in 1901 on 67 acres including formal and woodland gardens that were restored in 1998 and featuring a 462 year old live oak.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: This afternoon depart on a field trip to Historic Wilmington including the Burgwin-Wright House, a 1770 Georgian style home built for John Burgwin, merchant, planter, and treasurer of the colony of Carolina. Seven walled gardens have been restored and feature 18th century native Carolina species.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Attend a shipboard guest lecture as the ship makes its way to Morehead City, North Carolina.
Accommodations: Yorktown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Morehead City / New Bern, North Carolina
(Wednesday, May 1)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Depart the port and drive through the Croatan National Forest to New Bern for a excursion of Tryon Palace and Gardens. Now organized as a living museum, the estate exhibits demonstrations of period quilting, printing, and smithing by costumed interpreters.
 Lunch: Return to the ship to enjoy lunch as the Yorktown departs.
 Afternoon: At sea. Gather in the forward lounge for a concert by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
Accommodations: Yorktown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Cruising the Intracoastal Waterway
(Thursday, May 2)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Relax aboard and attend shipboard guest lectures as Yorktown navigates the Intracoastal Waterway en route to Virginia.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Take in the views of the Intracoastal Waterway from the large sun deck of the Yorktown. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
Accommodations: Yorktown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Hampton Roads / Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia
(Friday, May 3)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: The Yorktown arrives alongside at the port of Yorktown in the early morning. After breakfast, depart and drive to Colonial Williamsburg. Enjoy a guided excursion in the company of Laura Viancour, the manager of Landscape Services and Garden Programs.
 Lunch: Enjoy lunch at the historic King's Arms Tavern.
 Afternoon: Enjoy time for independent exploration before gathering at 4:00 PM at Bruton’s Parish for a private concert by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Return to the port in the early evening; the Yorktown departs immediately.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
Accommodations: Yorktown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Berkeley Plantation / Westover Plantation / Richmond, Virginia
(Saturday, May 4)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Today enjoy a choice of excursions. Option 1: Explore the gardens of Westover Plantation, situated on the James River and featuring a rare clairvoyee capped with icons of virtue. Continue to the Berkeley Plantation, designed and built in the Georgian Style for Benjamin Harrison, signer of the Declaration of Independence and father of William Henry Harrison, 9th President of the United States. Explore the historic home; then visit the terraced gardens leading down to the James River. Option 2: Take a driving field trip of historic Richmond visiting St. John’s Episcopal Church, the Virginia Historical Society, then spend time at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, featuring an astonishing collection of twenty-three thousand pieces from around the world.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Enjoy some time at leisure to relax or explore the city of Richmond.
 Dinner: This evening, attend a Farewell Reception and Dinner hosted by the Captain.
Accommodations: Yorktown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Disembark in Richmond
(Sunday, May 5)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board
 Morning: Disembarkation must occur by 9:00 AM. Independent departures.
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 Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories

Author: Flannery O'Connor

Description: One of the very best voices in the American short story, O'Connor's darkly comic vision of life in the countryside surrounding Savannah is both richly colored and at times deeply unsettling.

A Short History of Charleston

Author: Robert Rosen

Description: A third-generation Charlestonian, Rosen traces the history of Good King Charles's City from its founding to the present with flair.

Charleston Map

Author: Navigator Maps

Description: A clear, easy to use souvenir map of Charleston, featuring the city center and well marked places of interest.

Founding Gardeners

Author: Andrea Wulf

Description: Andrea Wulf artfully examines the interplay of plants and politics in this earthy account, looking both at the role of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and John Quincy Adam as noble farmers and at the American relationship to nature during the eighteenth century.

Gardens of Historic Charleston

Author: James R. Cothran

Description: A lavishly illustrated photographic tour of Charleston's most treasured gardens, as well as a history of gardening in the city since colonial times.

Journal of a Residence on a Georgia Plantation in 1838-1839

Author: Frances Anne Kemble

Description: The journal of abolitionist Frances Anne Kemble, a leading 19th century British actress who married a wealthy plantation owner and moved to the Sea Islands of Georgia. After divorcing her husband she wrote this memoir recording the inhuman living conditions on her ex-husband’s cotton and rice plantation.

Literary Charleston, A Lowcountry Reader

Author: Curtis Worthington (Editor), Louis D. Rubin, Jr. (Introduction)

Description: A lovingly edited anthology of writing about Charleston, arranged chronologically and including heavyweights such as Henry James and Edgar Allen Poe, as well as less known writers.

Literary Savannah

Author: Patrick Allen (Editor)

Description: An anthology of fiction and non-fiction set in Savannah, portraying the city, its people and culture. With contributions by Henry James, Margaret Mitchell, and Flannery O'Connor.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

Author: John Berendt

Description: Part affectionate portrait of Savannah society, part murder mystery, Berendt’s classic account of his stay in the decayed splendor of the southern coastal city is one of those rare instances when a great writer finds himself caught at the center of a real-life crime story.

My Favorite Plant, Writers and Gardeners on the Plants They Love

Author: Jamaica Kincaid (Editor)

Description: An anthology of essays on plants and gardening from contemporary authors as well as luminaries of the past. This handsome, little book features selections by (among many others) D.H. Lawrence and Colette.

National Audubon Society Field Guide to the Southeastern States

Author: Peter Alden (Editor)

Description: A compact photographic guide to the nature of the Southeast States from Mississippi and Georgia to North Carolina, featuring 1,500 photographs, concise descriptions and an overview of the natural history of the area.

Queen of The Turtle Derby and Other Southern Phenomena

Author: Julia Reed

Description: A Mississippian gone New Yorker, Reed offers a unique biregional perspective in this collection of essays on Southern culture, wandering from topics as varied as the Southern affinity for big hair to gun control.

Savannah Map

Author: Navigator Maps

Description: A neat, colorful map of Savannah’s city center, featuring well marked places of interest.

The Charleston, Savannah & Coastal Islands Book, A Complete Guide

Author: Cecily McMillan, Wade Spees (Photographer)

Description: An excellent, locally produced travel guide mixing history, culture and anecdote with a shipload of up-to-date practical information. It does justice to this area's rich traditions and food.

The Civil War, An Illustrated History

Author: Geoffrey C. Ward, Ken Burns

Description: An illustrated, comprehensive social history of the Civil War by the now-famous team of Ward and Burns. With 500 photographs and maps, extensive text and original essays by contributing experts.

The Jekyll Island Club: Southern Haven for America's Millionaires

Author: June Hall McCash, William Barton McCash

Description: A history of the legendary Jekyll Island Club, the group of powerful millionaires (including Vanderbilt, Rockefeller and Pulitzer) who vacationed on the small island off the coast of Georgia.

The National Trust Guide to Savannah

Author: Roulhac Toledano

Description: A guide to the architectural culture and history of Old Savannah. With 200 archival photographs and maps, it includes chapters on historic preservation, famous visitors and a comprehensive tour of architectural styles.

The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America

Author: David Sibley

Description: A compact, geographically-specific version of the Sibley Guide with all-new range maps, the same glorious illustrations and expanded, extremely valuable descriptions of each bird with status, habitat, range, voice and identifying marks.

Very Charleston, A Celebration of History, Culture, and Lowcountry Charm

Author: Diana Hollingsworth Gessler

Description: A quirky overview of the city and its attractions, this guide provides an original, entertaining and colorful paean to one of America's most historic and popular destinations.

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