Road Scholar : Home
Amazon Explorer

Program Number: 19625RJ
Start and End Dates:
11/19/2014 - 12/18/2014; 11/23/2015 - 12/19/2015;
Duration: 29 nights
Location: United States/French Guiana/Brazil/St. Barts/St. Vincent & The Grenadines/Barbados/Aruba
Price starting at: $7,999.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Ocean Cruises
Meals: 85; 29 Breakfasts, 27 Lunches, 29 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

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




Activity Particulars

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



Itinerary At-a-Glance

Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., 1 night; aboard ms Prinsendam, 13 nights; Amazon Jungle, 1 night; aboard ms Prinsendam, 14 nights.



Days 1-6: Arrival Fort Lauderdale, Fla. / embark ms Prinsendam / At Sea / St. Thomas / Guadeloupe:

Sail along the Florida Straits and the Caribbean Sea before arriving at in St. Thomas where you will learn the history and culture of the island. Continue on to the port of Terre-de-Haut to explore the island of Guadeloupe. Lodging: Comfortable hotel.



Days 7-10: St. Lucia / Barbados/ At Sea / Devil’s Island:

Visit Pigeon Cove with a local historian and drive along the panoramic views of St. Lucia. Wind your way through the greenery of Fisherpond Sugar Cane Estate and Coffee Gully via 4x4 open-back jeeps. Journey along the scenic coastline to Farley Hill National Park in Barbados. Explore the fascinating history of Devil’s Island, a French Penal colony, on your own.



Days 11-14: At Sea / Macapa (Brazil) / Santarem / Boca de Valeria:

Board a traditional Amazon boat to visit small villages along this magnificent river. Meet native peoples who show you traditional Amazon skills like dishes, baskets and shrimp traps.



Days 15-21: Manaus / Amazon Jungle / Parintins / Alter Do Chao / At Sea:

Discover the “meeting of the waters,” an unusual phenomenon that occurs when the Amazon and Tapajós rivers meet. Visit the Monkey Forest, a center for rehabilitation and re-introduction of wild animals.



Days 22-25: Tobago/ St. Vincent & Grenadines / At Sea / Bonaire:

Explore the 18th century Fort King George, which now houses an archeology museum. Visit one of the oldest botanical gardens in the western hemisphere.



Days 26- 28: Curacao / Aruba / At Sea:

On Aruba, visit an Aloe Factory to watch the production of aloe vera skin care products.



Days 29-30: At Sea / Ft. Lauderdale / disembark / departure


ms Prinsendam

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


Meals and Lodgings
   Courtyard Ft. Lauderdale Airport and Cruise Port
  Ft. Lauderdale, USA 1 night
   MS Prinsendam
  ms Prinsendam, At Sea 13 nights
   Amazon Eco Park Jungle Lodge
  ms Prinsendam, At Sea 1 night
   MS Prinsendam
  ms Prinsendam, At Sea 14 nights
 Courtyard Ft. Lauderdale Airport and Cruise Port
Type: Hotel
  Description: The Fort Lauderdale Airport & Cruise Port hotel offers newly renovated guest rooms with free high-speed Internet, large work desk and ergonomic chair. Minutes from Fort Lauderdale Airport and Port Everglades, the hotel offers complimentary shuttle service to and from the airport and cruise terminal.
  Ship Information: n/a
  Contact info: 400 Gulf Stream Way
Dania Beach
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33004 USA
phone: 195-434-2833 x3
web: www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/fllht-courtyard-fort-lauderdale-airport-and-cruise-port/
  Room amenities: This hotel near Fort Lauderdale Airport features guest rooms with new bedding from Courtyard. Relax in an ergonomic chair while you work at a large desk in our thoughtfully appointed hotel room. You'll find fluffy white pillows and crisp white sheets at this Fort Lauderdale cruise port hotel. Spacious guest rooms feature a sofa, oversized chair and complimentary high-speed Internet. Amenities include hair dryer, iron/ironing board, refrigerator and dual-line phone with voice mail. Our hotel near Port Everglades provides color TVs with premium cable and PPV movies in each room.
  Facility amenities: Bar-B-Q and/or picnic area Beauty shop, nearby (referral at front desk) Car rentals nearby Coffee/tea in-room Gift/newsstand Housekeeping service daily Laundry on-site Laundry on-site, coin operated Local restaurant dinner delivery Mobility accessible rooms Newspaper in lobby Phone calls: toll-free Safe deposit boxes, front desk Valet dry-cleaning Vending machines
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: TBD TBD
  Check in time: 3:00 PM

