23677
England/Ireland/Scotland

Odyssey at Sea: President’s Voyage Around the British Isles

Welcome aboard our premiere floating campus for an exceptional exploration of Great Britain and Ireland inspired by Road Scholar President James Moses.
Program No. 23677RJ
Length
22 days
Starts at
6,999
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Click on Dates & Prices below to see special offer details.
Flights start at
FREE
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22 days
21 nights
56 meals
20 B 17 L 19 D
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive London, Transfer to Port, Embark Aegean Odyssey
At Sea
D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach with 4-5 steps up/down. Walking up to 1 mile from aircraft through airport to passport control and customs with baggage; standing could be up to 1 hour or more depending on flights at the time. From port check-in to boarding ship, steps and ramps with handrails; potentially up to 1/2 mile of corridors to reach cabins.

Morning: Transfer from the airport to the Port of Tilbury. Meals aboard ship will begin with dinner; a light lunch will be available from 1:00-3:00 p.m. for those who arrive in time.

Afternoon: Embark the Aegean Odyssey. Complete boarding procedures, get your cabin, unpack, and freshen up. Then begin to explore this comfortable ship that will be our floating home. The ship’s courteous and friendly staff are scrupulous about hygiene and you will find numerous dispensers with hand-sanitizer we are encouraged to use. Along with everyone on board, we will meet at muster stations when called for the ship’s safety drill. Orientation: We will gather late afternoon when 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. During succeeding evenings aboard ship, there will be activities to choose from such as a guest speaker, a performance by talented musicians, and opportunities for interaction with fellow Road Scholars. There is also a well-stocked library with daily newspapers received via satellite. Most mornings will begin with a group stretch session. On each full day, the Group Leader will give a “port talk” about what’s ahead. Each evening, we’ll get a briefing memo in our cabins with highlights of the next day’s activities. Periods in the 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. In each port, we will have shuttle busses running from/to the ship during the day for your convenience if you wish to explore independently. The extent and duration of elective walking and other free time activities depends on personal choice. 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.

Dinner: Aboard ship, enjoy a welcome dinner in the venue of your choice: the a la carte Marco Polo restaurant, open for dinner as well as lunch on full days at sea; and the Terrace Café with its extensive buffet open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Meals feature fresh local ingredients in tasty preparations including healthy choices. Both restaurants offer open-seating dining. All meals aboard ship — as well as afternoon tea and late night snacks — are included. Non-alcoholic beverages and select wines at dinner are included; other beverages are available for purchase upon request.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy activities aboard ship, spend time with fellow Road Scholars, and be sure to check the briefing memo/daily bulletin placed in our cabins with highlights for tomorrow. The ship will remain in port overnight.

DAY
3
Port of Tilbury, Greenwich, National Maritime Museum
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a riverboat; total travelling about 40 miles, approximately 2 hours. Walking up to 3 miles, walking and standing for up to 2 hours on field trips.

Breakfast: In the Terrace Café — and on the Lido Deck in nice weather — there are hot and cold dishes to choose from such as eggs, breakfast meats, cereals, fruits, breads, pastries, and a variety of healthy choices as well as milk, juice, coffee, tea, water. Meals feature fresh local ingredients in tasty preparations.

Morning: The Port of Tilbury is located on the River Thames. We’ll travel by river cruiser along the Thames to the Royal Borough of Greenwich, a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site. Here we’ll explore all things nautical at the National Maritime Museum and the Old Royal Naval College, with some time for independent exploration in Greenwich. Those who wish to delve deeper into Britain’s maritime heritage may join local experts to explore the Cutty Sark, the fully restored Victorian tea clipper that was the fastest ship of its day, or enjoy a visit to the Royal Observatory where techniques of astronomical navigation were developed. We’ll return to our floating campus at Tilbury by river cruiser.

Lunch: Your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Afternoon: We will gather for a lecture on topics relevant to our program. After our lecture, the remainder of the afternoon is free to enjoy activities aboard ship. At the end of the afternoon, we’ll gather together with our Group Leader for our first daily port talk.

