Road Scholar : Home
Across the Atlantic Aboard Minerva: Island Cultures from the Caribbean to Europe

Program Number: 21468RJ
Start and End Dates:
3/28/2014 - 4/28/2014;
Duration: 31 nights
Location: Brazil/Uruguay/Barbados/St. Lucia/Guadeloupe/Cape Verde/Canary Islands
Price starting at: $3,999.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Ocean Cruises Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 92; 31 Breakfasts, 30 Lunches, 31 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Board the elegant Minerva for a grand transatlantic voyage from the Caribbean to the ship’s home port in England. Begin 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, the Canary Islands and Madeira. Step ashore in Morocco to experience the atmospheric Kasbah of Rabat. Then sail up the coast of Iberia to discover the Andalusian culture of Jerez, the grandeur of Lisbon and the pilgrim history of Santiago de Compostela.




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, 30 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 15-19: At Sea / Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Canary Islands):

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



Day 20: Arrecife:

Continue to Lanzarote, the easternmost island of the Canaries. This protected UNESCO Biosphere Reserve is home to a wide array of plant life plus many birds and reptiles.



Day 21: Santa Cruz de La Palma:

La Palma is the most volcanically active island in the archipelago. See the Caldera de Taburiente, a crater-shaped geological feature whose walls tower 6,500 feet above its floor.



Days 22-23: Funchal (Madeira):

A northward course brings you to the Portuguese island of Madeira. Stand atop the highest sea cliff in Europe at Cabo Girão and stroll through lovely botanical gardens to see spring flowers in bloom.



Days 24-25: At Sea / Casablanca (Morocco):

Take a field trip to Rabat, the Moroccan capital, to walk the narrow streets of the city’s spectacular old Kasbah and visit some of its bustling souks.



Day 26: Cadiz (Spain):

Set out on a shore excursion to Jerez, an Andalusian city famous for its Sherry wine (“Sherry” is an anglicization of Jerez). Taste some along with delicious tapas in one of the city’s beloved bodegas.



Days 27-28: At Sea / Lisbon (Portugal):

In the Portuguese capital, take a field trip to the Jerónimos Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The intricate process of its construction took a century and was completed in 1601.



Day 29: Vilagarcía de Arousa:

Journey to Santiago de Compostela, capital of the autonomous community of Galicia in northwest Spain. Named for Saint James, who is buried here, Santiago has been a Christian pilgrimage site for more than a millennium.



Days 30-32: At Sea / Portsmouth (England) / disembark / coach to London for departure


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
30 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 at the program 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 join the Program Orientation and Welcome Dinner.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Aboard the MV Minerva
  Transportation from site: All participants who arranged their air travel through Road Scholar will receive a transfer from the ship to London Heathrow Airport (LHR) at the end of the program. Please note that it is approximately a 2 hour transfer from the ship's docking location in Portsmouth to London Heathrow. 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. We do not recommend booking flights that depart London before 2:00 pm.
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. Minerva remains in port overnight.
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Bridgetown, Barbados
(Sunday, March 30)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 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
(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 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 8: At Sea
(Friday, April 4)
   