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

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


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
This program starts in Ft. Lauderdale on Day 1 You will be staying at Courtyard Ft. Lauderdale Airport and Cruise Port that night.
  End of Program:
The program ends in Ft. Lauderdale on Day 30 You will be staying at MS Prinsendam the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. A Yellow Fever certificate or an official waiver is required to embark the ship. Please consult with your doctor or a travel clinic and check the CDC website for updates.
  Required innoculations:
Yes: A Yellow Fever certificate or an official waiver is required to embark the ship. Please consult with you doctor or a travel clinic and check the CDC website for updates and details of suggested shots. The CDC reports a risk of malaria in the Brazilian Amazon.
  Parking availability:
The Ft. Lauderdale Airport has long term parking available at Airport Economy Parking. Please see the following website for more information: www.fortlauderdaleinternationalairport.com/parking.php
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Taxis are available to the cruise terminal.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Ft. Lauderdale
  Transportation to site: Transfers from the airport to the hotel are included for all participants arriving on the group date. When you arrive at the Fort Lauderdale airport, please take a taxi or the hotel shuttle to the Courtyard Marriott Ft. Lauderdale Airport hotel. Please give your receipt to your study leader, Peter Alden, and he will reimburse you for the transportation cost.
  From End of Program
  Location:  In flight
  Transportation from site: Transfers from the ship to the the airport are provided for all participants departing on the group date. Avoid scheduling flights prior to 12:30PM. The ship is scheduled to arrive at 7:00AM but this is subject to change. There will be one designated group transfer for participants departing Fort Lauderdale between 2 and 3PM. Exact timing will be confirmed with your study leader upon arrival.


Required innoculations:

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

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


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrive to Ft. Lauderdale
(Wednesday, November 19)
   
 Afternoon: Arrive in Ft. Lauderdale and transfer to the Courtyard Ft. Lauderdale Airport and Cruise Port hotel. Before dinner tonight, we will gather in our private meeting room where the Group Leader will greet you with a warm welcome and introduce everyone. We will review the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss 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 local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
 Dinner: Enjoy a welcome dinner at the hotel and meet your traveling companions.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Courtyard Ft. Lauderdale Airport and Cruise Port
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Arrive Ft. Lauderdale
(Thursday, November 20)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel
 Morning: Your morning is free to explore Ft. Lauderdale independently.
 Lunch: On your own
 Afternoon: Meet back at the hotel by 12:30PM and transfer to embark the MS Prinsendam.
 Dinner: On board the ship
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: MS Prinsendam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3: At Sea (Florida Straits)
(Friday, November 21)
   
 Breakfast: On board
 Morning: Meet with your group for your first onboard lecture. Our study leader's lecture theme is "The Scenic, Cultural and Wildlife Highlights of the Caribbean, the Amazon and South America."
 Lunch: On board
 Afternoon: Enjoy the rest of the day with your fellow Road Scholar travelers or other passengers and participate in the broad choice of activities, including the ship's special guest speaker series (these are announced in the daily program when on board). Join your group in the late afternoon for a welcome cocktail party hosted by your study leader.
 Dinner: On board
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: MS Prinsendam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: At Sea (Caribbean Sea)
(Saturday, November 22)
   
 Breakfast: On board
 Morning: Enjoy a morning lecture highlighting the underwater marine life of the area while cruising in caribbean waters.
 Lunch: On board
 Afternoon: Afternoon free to enjoy your choice of ship-board activities. Before dinner, enjoy a lecture by your Study Leader.
 Dinner: On board
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: MS Prinsendam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
(Sunday, November 23)
   