Dinner: Your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy activities aboard ship, spend time with fellow Road Scholars, and be sure to check the briefing memo/daily bulletin placed in our cabins with highlights for tomorrow. The ship will leave Tilbury on our journey to Portsmouth.

DAY
4
Arrive Portsmouth, Free Time, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; total driving about 5 miles, less than 1 hour. Gangways at Historic Dockyard can be steep at high tide. Low ceilings, trip hazards, uneven floors, steep stairs and low doorways may be encountered aboard historic vessels. Some of the Historic Dockyard site is only accessible by waterbus boat across the harbor; boat is not wheelchair accessible, four steps with handrails to board. Entrance to Mary Rose Museum not included. Port shuttle buses available in afternoon.

Breakfast: In the Terrace Café or on the Lido Deck in nice weather.

Morning: We’ll step ashore and walk to a motorcoach, for a short journey through Portsmouth’s docks to the Historic Dockyard. Here we’ll have a brief orientation talk from our Group Leader, then we will be free to explore the Dockyard’s many museums, including a number of preserved historic naval vessels, at our own pace. The vessels at the Dockyard include HMS Victory, Nelson’s flagship built in 1759, on which he was killed at the Battle of Trafalgar; HMS Warrior, 1860, the Royal Navy’s first armored battleship, powered by both sail and steam; the monitor HMS M33, one of only three British warships remaining from World War I; and HMS Alliance, the only remaining World War II-era submarine. Museums include the National Museum of the Royal Navy, which tells the story of the Navy over the last 350 years; The Dockyard Apprentice, focusing on Portsmouth’s boatbuilding heritage; and Boathouse 4, where students of the International Boatbuilding Training College learn their craft by repairing and restoring historic small naval boats. Regular 45-minute boat trips, departing from a pier close to HMS Warrior 1860, offer the chance to view the harbor’s fortifications and the modern Navy vessels in port with accompanying expert commentary. We’ll return to the ship by motorcoach in time for lunch.

Lunch: Your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Afternoon: Free time. Enjoy the activities of your choice aboard ship or take advantage of the shuttle bus available for independent exploration. Also known as the Royal Naval Dockyard, the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard includes a number of museums and famous vessels. It is also a symbol of Britain’s naval history. Our tickets to the Historic Dockyard allow re-entry, so those who wish to spend more time exploring the Dockyard’s vessels and museums will be able to do so. Returning to the ship, we will gather at the end of the afternoon with our Group Leader for our daily port talk.

Dinner: Your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy activities aboard ship, spend time with fellow Road Scholars, and be sure to check the briefing memo/daily bulletin placed in our cabins with highlights for tomorrow. The ship will leave Portsmouth on our journey to Portland.

DAY
5
Stonehenge, Salisbury Cathedral
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 140 miles, approximately 5.5 hours. Walking up to 5 miles, walking and standing up to 2 hours on trips. Sturdy footwear recommended. Stonehenge: approx. 1.5 miles from visitor center to stone circle along tarmac, gravel, and grass paths; or shuttle buses may be taken all or part way. At Salisbury Cathedral, step-free access to all areas except library and tower.

Breakfast: In the Terrace Café or on the Lido Deck in nice weather.

Morning: We'll arrive in Portland Harbour on the Dorset Coast. The Isle of Portland, connected to the mainland by Chesil Beach, is renowned for its fine fossil-rich limestone. Over the centuries, its quarries have supplied building material to major public buildings and monuments in Britain and beyond, including Buckingham Palace and St. Paul’s Cathedral in London and the United Nations headquarters in New York City. We’ll step off the ship, board a motorcoach, and ride inland to the prehistoric landscape of Salisbury Plain. Here we’ll explore Stonehenge, a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site managed by English Heritage. We will walk in the footsteps of our Neolithic ancestors at the best-known prehistoric monument in Europe. Stonehenge has a world-class visitor center housing quality permanent exhibitions. We will also view the stones themselves, a fantastic opportunity to take in the immense sense of ancient history. The site remains a source of inspiration and spirituality as well as a feat of engineering and building.

Lunch: At a Stonehenge café.

