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Island Cultures Aboard Minerva: From the Caribbean to the Canaries

Program Number: 21462RJ
Start and End Dates:
3/28/2014 - 4/14/2014;
Duration: 17 nights
Location: Barbados/St. Lucia/Guadeloupe/Cape Verde/Canary Islands
Price starting at: $2,499.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Ocean Cruises Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 50; 17 Breakfasts, 16 Lunches, 17 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Physically separated from the rest of the world, each island has a culture of its own, a product of its history, its environment and its people. Experience and learn about the identities of six beautiful islands on this ocean-crossing voyage. Begin in the Caribbean with English-speaking Barbados and Saint Lucia, continue to French-speaking Terre-de-Haut and Martinique, then sail to the other side of the Atlantic to explore Cape Verde and the Canary Islands. Joining you aboard Minerva are eminent experts who provide deeper insight into each island’s story.




Activity Particulars

Walking up to one mile per day; some uneven, hilly terrain and stairs without railings.



Itinerary At-a-Glance

Bridgetown (Barbados), 1 night; aboard Minerva, 16 nights.



Days 1-3:
Arrival Bridgetown (Barbados) / embark Minerva:

Take a field trip to St. Nicholas Abbey, a historic sugar plantation with a magnificent mansion. Visit the George Washington House, where the president visited his brother. Lodging: Modern, comfortable hotel in historic Bridgetown.



Day 4:
Castries (Saint Lucia):

Sail to the lush volcanic island of Saint Lucia and stare up at the Pitons, twin 2,500-foot-tall volcanic spires designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.



Day 5:
Îles des Saintes (French West Indies):

The ship anchors in the bay of this beautiful but little-visited archipelago. Venture ashore on Terre-de-Haut Island, where Fort Napoleon is located.



Day 6:
Fort-de-France (Martinique):

Your last stop in the Caribbean is another charming French isle, Martinique. Enjoy an expert-led walk in the colorful and fragrant Balata Botanical Garden.



Days 7-13:
At Sea:

As the ship sails through the Atlantic, take part in a series of engaging presentations, participate in ship activities and enjoy time to relax.



Day 14:
São Vicente (Cape Verde):

Arrive in this country made up of ten islands 350 miles off the coast of Africa. Explore the peaceful, largely rural island of São Vicente.



Days 15-18:
At Sea / Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Canary Islands) / disembark / departure:

Complete your voyage by sailing northeast to the Canary Islands, a Spanish archipelago. On Tenerife, discover the magnificent volcanic environment of Teide National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.



MV Minerva

This stylish, newly upgraded vessel is operated by a long-established British company and boasts a loyal following of British travelers. It offers its 350 passengers two restaurants plus al fresco dining, a cinema, two bars, a library/card room, a swimming pool, a gym and a sauna. The spectacular Orpheus Lounge provides panoramic views of your surroundings.


