20414
Caribbean/Panama Canal
Panama Canal Adventure: Exploring Mexico, Colombia, Guatemala & Panama
Discover archeological sites, Colonial churches, daily life on a coffee plantation and great feats of engineering as you set sail through the Panama Canal.
Rating (5)
Program No. 20414RJ
Length
17 days
Starts at
4,795
Special Offer
Flights start at
FREE
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17 days
16 nights
46 meals
16 B 14 L 16 D
Getting There
See travel details and required documents
DAY
1
Fort Lauderdale Arrivals
Ft. Lauderdale
D
Courtyard Fort Lauderdale Airport and Cruise Port

Afternoon: Check in at the hotel and take some time to unpack and to relax before orientation. We will gather in our private meeting room where the Study 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: Welcome buffet dinner at the hotel to include salad, entrée, side dishes and coffee/tea. Other beverages will be available for purchase.

DAY
2
Fort Lauderdale & Transfer to Board Ship
At Sea
B,L,D
MS Westerdam

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel including hot and cold dishes, pastries, juices and coffee/tea.

Morning: Enjoy some free time to explore Fort Lauderdale at your own pace. Meet back at the hotel late morning to transfer to embark the ms Westerdam.

Lunch: On board.

Afternoon: Relax and unpack as you get acquainted with your new home! The ship will depart Fort Lauderdale around 4:00 p.m.

Dinner: On board the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
Half Moon Cay, Bahamas
Half Moon Cay
B,D
MS Westerdam

Breakfast: On board the ship.

Morning: The MS Veendam will call at Half Moon Cay, it's own private island. Half Moon Cay is located on 65 acres of the 2,400 hectare (60 acre) Little San Salvador Island in the southern Bahamas. This unspoiled island has been designated an international wild bird preserve, and features powder-soft white sand and turquoise blue water. You will have a free day here to choose from a variety of activities - enjoy horseback riding on the beach, go on a bicycle tour or a nature walk, go snorkeling in the warm Caribbean waters, or simply relax by the beach. Registration for various activities will be available on board.

Lunch: Enjoy lunch on Half Moon Cay or on board the ship.

Afternoon: Continue enjoying the activities of Half Moon Cay. The ship will depart at 5:00 p.m.

Dinner: On board the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
At Sea & Presentation
At Sea
B,L,D
MS Westerdam

Breakfast: On board the ship.

Morning: Join your Study Leader for an educational presentation aboard the ship.

Lunch: On board the ship.

Afternoon: Enjoy some leisure time to take delight in the ship's amenities and on board activities.

Dinner: On board the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
At Sea & Presentation
At Sea
B,L,D
MS Westerdam

Breakfast: On board the ship.

Morning: Join your Study Leader for an educational presentation aboard the ship.

Lunch: On board the ship.

Afternoon: Enjoy some leisure time to take delight in the ship's amenities and on board activities.

Dinner: On board the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Cartagena, Colombia
Cartagena
B,L,D
MS Westerdam

Breakfast: On board the ship.

Morning: Architecture of Cartagena: Drive from the pier to the San Felipe de Barajas Fortress passing the old residential area of Manga to admire this Moorish/Republican neighborhood. Photostop at the fortress, the largest military construction to be built in Latin America by the Spaniards. Then we head towards the Dungeons or Las Bovedas used as handicrafts shops. Walk along the colonial streets with an expert architect to study the different types of construction utilized by the Spaniards. You will have some free time to enjoy this alive city, with its students, vendor and all the people that live here.

Lunch: On board the ship.

Afternoon: Enjoy some leisure time to take delight in the ship's amenities and on board activities.

Dinner: On board the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Panama Canal Balboa, Cruise Canal, Exit Canal at Cristobal
Panama Canal
B,L,D
MS Westerdam

Breakfast: On board the ship.

Morning: Today's highlight is full transit through the Panama Canal with onboard commentary by a Panamanian canal pilot. One of the largest and most difficult engineering projects ever undertaken, the canal had an enormous impact on shipping between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, replacing the long and treacherous route via the Drake Passage and Cape Horn at the southernmost tip of South America. A ship sailing from New York to San Francisco via the canal travels 5,900 mi. well under half the 14,000 mi. route around Cape Horn. The concept of a canal near Panama dates to the early 16th century. The first attempt to construct a canal began in 1880 under French leadership, but was abandoned after 21,900 workers died, largely from disease (particularly malaria and yellow fever) and landslides. The United States launched a second effort, incurring a further 5,600 deaths but succeeding in opening the canal in 1914.

Lunch: On board the ship.

Afternoon: We will continue transiting the Panama Canal.

Dinner: On board the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
Cruising Golfo Dulce & Presentation
At Sea
B,L,D
MS Westerdam

Breakfast: On board the ship.