Afternoon: We will reboard the motorcoach and move on to Salisbury for an expert-led field trip to see and learn about architectural highlights of Salisbury Cathedral, the most complete 13th-century Gothic-style cathedral in the country. It boasts the tallest spire in England, the best-preserved exemplification of Magna Carta from 1215, and Europe's oldest working clock. Following our exploration of the cathedral, we will have some independent time to wander around timbered buildings and lush water meadows of this “city in the country” before we return to the ship. At the end of the afternoon, we’ll gather together with our Group Leader for our daily port talk.

Dinner: Your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy activities aboard ship, spend time with fellow Road Scholars, and be sure to check the briefing memo/daily bulletin placed in our cabins with highlights for tomorrow. The ship will leave Portland on our journey to Falmouth.

DAY
6
Falmouth, St. Ives, Tate St. Ives, Free Time
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; total driving about 60 miles, approximately 2.5 hours. Walking up to 2 miles, walking and standing for up to 2 hours on field trips. Paved and cobbled streets, sandy beaches.

Breakfast: In the Terrace Café or on the Lido Deck in nice weather.

Morning: Arriving in Falmouth on Cornwall’s south coast, we’ll step off the ship, board a motorcoach, and begin a scenic journey across the Cornish peninsula to the small seaside town of St. Ives. This town’s cobbled streets are full of history, legend, and tradition, housing Tate St. Ives, the Cornish arm of the world-renowned London Tate Galleries. We’ll explore the streets on foot and have an expert-led visit to the gallery, then return to the ship by motorcoach.

Lunch: At a local restaurant we’ll have a 2-course plated and served meal with coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Free time. Enjoy the activities of your choice aboard ship or take advantage of the shuttle bus available for independent exploration. Those of us who are keen to learn more about Falmouth’s history may join our Group Leader on an informative walk through the town. At the end of the afternoon, we’ll gather with our Group Leader for our daily port talk.

Dinner: Your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy activities aboard ship, spend time with fellow Road Scholars, and be sure to check the briefing memo/daily bulletin placed in our cabins with highlights for tomorrow. The ship will remain in port overnight.

DAY
7
Falmouth, Trebah Garden
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; total driving about 16 miles, approximately 1.5 hours. Walking up to 3 miles, walking and standing for up to 2 hours on field trips. Trebah Garden: gravel and earth paths, occasional cobbled areas and rock steps; low light conditions in some tree-shaded areas.

Breakfast: In the Terrace Café or on the Lido Deck in nice weather.

Morning: We’ll step ashore and board a motorcoach for a scenic drive through the beautiful Cornish countryside. Our journey will culminate in a field trip to Trebah Garden at the mouth of the Helford River, a short distance along the coast from Falmouth. Cornwall’s climate, warmed by the waters of the Gulf Stream, makes it an ideal location for botanical gardens of sub-tropical plants that would not thrive elsewhere in the British Isles. At Trebah, we’ll learn from local experts how Victorian amateur botanists brought these gardens into being with seeds and cuttings from plant-hunting expeditions around the world. We’ll then return to the ship.

Lunch: Your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Afternoon: We will gather for a lecture on topics relevant to our program. At the end of the afternoon, we’ll gather with our Group Leader for our daily port talk.

Dinner: Your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy activities aboard ship, spend time with fellow Road Scholars, and be sure to check the briefing memo/daily bulletin placed in our cabins with highlights for tomorrow. The ship will leave Falmouth on our journey to Cork.

DAY
8
Cobh, Ring of Kerry
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 255 miles, approximately 7 hours with breaks. Walking up to 3 miles, walking and standing up to 2 hours at field trip sites. Varied terrain including paved streets, grass, gravel paths, sandy beach.

Breakfast: In the Terrace Café or on the Lido Deck in nice weather.

Morning: Upon arrival in port, we'll dock at Cobh, a picturesque seaside town steeped in maritime history, close to Cork. We’ll step ashore and board a motorcoach, and set out with local experts on a panoramic journey around the famous Ring of Kerry, an area of outstanding natural beauty. The circuit will take in the towns of Killorglin, Glenbeigh, Cahersiveen, Waterville, Caherdaniel, and Sneem. In Glenbeigh, we will stop at the beach overlooking Dingle Bay. We will also learn about the special geography and climate as we travel around.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: We’ll continue our field trip around the Ring of Kerry, through the picturesque village of Sneem. The village comprises two squares, North and South, with a bridge acting as a knot between them. As we complete our journey around the Ring, we’ll make stops at Molls Gap and Ladies View, which offer splendid views of the mountains and lakes of Killarney National Park.

