19625
South America
Amazon Explorer
Sail deep into the Amazon, learning from friendly locals about plants, wildlife and the mysterious secrets of their traditional way of life.
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Program No. 19625RJ
Length
31 days
Starts at
8,899
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31 days
30 nights
88 meals
30 B 28 L 30 D
DAY
1
Arrive to Ft. Lauderdale
Ft. Lauderdale
D
Courtyard Ft. Lauderdale Airport and Cruise Port

Afternoon: Arrive in Ft. Lauderdale and transfer to the Courtyard Ft. Lauderdale Airport and Cruise Port hotel. Please refer to the “Travel Details/Transportation” section for information about transfers. Before dinner tonight, we will gather in our private meeting room where the Group Leader will greet you with a warm welcome and introduce everyone. We will review the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: Enjoy a welcome dinner at the hotel and meet your traveling companions.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
2
Ft. Lauderdale / Embark ms Prinsendam
Ft. Lauderdale
B,D
MS Prinsendam

Breakfast: At the hotel

Morning: Your morning is free to explore Ft. Lauderdale independently.

Lunch: On your own

Afternoon: Meet back at the hotel and transfer to embark the MS Prinsendam. The ship wil depart Ft. Lauderdale at 4:00 pm.

Dinner: On board the ship

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
At Sea (Florida Straits)
At Sea
B,L,D
MS Prinsendam

Breakfast: On board the ship

Morning: Meet with your group for your first onboard lecture by your study leader.

Lunch: On board the ship

Afternoon: Enjoy the rest of the day with your fellow Road Scholar travelers or other passengers and participate in the broad choice of activities, including the ship's special guest speaker series (these are announced in the daily program when on board) Join your group in the late afternoon for a welcome cocktail party hosted by your study leader.

Dinner: On board the ship

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
At Sea (Caribbean Sea)
At Sea
B,L,D
MS Prinsendam

Breakfast: On board the ship

Morning: Meet with your group for the scheduled Road Scholar lecture series.

Lunch: On board the ship.

Afternoon: Afternoon free to enjoy your choice of ship-board activities.

Dinner: On board the ship

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
St. Thomas
B,L,D
MS Prinsendam

Breakfast: On board the ship

Morning: The ship will arrive in St. Thomas at 8:00 a.m.Today's field trip will introduce you to local life on St. Thomas: statistics, politics, geography, flora and fauna and of course a little African, European, and Danish history. Drive through the island to see Emancipation Garden, Frenchtown, German headquarters, historical churches, University of the Virgin Islands, Magens Bay, Hull Bay, St. John, Tortola, St. Croix, Puerto Rico, Vieques, Culebra and many cays and islets. Along the way, learn the chronology of events that brought the island to the present.

Lunch: On board the ship

Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure in St. Thomas to explore on your own. The ship will depart ST Thomas at 5:00 p.m.

Dinner: On board the ship

Evening: At leisure

DAY
6
Charlestown, Nevis, St. Kitts and Nevis
Charlestown
B,L,D
MS Prinsendam

Activity note: Tender Port

Breakfast: On board the ship

Morning: The ship will arrive in Nevis at 8:00 a.m. Disembark the ship and depart by coach for two major landmarks and a unique botanical garden. The first stop will be the Hamilton House, the birthplace of Alexander Hamilton, one of the founding fathers of the USA and the subject of one of Broadway's most recent musical successes. Today, it houses the Museum of Nevis History. Next stop at the Nelson Museum which contains the largest collection of Horatio Nelson's memorabilia in the western hemisphere. You will also see the Fig Tree Church, which houses the original marriage certificate of Horatio Nelson and Fanny Nisbett. A final stop at the Botanical Garden will highlight the most diversified tropical plant landscape on the islands. (Please note that the order of the visits may vary).

Lunch: On board the ship. Alternatively you may want to stay on shore and enjoy lunch on your own.

Afternoon: The ship departs Nevis at 5:00 p.m.