Morning: Join your Study Leader for an educational presentation aboard the ship.

Lunch: On board the ship.

Afternoon: Enjoy some leisure time to take delight in the ship's amenities and on board activities.

Dinner: On board the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
9
Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica
Puerto Caldera
B,L,D
MS Westerdam

Activity note: If you wish to bring a small gift of school supplies for the school, pens, pencils and notebooks are always helpful. Your study leader will help to distribute the gifts to the school. You are not required to bring anything- it is entirely optional.

Breakfast: On board the ship.

Morning: We will disembark the ship to begin an adventure on the big river of Tarcoles. One of the four rivers that ends in the Gulf of Nicoya on the Pacific Ocean, Rio Tarcoles offers the visitor the opportunity to observe American Crocodiles, which reach sizes of over four meters long, iguanas and basilisks in their natural environment. In addition, the area is home to over one hundred and twenty different species of birds, resident and migratory, terrestrial, and coastal.

Lunch: Enjoy a typical Costa Rican meal on shore with marimba music.

Afternoon: We will visit a local school to learn more about education in rural Costa Rica.

Dinner: On board the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
10
Corinto, Nicaragua
Corinto
B,L,D
MS Westerdam

Breakfast: On board the ship.

Morning: Disembark the ship and transfer to Leon. The first city of Leon was built in 1524 by Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba, and then abandoned 60 years later after the eruption of Momotombo Volcano. The ruins of this city are known today as "Leon Viejo" and were declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2000. Arriving at the city you will discover the local charms, churches and monuments, and learn the rich history of the city - including its most famous former resident Ruben Dario, the father of Nicaraguan poetry.

Lunch: On board the ship.

Afternoon: Enjoy some leisure time to take delight in the ship's amenities and on board activities.

Dinner: On board the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
11
Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala
Puerto Quetzal
B,L,D
MS Westerdam

Breakfast: On board the ship.

Morning: Antigua, founded in the 16th century, was once the capital of Guatemala. It survived centuries of natural disasters including floods and volcanic eruptions until it was finally destroyed in 1773 (and the capital was moved to Guatemala City). However, many old ruins still remain. From the ship, transfer to this Colonial town (1.5 hours).

Lunch: Antigua is a wonderful town to relax on a sidewalk café with a cup of coffee or a light snack. Lunch will be on your own, so you may choose from the variety of restaurants in town. Your guide will help make suggestions.

Afternoon: Enjoy some free time before returning to the ship.

Dinner: On board the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
12
Puerto Chiapas, Mexico
At Sea
B,L,D
MS Westerdam

Breakfast: On board the ship.

Morning: The ship will arrive in Puerto Chiapas at 8:00 a.m. Enjoy a day of exploring this area rich in coffee and banana estates, cacao plantations and Mayan history.

Lunch: On board the ship.

Afternoon: Continue exploration of Chiapas. The ship will leave port at 5:00 p.m.

Dinner: On board the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
13
At Sea & Presentation
At Sea
B,L,D
MS Westerdam

Breakfast: On board the ship.

Morning: Join your Study Leader for an educational presentation aboard the ship.

Lunch: Onboard the ship.

Afternoon: Enjoy some leisure time to take delight in the ship's amenities and on board activities.

Dinner: On board the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
14
At Sea & Presentation
At Sea
B,L,D
MS Westerdam

Breakfast: On board the ship.

Morning: Join your Study Leader for an educational presentation aboard the ship.

Lunch: On board the ship.

Afternoon: Enjoy some leisure time to take delight in the ship's amenities and on board activities.

Dinner: On board the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
15
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Cabo San Lucas
B,L,D
MS Westerdam

Breakfast: On board the ship.

Morning: We will visit the Cabo San Lucas Marina. Upon arrival, we will board a glass bottom boat and visit Pelican Rock (snorkeling and diving area), the famous Arch (Cabo´s symbol), Lover’s Beach (the most popular beach), and the sea lions colony. Our next stop will be at the glass blowing factory, where you will learn about the artistic handwork of factory workers and appreciate the art work they do. You will also visit the downtown cities, the only and oldest hotel of Los Cabos with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez, and enjoy an awesome view of a dolphin aquarium and the city

Lunch: On board the ship.

Afternoon: Enjoy some leisure time to take delight in the ship's amenities and on board activities.

Dinner: On board the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
16
At Sea & Presentation
At Sea
B,L,D
MS Westerdam

Breakfast: On board the ship.

Morning: Join your Study Leader for an educational presentation aboard the ship.

Lunch: On board the ship.

Afternoon: Enjoy some leisure time to take delight in the ship's amenities and on board activities.

Dinner: On board the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
17
San Diego & Disembark
San Diego, California
B

Breakfast: On board the ship.

Morning: Transfer to the airport for flights returning to North America. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures, and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys.






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