Dinner: Your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy activities aboard ship, spend time with fellow Road Scholars, and be sure to check the briefing memo/daily bulletin placed in our cabins with highlights for tomorrow. The ship will remain in port overnight.

DAY
9
Cork City, Queenstown Story Centre
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; total driving about 35 miles, approximately 2 hours. Paved streets, some narrow pavements and cobbled areas.

Breakfast: In the Terrace Café or on the Lido Deck in nice weather.

Morning: We’ll board a motorcoach and travel around Lough Mahon to Cork, Ireland’s second largest city. We’ll explore the city’s highlights by motorcoach and on foot. Cork was founded in the 7th century and is today a bustling, lively little city. Reboarding the motorcoach, we’ll return to the ship at Cobh.

Lunch: Your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Afternoon: In Cobh, we’ll join a local expert for a walk along the “Titanic Trail.” As well as the final port of call for the ill-fated RMS Titanic, the town was the departure point for multitudes of immigrants to the Americas. We'll follow their story at the Queenstown Story Heritage Centre, where we can retrace the steps of the 2.5 million adults and children who emigrated from Ireland on coffin ships, early steamers, and finally on the great liners. We’ll return to the ship at the conclusion of our field trip and, at the end of the afternoon, we’ll gather with our Group Leader for our daily port talk.

Dinner: Your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy activities aboard ship, spend time with fellow Road Scholars, and be sure to check the briefing memo/daily bulletin placed in our cabins with highlights for tomorrow. The ship will leave Cork on our journey to Dublin.

DAY
10
Dublin, Trinity College, Book of Kells, Free Time
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; total driving about 8 miles, approximately 1 hour. Trinity College and Book of Kells: step-free access available in all areas visited, campus walk is mostly on paved paths with occasional cobbled areas. Port shuttle buses available in afternoon and evening.

Breakfast: In the Terrace Café or on the Lido Deck in nice weather.

Morning: Once ashore, we’ll board a motorcoach for a panoramic journey that will take us to Trinity College in the heart of Dublin. The College, sometimes referred to as the University of Dublin, dates back to 1592 and is one of the seven ancient Universities of Britain and Ireland. It is also home to the Book of Kells, one of the finest examples of manuscript illumination in the world. The artistry and attention to detail in its spellbinding calligraphy and illuminations truly is a sight to behold and the book, dating back to 800 CE, is considered Ireland’s finest national treasure. Local experts will lead us through the exhibition dedicated to this famed codex, and on an informative walk through Trinity College’s grand campus to admire the historic architecture and learn about the Irish higher education system.

Lunch: Your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Afternoon: Free time. Enjoy the activities of your choice aboard ship or take advantage of the shuttle bus available for independent exploration. At the end of the afternoon, we’ll gather with our Group Leader for our daily port talk.

Dinner: Your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy activities aboard ship, spend time with fellow Road Scholars, and be sure to check the briefing memo/daily bulletin placed in our cabins with highlights for tomorrow. The ship will remain in port overnight.

DAY
11
Powerscourt Gardens, St Patrick’s Cathedral
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; total driving about 10 miles, approximately 1.5 hours. Walking up to 3 miles, walking and standing for up to 3 hours on field trips. Powerscourt Gardens: gravel paths, steps to some areas with alternative step-free access available. St Patrick’s Cathedral: step-free access available to all areas visited.

Breakfast: In the Terrace Café or on the Lido Deck in nice weather.

