2810
Hawaii

Hawaii’s National Parks: Exploring Four Islands from Volcanoes to Pearl Harbor

Join local experts on an exploration of Hawaii’s volcanoes, where you’ll learn about Hawaiian mythology, unique island ecology, natural monuments and sacred sites.
Rating (5)
Program No. 2810RJ
Length
13 days
Starts at
7,599
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13 days
12 nights
31 meals
12 B 10 L 9 D
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Introductions
Hilo, Big Island of Hawaii
D
Castle Hilo Hawaiian Hotel

Activity note: Hotel check-in available from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table in the lobby to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, and other important information. If your arrival is delayed, please ask for your packet when you check in.

Dinner: At the hotel, enjoy a tasty buffet in our private room with beverage options including coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: We will have brief introductions but will call it an evening early to allow us to adjust to the time difference and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
2
Orientation, Hilo Walking Field Trip, Class, Uncle Roberts
Hilo, Big Island of Hawaii
B,L
Castle Hilo Hawaiian Hotel

Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles, streets, sidewalks, dirt roads for morning and afternoon field trips. Getting on/off bus; driving approx. 29 miles one way to the evening activity.

Breakfast: In the hotel restaurant, the breakfast buffet includes choices such as eggs, pancakes, fruit including pineapple, oatmeal, breads, muffins, juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: Orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Travel and transfers will be via bus, and/or van depending on local conditions and schedules at the time of the program. Periods in the schedule labeled and "Free Time" and "At Leisure" offer opportunities to make the program more meaningful and memorable while going out to explore on your own, engaging in available activities independently, making new friends among fellow Road Scholars, or simply relaxing. The Group Leader will always be happy to offer suggestions. 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. After Orientation, we’ll then head out on a walking field trip led by a local expert to an overview of historic Hilo to learn about its history and culture.

Lunch: At the end of our walking tour we will arrive at a local restaurant. Enjoy a plated meal with choice of entrée, non alcoholic beverages included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: After lunch we will take a walk back to the hotel for some free time before our afternoon class. We’ll be joined by a local expert for a presentation on geology and formation of the Hawaiian Islands.

Dinner: On you own at Uncle Robert's, choose from a wide variety of food items.

Evening: We will board a bus and head out to Kalapana for our evening excursion. Kalapana is a town and a region in the Puna District. In 1990, lava flows from the Kupaianaha vent of Kilauea destroyed and partly buried most of the town, as well as Kalapana Gardens and nearby Royal Gardens subdivisions. In July 2010, lava from Kilauea continued into the Kalapana region partly covering the 1986–1992 flow field again. In May 2018, destructive new lava vents opened in nearby Leilani Estates. Access to Kalapana was restricted to residents until July 3, 2018, when the road was reopened to all motorists. Uncle Robert’s is a well-known community gathering place which started in the 1990's shortly after the devastating lava flows ravished this small rural town. Uncle Robert's house was spared and he started his first version of a farmers market outside of his home to help the community recover financially. Robert was raised on this land and raised 11 children on it too. Today, Uncle Robert’s extended ohana (family) includes 33-grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Most of the grown children still live in Kalapana, as do 20 of his 33 grandchildren. The small farmers market has grown to a large, eclectic and vibrant venue filled with local artisans, local musicians and local foods. Many of Robert's family members run the inner workings of this very special gathering place.

DAY
3
Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park
Hilo, Big Island of Hawaii
B,L,D
Castle Hilo Hawaiian Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach for multiple stops throughout field trips; driving approx. 70 miles on field trips; about 2 hours total aboard motorcoach. Walking up to 2 miles throughout the day on varied terrain

Breakfast: Hotel breakfast buffet

Morning: At leisure before we set out on our early afternoon field trip.

Lunch: At a local restaurant in Volcano Town. Plated meal with non alcoholic beverage included.

