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Southeast Asia Aboard Minerva: Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Burma & Sri Lanka

Program Number: 21633RJ
Start and End Dates:
2/26/2015 - 3/15/2015;
Duration: 17 nights
Location: Singapore/Malaysia/Thailand/Burma/Sri Lanka
Price starting at: $4,300.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Ocean Cruises Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 47; 16 Breakfasts, 15 Lunches, 16 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Sail the waterways of Southeast Asia to discover ports and islands both exotic and exquisite. Begin in the buzzing city-state of Singapore then discover a diverse blend of cultural influences on the Malaysian island of Penang. Explore the verdant rainforests and pristine beaches of Phuket and the golden pagodas and colonial-era buildings of Yangon (the former Rangoon). Finally, travel over Sri Lanka’s emerald hills to find the royal and sacred city of Kandy.




Activity Particulars

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



Itinerary At-a-Glance

Singapore, 1 night; aboard Minerva, 15 nights.



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


Days 2-4: Arrival Singapore / embark Minerva:

Begin your voyage in the dynamic modern city-state of Singapore. Stroll through the excellent Singapore Botanic Gardens to see the Evolution Garden, the National Orchid Garden and more. Lodging: Four-star hotel.



Days 5-6: At Sea / Penang (Malaysia):

Navigate the Strait of Malacca to the island of Penang, the “Pearl of the Orient.” Go ashore in multiethnic George Town, the capital, to discover colorful Buddhist temples, the ornate Chinese clan house Khoo Kongsi and the Little India neighborhood.



Days 7-8: Phuket & Ko Hong Island (Thailand):

Explore the lush rainforests, exquisite beaches and Buddhist temples of Phuket on a shore excursion. Learn about the traditional martial art Muay Thai. Departing Phuket, the ship sails through scenic Krabi Bay and makes a beach stop at lovely Ko Hong Island.



Days 9-12: At Sea / Yangon (Burma):

Transit the Yangon River to reach the city formerly known as Rangoon. Enjoy a field trip highlighting Yangon’s outstanding colonial architecture then take advantage of the overnight port stay to visit the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda after dark. The next morning view ancient artifacts at the National Museum of Myanmar.



Days 13-18: At Sea / Colombo (Sri Lanka) / disembark / departure:

Sail through the Bay of Bengal to Sri Lanka. Journey through the beautiful hill country to the sacred city of Kandy, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit the Temple of the Tooth, a pilgrimage site that holds a relic of the Buddha’s tooth. Learn about the Kingdom of Kandy and enjoy traditional Kandyan dancing.



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
   Ibis Singapore on Bencoolen
  Singapore, Singapore 1 night
   MV Minerva
  Aboard the MV Minerva, UK:England 15 nights
 Ibis Singapore on Bencoolen
Type: Hotel
  Description: The Ibis Singapore on Bencoolen is located just 10 minutes from the Bugis MRT Station, and within walking distance to many cultural attractions. Located in the business and shopping distaince, many shops, restaurants and food courts are just steps away. The hotel offers a restaurant and free wi-fi throughout . All of the rooms at the Ibis Bencoolen feature air conditioning, modern decor, hardwood floors, flat-screen cable TV and a tea/coffee maker. Currency exchange and laundry service is available. TASTE Restaurant serves a variety of Asian and local dishes.
  Ship Information: n/a
  Contact info: 170 Bencoolen St
Singapore,  189657 Singapore
phone: (+65)65932888
web: www.ibis.com/gb/hotel-6657-ibis-singapore-on-bencoolen/index.shtml
  Room amenities: Standard Twin or Queen Rooms feature free WiFi connection for up to 5 devices, tea and coffee facilities, in-room safe and mini refrigerator. ROOM FITTINGS: - 220/240 V AC - Airconditioning - Data port in room - Emergency exit map - Safe deposit box in room - Bathroom doors 32 inches wide - Remote control TV - Wi-Fi in your room - Direct dial telephone - Work desk in all rooms - Satellite/cable colour TV - Manual temperature control - Free access with phone card - Automatic temperature control - Telephone 2 Fax machine - RJ 45 outlet BATHROOM: - Shower - Toilets - Hair dryer in bathroom SECURITY: - Sprinkler in room - Keycard-operated door locks - Audible smoke alarms in rooms - Smoke alarm in room - Emergency info in rooms ROOM SERVICE: - Voicemail - Message alert - Operator wake up call
  Facility amenities: - Bar - Restaurant - Free Wi-Fi in all areas - 24-Hour Front Desk - Currency Exchange - Baggage Storage - Laundry - Dry Cleaning - Shoeshine - Fax/Photocopying - Newspapers - Safe - Non-smoking Rooms - Facilities for Disabled Guests - Elevator - Air Conditioning - Accepts Visa, Mastercard and American Express
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Subject to availability Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services to arrange additional nights.
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 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 Singapore. You will be staying at Ibis Singapore on Bencoolen 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:  Singapore
  Transportation to site: All participants who purchase their air travel through Road Scholar Travel Services will be provided with a transfer from Singapore International Airport 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 Colombo 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, February 26)
   