Morning: We will board our motorcoach and ride south of Dublin to Powerscourt Gardens. These ornamental gardens, spanning 47 acres in the beautiful rolling hills of County Wicklow, feature a variety of formal and less formal landscaping. Designers and gardeners since 1731 have found sources of inspiration across the world, including Italy, Japan and the Palace of Versailles in France. We’ll walk through the gardens with commentary by local experts, and have some time for self-directed exploration before returning to central Dublin by motorcoach. Back in Dublin we’ll explore an iconic city landmark, St Patrick’s Cathedral. St Patrick’s, constructed between 1220-1260 CE, is one of only a few remaining medieval buildings in Dublin. It was built in honor of the national saint and is the National Cathedral of the Church of Ireland. We’ll learn more of its 800-year history and place in the heritage of the country from local experts. Author Jonathan Swift was Dean of the Cathedral in the 1700s and lies buried there.

Lunch: At a Dublin restaurant, we’ll be joined by a local storyteller/singer. If you prefer, you are welcome to return to the ship for lunch at your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Afternoon: In the historic dockyard area of Dublin Quays we’ll explore EPIC: The Irish Emigration Museum on an expert-led field trip. This modern interactive museum, built into restored warehouses, explores the history of Irish emigration and the lives of the Irish diaspora from 500 CE to the present day. At the end of the afternoon, we’ll gather with our Group Leader for our daily port talk.

Dinner: Your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for our transfer to Belfast in the morning. The ship will remain in port overnight.

DAY
12
Transfer to Belfast, Titanic Belfast, Political Murals
Belfast
B,D
Jurys Inn Belfast

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 110 miles, approximately 3.5 hours. Step-free access to all areas at Titanic Belfast. Field trip by Black Taxi lasts approximately 1.5 hours.

Breakfast: In the Terrace Café or on the Lido Deck in nice weather.

Morning: We'll leave the ship this morning, and board a motorcoach for our transfer to Belfast. When we arrive, we'll take a panoramic journey through the city center aboard the motorcoach, seeing some highlights including the River Lagan, St Anne's Cathedral and City Hall. We'll then have a field trip to Titanic Belfast, the world’s largest exhibition dedicated to the ill-fated liner, where you are welcome to explore at your own pace and see what interests you most. The facility is situated on site of the former Harland & Wolff shipyard where the “Titanic” was designed and built. A series of nine interactive galleries present the story in innovative and insightful ways, from initial conception through construction, the maiden voyage and sinking, on to discovery of the wreck. With striking architecture that suggests a ship’s bow, incorporating symbols of water and the White Star Line logo, the building is the nucleus of one of the world’s largest urban regeneration projects, the Titanic Quarter. When completed, it will encompass 185 acres of cultural, educational, leisure, residential, and business facilities to transform the entire area.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Afternoon: It has been said that a city can be defined by its taxi drivers and nowhere is this more true than in Belfast. Via the renowned Black Taxis, we will ride to see the colorful and evocative murals of West Belfast, stopping at some of the most significant to hear further explanations and take photos. We'll then check in to our hotel with some free time to relax before dinner.

Dinner: At the hotel we'll have a three-course plated and served meal with coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: For a taste of Belfast hospitality, our Group Leader will lead an excursion to an historic tile-fronted pub with original features including plasterwork and gas lighting, making it a superb example of a Victorian "gin palace."

DAY
13
Giant’s Causeway, Free Time in Belfast
Belfast
B,L
Jurys Inn Belfast

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 120 miles, approximately 3 hours. Walking up to 2 miles at Giant's Causeway on paved paths and some grass; it is possible to walk on the uneven hexagonal "steps" of the basalt formation, and there are routes that involve minimal changes of level; shuttles are available from visitor center to Causeway to reduce walking distance.

Breakfast: A full Irish breakfast in the hotel dining room. Choices vary but will include a variety of eggs, bacon, sausages, tomato, potatoes, cereals, fruit, toast, pastries and jams served with water, juices, tea and coffee.

Morning: We'll board the motorcoach and ride to the north coast for a field trip to the Giant’s Causeway UNESCO World Heritage Site, a natural theatre made up of hexagonal shaped basalt rocks. We will begin in the capable hands of a National Trust expert as we explore the site, before some free time to allow us to make the most of this breathtaking natural phenomenon.