Afternoon: On an exclusive Road Scholar field trip, we'll set out early afternoon via bus for a field trip to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. From the National Park Service: “Hawaii Volcanoes National Park displays the results of at least 70 million years of volcanism, migration, and evolution in the Hawaiian Island-Emperor Seamount chain — processes that thrust a bare land from the sea and clothed it with complex and unique ecosystems and a distinct human culture.” With a local expert, we’ll make multiple stops determined by the evolving conditions of this fascinating geologically active area. We’ll also stop at the Kilauea Visitor Center where an expert will introduce exhibits on how plant and animal life arrived, ecosystems including the rain forest, and of course volcanoes.

Dinner: At the a local restaurant in Volcano town, we’ll enjoy a plated meal with non-alcoholic beverages.

Evening: Return to hotel.

DAY
4
Travel to Kona, Puuhonua o Honaunau NHP
Kona, Big Island of Hawaii
B,L,D
Courtyard by Marriott's King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving approx. 110 miles total throughout the day with stops; about 2.5 hours aboard motorcoach. Walking approx. 2 miles; uneven trails, sandy paths. Puuhonoua is considered a sacred site; observe guidelines, stay on marked trails and paths, take only photographs.

Breakfast: Hotel breakfast buffet

Morning: After checking out of the hotel, we’ll transfer to Kona, with a stop en route at a black sand beach.

Lunch: At a local restaurant in Naalehu, the southernmost town in the US, we will have a plated meal, plus nonalcoholic beverages.

Afternoon: Our next field trip is to - Puuhonua o - Honaunau National Historical Park, along lava flats of the Kona Coast. A local expert will lead our exploration. The entire complex covers about 420 acres including significant sites that recall four centuries of Hawaiian history. This location was a sacred sanctuary and place of refuge in ancient times. We’ll then proceed to our hotel in Kailua-Kona and check in.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, enjoy a plated meal, plus nonalcoholic beverages.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Kaloko-Honokohau NHP, Puukohola Heiau NHS
Kona, Big Island of Hawaii
B,L
Courtyard by Marriott's King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving approx. 70 miles total throughout the day with stops; about 1.5 hours aboard motorcoach. Walking up to 2 miles; park-maintained, coastal, sandy and rocky trails.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel restaurant, Honu's on the Beach.

Morning: We will depart on bus to Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park, Hawaii's newest, established in 1978 and a culturally significant Ancient Hawaiian settlement. We will then travel to Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site, "The temple on the hill of the Whale.” Built by Kamehameha I in 1790-1791 to incur the favor of the war god, Kukailimoku, this was the last major heiau (temple) built in the islands.

Lunch: Boxed lunch at a coastal beach.

Afternoon: We’ll linger at the beach to relax in the Hawaiian breeze. We’ll then return to the hotel with time to freshen up before dinner.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from your program to give you an opportunity to explore on your own.

Evening: At leisure to prepare for tomorrow's departure to Maui.

DAY
6
Fly to Maui, Haleakala
Kaanapali, HI (Island of Maui)
B,L,D
Royal Lahaina Resort

Activity note: The flight is short but the trip could take 3-4 hours due to transfer times. Flight departure is subject to schedules at the time of the program & could be before or after lunch. Getting on/off motorcoach; driving approx. 100 miles total throughout the day with stops; about 3 hours altogether. Walking up to 1 mile for the day; some uneven terrain.

Breakfast: At the hotel restaurant, buffet.

Morning: After checking out of the hotel, we’ll transfer with luggage via bus to Kona International Airport. We will fly to Maui Island. Upon arrival, we will collect our luggage and ride via motorcoach to lunch in Kula.

Lunch: At a local restaurant in Kula you will enjoy a plated meal. Non alcoholic beverages included.

Afternoon: At the conclusion of lunch we will be joined by a local expert and set out for a spectacular afternoon in Haleakala National Park and the summit area of Haleakala, an active shield volcano. Learn about Hawaii's indigenous animals and plants, including the endemic Ahinahina (silversword). The park is recognized as an International Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations. Departing the park we will travel to our hotel for a late afternoon check-in.