 Breakfast: On board
 Morning: Today's field trip will introduce you to local life on St. Thomas: statistics, politics, geography, flora and fauna and of course a little African, European, and Danish history. Drive through the island to see Emancipation Garden, Frenchtown, German headquarters, historical churches, University of the Virgin Islands, Magens Bay, Hull Bay, St. John, Tortola, St. Croix, Puerto Rico, Vieques, Culebra and many cays and islets. Along the way, learn the chronology of events that brought the island to the present.
 Lunch: On board
 Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure in St. Thomas to explore on your own. Ship departs early evening.
 Dinner: On board
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: MS Prinsendam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Terre-de-Haut, Guadeloupe
(Monday, November 24)

Note: Tender Port



   
 Breakfast: On board
 Morning: Board a tender and transfer to the port of Terre de Haut. Your guide will escort you to Napoleon Fort, just a few minutes' drive away, to discover all the traditions and history of this small island. The fort, built originally for defense, but never used for that purpose, actually served as a penitentiary. You'll also spend an hour in the lovely garden, which showcases beautiful tropical flowers. Time at the beach is virtually mandatory on this island paradise, where it seems as if the ocean is never more than a few yards away. At Pompierre Beach, you will have free time to sunbathe, snorkel and swim. An hour or so at the beach is followed by some free time in the village.
 Lunch: On board. Alternatively you may want to stay on shore and enjoy lunch on your own.
 Afternoon: Your afternoon is at leisure to continue exploring independently.
 Dinner: On board
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: MS Prinsendam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Castries, St. Lucia
(Tuesday, November 25)
   
 Breakfast: On board
 Morning: Enjoy a morning's drive along the panoramic island of St. Lucia, from the capital of Castries on the coast, to the farming community of Baoneau inland. Stop on Pigeon island, in turn home to Carib Indians, pirates and the British Navy. Take a walk with a local historian through the ruins on the island. Then meet with a minister of the government who will explain the political system of St. Lucia.
 Lunch: On board
 Afternoon: Enjoy the rest of the day with your fellow Road Scholar travelers or other passengers and participate in the broad choice of activities, including the ship’s special guest speaker series.
 Dinner: On board
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: MS Prinsendam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Bridgetown, Barbados
(Wednesday, November 26)

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



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

Day 9: At Sea (Atlantic)
(Thursday, November 27)
   
 Breakfast: On board
 Morning: Enjoy a morning lecture on the Amazon river, its people, issues and threats.
 Lunch: On board
 Afternoon: Enjoy an afternoon lecture and other ship-board activities as the Ms. Prinsendam heads toward Devil's Island of the coast of French Guiana.
 Dinner: On board
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: MS Prinsendam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Devil's Island, French Guiana
(Friday, November 28)

Note: Tender Port / Yellow Fever Vaccine is required for French Guiana



   
 Breakfast: On board
 Morning: Lecture: Devil's Island and the Three Guianas: The British, Dutch and French seek toeholds in Hispanic South America
 Lunch: On board
 Afternoon: Ship arrives Devil's Island. There is no organized shore excursion here though you are encouraged to join your Study Leader to explore the island. The most notorious of the three Salvation Islands, Devil's Island functioned for generations as a French penal colony. Once known as the Dry Guillotine because so many prisoners died there, the island today seems haunted by the spirits of former prisoners. Henri Charriere, better known as Papillon, claimed to be the only prisoner ever to escape the island.
 Dinner: On board
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: MS Prinsendam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: At Sea (Atlantic)
(Saturday, November 29)
   
 Breakfast: On board
 Morning: Enjoy a morning lecture on Amazonian wildlife led by your study leader.
 Lunch: On board
 Afternoon: Afternoon workshop: Learn to speak and pronounce some useful words and phrases in Brazilian Portuguese.
 Dinner: On board
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: MS Prinsendam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Cruising the Amazon River, Macapa Brazil, tender port
(Sunday, November 30)

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



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

Day 13: Santarem, Brazil
(Monday, December 1)
   
 Breakfast: On board
 Morning: Enjoy a lecture by your Study Leader.
 Lunch: On board
 Afternoon: Excursion: Maica - Portrait of the Amazon Region: Begin at dock in Santarem on board a regional boat flowing downstream towards the unusual phenomenon called the "Meeting of the Waters." This is where the Amazon and Tapajos Rivers come together. Continue to the Maica Area, which is a natural outlet of the Amazon River. This is a much smaller stream, making it easier to see the sights as the boat meanders through the flood plain. The beautiful landscape of this area shows the natural ways of the Amazon Basin. Bird watching is one of the highlights of this tour. It is common to identify many different species of birds. There is also a great possibility to see fresh water dolphins. Before returning to Santarem, the boat captain will make a stop for Piranha Fishing.
 Dinner: On board
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: MS Prinsendam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Boca De Valeria, Brazil
(Tuesday, December 2)

