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World Academy on MS Volendam: A Voyage from Pole to Pole

Program No. 24843RJ
On an epic voyage on board Holland America’s MS Volendam, explore the globe from bottom to top on a worldwide learning adventure you’ll never forget!

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We want your Road Scholar learning adventure to be something to look forward to—not worry about. Learn more

Protecting the Environment

We offset a portion of the emissions created by your travel. Learn more

Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
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Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.


Ship Inside Ship Out Ship Balc
Filling Fast!
Jan 24 - Jun 7, 2025
Ship Inside 59,999
Ship Outside 64,999
Ship Balcony 84,999
Special Offer

Enroll by May 31, 2024 for free air from many cities!


Ship Inside Ship Out Ship Balc
Jan 24 - Jun 7, 2025
Ship Inside 74,999
Ship Outside 82,999
Ship Balcony 124,999
Special Offer

Enroll by May 31, 2024 for free air from many cities!

At a Glance

Are you ready for a global voyage that will take you from Antarctica to the Arctic Circle? This World Academy adventure sets sail from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to journey across the high seas on a grand adventure. Voyage to the Amazon River, West Africa, Iceland and beyond as you explore four continents and dozens of fascinating ports including Rio de Janeiro and Barcelona. Each stop will allow time for continued learning and immersive experiences where you can delve into a country’s history and culture. While at sea, participate in lectures and discussions exclusive for Road Scholars led by expert instructors. By the time the MS Volendam returns to port, you’ll have a world of knowledge and memories to take with you!
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking and standing for up to three hours a day; some uneven terrain; walking up stairs unassisted, getting in and out of motor coaches.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Explore the top and bottom of the globe as you sail through the waters of Iceland and Greenland and spend four days on an expedition in Antarctica.
  • Experience some of the world’s most breathtaking natural wonders firsthand, including Patagonia’s Tierra del Fuego, Norway’s fjords and the Amazon River.
  • Get an authentic “taste” of new countries and cultures with local dining experiences including Brazilian churrascaria, a traditional Moroccan lunch and port tasting in Portugal.
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.
Chile, A Traveler's Literary Companion
by Katherine Silver (Editor)
These choice stories introduce both the country and a host of contemporary writers.
Insight Guide Peru
by Insight Guides
Panoramic in scope, this illustrated overview brings Peru to life in color photographs and vivid essays on history, archaeology and culture.
Letters from Iceland
by W.H. Auden
Written with fellow poet Louis MacNiece, this quirky, under-appreciated masterpiece captures the spirit of Iceland, its people and landscapes.
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.
In Cod We Trust: Living the Norwegian Dream
by Eric Dregni
A Minnesotan of Norwegian extraction, Dregni writes entertainingly of Norwegian culture and the immigrant experience in this delightful account of a year living with his wife and infant son in Trondheim on a Fulbright scholarship.
The Peru Reader, History, Culture, Politics
by Orin Starn
Lively and literate, this meaty anthology ranges from historical accounts to modern analysis.
The Sagas of Icelanders
by Jane Smiley (Editor), Robert Kellog (Introduction)
Nine sagas and six tales composed between the years 1000 and 1500, including an account of Leif Eriksson's voyage to North America, all newly translated.
Growth of the Soil
by Knut Hamsun
The epic tale of a homesteader in the mountainous Norwegian interior, which helped win Hamsun a Nobel Prize in 1920.
The Ice At The End of the World
by Jon Gertner
In The Ice at the End of the World, Jon Gertner explains how Greenland has evolved from one of earth's last frontiers to its largest scientific laboratory.
The Fellowship of Ghosts, Travels in the Land of Midnight Sun
by Paul Watkins
A captivating travel memoir in which novelist Paul Watkins interweaves his own experiences in Norway with those of early eccentric visitors. Along the way, Watkins offers vivid, evocative accounts of the country’s majestic mountains, dramatic landscapes and expansive snowfields.
Scotland: the Story of a Nation
by Magnus Magnusson
Encompassing everything from the first Mesolithic settlers in 7000 B.C. to the present movements for independence, Scotland: The Story of a Nation is history on an epic level, essential reading for anyone interested in the rich past of this captivating land.
A Naturalist's Guide to the Arctic
by E.C. Pielou
A bestselling book on the Arctic, this guide covers the geography and climate, plants, birds and wildlife of the Circumpolar North.
Birds of Southern America & Antarctica
by Martin D. la Pena, Maurice Rumboll
With color plates, range maps and brief descriptions, this is a compact regional guide
Melting Away, Images of the Arctic and Antarctic
by Camille Seaman
In her masterful series of 75 portraits and essays, Camille Seaman shows how climate change has wreaked havoc on both the North and South Poles.
Lima, A Cultural History
by James Higgins
