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Enrichment Voyage: Origins and Empires of Central and South America

Program Number: 21097RJ
Start and End Dates:
12/7/2012 - 1/2/2013;
Duration: 26 nights
Location: Bahamas/Jamaica/Colombia/Panama/Ecuador/Peru/Costa Rica/Nicaragua/Guatemala/Mexico/US (California)
Price starting at: $4,996.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Small Ship Cruising; Independent City Discoveries Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 74; 25 Breakfasts, 24 Lunches, 25 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

This Enrichment Voyage is a special opportunity to set sail on the MV Explorer, the ocean liner that has been transformed into the floating university campus of the world-renowned Semester at Sea global study abroad program. Transit the Panama Canal and explore the Caribbean and Central and South America including a Road Scholar exclusive field trip to Machu Picchu. Aboard the ship, learn about history, biodiversity, cultural traditions and more from fascinating expert speakers.




Activity Particulars

Walking up to one mile per day. You may choose shore excursions that include more strenuous physical activities.



Itinerary At-a-Glance

Nassau (Bahamas), 1 night; aboard MV Explorer, 11 nights; Cusco (Peru), 2 nights; aboard MV Explorer, 12 nights.



Days 1-3: Arrival Nassau (Bahamas) / embark MV Explorer / at sea:

Enjoy some free time in Nassau before setting off on your voyage. Lodging: Hotel with private white-sand beach.



Days 4-5: Montego Bay (Jamaica) / at sea:

Choose from a variety of Jamaica field trips offered by the Institute for Shipboard Education.



Day 6: Cartagena (Colombia):

Discover this historic Caribbean port on a field trip of your choosing.



Days 7-10: Colón (Panama) / transit Panama Canal / at sea:

Explore Colon, then make a full transit through the Panama Canal to the Pacific, learning the story of one of the largest engineering projects ever undertaken along the way.



Days 11-12: Guayaquil (Ecuador) / at sea:

Discover Ecuador’s largest and the most populous city on a shore excursion.



Days 13-14: Callao (Peru) / disembark / coach to Lima / flight to Cusco:

Delve into the fascinating history of the Incas in Cusco, once the capital of their empire, where you visit the Temple of Coricancha and the Cusco Cathedral. Then spend a day exploring the extraordinary ruins of Machu Picchu, the “Lost City of the Incas,” on a Road Scholar exclusive expert-led field trip. Lodging: Comfortable hotel.



Days 15-16: Flight to Lima / reembark ship / at sea:

Enjoy a panoramic city excursion before returning to the ship.



Days 17-18: Manta (Ecuador) / at sea:

Explore Ecuador’s largest seaport on a field trip of your choosing.



Days 19-20: Puntarenas (Costa Rica):

Spend two days experiencing Costa Rica on shore excursions.



Day 21: Corinto (Nicaragua):

Go ashore in Nicaragua and enjoy whichever field trip you choose.



Days 22-24: Puerto Quetzal (Guatemala) / at sea:

Journey to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Antigua Guatemala or choose another field trip.



Days 25-26: Cabo San Lucas (Mexico) / at sea:

Discover this city at the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula on a shore excursion.



Day 27: San Diego, Calif. / disembark / departure



Meals and Lodgings
   British Colonial Hilton
  Nassau, Bahamas 1 night
   MV Explorer
  Aboard the MV Explorer, USA 11 nights
   Hotel Novotel Cusco
  Aboard the MV Explorer, USA 2 nights
   MV Explorer
  Aboard the MV Explorer, USA 12 nights
 British Colonial Hilton
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Situated in downtown Nassau, this beautiful Bahamas hotel has a private white-sand beach, outdoor freshwater pool with ocean views, two restaurants and two bars. The hotel offers a taste of the island’s rich Colonial history, along with modern amenities for business and Bahamas vacations. Within walking distance of duty-free shopping and downtown, this Bahamas hotel features a rich variety of dining options. Try Aqua restaurant for international favorites with a Caribbean flair in a relaxed setting with harbor views. •Private beach, and the only beachfront hotel in downtown Nassau •Outdoor freshwater pool with harbor views •Only a 20-minute drive from Nassau International airport NAS (Lynden Pindling International) •13,500 sq. ft. of meeting and event space, and WIFI in all rooms and public areas •2012 Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence Award Winning Resort
  Ship Information: n/a
  Contact info: 1 Bay Street
Nassau,  N-7148 Bahamas
phone: 242-322-3301
web: www3.hilton.com/en/hotels/bahamas/british-colonial-hilton-nassau-hotel-NASHIHH/index.html
  Room amenities: The comfortable guest rooms at British Colonial Hilton Nassau feature a selection of harbor or city view accommodations. Hilton Harbor View Guest Rooms Soak up the full or partial sea view from this newly refurbished room with high-speed internet access. Catch up on work at the ergonomic desk and chair or pamper yourself in the marble bathroom with separate shower. Some rooms have a sofa bed. Hilton City View Guest Rooms Feel at home in this newly refurbished room with high-speed Internet access and garden or city view. Work in comfort at the ergonomic desk and chair or reinvigorate yourself in the marble bathroom. Some rooms have a sofa; some have a separate shower. •Accessible •Air Conditioning •Alarm Radio •Clock Radio w/ MP3 Connection •Connecting Rooms •In-Room Movie Channel •Non-Smoking •Sofa Bed •TV - 32 Inch LCD HD •TV-Cable •TV-Premium HBO,CNN,ESPN •Thermostat (adjustable) •Work Desk with Adjustable Lamp •Electronic Locks •Safe •Wide Angle Door Viewer •Bathroom Amenities •Coffee Maker •Cuisinart Coffeemaker •Desk Level HSIA Connection •Hairdryer •Iron •Iron/Ironing Board •Mini Refrigerator •Tea/Coffee Making Facilities •Telephone - Auto Wakeup •Telephone - Two Phones •Telephone - Voice Mail •Telephone - in Bath •Telephone - with Dataport
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Check in time: 4:00 PM

