11513
Hawaii
Tropical Splendor: Exploring the Hawaiian Islands
The Big Island was home to Kamehameha the Great, Maui is iconic for its lush island landscapes and Oahu is a history-buff’s mecca. Learn Hawaii’s story on this adventure of a lifetime.
Rating (5)
Program No. 11513RJ
Length
11 days
Starts at
4,145
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11 days
10 nights
27 meals
10 B 8 L 9 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Welcome Dinner
Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii
D
Prince Waikiki

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration. After you have your room assignment, come to the Road Scholar table in the lobby to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any changes, other important information, and to confirm when and where the Orientation session will take place. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in. The remainder of the afternoon is free to freshen up and relax, stretch your legs, and enjoy the views.

Dinner: In our private room at the hotel, we will have a buffet dinner with coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars with a brief introduction to the members of our group. We will call it an early evening due to the travel and adjusting to the time difference. Settle in and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
2
Orientation, Oahu Lecture, Bishop Museum, The Punchbowl
Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii
B,L,D
Prince Waikiki

Activity note: Getting on/off a bus; driving about 15 miles, approximately 1 hour depending on traffic. Walking up to 1.5 miles throughout the day; paved walkways; stairs at Bishop Museum, elevators available.

Breakfast: In the hotel’s 100 Sails Restaurant, choose what you like from the breakfast buffet with choices such as eggs, cereal, fresh fruit, pastries, Asian breakfast items, milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: Orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. This is a Road Scholar Adventures Afloat program. In addition to lectures and field trips exclusively for our Road Scholar group, you are invited to take advantage of activities and events aboard ship that are separate from the Road Scholar program. Meals aboard ship are all-inclusive. Travel and transfers for field trips will be via motorcoach, bus, and/or van depending on local conditions and schedules at the time of the program. Periods in the daily schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. Following Orientation, we’ll be joined by a local expert for an introductory presentation on Oahu.

Lunch: At the hotel, we’ll have boxed lunches to enjoy poolside, in your room, or a nice spot in the hotel.

Afternoon: We’ll board a motorcoach and set out on a field trip that will take us first to Bishop Museum, the State Museum of Natural and Cultural History, dedicated to telling the story of Hawai'i and its place in the Pacific. It was founded in 1889 by Charles Reed Bishop in honor of his late wife, Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the last descendant of the royal Kamehameha family. It began with her extensive collection of Hawaiian objects and royal family heirlooms and now includes millions of objects, documents, and photographs about Hawai'i and other Pacific island cultures. We will have an expert-led exploration through the museum followed by independent time to see what interests you most. Next, we will drive through of the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific — commonly referred to as “Punchbowl” — and learn of its significance. The cemetery is situated in the extinct Puowaina volcanic crater formed 75,000 to 100,000 years ago. The Hawaiian name Puowaina has been translated as “hill of sacrifice.” More than 13,000 soldiers and sailors who died in World War II are interred here.

Dinner: Hotel buffet.

Evening: At leisure. You might like to go out and experience Waikiki — once the playground of Hawaiian royalty — to check out live music, walk along the beach, or just soak up the atmosphere.

DAY
3
Iolani Palace, Free Time
Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii
B
Prince Waikiki

Activity note: Getting on/off a bus, driving about 7 miles, approximately 45 minutes depending on traffic. Walking up to 1.5 miles throughout the day; streets and sidewalks; elevators at Iolani Palace.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will board our motorcoach and ride to Iolani Palace, the official residence of King David Kalakaua (1882-1891) and Queen Liliuokalani (1891-1893), the last monarchs of Hawai'i. Led by docents, we will learn about the long and rich history before U.S. statehood. The palace is a Hawaiian treasure, a U.S. National Historic Landmark, and the only official state residence of royalty in the United States. It has been lovingly restored to its original grandeur, though significant pieces of furniture and other artifacts are missing, having been sold off at public auction when the monarchy was overthrown. The Friends of Iolani Palace endeavor to recover and preserve these items, many of which have been scattered throughout the world.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Afternoon: Free time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy the diverse island fare of your choice.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
4
About the Islands, USS Arizona Memorial, Embark Ship
Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii
B,L,D
Pride of America

Activity note: Hotel check-out before breakfast; have bags ready. Getting on/off a bus; driving about 20 miles, approximately 1 hour depending on traffic. Walking up to 1.5 miles throughout the day; streets and sidewalks. Getting on/off a Navy-operated shuttle boat. (Boat rides may be delayed or cancelled by the Navy in the event of high winds and/or strong water currents.) Walking through USS Arizona Museum.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: In our meeting room, we’ll be joined by a local expert who will give us a fascinating presentation on the formation and evolution of the Hawaiian Islands, their unique natural history, and environment. We will then board the bus and transfer to Pearl Harbor.