Meals and Lodgings
   Divi Southwinds Beach Resort
  Bridgetown, Barbados 1 night
   MV Minerva
  Bridgetown, Barbados
Aboard the MV Minerva, UK:England
16 nights
 Divi Southwinds Beach Resort
Type: Resort
  Description: The Divi Southwinds is approximately 4 miles from the capital city of Bridgetown, and 6 miles from the airport.
  Ship Information: N/A
  Contact info: St. Lawrence Main Road
Christ Church, NA  Barbados
phone: +011 (246) 428 7181
web: http://www.diviresorts.com/divisouthwinds/index.html
  Room amenities: Suite amenities include a fully equipped kitchen, television, air-conditioning, clock radio, and in-room safe. One bedroom suites are a short walk from the beach just behind the St. Lawrence Gap, and offer spacious private balconies or patios with pool or garden views.
  Facility amenities: Fresh water pools (3) Two Restaurants 24 hour security In Room Safes Currency Exchange Beach Towels and Chairs Wi-fi
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 MV Minerva
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: No matter which corner of the globe you choose to discover, after exploring ashore, you will always appreciate Minerva’s stately comforts: a relaxed lounge with entertainment, well-stocked library, restaurants, gym, Wheeler bar and Shackleton's bar. An elegant environment in which polished wood and gleaming brass are complemented by works of art and fresh flowers. With over 50 years experience in discovery cruising, Swan Hellenic knows all the ingredients for the perfect cruise. From the on board environment to inspiring itineraries, and from our knowledgeable reservations team to our European ship's officers and attentive crew, we are committed to providing you with the ultimate discovery cruise experience. You will travel with like-minded people and as you share the experiences of your voyage, you may find acquaintances turn into lasting friendships. Your cruise will be further enriched by the presence of distinguished speakers drawn from the academic, diplomatic and media worlds. Their presentations and the more informal conversations you can enjoy in the Darwin Lounge will really bring our destinations to life.
  Ship Information: Gross Tonnage - 12,449 Length - 437 ft Beam - 66 ft Draft - 19 ft Cruising Speed - 14 knots Passenger Decks - 6 Stabilisers - retractable fin Registration - Bahamas Passengers - 350 Crew - 160; mainly Filipino and Ukrainian Officers - British and European Entered Service - 29th April 1996
  Contact info: Swan Hellenic - North America
1800 S.E. 10th Avenue, Suite 205
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316 USA
phone: 866-923-9182
web: us.swanhellenic.com/homeus.html
  Room amenities: TV, Hairdryer and Personal Safe in Every Cabin
  Facility amenities: Facilities include: 44 Balcony cabins 100 Outside cabins (74% outside cabins including 23% balcony cabins) 2 Restaurants Orpheus Lounge Internet Lounge Livingstone Lounge Darwin Lounge Shackleton & Wheeler Bars Cinema Library/Card Room Boutique and Gift Shop Swimming Pool Gymnasium, Sauna and Spa Services Complimentary Launderette with Washers and Dryers Beauty Salon Medical Centre Telephone, Fax and E-mail Facilities
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
This program begins at 6:00 pm on Day 1 in Bridgetown, Barbados with a program orientation at the hotel. You will be staying at Divi Southwinds Beach Resort that night.
  End of Program:
This program ends after breakfast on board the MV Minerva. You will be staying at MV Minerva the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. **IMPORTANT: REGISTERING FOR YOUR CRUISE ONLINE** Swan Hellenic requires all guests to register online prior to sailing. They will ask you to provide full passport details, including address and telephone number. They also require next of kin contact information in case of an emergency. This information must be received no later than 60 days prior to departure. Passengers must visit the website at www.swanhellenic.com - click on "Already Booked" then "Required Passenger Information" to enter your details. The embarkation date is the date you board the ship. Furnished data will be provided to foreign government immigration officials and is required for on-board administration. PLEASE NOTE: Your cruise documents will not be issued prior to your online registration, and embarkation onto the ship may be denied. If you did not receive a booking number or if you need assistance registering online, please contact our program department at 1.866.359.5966 and someone will assist you.
  Parking availability:
We do not recommend driving to the site.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Train/Bus not recommended
To Start of Program
  Location:  Bridgetown
  Transportation to site: All participants who purchase their air travel through Road Scholar Travel Services will be provided with a transfer from Barbados' Grantley Adams International Airport (BGI) to the program hotel. If you did not purchase your air travel through Road Scholar, you may join the desginated group transfer as long as your flight arrives at the same time or before the group flight. The designated group transfer time will be sent with your final program materials, approximately 5 weeks prior to the start of your program. Please try to arrive by 4:00pm, so you can join the Program Orientation and Welcome Dinner.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Aboard the MV Minerva
  Transportation from site: Transfers from the ship to Tenerife North Airport (TFN) will be provided for all participants who purchased their air travel through Road Scholar. If you did not purchase your air through Road Scholar, you may join the designated group transfer as long as your flight departs at the same time or after the group flight. The designated group transfer time will be sent with your final program materials, approximately 5 weeks prior to the start of your program.
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: Departures from the US / Arrive in Bridgetown, Barbados
(Friday, March 28)
   