 MV Explorer
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: MV Explorer, built in 2002 for the now-defunct Royal Olympic Cruises, is used most of the year for the non-profit Institute for Shipboard Education’s “Semester at Sea” program. Acquired by the Institute after Royal Olympic's bankruptcy in 2004, the ship has the distinction of being one of the fastest seagoing passenger vessels in the world, able to maintain a speed of 30 knots. Despite its modern architecture, the ship enjoys classic lines and has a following among enthusiasts who will be pleased that a new partnership with has opened the ship to the cruising public during semester breaks.
  Ship Information: Tonnage: 25,000 tons Length: 590 ft. (180 m) Beam: 84 ft. (26 m) Length: 590 ft. (180 m) Beam: 84 ft. (26 m) Draft: 24 ft. (7 m) Maximum Cruising Speed: 28 knots Stabilizers: yes Air Conditioning Throughout: yes Outside Deck Space: 30,000 sq. ft. (2.800 m2) Passenger Decks: 6 Pool Area: 7,500 sq. ft. (700 m2) Swimming Pool: 1 Classrooms: 9 Passenger Capacity (double basis): 836
  Contact info: PO Box 400885
Charlottesville, VA 22904 USA
phone: 800-854-0195
web: www.semesteratsea.org
  Room amenities: All staterooms are equipped with a refrigerator, safe, phone, closed circuit tv with movies and music and a hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: CLINIC The Medical Team is responsible for planning, coordinating, implementing and evaluating total patient care for the students, faculty, staff and assisting with the officers and crew aboard the MV Explorer. The Physician is assisted by a Physician Assistant or Nurse Practitioner and one Registered Nurse, as well as, a Crew Doctor and a Crew Nurse. DINING HALLS The dining halls are located on decks 5 and 6. The Aquamarine Dining Hall, on Deck 5, is the ship's formal dining room. GYM A fitness room with treadmills, elliptical machines, and stairmasters is located on Deck 7. UNION This space is used as a large classroom and for ship wide events such as pre-ports, lectures, shows, movies, and more. Events can be videotaped and broadcast to all classrooms and cabins. LIBRARY The library contains about 9,000 volumes specifically tailored to international study and travel, and to the curriculum of each voyage. There is an extensive map collection containing physical, political, topographical and historical maps. Also onboard is a significant collection of videos for educational and recreational purposes. HUDSON COMPUTER LAB The Computer Lab is available for academic use on a 24-hour basis. Each computer is configured with Windows XP, Microsoft Office XP, and USB ports. The lab is also equipped with several high volume Laser printers that are accessible from any of the computers inside the lab, as well as from individual laptops via wireless connection.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after:  The ship does not offer pre night arrival

