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Florida's Fragile Coastal Treasure: Snorkel the Coral Reefs

Program Number: 14677RJ
Start and End Dates:
6/8/2014 - 6/14/2014; 1/11/2015 - 1/17/2015; 2/8/2015 - 2/14/2015; 3/8/2015 - 3/14/2015; 3/29/2015 - 4/4/2015; 4/19/2015 - 4/25/2015; 11/1/2015 - 11/7/2015; 11/15/2015 - 11/21/2015;
Duration: 6 nights
Location: Key Largo, Florida
Price starting at: $1,549.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Water Sports
Meals: 17; 6 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 6 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Experience the aquatic treasures of John Pennekamp State Park in Key Largo during this outdoor adventure. Snorkel and kayak as you explore the continental United States’ only living coral reef. An expert delves into the Keys’ natural history and culture. Park rangers focus on reef fish and environmental threats to coral reefs and sea grass beds.




Highlights

• Embark on a light hiking adventure in Everglades National Park to study marine and mangrove ecology.
• Visit the Windley Key Fossil Reef State Park and walk along eight-foot-high quarry walls to see ancient coral.
• Snorkel in living, shallow-water coral reefs.



Activity Particulars

Hiking less than one mile two days. Snorkeling up to 1.5 hours. Kayaking up to four miles. Beginners encouraged.




Date Specific Information

6-8-2014

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.




Key Largo

The most northern of the Florida Keys, Key Largo is a popular diving and sports-fishing destination. Kayakers, birders and eco-tourists flock here because of its location between the Everglades and the country’s only living coral reef. At nearby John PenneKamp State Park, visitors can take snorkeling, diving or glass-bottom boat tours of the reef.



Accommodations
All-suites resort hotel with swimming pool and private beach.
Meals and Lodgings
   Ocean Pointe Suites at Key Largo
  Key Largo Florida Keys 6 nights
 Ocean Pointe Suites at Key Largo
Type: Resort
  Description: Ocean Pointe is an all-suite resort located directly on the Atlantic Ocean. Their 60 acres are part of a protected mangrove forest and is entered through a private gatehouse and road. Your vacation begins the moment you drive through our gatehouse entrance into their beautifully landscaped tropical grounds and enter your spacious room.
  Contact info: 500 Burton Dr
Key Largo, FL 33070 USA
phone: 305-853-3000
web: www.opsuites.com/Hotel_Overview/key-largo-ocean-pointe-overview.asp
  Room amenities: Living room with queen sofa bed, full kitchen, dining area, separate bedroom with queen bed, private balcony and whirlpool tub in the bathroom. As a condominium hotel, no maid service but complimentary towels and linens delivered upon request. and have washers and dryers in every suite
  Facility amenities: - Oversized heated swimming pool with whirlpool spa - Free tennis on 2 lighted courts - Marina with boat ramp and rental slips - Waterfront cafe and lounge - Small, private white sand beach, volleyball court and kayak rentals. - Courtesy guard at gatehouse - For kids there is also a childrens play area.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: $169 - 239 Call the resort directly to make the reservations. Mention your are part of the World Event/Road Scholar Group.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: $169 - 239 Call the resort directly to make the reservations. Mention your are part of the World Event/Road Scholar Group.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
3:00 PM: Shuttle departs Miami Airport Terminal H Baggage Claim # 6. 5:30 PM: Introductions and Orientation at the Hotel Reception (lower level) You will be staying at Ocean Pointe Suites at Key Largo that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after breakfast at approx. 10:00 AM when the complimentary shuttle departs for Miami International Airport. You will be staying at Ocean Pointe Suites at Key Largo the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. World Events LLC require a waiver be signed before starting the program. Its sub-contractors may also require liability waivers for certain activities.
  Parking availability:
Free except for RVs, large vans and cars with trailers. Call hotel to make special arrangements for these types of vehicles. There will be extra charge at your own expense for these vehicles.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Key Largo Florida Keys
  Nearest highway: Hotel is just off US#1-aka Overseas Highway
  Nearest airport:  Miami International (airport code MIA)
  From End of Program
  Location: Key Largo Florida Keys
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Key Largo/Tavernier

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
World Events LLC
phone: 800-971-3884
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Complimentary
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

90 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

45 miles

   

A one time complimentary shuttle service is provided on the first day of the program from Miami Airport (MIA) for flights arriving before 2 PM only. The meeting location is Terminal H Baggage Claim # 6 by the benches. Please fill out the Travel Form (included in your preparatory materials) to reserve your space. We do not recommend relying on a 45 minute connection between Ft Lauderdale Airport (FLL) and our Miami pick-up.