Lunch: At a local restaurant we'll have a two-course plated and served meal with coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: After lunch we’ll return by motorcoach to Belfast, where we’ll have some free time for independent exploration.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
14
Transfer to Dublin, Brú na Bóinne
At Sea
B,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 115 miles, approximately 3 hours. Uneven floors, low ceilings and low narrow entrance to Neolithic tomb at Brú na Bóinne; paved paths and grass outside burial mounds. Port shuttle buses available in afternoon.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We'll board the motorcoach to begin our transfer back to Dublin. We’ll stop en route for a field trip to Brú na Bóinne, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that preserves one of the most archaeologically significant prehistoric landscapes in the world. In addition to megalithic art, Brú na Bóinne includes a number of Neolithic age burial chambers. We’ll visit one of these tombs to learn how their survival through more than 5,000 years reflects the sophistication of their design, and the ingenuity of the Stone Age people who constructed them. We’ll continue to Dublin by motorcoach.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Afternoon: We’ll return by motorcoach to the ship in port, and the rest of the afternoon is free time. Enjoy the activities of your choice aboard ship or take advantage of the shuttle bus available for independent exploration. At the end of the afternoon, we’ll gather with our Group Leader for our daily port talk.

Dinner: Your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy activities aboard ship, spend time with fellow Road Scholars, and be sure to check the briefing memo/daily bulletin placed in our cabins with highlights for tomorrow. The ship will leave Dublin on our journey to Greenock.

DAY
15
Glasgow-Scotland, Luss on Loch Lomond, Stirling Castle
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 100 miles, approximately 3.5 hours. Walking up to 2 miles, walking and standing up to 2 hours on trips. In Luss, paved streets, gravel and grass paths. At Stirling Castle, cobbled paths and courtyards, some sloping areas; step free access to all areas except Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders Museum, Great Kitchens, Elphinstone Tower. Port shuttle buses available afternoon and evening.

Breakfast: In the Terrace Café or on the Lido Deck in nice weather.

Morning: Once docked at Greenock, Glasgow’s port, we’ll set out by motorcoach on an expert-led field trip to Loch Lomond and Stirling Castle and experience the tranquility of the Scottish Highlands. In the pretty village of Luss on the banks of Loch Lomond, we’ll encounter a thousand years of history at sites including Mackessogs Church and Viking graves. We’ll move on through dramatic Dukes Pass into the Trossachs — exceptionally beautiful, but with a past littered with outlaws such as Rob Roy. We’ll continue through countryside associated with popular culture such as “Outlander” and “Game of Thrones” to Stirling Castle. It sits on a huge rock above the River Forth where the Scottish Lowlands and Highlands meet that has been occupied from time immemorial. Stirling was once the key to the kingdom of Scotland. The castle itself is thought to have originated in the late medieval era. We’ll learn about some of the most famous figures in Scottish history including Mary, Queen of Scots; William Wallace (Braveheart); Robert the Bruce; and Bonnie Prince Charlie as we delve into the bloody and turbulent past of a nation and its adversaries.

Lunch: At a local eatery, we’ll have a 2-course plated lunch with coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Returning to the ship, those who prefer to remain aboard are welcome to do so. For those who wish to see and do more, we’ll set out with our Group Leader on an excursion via port shuttle bus to Glasgow’s city centre for an afternoon of independent exploration. The Group Leader will suggest highlights of the city to visit, then return to the ship on your own. At the end of the afternoon, we’ll gather with our Group Leader for our daily port talk.

Dinner: Your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy activities aboard ship, spend time with fellow Road Scholars, and be sure to check the briefing memo/daily bulletin placed in our cabins with highlights for tomorrow. The ship will leave Greenock for our journey to Kirkwall.

DAY
16
At Sea, Lectures, Shipboard Activities
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Extent and duration of free time activities dependent on personal preference.

Breakfast: In the Terrace Café or on the Lido Deck in nice weather.

Morning: We will gather for a lecture on topics relevant to the program.

Lunch: Your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Afternoon: Free time. Enjoy the activities of your choice aboard ship. At the end of the afternoon, we will gather with our Group Leader for a port talk.

Dinner: Your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy activities aboard ship, spend time with fellow Road Scholars, and be sure to check the briefing memo/daily bulletin placed in our cabins with highlights for tomorrow. We'll continue our journey to Kirkwall.