 Hotel Novotel Cusco
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: The Novotel Cusco hotel is the perfect place to spend a few days or vacation as it is located in the historic center, close to the Plaza de Armas and cathedral, and 10 minutes from the airport. The Novotel Cusco is an historic base for discovering the Inca civilization.
  Ship Information: n/a
  Contact info: Calle San Augustin 239
Cusco,  0 Peru
phone: (+51)84/581033
web: www.novotel.com/gb/hotel-3254-novotel-cusco/index.shtml
  Room amenities: Dead bolt in rooms Safe deposit box in room Wi-Fi in your room 110/120 V AC Minibar Smoke alarm in room 220/240 V AC Satellite/cable colour TV Bathtub Hair dryer in bathroom Telephone in bathroom
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
This program begins in the evening on Day 1 at the program orientation in Nassau, Bahamas. You will be staying at British Colonial Hilton that night.
  End of Program:
This program ends after breakfast on board the ship in San Diego, California You will be staying at MV Explorer the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Driving to location is not recommended
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Amtrak station .6 miles from San Diego Marriott, San Diego subway .1 mile away, Greyhound bus station, 1 mile away
To Start of Program
  Location:  Nassau
  Transportation to site: All participants are asked are asked to make their own way to the program hotel. Once you arrive in Nassau, make your way through immigrations and customs and collect your luggage. Upon exiting the airport, look for your group leader, holding a Road Scholar sign. He will assist arriving participants in finding a taxi. Feel free to make your own transportation arrangements from the airport. Taxis are typically 8-10 seat minivans, so if there are other participants arriving at the same time as you, he can help you arrange to share a taxi to the hotel. Shared transportation cannot be arranged ahead of time, however the Group Leader will have a list of arrival times for the entire group, and will assist upon arrival if needed. The program hotel is the British Colonial Hilton, located on One Bay Street in Nassau. The hotel is a familiar landmark within the town, and all cab drivers will know it's location. You will need to pay the driver in cash (US Dollars are accepted). The cost of a taxi between the airport and the hotel is about $25 - $30 USD (subject to change). The program orientation will begin at approximately 6:00pm, so if you are making your own flight arrangements, please plan to arrive at the hotel before that time.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Aboard the MV Explorer
  Transportation from site: There will be one group transfer available for the group on the program end date from the cruise port in San Diego to the San Diego International Airport. The group transfer will be at 9:30am. Disembarkation will begin at approxiamtely 9:00am, however disembarkation time is subject to clearing U.S. Customs. We do not recommend booking flights before 1:00 pm.
Elevation Note: Cusco, Peru has an elevation of 3300 meters (10,800 feet).

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: Arrival / Program Orientation
(Friday, December 7)
   
 Arrive To: Nassau, Bahamas
 Afternoon: Once you arrive in Nassau, make your way to the program hotel (Transfers are not included. Please have US Dollars available to pay your driver). In the early evening, meet your group leader for the program orientation.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner at the hotel.
 Evening: Evening at leisure.
   
Accommodations: British Colonial Hilton
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Nassau / Embark the MV Explorer
(Saturday, December 8)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: This morning, while your luggage makes it's way to the MV Explorer, enjoy some free time in Nassau. Nassau, formerly known as Charles Town, burned to the ground by the Spanish in 1684, but later rebuilt and renamed Nassau in 1695. By 1713, the sparsely settled Bahamas had become a pirate haven for pirate chieftains Thomas Barrow and Benjamin Hornigold. They proclaimed Nassau a pirate republic, establishing themselves as "governors", and were joined by Charles Vane, Calico Jack Rackham, and the infamous Edward Teach, known as "Blackbeard", along with women pirates such as Anne Bonny and Mary Read. Located on New Providence Island, Nassau has an attractive harbor, a colorful blend of old world and colonial architecture, and a busy port. The tropical climate and natural beauty of the Bahamas has made Nassau a popular tourist destination, and a starting location for many cruise ships sailing in the Caribbean.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own. There are a variety of local and international dining options within walking distance from the hotel.
 Afternoon: Meet your group back at the hotel and transfer to the ship. This afternoon there will be free time to unpack and familiarize yourself with the ship. A mandatory safety drill will be required of all passengers before the ship sets sail.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship
 Evening: At leisure. The ship sails from the Bahamas this evening.
   
Accommodations: MV Explorer
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Day at Sea / Presentations
(Sunday, December 9)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Enjoy a day of interactive lectures, workshops, and pre-port briefings led by college professors and other experts. Enrichment Sessions provide you with the opportunity for personal growth and discovery through examining the history, culture, indigenous people, literature, music, geology, biology, and current issues of the regions through which you travel. Additional enhancements to learning are provided through community sessions led by your fellow shipmates plus a 9,000-volume library and a computer lab with internet access for further self-study. A daily schedule will be posted in the ship's newsletter and delivered to your cabin nightly. *Please note: The full schedule of lectures and workshops will not be available until embarkation. However, you can visit the website for the Institute for Shipboard Education to see a full listing of speakers and instructors.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Educational program continues throughout the day.
 Dinner: Captain's Welcome reception and Dinner (semi-formal dress). *date subject to change, please confirm final date and time with the ship's daily program.
 Evening: Entertainment on board continues into the evening with music and dance performances, comedy shows, passenger and crew talent shows, a late night disco for all ages, and nightly piano performances in the Piano Bar. The daily entertainment schedule will also be posted in the daily newsletter provided by the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Explorer
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Montego Bay, Jamaica
(Monday, December 10)