 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 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 - Mount Teide
(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 Teide, the highest mountain in Spain (12,200 feet) 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 awareded the park with World Heritage status. Stroll through the lava fields of Mount Teide, where you will see one of the most famous icons from Tenerife, "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, Canary Islands
(Monday, April 14)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Enjoy a free day to explore Santa Cruz de Tenerife on your own. Choose one of the ship's excursions, or go into town independently. The ship will be in port all day, and dock over night.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Continue independent exploration of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 19: Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands
(Tuesday, April 15)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Drive through La Laguna and Tacoronte, some of the best wine growing areas of the island, arriving at the evergreen Orotava Valley. The first stop will be at "Mirador Humboldt" for a panoramic view over the Valley and Puerto de La Cruz. Continue to La Orotava, one of the lovliest towns on the island where the streets and buildings are monuments to its past and where you visit the House of Balconies, a handicraft center located inside a 17th century old house. Continue to Puerto de la Cruz, an old fishing port full of narrow cobbled streets lined with traditional colonial-style cafes and bars. Finally call at the famous Botanical Garden, founded in 1788 by King Carlos III as a stopover for hundreds of species of plants brought from America, Asia and Africa.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Minerva is scheduled to depart Santa Cruz de Tenerife at 3:30 pm.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 20: Arrecife, Lanzarote, Canary Islands
(Wednesday, April 16)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Minerva is scheduled to arrive in Arrecife at 8:00 am. Discover the volcanic landscape that was formed during a series of devastating eruptions in the early 18th century. In the Timanfaya National Park, where the Fire Mountains now lie dormant, you can see the stark and haunting landscape of craters and lava fields on a scenic drive through the 'route of the volcanoes'. At the Islote de Hilario, local rangers will demonstrate that only 6m below the ground temperatures reach 400 degrees Celsius. Then drive through La Geria, where islanders adapted to their new environment and in the 18th century introduced the malvasia grape, which now thrives in the volcanic soil. Here you will have time to taste some local Lanzarote wine.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Minerva is scheduled to depart Arrecife at 2:30 pm. Afternoon at leisure as you sail towards Santa Cruz, La Palma.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 21: Santa Cruz, La Palma, Canary Islands
(Thursday, April 17)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Morning at leisure as you sail towards Santa Cruz, La Palma. Minerva is scheduled to arrive at 12:00 noon.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Enjoy a scenic drive to the village of El Paso for views of the mountain peaks which form the "Caldera de Taburiente". The crater, whose walls reach up to 2000 meters, dominates the center of the island and it was declared a National Park in 1954. Before leaving El Paso visit the Silk Museum and stop at La Glorietta Square, modelled on the Parc Guell in Barcelona. Afterwards continue to the village of Los Canarios (Fuencaliente - "hot spring"), located on the southern tip of La palma to admire the landscapes and enjoy some refreshements. Minerva is scheduled to depart at 6:00 pm.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 22: Funchal, Madeira
(Friday, April 18)

Note: Please note that the drive is along steep, narrow, winding mountain roads. There is a walk of approximately 10 minutes to the wine lodge involving a short, steep path, where toilets are available. You might like to bring a sweater or light jacket as the temperature in the mountains is likely to be lower than in Funchal.



   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Morning at leisure as you sail towards the island of Madeira.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Minerva is scheduled to arrive in Madeira at 2:30 pm. Admire some of Madeira's superb scenery on a drive to Cabo Girao - the highest sea cliff in Europe - via the picturesque fishing village of Camara de Lobos, once painted by Sir Winston Churchill. A photo stop will be made a Pico da Torre, which offers excellent views over the village and pretty harbor. Continue into the mountains through pinewood and eucalyptus forests, with scenic vistas on the island's vineyards and cultivated terraces en route. A stop will also be made at Cabo Girao for breathtaking views along the coast and over Funchal. You'll then return to Funchal via Pico dos Barcelos to enjoy further panoramic views over town and a tasting at a wine lodge.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
 Evening: Minerva will remain in port overnight
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 23: Funchal, Madeira
(Saturday, April 19)

Note: Limited toilet facilities are available at the market and Fort Sao Tiago. The walking tour will last approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.



   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Discover the island's charming capital on a guided walking tour. You commence at the market, where an infinite variety of tropical fruits, vegetables, flowers as well as regional articles can be seen. A visit to the market is always interesting and varied, and you will catch a glimpse of the day to day life of the Madeiran people. Continue on foot through the old part of town to Fort Sao Tiago. Built in 1614 and named after St. James the Less, the patron saint of Funchal, it is considered one of the top art museums in Portugal. Revisit the village of Camara de Lobos (the Sea Wolves Lair), before arriving at the private property Quinta de Sao Joao; a seventeenth century manor where you will be taken on a guided tour. In the wine cellar you can sample some Madeira wine.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Minerva is scheduled to depart Funchal at 5:00 pm.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 24: At Sea
(Sunday, April 20)
   
 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 Minerva. Enjoy on board presentations and other shipboard activities.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 25: Casablanca, Morocco
(Monday, April 21)

Note: There is a 200m flat walk to the Hassan II Mosque. Please note that anyone wearing shorts or having bare shoulders (either sex) will not be permitted to enter the mosque. As you will also be required to remove your shoes you might like to bring a pair of socks. There are basic, local-style toilets at the Hassan II Mosque.