Note: Tender Port



   
 Breakfast: On board
 Morning: This is a leisure port. Neither Road Scholar nor the ship have any structured activity organized. The village is a stop that is meant to showcase an Amazonian village that remains fairly secluded and difficult to access. Walk around and enjoy the stop, take pictures and see some local handy craft.
 Lunch: On board after returning to the ship by tender.
 Afternoon: Ship departs. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure to rest onboard or take part in the ships activities.
 Dinner: On board
   
Accommodations: MS Prinsendam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Manaus Disembarkation and the Amazon Jungle
(Wednesday, December 3)

Note: Participants with limited mobility may find it difficult to embark or disembark small boats and walk in the jungle on un even foot paths.



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

Day 16: Jungle Trekking and Manaus, Brazil
(Thursday, December 4)

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



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

Day 17: Parintins, Brazil
(Friday, December 5)

Note: Tender Port



   
 Breakfast: On board
 Morning: Tricycle tour starts outside the port and goes to the major highlights of the city: the club of Caprichoso Boi, the Liberty Square and the Bumbódromo where the annual Festival is held. Make a short stop in this arena, where fresh water will be served. Then visit the Cathedral before going along the shore back to the port.
 Lunch: On board
 Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure to explore the town or to relax.
 Dinner: On board
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: MS Prinsendam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 18: Alter do Chao, Brazil
(Saturday, December 6)

Note: Tender port. Walking at the St. Lucia Arboretum will be up to 1 1/2 hours. Insect repellent and long trousers are recommended.



   
 Breakfast: On board
 Morning: Field Trip "Guided Nature Walk": Enjoy a guided nature walk in Alter do Chao. Learn about more of the plant and animal life native to the area near this stilted village.
 Lunch: On board
 Afternoon: Enjoy the rest of the day with your fellow Road Scholar travelers or other passengers and participate in the broad choice of activities, including the ship’s special guest speaker series.
 Dinner: On board
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: MS Prinsendam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 19: Crossing the Equator / Cruising the Amazon River
(Sunday, December 7)
   
 Breakfast: On board
 Morning: Meet with your group for the scheduled Road Scholar lecture series.
 Lunch: On board
 Afternoon: Enjoy the rest of the day with your fellow Road Scholar travelers or other passengers and participate in the broad choice of activities, including the ship’s special guest speaker series (these are announced in the daily program when on board).
 Dinner: On board
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: MS Prinsendam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 20: At Sea (Atlantic)
(Monday, December 8)
   
 Breakfast: On board
 Morning: Meet with your group for the scheduled Road Scholar lecture series.
 Lunch: On board
 Afternoon: Enjoy the rest of the day with your fellow Road Scholar travelers or other passengers and participate in the broad choice of activities, including the ship’s special guest speaker series.
 Dinner: On board
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: MS Prinsendam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 21: At Sea
(Tuesday, December 9)
   
 Breakfast: On board
 Morning: Enjoy the shipboard lecture series and other activities.
 Lunch: On board
 Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure to enjoy shipboard activities and lectures.
 Dinner: On board
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: MS Prinsendam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 22: Scarborough, Tobago
(Wednesday, December 10)
   
 Breakfast: On board
 Morning: Feel the pulse of the people of Tobago. Visit the marketplace where you will be able to sample fresh fruit and other local delicacies. Then travel back in time to the colorful war history of Tobago with a visit to Fort King George. From this vantage point, you will have a panoramic view of the city and south eastern side of the island.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant
 Afternoon: After lunch, you will board a glass-bottom boat from Store Bay for a fish-eye view of the Coral Gardens. There will be the opportunity to snorkel in the world famous Bucco Reef and take a rejuvenating dip in the Nylon pool.
 Dinner: On board
   
Accommodations: MS Prinsendam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 23: Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines
(Thursday, December 11)
   
