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Exotic Islands of Asia Aboard Minerva: The Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia

Program Number: 21632RJ
Start and End Dates:
1/22/2015 - 2/14/2015;
Duration: 23 nights
Location: China/Philippines/Malaysia/Indonesia/Singapore
Price starting at: $6,899.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Ocean Cruises Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 65; 22 Breakfasts, 21 Lunches, 22 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Borneo. Bali. Java. The names evoke thoughts of exotic cultures, lush forests, placid lagoons and colorful creatures. And these are just three of the islands you’ll experience on this Far East voyage. Encounter orangutans and Komodo dragons, find ancient temples hidden by jungle and learn about the timeless traditions of island peoples.




Activity Particulars

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



Itinerary At-a-Glance

Hong Kong, 1 night; aboard Minerva, 21 nights.



Day 1: Overnight flight from the U.S.A.


Days 2-4: Arrival Hong Kong / embark Minerva:

Explore this cosmopolitan city and learn about its unique origins at the Museum of History. Take the historic Star Ferry across the harbor then ascend Victoria Peak by tram to absorb spectacular skyline views. Lodging: Four-star hotel.



Days 5-7: At Sea / Corregidor (Philippines):

Sail across the South China Sea to the Philippines. Go ashore on Corregidor and learn about the important World War II battle that happened here.



Days 8-9: At Sea / Bohol:

Journey through lush countryside to the Chocolate Hills, a geological formation of more than 1,000 brown-colored, cone-shaped hills.



Days 10-11: At Sea / Sandakan (Malaysia):

On the island of Borneo, venture to the Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary to encounter apes that are being prepared to return to the wild.



Days 12-14: At Sea / Sulawesi (Indonesia):

Journey into the highlands to experience the culture of the Toraja. See beautiful ancestral homes and burial sites carved into cliffs.



Days 15-16: At Sea / Komodo:

Search the forest for this island’s most famous creature, the Komodo dragon, a lizard that can measure up to 10 feet in length.



Day 17: Sumbawa:

Go ashore on this off-the-beaten-path Indonesian isle to visit a local village and interact with the residents.



Day 18: Bali:

This verdant island is known for its colorful architecture that blends Hindu and island traditions. Discover the Mother Temple of Besakih and Kertha Gosa pavilion.



Days 19-20: At Sea / Semarang:

Continue to the island of Java, where you venture to Borobudur, a magnificent Buddhist temple complex featuring 504 Buddha statues.



Day 21: Kura Kura:

Your last stop is a relaxing one at the lovely Kura Kura (“Sea Turtle”) Resort. Enjoy time to explore the beach and take a swim.



Days 22-24: At Sea / Singapore / disembark / 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
   Novotel City Gate Hotel (or similar)
  Hong Kong, China 1 night
   MV Minerva
  Aboard the MV Minerva, UK:England 22 nights
 Novotel City Gate Hotel (or similar)
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Ship Information: n/a
  Contact info: 51 Man Tung Road
Tung Chung
Hong Kong,   Hong Kong
phone: (+852)36028888
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Check in time: 6:00 AM

 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 3 at the program hotel in Hong Kong. You will be staying at Novotel City Gate Hotel (or similar) 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:  Hong Kong
  Transportation to site: All participants who purchase their air travel through Road Scholar Travel Services will be provided with a transfer from Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) 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 be transfer from the ship to the airport in Singapore (SIN) airport at the end of the program. 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
(Thursday, January 22)
   
 Arrive To: Flights depart the U.S. for Hong Kong.

Day 2: Arrive in Hong Kong
(Friday, January 23)
   
 Arrive To: Flights arrive in Hong Kong
 Afternoon: Check in at your hotel and take the afternoon to unpack and relax. In the early evening you will meet with your group for introductions, a review of the program itinerary and site orientation.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Novotel City Gate Hotel (or similar)
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Hong Kong - Victoria Peak and the Hong Kong History Museum
(Saturday, January 24)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Ride the historic Star Ferry across the harbor to Central District. Even after 100 years, the ferry remains an important commuter link from Kowloon to Hong Kong island. The eight-minute crossing provides spectacular 360 degree views of Hong Kong’s magnificent harbor. Drive to the base of Victoria Peak and take the funicular up the highest mountain on the island, where spectacular views stretch over the city’s most expensive real estate, to the harbor beyond.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant
 Afternoon: At the Hong Kong History Museum, learn about the unique origins of this beautiful city – from the history of its original inhabitants to its present-day status as a distinctively international port and financial center. Transfer to the ship to embark the Minerva.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Hong Kong
(Sunday, January 25)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship
 Morning: TBD
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship
 Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure. Minerva is scheduled to depart Hong Kong at 19:00.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: At Sea
(Monday, January 26)
   