Note: Gratuities are not included on independent field trips. US Dollars will be accepted. We recommend bringing new bills in small denominations.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Field Programs allow participants to go ashore for the ground discovery and exploration; they also help bring onboard Enrichment Sessions and Workshops to life. A wide range of Field Programs is offered on each voyage. Options range from the adventurous (zip lining, white water rafting, and hiking) to the relaxing (beach visit), and encompass city and museum tours and visits to wildlife sanctuaries and horticultural conservatories. Service and humanitarian opportunities are available for participants interested in giving back through voluntourism.
 Lunch: Lunch is provided by the ship or on site
 Afternoon: Use your shipboard credit to choose from a variety of independently chosen shore-based field trips offered by the Institute for Shipboard Education. As soon as the shore excursions are available, Road Scholar will send you information on how to register in advance (or you may wait until you get on board, although availability may be limited). A sample Field Program brochure is available online at: http://enrichmentvoyages.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Sample-Field-Program-6.12.pdf
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: MV Explorer
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Day at Sea / Presentations
(Tuesday, December 11)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Enjoy a day of interactive lectures, workshops, and pre-port briefings led by college professors and other experts. Enrichment Sessions provide you with the opportunity for personal growth and discovery through examining the history, culture, indigenous people, literature, music, geology, biology, and current issues of the regions through which you travel. Additional enhancements to learning are provided through community sessions led by your fellow shipmates plus a 9,000-volume library and a computer lab with limited internet access for further self-study. A daily schedule will be posted in the ship's newsletter and delivered to your cabin nightly.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Educational program continues throughout the day
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Enjoy nightly entertainment after dinner.
   
Accommodations: MV Explorer
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Cartagena, Colombia
(Wednesday, December 12)

Note: Gratuities are not included on independent field trips. US Dollars will be accepted. We recommend bringing new bills in small denominations.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board
 Morning: Use your shipboard credit to choose from a variety of independently chosen shore-based field trips offered by the Institute for Shipboard Education. As soon as the shore excursions are available, Road Scholar will send you information on how to register in advance (or you may wait until you get on board, although availability may be limited). A sample Field Program brochure is available online at: http://enrichmentvoyages.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Sample-Field-Program-6.12.pdf
 Lunch: Lunch is provided by the ship or on site
 Afternoon: Continue independent exploration of Cartagena
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: MV Explorer
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Colon, Panama
(Thursday, December 13)

Note: Gratuities are not included on independent field trips. US Dollars will be accepted. We recommend bringing new bills in small denominations.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Use your shipboard credit to choose from a variety of independently chosen shore-based field trips offered by the Institute for Shipboard Education. As soon as the shore excursions are available, Road Scholar will send you information on how to register in advance (or you may wait until you get on board, although availability may be limited). A sample Field Program brochure is available online at: http://enrichmentvoyages.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Sample-Field-Program-6.12.pdf
 Lunch: Lunch is provided by the ship or on site
 Afternoon: Continue independent exploration of Colon
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: MV Explorer
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Transit the Panama Canal
(Friday, December 14)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Full transit through the Panama Canal. One of the largest and most difficult engineering projects ever undertaken, the canal had an enormous impact on shipping between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, replacing the long and treacherous route via the Drake Passage and Cape Horn at the southernmost tip of South America. A ship sailing from New York to San Francisco via the canal travels 5,900 mi. well under half the 14,000 mi. route around Cape Horn. The concept of a canal near Panama dates to the early 16th century. The first attempt to construct a canal began in 1880 under French leadership, but was abandoned after 21,900 workers died, largely from disease (particularly malaria and yellow fever) and landslides. The United States launched a second effort, incurring a further 5,600 deaths but succeeding in opening the canal in 1914.
 Lunch: Lunch on board
 Afternoon: Continue Panama Canal Transit
 Dinner: Dinner on board
   
Accommodations: MV Explorer
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Day at Sea / Presentations
(Saturday, December 15)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Enjoy a day of interactive lectures, workshops, and pre-port briefings led by college professors and other experts. Enrichment Sessions provide you with the opportunity for personal growth and discovery through examining the history, culture, indigenous people, literature, music, geology, biology, and current issues of the regions through which you travel. Additional enhancements to learning are provided through community sessions led by your fellow shipmates plus a 9,000-volume library and a computer lab with limited internet access for further self-study. A daily schedule will be posted in the ship's newsletter and delivered to your cabin nightly.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Educational program continues
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Enjoy nightly entertainment after dinner
   
Accommodations: MV Explorer
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Day at Sea / Presentations
(Sunday, December 16)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Enjoy a day of interactive lectures, workshops, and pre-port briefings led by college professors and other experts. Enrichment Sessions provide you with the opportunity for personal growth and discovery through examining the history, culture, indigenous people, literature, music, geology, biology, and current issues of the regions through which you travel. Additional enhancements to learning are provided through community sessions led by your fellow shipmates plus a 9,000-volume library and a computer lab with limited internet access for further self-study. A daily schedule will be posted in the ship's newsletter and delivered to your cabin nightly.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Educational programming continues. Later in the afternoon there will be an exclusive Road Scholar presentation by the featured keynote speaker.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Enjoy nightly entertainment after dinner.
   