Lunch: At a restaurant in Pearl Harbor, we’ll have a plated and served meal and order from a select menu with beverage choices of soda, coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Our field trip will begin at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center where we will view a short documentary film in the theater, then board a Navy-operated shuttle boat and ride across Pearl Harbor to the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, home of the USS Arizona Memorial. As the National Park Service reminds us, “The Arizona was bombed on December 7, 1941, about 15 minutes into the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, killing 1,177 sailors and Marines on board. Today she rests where she fell, just off the coast of Ford Island.” The memorial honors the memory of the Arizona crew and other service members and civilians who died during the attack: 2,335 sailors, soldiers, and Marines as well as 68 civilians. Returning from the field trip, we’ll transfer via motorcoach to Honolulu Harbor and board the “Pride of America.” Settle in to your cabin, freshen up, and start becoming familiar with the ship. We will participate with everyone on board in the ship’s safety drill when announced.

Dinner: Aboard ship in one of the main dining rooms, Road Scholars are invited to dine together and order from the menu.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know the ship and enjoy in the activities and entertainment of your choice. The ship is scheduled to depart at 7:00 p.m. as we head towards our first stop in Maui.

DAY
5
Arrive Maui, Class, Iao Valley, Overnight Maui
Kahului, Maui, Hawaii
B,L,D
Pride of America

Activity note: The ship is scheduled arrive at Kahului, Maui, at approximately 8:00 a.m. Getting on/off a bus; driving about 14 miles, approximately 45 minutes depending on traffic. Walking up to 2 miles throughout the day; uneven ground, standing during field trip. During the Iao Valley field trip, there will be an elective activity for those who choose to climb 131 stairs to the top; those who prefer to rest may stay on the bus.

Breakfast: Aboard ship, freestyle dining. Choose any open dining venue before meeting the group for the first activity of the day.

Morning: We will gather in our shipboard meeting room for a presentation by a local expert to learn about Maui’s unique history and special qualities. Nicknamed the "Valley Isle," the island of Maui boasts a string of lush valleys and is flanked on two sides by volcanoes, Puu Kukui to the west and the great Haleakala to the east. According to legend, the Hawaiian demigod Maui pulled up both ends of the island from the sea bottom with his fishhook to create this Pacific paradise.

Lunch: Aboard ship in the venue of your choice.

Afternoon: We will step off the ship and board a motorcoach with our local expert for a field trip to Iao Valley State Park. This lush green space is considered sacred to the Hawaiian people and was once off limits to all but royalty. It was the site of a fierce battle in 1790 between Maui warriors and the army of Kamehameha I. The Iao Needle — Kuka'emoku in the Hawaiian language — is a peak that rises 1,200 feet above the landscape.

Dinner: Aboard ship. Or, if you prefer, you are welcome to stay ashore and dine out independently at one of Maui's many restaurants.

Evening: At leisure. The ship will remain docked overnight. You might like to see more of Maui, enjoy the nightly entertainment aboard ship, or just relax.

DAY
6
Haleakala National Park
Kahului, Maui, Hawaii
B,L,D
Pride of America

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 80 miles throughout the day, approximately 3 hours including stops. Walking up to 2 miles throughout the day; some uneven terrain and dirt trails.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: We’ll set out via motorcoach with a local expert for a spectacular field trip in Haleakala National Park and the summit area of Haleakala, an active shield volcano. We’ll learn about indigenous animals and plants of Hawai‘i including the endemic Ahinahina (silversword) that grows only on the islands of Maui and Hawai‘i, as well as connections with native Hawaiians. The park is recognized as an International Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations.

Lunch: At a restaurant in Kula, we’ll have a plated meal with beverage choices of coffee, tea, water.

Afternoon: Our field trip will continue. Returning to the ship mid-afternoon, we’ll have time to freshen up and relax before dinner.

Dinner: Aboard ship, we will dine together in one of the main dining rooms.

Evening: At leisure. You might like to visit the different music venues and enjoy nightly entertainment in the showroom. The ship is scheduled to depart at 6:00 p.m. for Hilo, the Big Island of Hawai'i.

DAY
7
Arrive Hilo, Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park
Hilo, Big Island of Hawaii
B,L,D
Pride of America

Activity note: The ship is schedule to arrive at Hilo, Hawai'i Island, at approximately 8:00 a.m. Getting on/off a motorcoach with multiple stops throughout field trip; driving about 30 miles one way to Volcanoes National Park, approximately 2 hours total aboard motorcoach. Walking up to 2 miles throughout the day; varied terrain; Thurston Lava Tube can be wet and slippery; about 50 stairs total up and down. Schedule subject to change based on volcanic activity.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: From the National Park Service: “Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park displays the results of at least 70 million years of volcanism, migration, and evolution in the Hawaiian Island-Emperor Seamount chain — processes that would thrust a bare land from the sea and clothed it with complex and unique ecosystems and a distinct human culture.” On a Road Scholar exclusive field trip with a local expert, we’ll travel via motorcoach to Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park for a day of exploration including many stops. We’ll stop at the Kilauea Visitor Center to see exhibits on island formation, how plant and animal life arrived, ecosystems including the rain forest, and of course volcanoes. Other field trip sites will be determined by our expert based on local conditions such as volcanic activity. Potential highlights include the Jaggar Museum and its overlook into Kilauea Caldera as well as the Steam Vents where ground water seeps down to the hot volcanic rocks in this area and returns to the surface as steam. Lush rainforest to Nahuku (Thurston) Lava Tube, a natural cave formed by ancient lava flows, or hike the Devastation Trail, which was formed in 1959 as a result of an eruption from the Kilauea Iki crater (Iki is Hawaiian for small).