 Arrive To: Flights arrive in Bridgetown. Transfer to the hotel.
 Afternoon: Meet your study leader for the progarm orientation.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner at a nearby restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Divi Southwinds Beach Resort
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Bridgetown, Barbados
(Saturday, March 29)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Explore the bond between Barbados and the United States from an historical perspective. A stop at the Barbados Museum will give an overview of the significance and background of this relationship. Continue to St. Nicholas Abbey – believed to be the oldest building in Barbados. St. Nicholas Abbey was one of the island’s first major sugar plantations. One of the plantation’s first owners, John Yeamans, was knighted by King Charles and given the Governorship of South Carolina. Drive through the countryside and stop for a brief talk about “King Sugar” and it’s role in the development of both Barbados, and the southern US; then taste raw sugar cane cut ripe from the fields
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: The final stop highlights another colonial connection between Barbados and the US. In 1751 Lawrence Washington, older brother of George Washington, found that he had tuberculosis and was advised by his doctors to move to Barbados – known for its mild climate. George Washington accompanied him, and they rented the Bush Hill House until the time of Lawrence’s death. Visit the house and the grounds. Transfer to embark the Minerva for 16 nights.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Bridgetown, Barbados
(Sunday, March 30)
   
 Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: Discover some of the island's historic sites. Visit Tyrol Cot, built in 1854, the residence of Sir Grantley Adams, the first premier of Barbados and the only prime minister of the West Indies Federation, and his son, "Tom" Adams, the second Prime Minister of an independent Barbados. In the landscaped three-acre gardens you can visit the heritage village which contains a replica of an 1820's slave hut, a Bajan rum shop and the Chattel House Museum, displaying antiques from the 1920s and giving an insight into the home life of many Barbadians at that time. You'll also see the restored Gunn Hill Signal Station, the finest of a series of signal stations built in 1818, from where there are magnificent views of the west coast. By contrast enjoy a visit to the Orchid World and discover meandering paths between outcrops of coral, rock gardens and cool shady gullies and ponds. Hummingbirds and the soothing sound of running water add to the natural beauty of the terrain. The Orchids themselves are quite spectacular; thousands are grown in shaded houses and outside on freestanding palisades.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure. Minerva departs Bridgetown at 6:00 pm.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Castries, St. Lucia
(Monday, March 31)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship. Breakfast - with a wide range of options - can be enjoyed in the Swan Restaurant, the Veranda or out on the open deck around the pool. Morning coffee and pastries are served in the Veranda and afternoon tea in the Swan Restaurant. Both restaurants offer the same wide choice of menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
 Morning: Minerva is scheduled to arrive in Castries, St. Lucia at 8:00 am. Drive through Castries and, after a photostop at Morne Fortune, travel on along winding roads through small fishing villages and past banana plantations to Soufriere, once the island's French capital, where you'll have a breathtaking view of the famous towering Pitons. Later drive on to Sulphur Springs, St. Lucia's 'drive-in' volcano, to see bubbling pools of mud, multi-colored sulphur deposits and other minerals baking and steaming on the surface, then visit Morne Coubaril Estate to stroll around the grounds before returning to Castries.
 Lunch: Return to the ship for lunch. Lunch is served in the Swan Restaurant or the Veranda.
 Afternoon: Minerva is scheduled to depart Castries at 3:00 pm.
 Dinner: Group dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Iles des Saintes, Guadeloupe - Independent Visit
(Tuesday, April 1)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Minerva is scheduled to arrive in Iles des Saintes at 8:00 am. Enjoy an independent visit to this small Caribbean island. Perhaps climb the steep hill to Fort Napoleon to admire the panoramic views.
 Lunch: Return to the ship for lunch.
 Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure. Minerva is scheduled to depart at 6:00 pm.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Fort de France, Martinique
(Wednesday, April 2)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Minerva is scheduled to arrive in Fort de France at 8:00 am. Drive to Balata Church, a smaller but exact replica of the Sacre-Coeur in Paris, from where there are spectacular views of Fort-de-France across the bay. You'll then visit the Botancial Gardens, boasting hundreds of varieties of tropical plants and flowers where you can follow walkways winding past trees and flowers including ginger, heliconia, anthuriums and bromeliads.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure. The ship is scheduled to depart Fort de France at 6:00 pm.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: At Sea
(Thursday, April 3)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Relax on board the ship as you sail on the Minerva. On board presentations from the shipboard lecturers will offer an in-depth look at the locations you will be visiting.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Continue cruising Minerva. Enjoy on board presentations and other shipboard activities.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: At Sea