 

Key Largo/Tavernier

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
World Events LLC
phone: 800-971-3884
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Complimentary
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

90 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

45 miles

   

A one time complimentary shuttle service is provided on the last day of the program to Miami Airport (MIA) for flights departing after 2 PM only. We do not recommend relying on a 45 minute connection between Ft Lauderdale Airport (FLL) and our Miami drop-off. A commercial shuttle service is also available to MIA and FLL- call 888-765-9997 for rates and schedules.

 

Miami/Fort Lauderdale

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Keys Shuttle
phone: 888-765-9997
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Approximate cost is $70 for one person and $80 for two.
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

90 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

45 miles

   

Please contact the shuttle service directly for rates and schedules.

 

Miami

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Car Rentals
Thrifty
phone: 877-283-0898
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Call Thrifty directly for pricing and reservations
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1.5 

 

Distance:

 

45

   

Thrifty is the closest location to Ocean Pointe

 
Driving Directions
  Florida's West Coast Take 1-75 Alligator Alley East to the Miami exit, and South to the Turnpike Extension. Follow signs to Key West. The turnpike (821) ends at US #1 in Florida City. Follow US1 over the causeway to Key Largo. When you reach the island, continue south to mile marker 92.5, About 1/4 mile before you reach 92.5, you will see a highway sign on the center median: Harris Harris Park Burton Drive. Turn left at the next corner at the Circle K Convenience store. The Ocean Pointe Suites gatehouse entrance will be on your right side approximately 1/4 mile from US1.
  From Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Exit the airport and follow the signs for #595 West. Take #595 to the Florida Turnpike South toward Key West. The Turnpike ends at US #1 in Florida City. Follow U.S. #1 South about 22 miles to Key Largo. Mile Markers (MM) While driving in the Keys, the right side of the road if driving toward Key West is referred to as Bayside while the left side is called the Oceanside. The signs count down from MM107 in Key Largo to MM0 in Key West. The road is also know as the Overseas Highway. When you reach the island, continue south to mile marker 92.5, you will see a highway sign on the center median: Harris Park/Burton Drive next left. Turn left at the next corner at the Circle K Convenience store The Ocean Pointe Suites gatehouse entrance will be on your right side approximately 1/4 mile from US1
  From the North Take the Florida Turnpike South to just below Ft. Lauderdale, where Old Exit 4 takes you on to the southern portion of the Turnpike. The Turnpike ends at US #1 in Florida City. Follow U.S. #1 south for about 22 miles to Key Largo. Mile Markers (MM) While driving in the Keys, the right side of the road if driving toward Key West is referred to as Bayside while the left side is called the Oceanside. The signs count down from MM107 in Key Largo to MM0 in Key West. The road is also know as the Overseas Highway. When you reach the island, continue south to mile marker 92.5, you will see a highway sign on the center median: Harris Park/Burton Drive next left. Turn left at the next corner at the Circle K Convenience store The Ocean Pointe Suites gatehouse entrance will be on your right side approximately 1/4 mile from US1
  Miami Take the Florida Turnpike south to the end, when it becomes US1 south. Follow US1 over the causeway to Key Largo. When you reach the island, continue south to milemarker 92.5, About 1/4 mile before you reach 92.5, you will see a highway sign on the center median: Harris Harris Park Burton Drive. Turn left at the next corner at the Circle K Convenience store. The Ocean Pointe Suites gatehouse entrance will be on your right side approximately 1/4 mile from US1.
Elevation Note: No elevation above 100 feet

Equipment Requirements: Snorkel, mask, fins and flotation vest are provided free of charge. Should it be necessary, wetsuits are available at $8.00 per session. Also, there are a very limited number of prescription masks which should be requested in advance at Orientation. If this is critical, participants should bring their own.
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: 3:00 PM Airport Shuttle depart from Miami Airport departing from Terminal H Baggage Claim # 6 and Orientation at 5:30 PM.
(Sunday, June 8)

Note: For those taking the complimentary Shuttle meet at Terminal H Baggage Claim # 6 at 2:45 PM.