 Breakfast: On board
 Morning: Drive through Kingstown, St Vincent’s bustling capital, brimming with shops and businesses. Take in the historical and modern buildings—the Parliament and police headquarters date back to the 18th and 19th centuries respectively, while the recently constructed Financial Complex and vegetable market offer an altogether modern metropolitan look. In the center of Kingstown, keep an eye out for the symbolic statue that is the town’s Cenotaph—or War Memorial. This was erected in memory of the brave Vincentians who fought and died in the World War I from 1914 to 1918. The tour continues to the Botanic Gardens—the oldest gardens in the western hemisphere—established in 1765. Throughout the Botanic Gardens’ 20 acres, you will see a wide variety of tropical flora. The breadfruit tree is derived from a sapling brought to St Vincent by the infamous Captain Bligh. You will also see a newly constructed aviary, which houses the protected National Bird, the Amazona guildingii parrot. Take a 30-minute drive to the lush Montreal Gardens tucked away in the interior of the Mesopotamia Valley—commonly known as the breadbasket of the Grenadines due to its rich and fertile soil. The gardens are located at an elevation of approximately 3,017 feet above sea level, which gives rise to a fantastic view of the surrounding hills and valleys, banana fields and other root crop plantations. The Montreal Gardens are 30 years old and were once owned by Vincentian Douglas Brisbane, who later sold the property to Timothy Vaughan from Martinique. Here you can enjoy an array and variety of exotic flowers and fruit trees. There is a special spot in this tranquil garden for you to stroll along the paths or simply sit beneath the shade huts provided.
 Lunch: On board
 Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure to explore on your own or relax.
 Dinner: On board
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: MS Prinsendam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 24: At Sea (Caribbean Sea)
(Friday, December 12)
   
 Breakfast: On board
 Morning: Meet with your group for the scheduled Road Scholar lecture series.
 Lunch: On board
 Afternoon: Enjoy the rest of the day with your fellow Road Scholar travelers or other passengers and participate in the broad choice of activities, including the ship’s special guest speaker series (these are announced in the daily program when on board).
 Dinner: On board
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: MS Prinsendam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 25: Kralendijk, Bonaire
(Saturday, December 13)
   
 Breakfast: On board
 Morning: Bonaire is known for its pink flamingos, nature reserves and superb diving and snorkeling sites. Today’s relaxing drive covers both the scenic and historic highlights. Your route carries you north along the coast, past many of the island’s fine vistas and dive sights. You’ll pass Lake Goto (Goto Meer), the island’s land-locked salt-water lagoon, for a look at the long-legged pink flamingos. Continue your drive across the island, passing by the fresh water well "Dos Pos" and through the village of Rincon—the oldest settlement in the ABC islands. Visit the Cadushy Liqueur Distillery, the world's only distillery that produces cactus liqueur. Here you are invited for a taste of the cactus liqueur and will learn about the distilling process. Drive on to Seru Largu, located atop the mountain, and pause to take in the sweeping views over Kralendijk, Klein Bonaire and the southern part of the island. As you make your way to the southern part of the island, stop for photos of the salt pans—the color contrast between the blue Caribbean, pink salt pans and towering white mounds of dry salt are quite spectacular. Your route also carries you past the white slave huts—small shelters built for the slaves forced to labor in the salt ponds.
 Lunch: On board
 Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure to explore Kralendijk independently.
 Dinner: On board
   
Accommodations: MS Prinsendam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 26: Willemstad, Curacao
(Sunday, December 14)
   
 Breakfast: On board
 Morning: Check out the beauty of Curaçao and learn about the natural resources it enjoys. You’ll leave town immediately and drive westward through the city and past the outskirts. Along the way, you’ll see several plantation homes and old slave houses. Your guide will offer plenty of information. The Boka Tabla, your first stop, is a National Park. See how the wild sea meets the coast and the waves explode against wild rock formations—a testament to nature’s raw power. At West Point, snap a few photos from the coach and enjoy the beautiful view over the Caribbean Sea at Playa Forti. From here you’ll drive to the Tula Museum, located in a beautifully restored plantation house. Take in the view over the hills, the plantation and the Caribbean Sea. This museum and its docent guides offer an interactive look at how the people used to live on the island, during and after slavery. They will even sing a nice local song for you—a sweet and charming addition to your day. The next stop is at the most beautiful tropical beach on the island, with its unforgettable azure blue sea and stunning white beach. On the way back make the most of a short photo stop from the bus at the Jan Kok salt lakes, where you might be lucky enough to spot some flamingos.
 Lunch: On board
 Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure.
 Dinner: On board
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: MS Prinsendam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 27: Oranjestad, Aruba
(Monday, December 15)
   