Dinner: At the hotel restaurant, we will have a buffet meal with non-alcoholic beverage. Other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Free Day
Kaanapali, HI (Island of Maui)
B
Royal Lahaina Resort

Breakfast: At leisure in the hotel restaurant, the breakfast buffet includes choices such as eggs, pancakes, fruit including pineapple, oatmeal, breads, muffins, juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: At leisure to explore what interests you most.

Lunch: On own

Afternoon: At leisure to explore what interests you most.

Dinner: On own

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
Ferry to Molokai, Check In
Kaunakakai, Molokai
B,L,D
Hotel Molokai

Activity note: Walking on sidewalks in Lahaina town. Ferry ride is approximately 2 hours, depending on local conditions. If you are susceptible to motion sickness, consider an appropriate remedy.

Breakfast: At the hotel restaurant, buffet.

Morning: Check out of the hotel and depart via bus for Lahaina where you will board the ferry for the ride to Molokai island.

Lunch: At a local Molokai restaurant, plated meal.

Afternoon: Upon arrival in Molokai we will board a bus and depart for our Molokai Museum and Cultural Center field trip features the former Rudolph W. Meyer Sugar Mill (1878), now restored to operation with its century-old steam engine, mule-driven cane crusher, and other vintage equipment. A museum docent will take us on an historical walk through the Mill, on the State and National Register of Historic Places. We’ll examine the original Mill equipment and handwritten records of the German-Hawaiian family who started it all. In the museum gallery exhibit on Kalaupapa history, artifacts from patients are on display. At the conclusion of the field trip we will depart on bus for the hotel and check-in.

Dinner: At a local Molokai restaurant, plated dinner.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
9
Air Shuttles to Kalaupapa National Historical Park
Kaunakakai, Molokai
B,L,D
Hotel Molokai

Activity note: Shuttle flights of approximately 15 minutes will be via 9-passenger, twin-engine prop planes. Getting on/off a school bus (non-A/C) in Kalaupapa, light walking. 20 miles to and from Molokai airport.

Breakfast: At the hotel, plated.

Morning: We’ll transfer to Molokai Airport and board small commuter planes for the short flight down to Kalaupapa National Historical Park. There, we’ll board a school bus for our field trip to the isolated peninsula where Father Damien ministered to leprosy patients. Hansen's disease (leprosy) was first diagnosed in the Hawaiian islands in 1853. Little more than a decade later, it had spread, causing great fear. After several attempts at creating care and treatment centers in different places, those with the disease were required to move to an isolated settlement on Molokai in 1866. A number of religious workers and other volunteers came to provide care for the residents. The most famous of these was Joseph De Veuster, a Belgian who became a priest in the Roman Catholic order of the Sacred Heart and took the name Father Damien. He was a dynamo of activity, not only providing medical care to settlement residents, but also building houses, organizing activities, and pressuring the kingdom of Hawaii to provide more resources. Father Damien’s efforts attracted worldwide attention for those with Hansen’s disease and the needs of those on Molokai in particular. The settlement gradually became a place to live rather than die. After working in the settlement for 12 years, Father Damien contracted Hansen’s disease. He died in 1889 at the age of 49. His life of devotion inspired multitudes, and he was canonized as Saint Damien of Molokai in 2009.

Lunch: Boxed lunch at Kalaupapa.

Afternoon: When our field trip ends, we’ll return via bus and air shuttles to Molokai Airport and back to the hotel.

Dinner: At a local Molokai restaurant, plated dinner.

Evening: Return to hotel, prepare for departure in the morning.