Lunch: At the Volcano House Restaurant within Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, we’ll have a plated meal with non-alcoholic beverages included; other beverages available for purchase. There are amazing views of the Kilauea caldera and the Halemaumau Crater.

Afternoon: We’ll continue our exploration of the park before heading back to the ship.

Dinner: Aboard ship. Return to a restaurant you enjoyed or try a new one.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy the nightly entertainment aboard the ship or just relax. The ship is scheduled to depart for Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawai'i, at 6:00 p.m.

DAY
8
Arrival Kona,Cloud Forest, Puuhonua o Honaunau NHP
Kona, Big Island of Hawaii
B,L,D
Pride of America

Activity note: The ship is scheduled to arrive at Kailua-Kona by 7:00 a.m. The port is shallow and requires docking off-shore; shuttle to land via small tender boats. Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 60 miles total throughout the day, approximately 2 hours including stops. Walking approximately 2 miles; uneven trails, sandy paths. Puuhonoua is considered a sacred site; observe guidelines, stay on marked trails and paths, take only photographs.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: The legendary Kona Coast is famous for its fine weather and inviting beaches. Many Hawaiian people tend to anthropomorphize the beach saying “Kona is sunning herself” in its sunny and dry climate. Kona, a district of the Big Island, encompasses the western coast and lies at the foot of towering Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea. We will step off the ship, board a motorcoach, and ride to Kaloko Cloud Sanctuary, a privately-owned forest preserve on the slopes of Hualalai Volcano, where we will set out on a field trip led by a horticultural expert. A cloud forest is defined generally as “a wet tropical mountain forest at an altitude usually between 3,000 and 8,000 feet that is characterized by a profusion of epiphytes and the presence of clouds even in the dry season.” The mission of the Kaloko Cloud Forest Sanctuary is to protect the array of species that thrive here while inspiring appreciation and respect for tropical ecosystems. Covered by native and, in some sections, a variety of non-indigenous plants, the fragrance and color of the sanctuary is truly captivating.

Lunch: At the Cloud Forest Sanctuary, we’ll have boxed lunches.

Afternoon: After lunch, we will depart on motorcoach to experience the historic site of Puuhonua (Place of Refuge) O Honaunau National Historical Park, which contains one of the most sacred heiau (traditional place of worship) in the islands. Through a self-led walking exploration, learn about Hawaiian building construction, heiau, and the process through which ancient Hawaiians pardoned those who broke the kapu (laws). The ship will set sail for Nawiliwili, Kauai, at 5:30 p.m.

Dinner: As a group aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
9
Arrive Nawiliwili, Free Time, Overnight in Kauai
Lihue, Kauai
B,L,D
Pride of America

Activity note: Full free day.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Free time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most in Kauai. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities or check out the ship's shore excursions. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Lunch: Explore local fare on your own, either in Kauai or aboard ship.

Afternoon: Free Time.

Dinner: Aboard ship or independently in port.

Evening: Enjoy free time to continue your exploration of Kauai, relax, or participate in shipboard activities. The ship overnights in Kauai.

DAY
10
Waimea Canyon, Na Pali Coast
Lihue, Kauai
B,L,D
Pride of America

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 85 miles throughout the day, approximately 3 hours including stops. Walking up to 2 miles throughout the day; some uneven terrain and dirt trails.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: We’ll gather aboard ship and transfer via motorcoach to Waimea Canyon for a field trip with a local expert. We’ll make stops to view its incredible erosional valleys from several vantage points while learning about this gorgeous spectacle of geology. As we make our way to Kokee Park at the summit, we’ll also study aspects of Kauai's natural history. At the top, we’ll visit the tiny Kokee Museum for a self-directed exploration to learn about Kauai’s native birds, plants, and unique natural resources. We’ll return to the ship after our field trip.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Free time. The ship is scheduled to depart for Honolulu at 2:00 p.m. via the spectacular Na Pali — “the cliffs” — coast of Kauai. Take in the view and participate in the shipboard activities of your choice.

Dinner: Aboard ship. Share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends during our farewell dinner.

Evening: At leisure. This is our last evening to enjoy the nightly entertainment aboard ship. Prepare for disembarkation and departure in the morning.

DAY
11
Arrive Honolulu, Disembark, Program Concludes
Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii
B

Activity note: The ship is scheduled to arrive in Honolulu Harbor by 7:30 a.m. Disembarkation will begin shortly thereafter with timing based on cabin location. The process will be complete by 10:00 a.m. and everyone must be off the ship by this time.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: We will begin disembarkation when announced. This concludes our program. For those who may have late flights or are staying on, the ship's Shore Excursion desk offers optional activities at additional cost. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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