 Breakfast: On board
 Morning: Take a field trip through Aruba to get the full Aruban Experience. Enjoy a morning packed full of activities: learn about aloe vera production, visit the Casibari rock formation, enjoy fresh coconut water straight from the coconut, visit the ruins of abandoned gold mines, see the famous Divi Divi trees and the Aruba cactus, pass by old cunoco houses and typical Aruban homes. View Aruba's natural bridge carved by the ocean out of the coral stone before continuing on to Ayo Park to see a 500 year old Arrowak Indian cave drawing. Visit Alto Vista Chapel built by a Spanish preacher to Christianize the native Arubans, then continue on to the Noord District on the Western side of the Island. Make a stop at the California Lighthouse before returning to the ship via Palm, Eagle and Boca Druif Beaches.
 Lunch: On board
 Afternoon: Enjoy the afternoon to yourself to explore Aruba, or to lounge on one of its famous beaches.
 Dinner: On board
   
Accommodations: MS Prinsendam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 28: At Sea (Caribbean)
(Tuesday, December 16)
   
 Breakfast: On board
 Morning: Enjoy a morning presentation led by your Study Leader: "Ecuador and Darwin's Galapagos"
 Lunch: On board
 Afternoon: Your Study Leader will conduct a presentation: "Colombia, Panama and Costa Rica". Take the remainder of the afternoon to enjoy the ships many activities.
 Dinner: On board
   
Accommodations: MS Prinsendam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 29: At Sea (Florida Staits)
(Wednesday, December 17)
   
 Breakfast: On board.
 Morning: Attend an expert-led presentation conducted by your Study Leader: "Chile and Bolivia: Cape Horn, Torres del Paine, the Lake district, Easter Island, the Atacama Desert and the high Andes to Lake Titicaca." Enjoy the rest of the morning at leisure.
 Lunch: On board.
 Afternoon: Your Study Leader will give his final presentation: "Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falklands". Then relax on board for the remainder of the afternoon.
 Dinner: Enjoy your dinner aboard ship. This farewell dinner is a great opportunity to exchange contact information with your fellow travellers.
 Evening: Take the evening to pack your luggage, and enjoy your final night aboard the ms Prinsendam.
   
Accommodations: MS Prinsendam
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 30: Ft. Lauderdale, FL
(Thursday, December 18)
   
 Breakfast: On board.
 Morning: The ship is scheduled to arrive in Ft. Lauderdale at 7:00AM local time. Transfer to the airport. Please make no flight arrangements prior to 12:00PM on this day.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


A Continent of Islands, Searching for the Caribbean Destiny


Author: Mark Kurlansky


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



A Small Place


Author: Jamaica Kincaid


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



Brazil: Amazon & Pantanal, Travellers' Wildlife Guides


Author: Les Beletsky, David Pearson


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



In Trouble Again


Author: Redmond O'Hanlon


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



Insight Guide Brazil


Author: Insight Guides


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



Northern South America Map


Author: Reise & Verkehrsverlag


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



Papillon


Author: Henri Charriere


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



Snorkeling Guide to Marine Life


Author: Paul Humann


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



State of Wonder, A Novel


Author: Ann Patchett


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



Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice


Author: Mark Plotkin


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



The Sea and the Jungle


Author: H.M. Tomlinson


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



The Smithsonian Atlas of the Amazon


Author: Michael Goulding, Ronaldo Barthem, Efrem Ferreira


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



The Traveller's Tree


Author: Patrick Leigh Fermor


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



Tree of Rivers, The Story of the Amazon


Author: John Hemming


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



Tropical Nature


Author: Adrian Forsyth, Ken Miyata


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



Whales, Dolphins, and Other Marine Mammals of the World


Author: Hadoram Shirihai, Brett Jarrett (Illustrator)


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





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