Dinner: On board the ship

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Castries, St. Lucia
Castries
B,L,D
MS Prinsendam

Breakfast: On board the ship

Morning: The ship will arrive in St. Lucia at 8:00 a.m. Enjoy a morning's drive along the panoramic island of St. Lucia, from the capital of Castries on the coast, to the farming community of Baoneau inland. Stop on Pigeon island, in turn home to Carib Indians, pirates and the British Navy. Take a walk with a local historian through the ruins on the island. Then meet with a minister of the government who will explain the political system of St. Lucia.

Lunch: On board the ship

Afternoon: Enjoy the rest of the day with your fellow Road Scholar travelers or other passengers and participate in the broad choice of activities, including the ship’s special guest speaker series (these are announced in the daily program when on board). The ship will depart St. Lucia at 5:00 p.m.

Dinner: On board the ship

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
Port-of-Spain, Trinidad
Port of Spain
B,L,D
MS Prinsendam

Breakfast: On board the ship

Morning: The ship will arrive in Trinidad at 8:00 a.m.The Caroni Nature Sanctuary is a mangrove swamp covering an area of 40 square miles on Trinidad’s northwest coast. After a 30-minute drive from Port of Spain, board a large flat-bottomed boat and slowly travel along the beautiful peaceful waterways and lagoons admiring the bizarre beauty of the landscape and a variety of birds and other wildlife. The most astounding among these birds is the scarlet ibis—a large, bright-red bird that feeds and nests here. This area is world renowned among ornithologists as it offers the observer an opportunity to see this rare, protected bird with very little effort. After this relaxing boat ride, return to the landing and transfer back to Port of Spain.

Lunch: On board the ship

Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure. The ship will depart Trinidad at 5:00 p.m.

Dinner: On board the ship

Evening: At leisure

DAY
9
Bridgetown, Barbados
Bridgetown
B,L,D
MS Prinsendam

Activity note: Riding on 4x4 vehicles along bumpy terrain for several hours. Walking up to 30 minutes at a time in gully and in town.

Breakfast: On board the ship

Morning: The ship will arrive in Barbados at 8:00 a.m. Via 4x4 vehicles head into the interior of the island, which is often inaccessible by other forms of transport. The 4x4 convoy will wind its way through the greenery of Fisherpond Sugar Cane Estate and Coffee Gully through “de heart of Barbados” to Welchman Hall Gully for a relaxed “eco” walk through this natural phenomenon. A brief talk will be given before the gully walk by one of the island’s foremost authorities on ‘island gullies’ and the natural treasures they preserve. The jeeps will meet the group at the end of the trail.

Lunch: Lunch at Sunbury Plantation

Afternoon: If time allows, there will be free time to explore Bridgetown before returning to the ship. The ship will depart Barbados at 6:00 p.m.

Dinner: On board the ship

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
10
At Sea (Atlantic)
At Sea
B,L,D
MS Prinsendam

Breakfast: On board the ship

Morning: Meet with your group for the scheduled Road Scholar lecture series.

Lunch: On board the ship

Afternoon: Enjoy an afternoon lecture and other ship-board activities as the Ms. Prinsendam heads toward Devil's Island of the coast of French Guiana.

Dinner: On board the ship

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
11
Devil's Island, French Guiana
Devil's Island
B,L,D
MS Prinsendam

Activity note: Tender Port - going ashore will require the use of small boats. A Yellow Fever vaccination is now required for visiting Devil's Island, French Guiana. You will be required to present documentation of your vaccination OR an exemption letter from your doctor.

Breakfast: On board the ship

Morning: Meet with your group for the scheduled Road Scholar lecture series

Lunch: On board the ship

Afternoon: The ship will arrive at Devil's Island at 12:00 p.m. There is no organized shore excursion here though you are encouraged to join your Study Leader to explore the island. The most notorious of the three Salvation Islands, Devil's Island functioned for generations as a French penal colony. Once known as the Dry Guillotine because so many prisoners died there, the island today seems haunted by the spirits of former prisoners. Henri Charriere, better known as Papillon, claimed to be the only prisoner ever to escape the island.