 Arrive To: Flights depart the U.S. for Singapore.

Day 2: Arrive in Singapore
(Friday, February 27)
   
 Arrive To: Flights arrive in Singapore
 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: Ibis Singapore on Bencoolen
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Singapore
(Saturday, February 28)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Depart the hotel with your local specialist guide for an in-depth look at Singapore. At the Asian Civilization Museum, you will get a broad look at the many different pan-Asian cultures and civilizations, and how these cultures have integrated into modern Singapore society. Delve deeper into Singapore culture with a visit to the Chinese Heritage Centre- the first organization in the world to focus on the study of Chinese populations living outside of China. You will continue on with a relaxing cruise along Singapore River, followed up with a visit to a traditional clan house.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant
 Afternoon: Transfer to the ship to embark the Minerva
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Singapore
(Sunday, March 1)
   
 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: Enjoy a visit to the famous Botanical Gardens. Founded in 1859, the gardens now contain almost half a million species of plants and trees from around the world in 47 hectares of lawns, lakes, landscaped parkland and primary jungle. In the late 19th century the seeds of the Brazilian rubber tree were first successfully planted here and helped give rise to the great Malay rubber plantations. The Botanical Gardens also house the National Orchid Garden – described as ‘the largest orchid showcase in the world’, where you can see 700 species and 2,000 hybrid varieties of Singapore’s favourite flower.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship
 Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure. Minerva is scheduled to depart Singapore at 19:00
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: At Sea
(Monday, March 2)
   
 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. Enjoy on board presentations and other shipboard activities.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Penang, Malaysia
(Tuesday, March 3)
   
 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: Discover Georgetown, the vibrant, multi-ethnic capital of the island and the state of Penang. You will see impressive Fort Cornwallis, visit the magnificent Thai Buddhist Wat Chaiya Mangkalaram Temple – housing a gold-plated reclining Buddha – and the impressive Burmese Buddha Temple nearby. Enjoy a visit to the Khoo Kongsi Chinese ancestral home, where intricate carvings and ancestral tablets can be admired and then stroll through Little India, the centre of today’s Indian community, to view Sri Mahamariamman, the oldest Hindu temple in Penang. A stroll along the Chew Jetty will also show you local homes and people going about their daily business.
 Lunch: Return to the ship for lunch. Lunch is served in the Swan Restaurant or the Veranda.
 Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure. Minerva is scheduled to depart Penang at 18:00
 Dinner: Group dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Phuket, Thailand
(Wednesday, March 4)
   