   
 Arrive To: INDEPENDENT ARRIVALS: Complimentary shuttle from Miami Airport to Ocean Pointe Suites. The meeting location is Terminal H Baggage Claim # 6 at 2:45 PM.
 Afternoon: HOTEL CHECK-IN: Hotel check-in will be available beginning at 4:00 PM

PROGRAM REGISTRATION & ORIENTATION: We will gather at 5:30 PM in our reserved room at the hotel (in the downstairs Welcome Center Area) for introductions and orientation. We will provide an informative overview of the program including a review of the updated daily schedule, responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have.

Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to weather and other local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible.

 Dinner: We will enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Ocean Pointe Suites at Key Largo
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Kayaking and Snorkel Instruction
(Monday, June 9)

Note: As nature is unpredictable, changes in times and locations may occur, even at the last minute. A final itinerary will be distributed at orientation.



   
 Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast at a warm, friendly, restaurant, featuring a casual atmosphere and traditional, home cooked meals.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Learn about the Keys' natural environment, the area’s history and the challenges it faces moving foward. Search for wading birds and creatures of the sea as we journey through mangrove forests, across tidal flats and out along the Atlantic’s edge. Your leader will show you the kayaking basics and will familiarize you with the necessary paddling equipment. We will be out on the water for approximately 60-90 minutes with instruction for beginners. Participants will be assigned to tandem or single seat sea-kayaks according to their abilities. In the interests of safety and enjoyment, couples and companions may well be in different kayaks. This will be determined strictly by the instructor(s). Water will be provided please bring your water bottle.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant
 Afternoon: PRACTICE: Introduction to snorkeling and training sessions in the pool to review your skills and give you useful tips. Instruction will include the all important procedure and practice for getting in and out of the water safely from a boat at anchor. Those not interested in the training and review session may wish to take the opportunity to relax by the hotel's pool and whirlpool spa, play tennis on one of the 2 tennis courts, visit the marina or a waterfront cafe, or enjoy the hotel's small, private white sand beach with volleyball court and kayak rentals.
 Dinner: We will enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Ocean Pointe Suites at Key Largo
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Presentation at John Pennekamp State Park and afternoon snorkeling at the John Pennekamp Coral Reef/Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
(Tuesday, June 10)

Note: As nature is unpredictable, changes in times and locations may occur, even at the last minute. A final itinerary will be distributed at orientation



   
 Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast at a warm, friendly, restaurant, featuring a casual atmosphere and traditional, home cooked meals.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Explore John Pennekamp State Park, with one of your group leaders, a certified Florida Master Naturalist. Our guided field trip includes a mile long walk through mangrove habitat over pathways and boardwalk. Learn about the importance of mangroves to the reefs and why the mangrove system is the second most productive bio-zone on the planet. Following our field trip we will have a slide presentation on reef fish, to help us identify those that we will see on this afternoon's snorkeling excursion.
 Lunch: Enjoy a delicious and healthy picnic lunch including fresh salad and/or sandwiches.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Our first reef snorkel will take place at the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. This living, shallow-water reefs is teeming with vibrant color and activity. Our 2 and a half-hour including boat travel time snorkeling excursion is strictly non-scuba for the comfort of our participants. The site is determined by weather and tidal conditions, Captain's experienced knowledge and other pertinent factors.
 Dinner: We will enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Ocean Pointe Suites at Key Largo
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Field trip to Everglades National Park
(Wednesday, June 11)

Note: As nature is unpredictable, changes in times and locations may occur, even at the last minute. A final itinerary will be distributed at orientation.



