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World Academy: Discover South America, Hawaii, Japan & Beyond

Program No. 22764RJ
Embark on a once-in-a-lifetime 131-day voyage onboard the MS Zuiderdam as we explore the world from South America to the Pacific, Asia to the Middle East and Mediterranean Europe.

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At a Glance

Are you ready to for an around-the-world adventure like no other? Join us for the ultimate educational voyage onboard the beautiful MS Zuiderdam for a 131-day adventure that leads to South America, Asia and more. Beginning and ending in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, you’ll sail to Central and South America, make your way along the Amazon River, transit the Panama Canal, journey to the Pacific to explore Hawaii and the islands of Japan, and continue along for stops in the Middle East and Mediterranean. You’ll enjoy overnight stays in Japan, China, and India allowing for additional time to explore and learn about these fascinating countries. Along the way, enjoy expert instruction and insight from your onboard instructors who offer a look into history, culture and modern life as you make your way around the globe.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
I like to spend much of the day exploring. Whether walking through historic neighborhoods at a moderate pace or out and about on a coach, I prefer to keep my days full. Stairs don’t bother me, and I love to keep up with the group.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Search for new and exotic species as you sail along the Amazon River in Brazil and marvel at modern engineering as you transit the Panama Canal.
  • Enjoy overnight stays in cities like Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Mumbai allowing you additional time to explore and learn about their history.
  • Journey to Jordan’s southwestern desert to thrill at the city of Petra, a series of tombs and temples carved into pink sandstone cliffs.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
The Travel Book, A Journey Through Every Country in the World
by Lonely Planet Publications
Bigger and better than ever (the third edition of the best-selling original), we can't keep our hands off this celebration of the world. Each country, no matter how big or small, gets a colorful double-page spread in this glossy A-to-Z of travel from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.
Behind the Veil in Arabia, Women in Oman
by Unni Wikan
An insightful and remarkable look at the role of women in Oman based on Wikan's fieldwork as well as her personal experiences and impressions of the place.
Ghosts of Spain
by Giles Tremlett
Tremlett captures the Spanish character, history and modern politics in this masterful portrait, interweaving the story of his love for the country (where he has lived for 20 years) with interviews, anecdotes and observation.
Jerusalem: One City, Three Faiths
by Karen Armstrong
A popular history by the author of A History of God. Armstrong tackles big subjects -- and this book is no exception. It's a comprehensive, concise portrait of the city over the last 5,000 years.
Hong Kong
by Jan Morris
A wonderful portrait of Hong Kong by one of our favorite travel writers. Morris enumerates the many personal pleasures of the city, deftly interweaving reportage, history and culture.
The Eaves of Heaven, A Life in Three Wars
by Andrew X. Pham
Pham recounts the story of his father's life during the French occupation, Japanese invasion and the American War, weaving such momentous events with anecdotes from his childhood and details of family, friends, food and daily life.
Elephant Complex, Travels in Sri Lanka
by John Gimlette
This exuberant travelogue by an award-winning writer takes stock of Sri Lanka, from the capital city of Colombo through the remotest interior. Gimlette mixes his narrative with colonial history and plenty of lucid observations.
The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870-1914
by David McCullough
Acclaimed historian David McCullough delivers a first-rate drama of the sweeping human undertaking that led to the creation of the Panama Canal. Winner of the National Book Award for history, the Francis Parkman Prize, the Samuel Eliot Morison Award, and the Cornelius Ryan Award (for the best book of the year on international affairs).
by Henri Charriere
Henri Charrière, nicknamed "Papillon," for the butterfly tattoo on his chest, was convicted in Paris in 1931 of a murder he did not commit. Sentenced to life imprisonment in the penal colony of French Guiana, he became obsessed with one goal: escape. He was eventually sent to the notorious prison, Devil's Island, a place from which no one had ever escaped.
A History of the Arab Peoples
by Albert Hourani
Called a landmark, masterpiece and essential to understanding the Middle East, Hourani's acclaimed chronicle of the political, spiritual, religious and cultural traditions of the Arab peoples is brought up to date with an afterword by noted Islamic scholar Malise Ruthven.