Accommodations: MV Explorer
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Guayaquil, Ecuador
(Monday, December 17)

Note: Gratuities are not included on independent field trips. US Dollars will be accepted. We recommend bringing new bills in small denominations.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Use your shipboard credit to choose from a variety of independently chosen shore-based field trips offered by the Institute for Shipboard Education. As soon as the shore excursions are available, Road Scholar will send you information on how to register in advance (or you may wait until you get on board, although availability may be limited). A sample Field Program brochure is available online at: http://enrichmentvoyages.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Sample-Field-Program-6.12.pdf
 Lunch: Lunch is provided by the ship or on site
 Afternoon: Continue independent exploration of Guayaquil
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
 Evening: Enjoy nightly entertainment after dinner.
   
Accommodations: MV Explorer
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Day at Sea / Presentations
(Tuesday, December 18)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Use your shipboard credit to choose from a variety of independently chosen shore-based field trips offered by the Institute for Shipboard Education. As soon as the shore excursions are available, Road Scholar will send you information on how to register in advance (or you may wait until you get on board, although availability may be limited). A sample Field Program brochure is available online at: http://enrichmentvoyages.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Sample-Field-Program-6.12.pdf
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Educational programming continues
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Enjoy nightly entertainment after dinner.
   
Accommodations: MV Explorer
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Callao, Peru / Disembark ship / Fly to Cusco
(Wednesday, December 19)

Note: Gratuities ARE included for guides and drivers on the exclusive Road Scholar field trip to Machu Picchu.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Disembark the ship and transfer to the Lima International Airport for a mid-morning flight to Cusco, Peru.
 Lunch: A buffet lunch will be served at a local restaurant in Cusco upon arrival.
 Afternoon: Field Trip: Cusco According to legend Cusco was built by Inca Pachacuti, who transformed it from a sleepy city-state into the vast empire. Spaniards arrived in 1533 and began construction of a new city on the foundations of the old Inca city, replacing temples with churches and palaces with mansions. Visit Korikancha, one of the most important temples in the Inca Empire, its walls served as the foundation for the construction of the Convent de Santo Domingo. Continue to Cusco Catherdral. The first Cathedral was built in 1539; in 1560, the construction of a new cathedral was ordered. The Cathedral was finished in 1664, a century later.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant
   
Accommodations: Hotel Novotel Cusco
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Machu Picchu
(Thursday, December 20)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Field Trip: Machu Picchu The ruins of Machu Picchu are amongst the most beautiful and enigmatic sites in the world. While the Inca people certainly used the Andean mountain top, legends and myths indicate that Machu Picchu was revered as a sacred place from a far earlier time. Whatever its origins, the Inca turned the site into a small but extraordinary city. Invisible from below and completely self-contained, surrounded by agricultural terraces sufficient to feed the population, and watered by natural springs, Machu Picchu seems to have been utilized by the Inca as a secret ceremonial city. The cloud shrouded ruins have palaces, baths, temples, storage rooms and some 150 houses, all in a remarkable state of preservation. These structures, carved from the gray granite of the mountain top are wonders of both architectural and aesthetic genius. Many of the stone blocks weigh 50 tons or more, yet are so precisely sculpted and fitted together with such exactitude that the mortar-less joints will not permit the insertion of even a thin knife blade. Little is known of the social or religious use of the site during Inca times.
 Lunch: Lunch at the Sanctuary Lodge
 Afternoon: Return to Cuzco by train.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own in Cusco
   
Accommodations: Hotel Novotel Cusco
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 15: Cusco / Fly to Lima / Reboard the Ship
(Friday, December 21)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Check out of the hotel and transfer to the airport for flights to Lima
 Lunch: Lunch on your own at the airport
 Afternoon: Explore the city of Lima with a brief panoramic tour before reboarding the ship.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship
   
Accommodations: MV Explorer
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 16: Day at Sea / Presentations
(Saturday, December 22)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Enjoy a day of interactive lectures, workshops, and pre-port briefings led by college professors and other experts. Enrichment Sessions provide you with the opportunity for personal growth and discovery through examining the history, culture, indigenous people, literature, music, geology, biology, and current issues of the regions through which you travel. Additional enhancements to learning are provided through community sessions led by your fellow shipmates plus a 9,000-volume library and a computer lab with limited internet access for further self-study. A daily schedule will be posted in the ship's newsletter and delivered to your cabin nightly.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Educational program continues
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: MV Explorer
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17: Manta, Ecuador
(Sunday, December 23)