DAY
17
Kirkwall-Orkney, St Magnus Cathedral
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off tender vessels to reach shore. Walking up to 2 miles, walking & standing for up to 2 hours. Paved streets, some uneven flagstones. Step-free access to St Magnus Cathedral is available.

Breakfast: In the Terrace Café or on the Lido Deck in nice weather.

Morning: We'll arrive this morning in Kirkwall, the largest town in Orkney — the archipelago close to the north coast of mainland Scotland. After reaching shore via tender vessels, we’ll take a field trip on foot to the town’s medieval St Magnus Cathedral, the most northerly cathedral in Britain. Kirkwall’s name comes from the Old Norse Kirkjuvagr, meaning “Church Bay”. The church that gave the town this name was the 11th-century St Olaf’s, of which little now survives, but St Magnus Cathedral is also a Viking foundation. St Magnus Erlendsson was Earl of Orkney in the early 12th century, and his story is told in three Norse sagas including the Orkneyinga saga. Much of the cathedral is constructed from contrasting red and yellow Orcadian sandstone. We’ll have some free time in Kirkwall before returning to the ship via tender vessels.

Lunch: Your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Afternoon: We will gather for a lecture on topics relevant to the program. At the end of the afternoon, we will gather with our Group Leader for a port talk.

Dinner: Your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy activities aboard ship, spend time with fellow Road Scholars, and be sure to check the briefing memo/daily bulletin placed in our cabins with highlights for tomorrow. The ship will leave Kirkwall on our journey to Leith.

DAY
18
Edinburgh, Royal Mile, Royal Yacht Britannia
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 6 miles, approximately 1 hour. Walking up to 4 miles; paved streets, cobbled areas, hilly, steep terrain; walking/standing up to 3 hours. Edinburgh Castle: steep cobbled areas; steps with handrails to vaults and One o’Clock Gun. Royal Apartments, David’s Tower, and Prisons accessible only by steps. Step-free access at National Museum. Royal Yacht: step-free access to all areas; maximum width for wheelchairs/mobility scooters 26 inches.

Breakfast: In the Terrace Café or on the Lido Deck in nice weather.

Morning: Once docked at Leith, the old maritime center of Edinburgh, we’ll travel by motorcoach into the heart of Edinburgh’s medieval Old Town for an expert-led field trip that will include Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile, and St. Giles Cathedral. The oldest part of Edinburgh Castle dates from the 12th century. Among its highlights are Scotland’s crown jewels — called The Honours — and the Stone of Destiny, also known as the Stone of Scone, an ancient symbol of monarchy that legend says was the “pillow” of the biblical Jacob. Relaxed pace groups will visit the National Museum of Scotland instead of Edinburgh Castle. The museum’s Scotland galleries chart the country’s story from prehistory to the present day. The Discoveries galleries pay homage to the many inventions and innovations that the Scots took around the world. The Natural World galleries and the World Cultures galleries look at the story of our planet and people across the globe. The motorcoach will return to the ship for lunch. You are welcome to remain ashore and dine out on your own if you prefer.

Lunch: Your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Afternoon: Next, we’ll board a motorcoach and ride to the Royal Yacht Britannia, the former floating palace of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, now permanently moored close to where our ship will dock. From her maiden voyage in 1954 to decommissioning in 1997, Britannia logged more than a million nautical miles. The ship was transferred to Leith and opened to the public in 1998. We will have audio guides for a self-directed exploration as we walk through rooms where British royals and other notables lived, dined, and slept. At the end of the day we will gather with our Group Leader for a port talk.

Dinner: Your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy activities aboard ship, spend time with fellow Road Scholars, and be sure to check the briefing memo/daily bulletin placed in our cabins with highlights for tomorrow. The ship will leave Leith on our journey to Tyne.

DAY
19
Tyne-England, Alnwick Castle & Gardens
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 75 miles, approximately 2 hours. Walking up to 2 miles, walking/standing up to 2 hours. At Alnwick Castle, paved paths, grass lawns, cobbled courtyard; steps in State Rooms and Guard Chambers, some without handrails, step-free access to upper floors by 1-person lift. At Alnwick Gardens, paved and gravel paths, grass lawns; step-free access to most areas, some paths include stepped ramps; alternative routes available.