Istanbul: The Imperial City
by John Freely
Whether you call it Byzantium, Constantinople, or Istanbul, the “old Turkish hand” John Freely tells the story of each creation and decline up to today’s Istanbul under the Turkish Republic. Spirited and colorful, Freely gives his readers a lively account of the turmoil each incarnation brought. In addition to “page turning history”, Freely gives a complete listing of monuments & museums in the city - he has lived there for decades. This is the one to read on Istanbul if you have a short list of books and limited time to get into its history.
Harem - The World Behind the Veil
by Alev Lytle Croutier
The author left Turkey at age 18 for the US, returning 15 years later to visit her birthplace and family. Intrigued upon learning that her grandmother had lived in a harem, she interviewed aunts and other family members about their recollections. About that same time (mid 1970’s) the Harem of Topkapi Palace was opened to visitors. With thoughtful research and richly illustrated, Croutier pieces together a realistic description of daily life in the Sultan’s Harem. Her fascinating insights into customs, food and ceremony of the Palace through 450 hundred years, make this an enjoyable read. The addition of family photographs and an amusing chapter about Western misconceptions of the term “harem” sets this work apart from all other books of its kind.
Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum
by Paul Roberts
Drawing on sharp, full-color photographs of more than 200 objects excavated from Pompeii and Herculaneum, Roberts, a curator at the British Museum, discusses what life was like in the ancient cities. He covers everything from birth certificates to the prevalence of bakeries and taverns.
City of Gold, Dubai and the Dream of Capitalism
by Jim Krane
This close-up portrait of Dubai by an award-winning journalist describes how the city transformed from a little-known village in 1960 to the cutting-edge capitalist metropolis and tourist haven it is today.
City of Gold: Dubai and the Dream of Capitalism
by Jim Krane
Award-winning journalist Jim Krane charts the history of Dubai from its earliest days, considers the influence of the family who has ruled it since the nineteenth century, and looks at the effect of the global economic downturn on a place that many tout as a blueprint for a more stable Middle East.
Slumdog Millionare
by Danny Boyle
FILM Slumdog millionaire is the story of an 18 year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai; who with the whole nation watching; he is just one question away from winning a staggering 20 million rupees on India's "Who wants to be a Millionaire?"
Oman, UAE & Arabian Peninsula Travel Guide
by Lonely Planet (Jenny Walker, Stuart Butler, Anthony Ham, Andrea Schulte-Peevers)
Lonely Planet Oman, UAE & Arabian Peninsula is your passport to all the most relevant and up-to-date advice on what to see, what to skip, and what hidden discoveries await you.
Running in the Family
by Michael Ondaatje
Award-winning author Ondaatje returns to his native Sri Lanka in this hypnotic travelogue. His lovingly traced family memoirs are interspersed with poetry and ruminations on the island's post-colonial history.
Parting the Desert
by Zachary Karabell
A compelling account of the politics, intrigue and engineering challenges of the Suez Canal. It's in part a portrait of Franco-Egyptian relations and the making of the modern Middle East. The Canal was inaugurated to great fanfare on November 17, 1869.
Ancient Greece: Art, Architecture, and History
by Marina Belozerskaya, Kenneth Lapatin
This informative handbook traces Greek art and architecture from the third millennium to the first century B.C.
Tales from the Expat Harem: Foreign Women in Modern Turkey
by Anastasia M. Ashman, Jennifer Eaton Gokmen
As the Western world struggles to comprehend the paradoxes of modern Turkey, Tales from the Expat Harem reveals its most personal nuances. This illuminating anthology provides a window into the country from the perspective of thirty-two expatriates from seven different nations—artists, entrepreneurs, Peace Corps volunteers, archaeologists, missionaries, and others—who established lives in Turkey for work, love, or adventure. Through narrative essays covering the last four decades, these diverse women unveil the mystique of the “Orient,” describe religious conflict, embrace cultural discovery, and maneuver familial traditions, customs, and responsibilities. Poignant, humorous, and transcendent, the essays take readers to weddings and workplaces, down cobbled Byzantine streets, into boisterous bazaars along the Silk Road, and deep into the feminine stronghold of steamy Ottoman bathhouses. The outcome is a stunning collection of voices from women suspended between two homes as they redefine their identities and reshape their world views.

Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.