Note: Gratuities are not included on independent field trips. US Dollars will be accepted. We recommend bringing new bills in small denominations.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Use your shipboard credit to choose from a variety of independently chosen shore-based field trips offered by the Institute for Shipboard Education. As soon as the shore excursions are available, Road Scholar will send you information on how to register in advance (or you may wait until you get on board, although availability may be limited). A sample Field Program brochure is available online at: http://enrichmentvoyages.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Sample-Field-Program-6.12.pdf
 Lunch: Lunch is provided by the ship or on site
 Afternoon: Continue independent exploration of Manta, Ecuador
 Dinner: Dinner on board
   
Accommodations: MV Explorer
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 18: At Sea / Presentations
(Monday, December 24)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship
 Morning: Enjoy a day of interactive lectures, workshops, and pre-port briefings led by college professors and other experts. Enrichment Sessions provide you with the opportunity for personal growth and discovery through examining the history, culture, indigenous people, literature, music, geology, biology, and current issues of the regions through which you travel. Additional enhancements to learning are provided through community sessions led by your fellow shipmates plus a 9,000-volume library and a computer lab with limited internet access for further self-study. A daily schedule will be posted in the ship's newsletter and delivered to your cabin nightly.
 Lunch: Lunch on board
 Afternoon: Educational program continues
 Dinner: Dinner on board
   
Accommodations: MV Explorer
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 19: Puntarenas, Costa Rica
(Tuesday, December 25)

Note: Gratuities are not included on independent field trips. US Dollars will be accepted. We recommend bringing new bills in small denominations.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship
 Morning: Use your shipboard credit to choose from a variety of independently chosen shore-based field trips offered by the Institute for Shipboard Education. As soon as the shore excursions are available, Road Scholar will send you information on how to register in advance (or you may wait until you get on board, although availability may be limited). A sample Field Program brochure is available online at: http://enrichmentvoyages.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Sample-Field-Program-6.12.pdf
 Lunch: Lunch is provided by the ship or on site
 Afternoon: Independent exploration of Puntarenas continues
 Dinner: Dinner on board
   
Accommodations: MV Explorer
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 20: Puntarenas, Costa Rica
(Wednesday, December 26)

Note: Gratuities are not included on independent field trips. US Dollars will be accepted. We recommend bringing new bills in small denominations.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship
 Morning: Use your shipboard credit to choose from a variety of independently chosen shore-based field trips offered by the Institute for Shipboard Education. As soon as the shore excursions are available, Road Scholar will send you information on how to register in advance (or you may wait until you get on board, although availability may be limited). A sample Field Program brochure is available online at: http://enrichmentvoyages.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Sample-Field-Program-6.12.pdf
 Lunch: Lunch is provided by the ship or on site
 Afternoon: Independent exploration of Puntarenas continues
 Dinner: Dinner on board
   
Accommodations: MV Explorer
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 21: Corinto, Nicaragua
(Thursday, December 27)

Note: Gratuities are not included on independent field trips. US Dollars will be accepted. We recommend bringing new bills in small denominations.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Use your shipboard credit to choose from a variety of independently chosen shore-based field trips offered by the Institute for Shipboard Education. As soon as the shore excursions are available, Road Scholar will send you information on how to register in advance (or you may wait until you get on board, although availability may be limited). A sample Field Program brochure is available online at: http://enrichmentvoyages.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Sample-Field-Program-6.12.pdf
 Lunch: Lunch is provided by the ship or on site
 Afternoon: Continue independent exploration of Corinto
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: MV Explorer
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 22: Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala
(Friday, December 28)

Note: Gratuities are not included on independent field trips. US Dollars will be accepted. We recommend bringing new bills in small denominations.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Use your shipboard credit to choose from a variety of independently chosen shore-based field trips offered by the Institute for Shipboard Education. As soon as the shore excursions are available, Road Scholar will send you information on how to register in advance (or you may wait until you get on board, although availability may be limited). A sample Field Program brochure is available online at: http://enrichmentvoyages.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Sample-Field-Program-6.12.pdf
 Lunch: Lunch is provided by the ship or on site
 Afternoon: Continue independent exploration of Puerto Quetzal
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Evening at leisure
   
Accommodations: MV Explorer
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 23: At Sea
(Saturday, December 29)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board
 Morning: Enjoy a day of interactive lectures, workshops, and pre-port briefings led by college professors and other experts. Enrichment Sessions provide you with the opportunity for personal growth and discovery through examining the history, culture, indigenous people, literature, music, geology, biology, and current issues of the regions through which you travel. Additional enhancements to learning are provided through community sessions led by your fellow shipmates plus a 9,000-volume library and a computer lab with limited internet access for further self-study. A daily schedule will be posted in the ship's newsletter and delivered to your cabin nightly.
 Lunch: Lunch on board
 Afternoon: Educational program continues
 Dinner: Dinner on board
 Evening: Enjoy nightly entertainment after dinner.
   