 Breakfast: 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: Lunch on board the ship
 Afternoon: Continue cruising Minerva. Enjoy on board presentations and other shipboard activities
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: At Sea
(Tuesday, January 27)
   
 Breakfast: 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: Lunch on board the ship
 Afternoon: Continue cruising Minerva. Enjoy on board presentations and other shipboard activities
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Manila, Philippines - Corrigidor
(Wednesday, January 28)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship
 Morning: The strategic island of Corregidor, lying 48km west of Manila, was the scene of ferocious fighting between the combined Filipino and American forces and invading Japanese troops during World War II. The Japanese occupied Corregidor from May 1942 until it was liberated by General McArthur in January 1945. During the battle the Japanese detonated an underground arsenal, killing 2,000 of their own troops and many American soldiers. You will travel around the island on open-sided trams, viewing the mile long barracks and some of the gun batteries, as well as stopping to see the Spanish lighthouse, the Philippines Heroes Memorial and, at the island’s highest point, the Pacific War Memorial. This excursion also includes an audio-visual show in the Malinta Tunnel and viewing a concrete bunker used as a hospital during the war.
 Lunch: Lunch will be served at the La Playa Restaurant.
 Afternoon: Continue exploring Corregidor after lunch before returning to the ship.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: At Sea
(Thursday, January 29)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship
 Morning: On board presentations from the shipboard lecturers will offer an in-depth look at the locations you will be visiting.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship
 Afternoon: Continue cruising Minerva. Enjoy on board presentations and other shipboard activities
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Bohol, Philippines - Chocolate Hills
(Friday, January 30)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Travel to the centre of Bohol, past paddy fields and through lush countryside, to the famous Chocolate Hills. This spectacular, surreal natural wonder – a thousand or so rich brown-coloured cone-shaped hills – is an unforgettable sight. Independently you can enjoy the views and have time for refreshments at the Chocolate Hills Complex.
 Lunch: Return to the ship for lunch.
 Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure. Ship will be in port until 20:00
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: At Sea
(Saturday, January 31)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship
 Morning: On board presentations from the shipboard lecturers will offer an in-depth look at the locations you will be visiting.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship
 Afternoon: Continue cruising Minerva. Enjoy on board presentations and other shipboard activities
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Sandakan, Malaysia - Wildman of Borneo
(Sunday, February 1)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship
 Morning: With intelligent eyes, a tuft of fluffy hair and a skull very similar to that of man, the orangutan is locally known as ‘The Wildman of Borneo’. The Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre was founded in 1964, to rehabilitate orphan orangutans. The site is 43 sq km of protected land at the edge of Kabili Sepilok Forest Reserve. Today around 60 to 80 orang-utans are living free in the reserve, giving you the opportunity to see them up close in their natural habitat. A boardwalk leads you to a viewing gallery and feeding platform where the orang-utans are fed milk and bananas by rangers. Feeding time also attracts long-tailed macaques to the area. Before heading back to the quayside, enjoy a visit to the Che Shiang Khor temple which teaches the practices of the moral uplifting society.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship
 Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure. The ship is 19:00.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: At Sea
(Monday, February 2)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship
 Morning: On board presentations from the shipboard lecturers will offer an in-depth look at the locations you will be visiting.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship
 Afternoon: Continue cruising Minerva. Enjoy on board presentations and other shipboard activities
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: At Sea
(Tuesday, February 3)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship
 Morning: On board presentations from the shipboard lecturers will offer an in-depth look at the locations you will be visiting.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship
 Afternoon: Continue cruising Minerva. Enjoy on board presentations and other shipboard activities
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Pare Pare, Indonesia - Toraja Highlands
(Wednesday, February 4)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Explore the culture of Tana Toraja, in the “Land of the Heavenly Kings”. The Torajas are known for their grand burial ceremonies and, although devoutly Christian, practice ancestral and animism rituals where death and after-life ceremonies are great festivities. Drive through panoramic scenery to Tana Tojara, making a short stop to enjoy the view at Bamba Puang, known as the erotic mountain. Once at Tana Toraja, visit Lemo, the centuries-old stone cliff site for the burials of the royal families.
 Lunch: Enjoy lunch at Toraja Heritage Hotel, served in Rajalaya style by waiters dressed in traditional costumes. You will also have the opportunity to view demonstrations of two traditional crafts.
 Afternoon: After lunch visit Ke’te’ Kesu’, a traditional village with a rich heritage in local handicrafts. Learn about the distinctive Tongkonan house, intricately decorated traditional homes raised on piles and topped with a massive upward-sloping roof.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: At Sea
(Thursday, February 5)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship
 Morning: On board presentations from the shipboard lecturers will offer an in-depth look at the locations you will be visiting.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship
 Afternoon: Continue cruising Minerva. Enjoy on board presentations and other shipboard activities
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16: Komodo, Indonesia - Komodo Dragons
(Friday, February 6)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship
 Morning: Enjoy a short trek on Komodo Island where the highlight will be seeing the Komodo Dragons. These relatives of the dinosaurs are the biggest reptiles on Earth, reaching lengths of over 3 metres and sometimes weighing over 125kg. After a short briefing at the Rangers’ Station commence your trek through Tamarind Woods, a forest of tamarind and palm trees. Your guide will provide an insight into the life of this unique reptile. Keep an eye open for these dappled giants as you approach Banunggulung, a former Komodo feeding ground, before trekking back to the Rangers’ Station where you can take a little time to browse for souvenirs made by local villagers.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: The field trip to Komodo Island will take place in the morning or the afternoon. While on board the ship, your group leader will let you know the timing of your disembarkation.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17: Sumbawa, Indonesia
(Saturday, February 7)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship
 Morning: The Morning excursion will include a visit to a local village.
 Lunch: Return to the ship for lunch
 Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure. Minerva is scheduled to depart at 17:00
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 18: Tanah Ampo, Bali, Indonesia - Scenic Bali and Besakih Temple
(Sunday, February 8)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship
 Morning: Enjoy a visit to Kertha Gosa in the heart of Semarapura. Kerta Gosa is the name of the former Royal Courts of Justice in Klungkung. The Kertha Gosa pavilion was first built in the early 18th century and is a fine example of Balinese architecture, beautifully set in a courtyard of ponds. The highlight is an elaborately decorated ceiling featuring the wayang style of painting. Its name is taken from Sanskrit namely “Kertha” meaning Peaceful and “Gosita” meaning Announcement. Continue on a scenic drive through tree covered slopes and volcanic landscapes to Besakih Temple, the holiest and most important Hindu temple in Bali, which local people call the “Mother Temple”. The Temple is not one temple but a complex of 22 puras scattered over the slopes of Mount Agung. It has stepped terraces and flights of stairs which ascend to a number of courtyards and brick gateways that in turn lead up to the main spire. Admire the breathtaking views from the top of the temple area.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship
 Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure. Minerva will remain in port until 19:00.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 19: At Sea
(Monday, February 9)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship
 Morning: On board presentations from the shipboard lecturers will offer an in-depth look at the locations you will be visiting.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship
 Afternoon: Continue cruising Minerva. Enjoy on board presentations and other shipboard activities
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 20: Semarang, Indonesia - Borobudur
(Tuesday, February 10)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship
 Morning: Drive through the dramatic landscape of central Java and stop at a local coffee shop to break your journey en route to Borobudur. Borobudur Temple was built by the Sailendra dynasty between 750 and 842 AD. At this time the Saliendra dynasty built a great number of monuments, both Hindu and Buddhist. In 1991 UNESCO added Borobudur to its list of World Heritage Sites and has been of great influence in restoring the monument to its former glory. The temple is an enormous step pyramid structure made from giant stone blocks, built on a hill, surrounded by valleys and hills. The levels rise up representing the stages of enlightenment. The top of the monument is crowned with a large bell shaped stupa, 10 metres in diameter.
 Lunch: A buffet lunch of Indonesian specialities will be served on the site, accompanied by a performance from local entertainers.
 Afternoon: Return to the ship by coach. Minerva is scheduled to depart Semarang at 19:00
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 21: Kura Kura, Indonesia
(Wednesday, February 11)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship
 Morning: Kura Kura (Turtle) Resort is an island resort located on Pulau (Island) Menyewakan, an atoll belonging to the Karimunjawa Archipelago made up of approximately 27 islands and coral reefs. The whole archipelago is a preservation area. Passengers will be tendered ashore and can discover at leisure the beaches and swim.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship
 Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure. Minerva is scheduled to depart at 14:00.
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 22: At Sea
(Thursday, February 12)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: On board presentations from the shipboard lecturers will offer an in-depth look at the locations you will be visiting.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship
 Afternoon: Continue cruising Minerva. Enjoy on board presentations and other shipboard activities
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 23: At Sea / Singapore, Singapore
(Friday, February 13)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: On board presentations from the shipboard lecturers will offer an in-depth look at the locations you will be visiting.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship
 Afternoon: Continue cruising Minerva. Enjoy on board presentations and other shipboard activities. Minerva is scheduled to arrive in Singapore at 18:00. You will be able to disembark the ship in the evening, but there are no scheduled field trips in Singapore.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Dinner

Day 24: Singapore, Singapore - Disembark
(Saturday, February 14)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Disembark the ship and transfer to the airport.
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
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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