Dinner: On board the ship

Evening: At leisure. The ship will depart Devil's Island at 6:00 p.m.

DAY
12
At Sea
At Sea
B,L,D
MS Prinsendam

Breakfast: On board the ship

Morning: Meet with your group for the scheduled Road Scholar lecture series.

Lunch: On board the ship

Afternoon: Afternoon free to enjoy your choice of ship-board activities.

Dinner: On board the ship

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
13
Macapa, Brazil / Cruising the Amazon River
Macapa
B,L,D
MS Prinsendam

Breakfast: On board the ship

Morning: The ship will dock in Macapa this morning from 6:00 a.m to 12:00 p.m. This is a service stop, and there will be no disembarkation, however it is an interesting opportunity to view life on the Amazon from the decks.

Lunch: On board the ship

Afternoon: Afternoon free to enjoy your choice of ship-board activities.This afternoon, we cross the Equator.

Dinner: On board the ship

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
14
Santarem Brazil
Santarem
B,L,D
MS Prinsendam

Breakfast: On board the ship

Morning: Meet with your group for the scheduled Road Scholar lecture series.

Lunch: On board the ship

Afternoon: The ship will arrive in Santarem at 1:30 p.m. Begin at dock in Santarem on board a regional boat flowing downstream towards the unusual phenomenon called the "Meeting of the Waters." This is where the Amazon and Tapajos Rivers come together. Continue to the Maica Area, which is a natural outlet of the Amazon River. This is a much smaller stream, making it easier to see the sights as the boat meanders through the flood plain. The beautiful landscape of this area shows the natural ways of the Amazon Basin. Bird watching is one of the highlights of this tour. It is common to identify many different species of birds. There is also a great possibility to see fresh water dolphins. Before returning to Santarem, the boat captain will make a stop for piranha fishing.

Dinner: On board the ship

Evening: At leisure. The ship will depart Santarem at 9:00 p.m.

DAY
15
Boca De Valeria, Brazil
Boca da Valeria
B,L,D
MS Prinsendam

Activity note: Tender Port

Breakfast: On board the ship

Morning: The ship will arrive in Boca De Valeria at 8:00 a.m.This is a leisure port. Neither Road Scholar nor the ship have any structured activity organized. The village is a stop that is meant to showcase an Amazonian village that remains fairly secluded and difficult to access. Walk around and enjoy the stop, take pictures and see some local handy crafts.

Lunch: On board the ship

Afternoon: The ship will depart Boca De Valeria at 2:00 p.m. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure to rest on board or take part in the ship activities.

Dinner: On board the ship

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
16
Manaus Disembarkation and the Amazon Jungle
Manaus
B,L,D
Amazon Eco Park Jungle Lodge

Activity note: Participants with limited mobility may find it difficult to embark or disembark small boats and walk in the jungle on uneven foot paths.

Breakfast: On board the ship

Morning: The ship will arrive in Manaus at 10:00 a.m. Meet with your overnight bag as a group prior to disembarking on a Road Scholar exclusive overnight at the Amazon EcoPark Lodge. After reviewing the over the shore overnight schedule with your leader, set off into the Amazon. Please pack only a carry on overnight bag (no suitcases permitted).

Lunch: Late lunch at the Monkey Forest Park.

Afternoon: The Monkey Forest Center is a center dedicated to the rehabilitation and re-introduction of wild animals into the Amazon. It was created in 1991 with the goal of rescuing animals that have been reclaimed from illegal commerce. In this center, the animals are initially put into quarantine to be evaluated and cared for by a dynamic team of vetenarians and biologists. The end goal is to release the animal or its young back into the wild. So far, the facility has had amazing success, and the animals there manage to reproduce naturally, creating new families and ensuring survival of the species.