Accommodations: MV Explorer
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 24: At Sea / Presentations
(Sunday, December 30)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board
 Morning: Enjoy a day of interactive lectures, workshops, and pre-port briefings led by college professors and other experts. Enrichment Sessions provide you with the opportunity for personal growth and discovery through examining the history, culture, indigenous people, literature, music, geology, biology, and current issues of the regions through which you travel. Additional enhancements to learning are provided through community sessions led by your fellow shipmates plus a 9,000-volume library and a computer lab with limited internet access for further self-study. A daily schedule will be posted in the ship's newsletter and delivered to your cabin nightly.
 Lunch: Lunch on board
 Afternoon: Educational program continues
 Dinner: Captain's Farewell reception and dinner (semi-formal dress). *date subject to change, please confirm final date and time with the ship's daily program.
   
Accommodations: MV Explorer
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 25: Cabo San Lucas
(Monday, December 31)

Note: Gratuities are not included on independent field trips. US Dollars will be accepted. We recommend bringing new bills in small denominations.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board
 Morning: Use your shipboard credit to choose from a variety of independently chosen shore-based field trips offered by the Institute for Shipboard Education. As soon as the shore excursions are available, Road Scholar will send you information on how to register in advance (or you may wait until you get on board, although availability may be limited). A sample Field Program brochure is available online at: http://enrichmentvoyages.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Sample-Field-Program-6.12.pdf
 Lunch: Lunch is provided by the ship or on site
 Afternoon: Continue independent exploration of Cabo San Lucas
 Dinner: Dinner on board
   
Accommodations: MV Explorer
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 26: At Sea / Presentations
(Tuesday, January 1)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board
 Morning: Enjoy a day of interactive lectures, workshops, and pre-port briefings led by college professors and other experts. Enrichment Sessions provide you with the opportunity for personal growth and discovery through examining the history, culture, indigenous people, literature, music, geology, biology, and current issues of the regions through which you travel. Additional enhancements to learning are provided through community sessions led by your fellow shipmates plus a 9,000-volume library and a computer lab with limited internet access for further self-study. A daily schedule will be posted in the ship's newsletter and delivered to your cabin nightly.
 Lunch: Lunch on board
 Afternoon: Educational program continues
 Dinner: Dinner on board
   
Accommodations: MV Explorer
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 27: San Diego / Disembark
(Wednesday, January 2)
   
 Morning: Disembark the ship in San Diego and mak your own way to the airport at your convenience. Taxis will be available at the cruise terminal
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 Small Place


Author: Jamaica Kincaid


Description: Antigua-born Kincaid meditates on the politics, history and culture of the islands in these remarkable short es-says. A useful antidote to the usual fun-in-the-sun ap-proach of the local tourist office, she shines a light on the poverty, corruption and startling beauty of the Caribbean.



Art of the Andes, from Chavin to Inca


Author: Rebecca Stone-Miller


Description: This authoritative and concise illustrated survey of Andean art and architecture covers not only Machu Picchu and additional Inca monuments, but also Chan Chan, Nasca and other archaeological sites and cultures.



Birds of Northern South America, Vol. 2: Field Guide


Author: Robin Restall, Clemencia Rodner, Roger Williams


Description: This comprehensive field guide, featuring an astounding 6400 paintings and 2308 maps, covers all the birds from Ecuador to Guiana.



Colossus: The Price of America's Empire


Author: Niall Ferguson


Description: Niall Ferguson argues in this provocative book that the United States is indeed an Empire, the largest and most powerful one the world has known, and that the country must face up to the responsibility that such a status entails.



Columbus, The Four Voyages


Author: Laurence Bergreen


Description: Though everyone knows that in 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue, the gutsy, politically savvy, ferociously religious and increasingly deluded Admiral of the Ocean Seas organized three more daring voyages in his quixotic quest for a water route to Asia, all recounted in gripping detail by Bergreen, noted biographer of Marco Polo and Magellan.



Conquest of the Incas


Author: John Hemming


Description: This classic prize-winning history of the Inca struggle against the Spanish invasion weaves wide-ranging, scholarly material in to a gripping narrative.



Costa Rican Wildlife


Author: Pocket Naturalist


Description: Put it in your pocket! This handy, fold-up card includes color illustrations of dozens of typical birds, mammals and reptiles. We also carry plastic cards for Costa Rica Birds (Item CRC56) and Costa Rica Butterflies & Moths (Item CRC57), $5.95 each.