An erudite guide to the cultural gems and literary history of Peru's capital city. James Higgins, who specializes in Peruvian literature, covers the scope of the city's history from its pre-Columbian museums, to its conquistador heritage, to its dynamic present.
This Cold Heaven
by Gretel Ehrlich
In This Cold Heaven Gretel Ehrlich combines the story of her travels with history and cultural anthropology to reveal a Greenland that few of us could otherwise imagine.
How the Scots Invented the Modern World
by Athur Herman
As historian and author Arthur Herman reveals, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries Scotland made crucial contributions to science, philosophy, literature, education, medicine, commerce, and politics—contributions that have formed and nurtured the modern West ever since.
Norwegian Folk Tales
by Peter Asbjornsen
This rich collection of stories, interpreted by a leading scholar on ancient traditions and tales, will delight both adults and children.
Culture Smart! Portugal
by Sandy Guedes de Queiroz
A concise, well-illustrated and practical guide to local customs, etiquette and culture.
Scotland: a New History
by Michael Lynch
Michael Lynch, named as 'one of the most influential historians in Scotland of the last thirty years', has written an extraordinary one-volume history of the country that spans twenty centuries, from the Picts to the present day.
The History of Iceland
by Gunnar Karlsson
Gunnar Karlsson, Icelands premier historian, chronicles the age of the Sagas, consulting them to describe an era without a monarch or central authority.
Tango, The Art History of Love
by Robert Farris Thompson
A probing cultural history of the tango, its working class origins in 19th-century Buenos Aires and Afro-Argentine roots.
The Greenlanders
by Jane Smiley
Pulitzer Prize winner and bestselling author Jane Smiley’s The Greenlanders is an enthralling novel in the epic tradition of the old Norse sagas.
Iceland: Land of the Sagas
by Jon Krakauer, David Roberts
Circumnavigating Iceland in summer and winter, Krakauer and Roberts encounter tales of monks and Vikings, outlaws and adventurers, trolls and witches. While touring and photographing, they discover the myths and legends of Iceland's stirring history.
The Heart of the Great Alone: Scott, Shackleton and Antarctic Photography
by Sophie Gordon, David Hempleman-Adams, Emma Stuart
Here in one handsome book are hundreds of haunting photographs by Herbert George Ponting and Frank Hurley, drawn from the albums they created during the two most famous Antarctic explorations. The stunning images are accompanied by lively essays, maps, paintings and other ephemera from the Royal Collection.
Independent People, An Epic
by Halldor Laxness
Rich in local color, this great mock-epic by the Icelandic Nobel Prize-winner features the indelible Bjartur of Summerhouses, a hard-headed, independent-minded sheep farmer.
Ring of Seasons, Iceland, Its Culture and History
by Terry G. Lacy
A longtime resident of Reykjavik, Lacy weaves tales of family life, anecdote, lore and history into this illuminating personal portrait of Iceland.
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.
The Brazilians
by Joseph Page
A clear, comprehensive and compelling introduction to Brazil, covering politics, history, economics, ecology, conservation and culture.
Insight Guide Iceland
by Insight Guides
This guide emphasizes culture and history, with wonderful photographs, maps and essays from experts.
The Last Stronghold: Scottish Gaelic Traditions in Newfoundland
by Margaret Bennett
Canadas Atlantic Folklore-Folklife Series has been awarded the Canadian Historical Association Regional History Certificate of merit in Recognition of an Excellent Contribution to the Development of History.
Naturalists in Paradise, Wallace, Bates and Spruce in the Amazon
by John Hemming
The story of the Alfred Russel Wallace, Henry Bates and Richard Spruce, three pioneers of biology who made amazing discoveries in Amazonia. Includes 70 black-and-white and color illustrations.
Lisbon, A Cultural and Literary Companion
by Paul Buck
One in the excellent series, both a walking guide and history of the city.
Homage to Catalonia
by George Orwell
Orwell's portrait of the Barcelona uprising and the spirit of a city at war is a classic, an observant and heartfelt report from the streets.
Culture Smart! Brazil
by Sandra Branco
A concise, well-illustrated and practical guide to local customs, etiquette and culture.
The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870-1914
by David McCullough
This national bestselling epic chronicle of the creation of the Panama Canal, in this book, 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).
A Naturalist's Guide to the Arctic
by E.C. Pielou
A primer on Arctic climate, geography, plants, birds, mammals and insects in a single nicely written book. It's a highly recommended, enthusiastic guide to natural history throughout the Circumpolar North.
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.
Travels in a Thin Country, A Journey through Chile
by Sara Wheeler
British author Sara Wheeler deploys her wit, intelligence and powerful investigative skills on the Republic of Chile in this insightful travelogue.
by Robert Hughes
This big, thoroughly enjoyable cultural history of the city touches on architecture, art, religion and literature from Roman outpost to the present.
Eyewitness Guide Norway
by Eyewitness Guides
This handsome, illustrated guide covers nature, culture, history and attractions.

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.