Dinner: At the EcoPark Lodge

Evening: Depart the Amazon EcoPark Lodge in paddle or motorized canoes, to appreciate the sounds of the jungle at night. With a little luck and good vision, you may even be able to spot small alligators called jacare, or other nightly creatures. Spot a gator, and the experienced guide will carefully try to catch it and bring it into the canoe. He will give a brief explanation of their habitat while you have the chance to see the creature up close. The alligator will then be safely released back into the river. No harm is ever done to the animals. The guide is highly experienced in this exercise and is dedicated to wildlife safety and preservation.

DAY
17
Jungle Trekking and Manaus, Brazil
Manaus
B,L,D
MS Prinsendam

Activity note: Participants with limited mobility may find it difficult to embark or disembark the tenders due to steep gangways and steps.

Breakfast: At the EcoPark Lodge

Morning: Enjoy an introductory presentation on the rainforest and jungle survival with an experienced guide. On the trail, enjoy a close-up view of the jungle surroundings. Learn how locals construct animal traps and shelters, and how they find vines which contain drinkable water.

Lunch: At the lodge.

Afternoon: Return to Manaus and enjoy a brief city discovery. Manaus is the gateway to the largest tropical forest of the planet: The Amazon Forest. Its golden age was the turn of last century, when the exportation of natural rubber made it one of the richest cities in the world. See the lavish Opera House, entirely built with material imported from Europe during the rubber boom. After your exploration, return to the ship which will depart Manaus at 4:00 p.m.

Dinner: On board the ship

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
18
Parintins, Brazil
Parintins
B,L,D
MS Prinsendam

Activity note: Tender Port

Breakfast: On board the ship

Morning: The ship will arrive in Parintins at 8:00 a.m. Our excursion begins at port and visits the major highlights of the city: drive by the club of Caprichoso Boi, the Liberty Square and to the Bumbódromo where the annual Festival is held. Make a short stop in this arena, where some fresh water will be served. Then visit the Cathedral before going along the shore back to the port.

Lunch: On board the ship

Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure to explore the town or to relax. The ship will depart Parintins at 5:00 p.m.

Dinner: On board the ship

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
19
Alter do Chao, Brazil
Alter do Chao
B,L,D
MS Prinsendam

Activity note: Tender port. Walking at the St. Lucia Arboretum will be up to 1 1/2 hours. Insect repellent and long trousers are recommended.

Breakfast: On board the ship

Morning: The ship will arrive in Alter do Chao at 8:00 a.m. Field Trip "Guided Nature Walk": Enjoy a guided nature walk in Alter do Chao. Learn about more of the plant and animal life native to the area near this stilted village.

Lunch: On board the ship

Afternoon: The ship will depart Alter do Chao at 2:00 p.m. Enjoy the rest of the day with your fellow Road Scholar travelers or other passengers and participate in the broad choice of activities, including the ship’s special guest speaker series (these are announced in the daily program when on board).

Dinner: On board the ship

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
20
Crossing the Equator / Cruising the Amazon River
Crossing the Equator
B,L,D
MS Prinsendam

Breakfast: On board the ship

Morning: Meet with your group for the scheduled Road Scholar lecture series.

Lunch: On board the ship

Afternoon: Enjoy the rest of the day with your fellow Road Scholar travelers or other passengers and participate in the broad choice of activities, including the ship’s special guest speaker series (these are announced in the daily program when on board).This afternoon, we will cross the Equator again.

Dinner: On board the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
21
At Sea (Atlantic)
At Sea
B,L,D
MS Prinsendam

Breakfast: On board the ship.

Morning: Meet with your group for the scheduled Road Scholar lecture series.

Lunch: On board the ship.

Afternoon: Enjoy the rest of the day with your fellow Road Scholar travelers or other passengers and participate in the broad choice of activities, including the ship’s special guest speaker series (these are announced in the daily program when on board).

Dinner: On board the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
22
At Sea
At Sea
B,L,D
MS Prinsendam

Breakfast: On board the ship.

Morning: Meet with your group for the scheduled Road Scholar lecture series

Lunch: On board the ship.

Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure to enjoy shipboard activities and lectures.