Forgotten Continent


Author: Michael Reid


Description: Economist editor Reid draws on his years in the cities, presidential palaces and shantytowns of Central and South America in this portrait of a region rich in oil, farmland and culture, and its prospects in the face of globalization.



Inca Trail: Machu Picchu, Sacred Valley, Cusco Map


Author: Lima 2000


Description: This fact-filed map shows the whole of the Sacred Valley from Cusco to Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu on one side and, on the reverse, the area surrounding the sanctuary in splendid, topographic detail (1:50,000) . It's the best map for those making the trek from kilometer 88 to the site and an excellent choice for those exploring by bus or train.



Liberators, Latin America's Struggle for Independence 1810-1830


Author: Robert Harvey


Description: Focused on the heroism and derring-do of seven legendary men, Harvey tells the story of Simon Bolivar, General Jose de San Martin and other greats in the fight for independence.



Looking For History, Dispatches From Latin America


Author: Alma Guillermoprieto


Description: A beautifully written, incisive collection of essays on contemporary Argentina, Colombia, Cuba, Peru and Mexico.



Love in the Time of Cholera


Author: Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Edith Grossman (Translator)


Description: A glorious tale of great love consummated after 50 years, nine months and four days, memorably set in a dusty 19th-century town on the Caribbean coast of Colombia.



Nature of the Rainforest, Costa Rica and Beyond


Author: Adrian Forsyth, E.O. Wilson (Introduction), Michael Fogden (Photographer)


Description: Our favorite biologist-writer returns to the Neotropics in this beautifully illustrated, oversized overview of the rain forest. With chapters on Monteverde and Guanacaste, plants, frogs and snakes, birds, monkeys and jaguars, the sloth, peculiar insects and biodioversity, the book is a marvelous, anecdotal introduction to ecology, evolution and conservation.



Panama Canal by Cruise Ship


Author: Anne Vipond


Description: This outstanding guide to the Panama Canal, and popular ports of call in Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America features a mile-by-mile guide to the transit, a history of the building of the canal and a detailed pullout map.



Panama Wildlife Guide


Author: Rainforest Publications


Description: This handy 14-panel fold-up card features expert color illustrations of dozens of birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles.



Short Stories in Spanish, Cuentos en Espanol


Author: John King (Editor)


Description: These modern tales in the bilingual series of Penguin Parallel Texts make for good reading in any language.



South America, The Andes Map


Author: Nelles


Description: The full range of the Andes and the Pacific coast of South America.



The Andes


Author: Jason Wilson


Description: Starting out in Cuzco, heart of the Inca Empire, Wilson spreads north and south along the Andes, including excerpts from South American literary giants, travelers and his own impressions.



The Building of the Panama Canal in Historic Photographs


Author: Ulrich Keller


Description: These archival photographs tell the story of the people who built the Panama Canal, the engineers who designed it and the changes wrought on the landscape through its construction.



The Conquistadors, A Very Short Introduction


Author: Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, Matthew Restall


Description: This provocative book by two leading historians explores who the conquistadors were and what made their adventures possible.



The Incas


Author: Carmen Bernard, Paul Bahn (Translator)


Description: Featuring hundreds of archival drawings and photographs, a chronology and chapters on Atahualpa, the Conquistadors and Hiram Bingham, this handy book (previously published as "People of the Sun") illuminates the daily life, monuments and history of the Inca.



The Last Days of the Incas


Author: Kim Macquarrie


Description: MacQuarrie tackles the personality, aspirations and greed of Francisco Pizarro in this vivid account of the conquest of a continent.



The Monkey's Bridge, Mysteries of Evolution in Central America


Author: David Rains Wallace


Description: Opening this absorbing account of the history and biogeography of the Central American isthmus with the tale of Columbus, Wallace then weaves his own travels in the region with a crisp overview of exploration, nature and evolution. Natural history buffs and ecologically minded travelers will appreciate this valuable resource.



The Old Patagonian Express


Author: Paul Theroux


Description: Combining history, anecdote and acutely observed detail on people and place, Theroux begins his journey on a Boston subway car and works his way south via rail, plane and truck to the Patagonian railroad in this enthralling narrative.



The Path Between the Seas, The Creation of the Panama Canal: 1870-1914


Author: David McCullough


Description: Admirably told in vivid, page-turning detail. McCullough reveals the full scope of the Panama Canal, its characters, technical difficulties and Byzantine politics.



The Penguin History of Latin America


Author: Edwin Williamson


Description: Beginning with the Spanish conquest, this brisk history covers questions of empire, colonialism and nationalism through the 1980s.



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.





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As a not-for-profit organization, we are dedicated to providing all-inclusive educational programs at great value. From lectures to gratuities to field trips to accommodations - the tuition you pay up front is all that you pay.



Specifically, this program includes:

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