DAY
10
Nene Sanctuary, Papohaku Beach
Kaunakakai, Molokai
B,L,D
Hotel Molokai

Activity note: Field Trip in 15-passenger vans while in Molokai (except Kalaupapa). Driving approx. 55 miles, 1.5 hours aboard vehicles. Walking on grassy lawn at Molokai Museum, paved walkway at Kalaupapa overlook. Walking up to 2 miles including grassy terrain & sandy beach.

Breakfast: Hotel, plated.

Morning: The Nene, a species of goose that is Hawaii’s state bird, has struggled for many years to survive the effects of human depredation. Conservation efforts including breeding programs are helping. We will visit the private property of a non-profit organization that supports Nene breeding to see and learn more about these endangered birds. We’ll walk to a pond where we are likely to see some of these birds — the most endangered goose in the world — and other birds of the Hawaiian flyway. We’ll hear from an expert and will also walk out to see sand dunes to learn about indigenous plants.

Lunch: Boxed lunch at a west end beach.

Afternoon: We’ll have some time to go beachcombing on Hawaii’s longest, white sand beach. Dip your toes in the ocean!

Dinner: Transfer in vans to Molokai Museum and Cultural Center for Hawaiian Paina/Luau. Experience a traditional luau in your honor through food, and music. The luau is prepared by the staff with an array of local food selection.

Evening: Return to hotel, prepare for departure in the morning.

DAY
11
Fly to Oahu, WWII Valor National Monument, Punchbowl
Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii
B,L,D
Waikiki Resort Hotel

Activity note: Boarding bus; driving approx. 20 miles; up to 1 hour depending on Honolulu Traffic. Walking up to 1.5 mile during the course of the day on streets and sidewalks. Be aware that boat rides out to the USS Arizona Memorial are sometimes suspended or cancelled due to high winds, strong water currents or other safety hazards. This decision is made by the U.S. Navy, which operates the boats to the memorial, and is for the safety of all guests.

Breakfast: At the hotel, plated.

Morning: Check out of the hotel and transfer to the airport for our flight to Oahu Island.

Lunch: A plated meal at a local restaurant, choose from a select menu of dishes available.

Afternoon: After claiming our luggage, we’ll transfer via motorcoach to Pearl Harbor where we will visit the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument. While here, we’ll view a historical film in the park theater, take a launch boat ride across Pearl Harbor to the USS Arizona Memorial with National Park Service rangers, and upon returning, have some time to explore the museum. From there we will drive through The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, commonly known as “Punchbowl.” We are not permitted to get off the bus but will have commentary aboard. We will transfer to our Waikiki hotel and check in later afternoon.

Dinner: We will walk to a popular Waikiki restaurant near the hotel to enjoy a delicious, plated meal with beverage options including soft drink, iced tea or coffee; other beverages available for purchase

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
12
Oahu East End, Pali Lookout, Cultural Activity Class
Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii
B,L,D
Waikiki Resort Hotel

Activity note: Boarding bus; driving approx. 40 miles; up to 2 hours depending on Oahu Traffic. Walking up to 1 mile during the course of the day on streets and sidewalks.

Breakfast: Enjoy a filling breakfast buffet at the hotel's Ilima Café, lobby level, before the day's activities. The breakfast buffet includes choices such as eggs, pancakes, fruit, breads, muffins, juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: We begin the day with a drive around Oahu’s spectacular east end by Diamond Head along a coastal road providing spectacular views. We’ll continue with a scenic stop at the Koolau Mountains’ beautiful and historic Pali Lookout before arriving at lunch.

Lunch: Plated lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: There will be some free time after lunch for exploration or relaxation before a late afternoon Cultural Activity Class. At the hotel meeting space, we will be joined by a cultural organization for demonstrations and other activities.

Dinner: Enjoy a wonderful farewell plated meal served with nonalcoholic beverages at a local restaurant that boasts spectacular views of Waikiki. Other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Say farewell to new Road Scholar friends and prepare for departure in the morning.

DAY
13
Program Concludes
Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out is by 11:00 am.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet. This concludes our program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys! Aloha!






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