Dinner: On board the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
23
Scarborough, Tobago
Scarborough
B,L,D
MS Prinsendam

Breakfast: On board the ship.

Morning: The ship will arrive in Tobago at 10:00 a.m. Feel the pulse of the people of Tobago. Visit the marketplace where you will be able to sample fresh fruit and other local delicacies. Then travel back in time to the colorful war history of Tobago with a visit to Fort King George. From this vantage point, you will have a panoramic view of the city and south eastern side of the island.

Lunch: On board the ship.

Afternoon: After lunch, you will board a glass-bottom boat from Store Bay for a fish-eye view of the Coral Gardens. There will be the opportunity to snorkel in the world famous Bucco Reef and take a rejuvenating dip in the Nylon pool. The ship will depart Tobago at 6:00 p.m.

Dinner: On board the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
24
Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Kingstown
B,L,D
MS Prinsendam

Breakfast: On board the ship.

Morning: The ship will arrive in Kingstown at 8:00 a.m. Drive through Kingstown, St Vincent’s bustling capital, brimming with shops and businesses. Take in the historical and modern buildings—the Parliament and police headquarters date back to the 18th and 19th centuries respectively, while the recently constructed Financial Complex and vegetable market offer an altogether modern metropolitan look. In the center of Kingstown, keep an eye out for the symbolic statue that is the town's Cenotaph or War Memorial. This was erected in memory of the brave Vincentians who fought and died in World War I from 1914 to 1918. The tour continues to the Botanic Gardens-—one of the oldest gardens in the Western Hemisphere, established in 1765. Throughout the Botanic Gardens, you will see a wide variety of tropical flora. The breadfruit tree is derived from a sapling brought to St Vincent by the infamous Captain Bligh. You will also get see the National Bird—the endangered Amazona guildingii parrot. Then, take a 45-minute drive to the lush Montreal Gardens, tucked away in the interior of the Mesopotamia Valley commonly known as the food basket due to its rich and fertile soil. The gardens are located at an elevation of approximately 3,017 feet above sea level, which gives rise to a fantastic view of the surrounding hills and valleys, banana fields and other root crop plantations. Here you can enjoy an array of exotic flowers and fruit trees. There is a special spot in this tranquil garden just for you, as you stroll along the paths or simply sit beneath the shade huts provided.

Lunch: On board the ship.

Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure. The ship will depart Kingstown at 5:00 p.m.

Dinner: On board the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
25
Saint Georges, Grenada
Saint Georges
B,L,D
MS Prinsendam

Breakfast: On board the ship.

Morning: The ship will arrive in Grenada at 8:00 a.m. Our scenic island drive by car heads through the quaint capital of St George’s, past Government House, through St Paul’s and to the parish of St David’s, where plantations of cocoa and spices abound. Continuing up the eastern side of the island, you’ll visit two seaside villages. At Marquis, the local people weave the abundant pandanus grasses into crafts of all sorts, and Soubise is a main source of the locally built, brightly painted fishing boats that dot the beaches and seas of Grenada. Next stop is Grenville, the commercial center of the East Coast, where you’ll visit a nutmeg station to see processing of Grenada’s fragrant crops. From Grenville, turn inland to ascend the central peaks, coming at last to the National Park Nature Center at Grand Etang—resting at 1,900 feet above sea level and nestled in the crater of an extinct volcano. The breezes up here are heavenly. On your descent, you’ll pass through magnificent hanging carpets of green mountain fern and the quaint village of Vendome, continuing through the villages of Snug Corner, and Beaulieu en route to St George’s Pier.

Lunch: On board the ship.

Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure. The ship will depart Grenada at 5:00 p.m.

Dinner: On board the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
26
At Sea
At Sea
B,L,D
MS Prinsendam

Breakfast: On board the ship.

Morning: Meet with your group for the scheduled Road Scholar lecture series.

Lunch: On board the ship.

Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure to explore on your own or relax.

Dinner: On board the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
27
Willemstad, Curacao
Willemstad
B,L,D
MS Prinsendam

Breakfast: On board the ship.