 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. Minerva is scheduled to arrive in Phuket at 12:00 noon.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Discover the famed beauty of this island on a scenic drive, revealing breathtaking vistas of tropical rain forest, rubber plantations and beautiful beaches. A stop at Promthep Cape overlooking the southern tip of the island will be the ideal chance to capture some magnificent views. You’ll also visit Chalong, the most important and ornate of Phuket’s Buddhist temples. Visit the main hall and the Monk’s living quarters which is now a museum. Drive to Orchid Village to enjoy a show demonstrating some of Thailand’s traditions including Folk Dancing and Thai Boxing.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Phuket, Thailand / Krabi Bay / Ko Hong Island
(Thursday, March 5)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship
 Morning: Minerva will depart Phuket in the morning for a scenic cruise through Krabi Bay to Ko Hong Island, where you will be able to disembark for a beach visit.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship
 Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: At Sea
(Friday, March 6)
   
 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 10: At Sea
(Saturday, March 7)
   
 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. Enjoy on board presentations and other shipboard activities.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship
 Evening: Minerva is scheduled to arrive in Shanghai at 20:00.
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Yangon, Myanmar
(Sunday, March 8)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship
 Morning: The bustling city of Yangon is diverse and vibrant portraying an amalgamation of British, Burmese, Chinese and Indian influences. The city, known for its colonial architecture, remains an almost unique example of a 19th century British colonial capital. Enjoy a daytime visit to the 2,500 year old Shwedagon Pagoda with its distinctive golden stupas. After a short drive discover the Chaukhtat Gyi Pagoda to see the colossal statue of the reclining Buddha. Kandawgyi Lake is best known for its Karaweik, a replica of a traditional Burmese royal barge. Visit the barge with your guide and then drive to Mahabandoola Park to visit the Independence Monument before returning to Minerva.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship
 Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship
 Evening: Experience Yangon after sunset. Enjoy an evening sightseeing drive passing the City Hall, Independence Monument and the Karaweik Royal Barge before arriving at the Shwedagon Pagoda for a unique evening visit. The Shwedagon Pagoda is the single most important religious site in Myanmar. Rising to 300 feet, the top of the golden spire is covered with 60 tons of gold leaf and precious stones. Walk along the covered walkways that lead to one of the four entrances, each guarded by enormous sculptures of mythical Burmese lions, and explore this amazing site with your guide. On the return to Minerva, a photostop will be made at People's Park from where you can enjoy the view of the Pagoda lit up.
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Yangon, Myanmar
(Monday, March 9)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship
 Morning: Discover the National Museum housing a variety of collections including the impressive 26ft high Sihasana (Lion Throne), which belonged to King Thibaw Min, the last king of Myanmar, jewel-encrusted beds, silver and gold rugs, breathtaking ceremonial dresses and a large collection of betel-nut holders and spittoons.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship
 Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure. Minerva is scheduled to depart Tuticorin at 17:00.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: At Sea
(Tuesday, March 10)
   
 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. Enjoy on board presentations and other shipboard activities.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: At Sea
(Wednesday, March 11)
   
 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. Enjoy on board presentations and other shipboard activities.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship
 Evening: Minerva will remain in port overnight
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: At Sea
(Thursday, March 12)
   
 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 16: At Sea
(Friday, March 13)
   
 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 17: Colombo, Sri Lanka
(Saturday, March 14)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship
 Morning: Drive through the beautiful scenery of the Hill Country to Kandy, renowned as an important centre for pilgrims throughout the Buddhist world. At Kandy you can explore the magnificent Royal Botanic Gardens at Peradeniya. Then relax over lunch at a hotel, during which you’ll enjoy a display of traditional Kandyan dancing, before discovering the lakeside Temple of the Tooth and the Kandy Museum, which traces the history of the development and culture of the Kandyan Kingdom.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Minerva
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 18: Colombo, Sri Lanka / Disembark / Departures
(Sunday, March 15)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Disembark the ship and transfer to the airport.
   
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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The River of Lost Footsteps, Histories of Burma


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What the Buddha Taught


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