(Friday, April 4)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Relax on board the ship as you sail on the Minerva. On board presentations from the shipboard lecturers will offer an in-depth look at the locations you will be visiting.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Continue cruising. Enjoy on board presentations and other shipboard activities.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: At Sea
(Saturday, April 5)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Relax on board the ship. On-board presentations from the shipboard lecturers will offer an in-depth look at the locations you will be visiting.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Continue cruising the Atlantic Ocean. Enjoy on board presentations and other shipboard activities.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: At Sea
(Sunday, April 6)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Relax on board the ship. On board presentations from the shipboard lecturers will offer an in-depth look at the locations you will be visiting.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Continue cruising the Atlantic Ocean. Enjoy on board presentations and other shipboard activities.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: At Sea
(Monday, April 7)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Relax on board the ship as you sail the Atlantic Ocean. On board presentations from the shipboard lecturers will offer an in-depth look at the locations you will be visiting.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Continue cruising the Atlantic Ocean. Enjoy on board presentations and other shipboard activities.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: At Sea
(Tuesday, April 8)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Relax on board the ship as you sail the Atlantic Ocean. On board presentations from the shipboard lecturers will offer an in-depth look at the locations you will be visiting.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Continue cruising the Atlantic Ocean. Enjoy on board presentations and other shipboard activities.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: At Sea
(Wednesday, April 9)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Relax on board the ship as you sail the Atlantic Ocean. On board presentations from the shipboard lecturers will offer an in-depth look at the locations you will be visiting.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Continue cruising the Atlantic Ocean. Enjoy on board presentations and other shipboard activities.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Mindelo, Cape Verde
(Thursday, April 10)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Minerva is scheduled to arrive in Mindelo, Cape Verde at 8:00 am. After a short sightseeing drive around Mindelo, walk through the lively vegetable market before driving to a hilltop viewpoint from where you can enjoy views over Mindelo and Mount Cara. Your drive then continues through stark volcanic mountain scenery to Catfish Bay where you'll be greeted by a carnival King and Queen and enjoy refreshments and some local snacks. Continue for a drive along the new coastal road with its wonderful views before a photostop half way up Mount Verde, from where there are spectacular views over the island. At the end of the field trip, you can choose to stay in town or return to the trip.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: There will be an option for an independent walk through Mindelo this afternoon. Minerva will be in port until 6:00 pm.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: At Sea
(Friday, April 11)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Relax on board the ship as you sail the Atlantic Ocean. On board presentations from your the shipboard lecturers will offer an in-depth look at the locations you will be visiting.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Continue cruising the Atlantic Ocean. Enjoy on board presentations and other shipboard activities.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16: Cruising the Atlantic Ocean
(Saturday, April 12)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Relax on board the ship as you sail the Atlantic Ocean. On board presentations from the shipboard lecturers will offer an in-depth look at the locations you will be visiting.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Continue cruising the Atlantic Ocean. Enjoy on board presentations and other shipboard activities.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17: Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands
(Sunday, April 13)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Morning at leisure as you cruise towards Santa Cruz de Tenerife. The ship is scheduled to arrive at 12:00 noon
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Discover Mount Tiede, the highest mountain in Spain (3,718m/12,200ft). Enjoy a panoramic drive through the pine and eucalyptus trees of Esperanza Forest. A photostop will be made to capture the volcanic landscapes before entering the National Park. Here enjoy a coffee stop surrounded by lava stone formations. Continue towards Los Roques in the Mount Teide National park. This is a protected territory which covers an area of 18,990 hectares. In 2007 UNESCO awarded the park with World Heritage Status. Stroll through the lava fields of Mount Tiede, where you will see one of the most famous icons from Tenerif, "El Roque Cinchado", known as "God's Finger".
 Dinner: On board the ship.
 Evening: Minerva will be in port overnight.
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 18: Santa Cruz de Tenerife / Disembark / Departures
(Monday, April 14)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Transfer to the airport for flights returning to the U.S.
   
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.


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