Morning: The ship will arrive in Curacao at 7:00 a.m. Check out the beauty of Curaçao and learn about the natural resources it enjoys. You’ll leave town immediately and drive westward through the city and past the outskirts. Along the way, you’ll see several plantation homes and old slave houses. Your guide will offer plenty of information. The Boka Tabla, your first stop, is a National Park. See how the wild sea meets the coast and the waves explode against wild rock formations—a testament to nature’s raw power. At West Point, snap a few photos from the coach and enjoy the beautiful view over the Caribbean Sea at Playa Forti. From here you’ll drive to the Tula Museum, located in a beautifully restored plantation house. Take in the view over the hills, the plantation and the Caribbean Sea. This museum and its docent guides offer an interactive look at how the people used to live on the island, during and after slavery. They will even sing a nice local song for you—a sweet and charming addition to your day. The next stop is at the most beautiful tropical beach on the island, with its unforgettable azure blue sea and stunning white beach. On the way back make the most of a short photo stop from the bus at the Jan Kok salt lakes, where you might be lucky enough to spot some flamingos.

Lunch: On board the ship.

Afternoon: Enjoy the rest of the day with your fellow Road Scholar travelers or other passengers and participate in the broad choice of activities, including the ship’s special guest speaker series (these are announced in the daily program when on board).

Dinner: On board the ship.

Evening: At leisure. The ship will depart Curacao at 11:00 p.m.

DAY
28
Oranjestad, Aruba
Oranjestad
B,L,D
MS Prinsendam

Breakfast: On board the ship.

Morning: The ship will arrive in Aruba at 8:00 a.m. We begin our excursion in Oranjestad, the capital city of Aruba. First we stop at the Aloe Factory to see how we produce the Aloe Vera Gel Skin Care products....the only product that Aruba produces 100% in country. Our next stop will be at the Casibari rock Formation and Park, these giant Granite stones were ejected from the earth over 60 million years ago. Here there will be a stand to buy fresh coconut water out of the coconut. After we finish Casibari rock formation we continue to the 19th Century Gold Mill Ruins. During the drive your guide will show you the famous Divi Divi Trees, old cunuco houses, as well as the Aruba cacti and typical Aruba homes. We continue driving on the north and stop at the Natural Bridge Wonder of Nature, to see how millions of years of ocean created a natural bridge from the Coral Stone. Continue to Ayo Park where we see small cave with an Arrowak Indian Drawing (over 500 years old). We continue driving thru the country side and stop at the 17th century Alto Vista Chapel, built by a Spanish preacher that traveled by boat from the mainland (now coast of Venezuela) to Aruba to Christianize the native people. After we leave the chapel we drive through the Noord district of Aruba toward the west and stop at the California Light house. We then head back to the ship passing by the well visited beaches high rise hotels and Palm Beach, The Eagle Beach low rise hotels and Boca Druif Beach.

Lunch: On board the ship.

Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure. The ship will depart Aruba at 5:00 p.m.

Dinner: On board the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
29
At Sea (Caribbean Sea)
At Sea
B,L,D
MS Prinsendam

Breakfast: On board the ship.

Morning: Meet with your group for the scheduled Road Scholar lecture series.

Lunch: On board the ship.

Afternoon: Enjoy the rest of the day with your fellow Road Scholar travelers or other passengers and participate in the broad choice of activities, including the ship’s special guest speaker series (these are announced in the daily program when on board).

Dinner: On board the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
30
At Sea (Caribbean)
At Sea
B,L,D
MS Prinsendam

Breakfast: On board.

Morning: Meet with your group for the scheduled Road Scholar lecture series

Lunch: On board.

Afternoon: Meet with your Group Leader for a Program Wrap Up

Dinner: On board.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
31
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Ft. Lauderdale
B

Breakfast: On board.

Morning: The ship is scheduled to arrive in Ft. Lauderdale at 7:00 a.m. local time. Transfer to the airport. Please make no flight arrangements prior to 12:00 p.m. on this day.






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