   
 Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast at a warm, friendly, restaurant, featuring a casual atmosphere and traditional, home cooked meals.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Visit Everglades National Park where we will embark on an approximately one mile long walk over pavement and boardwalk on the Anhinga Trail, guided by a park service expert. Sunscreen and hats are strongly suggested as most of the trail is in the open.
 Lunch: We'll enjoy a delicious and healthy picnic lunch including fresh salad and/or sandwiches in Everglades National Park.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Stop at the Everglades National Park Visitors Center for presentations on the Park and an opportunity to peruse the exhibits and tasteful book/gift shop.
 Dinner: We will enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Ocean Pointe Suites at Key Largo
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Free Time/ Second Snorkel Trip
(Thursday, June 12)

Note: As nature is unpredictable, changes in times and locations may occur, even at the last minute. A final itinerary will be distributed at orientation.



   
 Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast at a warm, friendly, restaurant, featuring a casual atmosphere and traditional, home cooked meals.
 Morning: Free Time
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: We'll return to the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary to see and learn more about the reefs there. In addition to the colorful coral and fish, you will have the opportunity to view a variety of seagrass, birds and other marine life.
 Dinner: We will enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Ocean Pointe Suites at Key Largo
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Field trip to Windley Key Fossil Reef State Park and Snorkeling at the John Pennekamp Coral Reef/Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
(Friday, June 13)

Note: As nature is unpredictable, changes in times and locations may occur, even at the last minute. A final itinerary will be distributed at orientation.



   
 Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast at a warm, friendly, restaurant, featuring a casual atmosphere and traditional, home cooked meals.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Visit the Windley Key Fossil Reef State Park and walk along eight-foot-high quarry walls to see cross sections of ancient coral. Learn about the history of the quarry and its operation -- an important part of Florida's 20th century history -- as you walk among samples of the quarry machinery have been preserved at the park. Formed of Key Largo limestone, fossilized coral, this land was sold to the Florida East Coast Railroad, which used the stone to build Henry Flagler's Overseas Railroad in the early 1900s. Following the completion of the railroad, the quarry was used until the 1960s to produce exquisite pieces of decorative stone called Keystone.
 Lunch: Enjoy a delicious and healthy picnic lunch including fresh salad and/or sandwiches.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: This afternoon we will return to the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary for our third snorkeling field trip. Our 2.5 hour excursion (including boat travel time) will be strictly non-scuba for the comfort of participants. The site is determined by weather and tidal conditions, Captain's experienced knowledge and other pertinent factors.
 Dinner: Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant
   
Accommodations: Ocean Pointe Suites at Key Largo
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Breakfast and Adventure Recap
(Saturday, June 14)
   
 Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast at a warm, friendly, restaurant, featuring a casual atmosphere and traditional, home cooked meals.
 Morning: WRAP-UP SESSION: The program will conclude following an informal wrap-up session to share and discuss what you thought was most interesting, exciting, and enjoyable about your experience.

We hope you have had a great time on this learning adventure and will join us for other rewarding programs in the future. Best wishes for all your journeys!

HOTEL CHECK-OUT: Check-out is by 11:00 AM. AIRPORT SHUTTLE TO MIAMI: Departs at 10:00 AM.

   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Key Largo Florida Keys African Queen
Historic replica (or original) boat used in the movie of the same name. Located approx 5 miles south of the hotel.
  Casino Ship
Some Participants enjoy this form of Free Time
  Key Largo Library
Local library with Internet access is approx 1.5 miles north of the hotel.
  Keys Bird Rehab Center
The Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehab Center is located 5 miles south of the hotel. There are numerous species of birds under temporary or permanent care. The facility is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization run mostly on private donations. A $5 per person donation is considered the norm.
  Local neighborhood
Some Participants have found strolling along the canal to be a pleasant way of unwinding after dinner or as an early morning leg stretcher.
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


Snorkeling Guide to Marine Life - Florida - Caribbean - Bahamas


Author: Paul Humann and Ned DeLoach


Description: Good visual guide to fish and creatures likely to be seen on the reef



Scuba Diving and Snorkeling for Dummies


Author: John Newman


Description: Typical of the "for Dummies" with lots of well presented facts, tips and fundamental information on snorkeling and equipment. Perfect for novices and experts alike.



Eco-Touring the Florida Keys


Author: Mathew Landau and Larry Gates


Description: Good source of information about the Keys' native plants and animals and the overall eco-system.



Insiders Guide Florida Keys & Key West


Author: Victoria Shearer and Janet Ware


A Land Remembered


Author: Patrick Smith


Florida’s Fabulous Fish


Author: Gary Cochran




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