   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Minerva is scheduled to arrive in Casablanca at 8:00 am. Visit the spectacular Hassan II Mosque, the third largest mosque in the Islamic world built in the 1980s by the late King Hassan II, and then enjoy a scenic drive along the Corniche. Walk through the Habous Quarter, the "Nouvelle Medina" built by French architects in the 1930s which defines the style of modern Casablanca. View the exterior of the Royal Palace and the traditional Court Palace. Later you'll stop at Notre Dame de Louvres, before passing the Places des Nations Unis on the way back to the ship.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Minerva is scheduled to depart Casablanca at 6:00 pm.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 26: Cadiz, Spain
(Tuesday, April 22)

Note: This excursion involves approximately 2 hours walking and is not suitable for those in wheelchairs or with walking difficulties. Limited toilet facilities are available in cafes. Please note that many shops are closed in the afternoon for siesta.



   
 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: Minerva is scheduled to arrive in Cadiz at 1:00 pm. Cadiz is the oldest city in Andalucia - perhaps in Europe - with a colorful history. After a panoramic drive viewing the city walls and promenade, enjoy a walking tour through its plazas and narrow alleyways, passing the Roman theater, the Oratorio de San Felipe Neri, the cathedral and the impressive facade of the Town Hall, decorated with garlands and reliefs of Phoenician coins. You can also enjoy some free time in the lovely Plaza de Flores (if time allows).
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 27: At Sea
(Wednesday, April 23)
   
 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 Minerva. Enjoy on board presentations and other shipboard activities
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 28: Lisbon, Portugal
(Thursday, April 24)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Minerva is scheduled to arrive in Lisbon at 8:00 am. Once at the forefront of the golden age of discovery and world trade, Lisbon has played an important role in shaping the modern world. Enjoy a panoramic drive through the city viewing many of its attractions, including the Monument to the Discoveries and the 16th century Belem Tower - starting point for many voyages of discovery, as well as taking the view from Parque Eduard VII. Discovery Santa Maria Church followed by a visit to the remarkable cloisters of St. Jeronimos, a jewel of Manueline architecture, noted for its richly sculpted stonework.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Minerva is scheduled to depart Lisbon at 2:00 pm. Afternoon at leisure as you sail towards Villagarcia de Arosa.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 29: Villagarcia de Arosa, Spain
(Friday, April 25)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Morning at leisure as you sail towards Villagarcia de Arosa
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Minerva is scheduled to arrive in Villagarcia de Arosa at 1:30 pm. Visit the pilgrimage city and UNESCO World Heritage site of Santiago de Compostela where the relics of the Apostle St. James are supposed to have been discovered in the 9th century. Enjoy a guided visit to the magnificent Cathedral and Treasury, the cloister and the Museum of Tapestries. After a walking tour through the cobbled streets of the city, viewing the four majestic squares which surround the Cathederal, enjoy refreshments at the exclusive Parador Hostal de los Reyes Catolicos - a former 15th century Royal Hospital that was built to attend to the numerous pilgrims arriving at Santiago de Compostela.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 30: At Sea
(Saturday, April 26)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Relax on board the ship as you sail towards the UK. 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 31: At Sea
(Sunday, April 27)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Relax on board the ship as you sail towards the UK. 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 32: Portsmouth, United Kingdom / Disembark
(Monday, April 28)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Disembark Minerva and transfer to London Heathrow Airport for flights returning to North America. Disembarkation will begin at approximately 9:00 am (subject to change). The transfer to the airport is approximately 2 hours. If you are making your own flight arrangements, we do not recommend booking flights that depart before 2:00 pm.
   
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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