Breakfast: In the Terrace Café or on the Lido Deck in nice weather.

Morning: From the Port of Tyne in Northumberland, we’ll board a motorcoach and ride along a scenic coastal route to Alnwick Castle and Gardens, home to His Grace the 12th Duke of Northumberland and seat of the noble Percy family since 1309. We’ll encounter centuries of history as docents lead us through this grand residence, the second largest inhabited castle in the UK. We’ll explore the State Rooms decorated in lavish Italian Renaissance style with one of the finest private art and furniture collections in the country. We’ll also see the Artisans’ Courtyard, and film locations from “Harry Potter” and “Downton Abbey.”

Lunch: At Alnwick Castle and Gardens.

Afternoon: We’ll return to the ship after lunch, for free time to enjoy the activities of your choice. At the end of the afternoon, we will gather with our Group Leader for a port talk.

Dinner: Your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy activities aboard ship, spend time with fellow Road Scholars, and be sure to check the briefing memo/daily bulletin placed in our cabins with highlights for tomorrow. The ship will leave Tyne on our journey to Tilbury.

DAY
20
At Sea, Lectures, Shipboard Activities
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Extent and duration of free time activities dependent on personal preference.

Breakfast: In the Terrace Café or on the Lido Deck in nice weather.

Morning: Free time. Enjoy the activities of your choice aboard ship.

Lunch: Your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Afternoon: We will gather for a lecture on topics relevant to the program. At the end of the afternoon, we will gather with our Group Leader for a port talk.

Dinner: Your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy activities aboard ship, spend time with fellow Road Scholars, and be sure to check the briefing memo/daily bulletin placed in our cabins with highlights for tomorrow. We'll continue our journey to Tilbury.

DAY
21
Port of Tilbury, Tower of London
At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 50 miles, approximately 2 hours. Walking up to 2 miles, walking/standing up to 3 hours. At Tower of London, paved and cobbled courtyards, grass lawns, uneven stone and wooden floors; most upper floors and basements accessed only by steps, including narrow spiral staircases. Jewel House has fully step-free access. White Tower basement can be accessed by elevator.

Breakfast: In the Terrace Café or on the Lido Deck in nice weather.

Morning: From the Port of Tilbury, we'll board a motorcoach for a field trip to the nearby Tower of London where a Yeoman Warder, one of the Tower’s ceremonial guardians, will lead our exploration. The Tower was built in the 1070s as a fortress and symbol of royal power by William the Conqueror. When in residence, medieval kings and queens enjoyed apartments that were quite luxurious for their time. But by the Tudor era, the Tower had become a symbol of royal retribution and a place of execution, including one of the most notable victims, Queen Anne Boleyn. The Tower today is best known as the repository of the world-famous Crown Jewels, including the Koh-i-Noor and Cullinan I Diamonds — two of the world’s largest cut diamonds — and the world’s most comprehensive collection of coronation vestments and regalia. The Crown Jewels were remade for Charles II after the originals were melted down in the Civil War and provide a spectacular insight into the power of the Royal Family throughout history. We’ll explore the exhibition showcasing these treasures for ourselves in the Jewel House during our Yeoman Warder-led visit, and we can also expect to gain an understanding of the Tower’s rich and complex traditions, including why the ravens here are so well looked-after! We will return to the ship by motorcoach. Those who wish to remain ashore are welcome to do so.

Lunch: Your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant.

Afternoon: Free time. Enjoy the activities of your choice aboard ship or take advantage of the shuttle bus available for independent exploration. At the end of the afternoon, we will gather with our Group Leader for a port talk.

Dinner: Your choice of the Terrace Café or Marco Polo Restaurant. Share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends during our farewell dinner.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out, disembarkation, and departure in the morning. The ship will remain in port overnight.

DAY
22
Disembarkation, Transfer to Airport, Program Concludes
In Flight
B

Activity note: Disembarkation begins at early at 5:00 am or earlier depending on local schedules. See your program’s travel details regarding transfers.

Breakfast: In the Terrace Café or on the Lido Deck in nice weather.

Morning: After completing disembarkation procedures, we will transfer to the airport. This concludes our program. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. 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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