2810
Hawaii
Hawaii’s National Parks: Exploring Four Islands from Volcanoes to Pearl Harbor
Join park rangers and historians 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
15 days
Starts at
6,599
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15 days
14 nights
41 meals
14 B 13 L 14 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
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 name-tag, 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, Volcanoes Nat. Park,
Volcanoes National Park (Volcano), HI
B,L,D
Kilauea Military Camp

Activity note: Walking 1.5 to 2 miles, streets, sidewalks, parkland trails. Getting on/off motorcoach; driving approx. 30 miles one way to the entrance of Volcanoes National Park.

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 motorcoach, 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 checking out of the hotel, 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 a local restaurant, enjoy a plated meal with choice of entrée, coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: We’ll ride in a motorcoach to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and check in to our accommodations inside the park. There will be time to freshen up and relax before social hour preceding dinner.

Dinner: At Kilauea Military Camp's Crater Rim Café, buffet dinner.

Evening: We’ll gather with the Group Leader for an overview of tomorrow’s activities.

DAY
3
Geology, Nature Walk, Art Gallery, Kilauea Visitor Center
Volcanoes National Park (Volcano), HI
B,L,D
Kilauea Military Camp

Activity note: Hiking up to 2 miles, level terrain.

Breakfast: At the KMC Crater Rim Café, the breakfast buffet includes juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: We’ll be joined by a local expert for a presentation on geology and formation of the Hawaiian Islands.

Lunch: At KMC, make your own sandwiches at the deli sandwich bar.

Afternoon: Next, we’ll go for a nature walk further through the park to Volcano Art Center Gallery where local artists exhibit, then walk on to the Kilauea Visitor Center where our expert will introduce the park's most important features. Leading biologists, botanists, entomologists, ornithologists, and volcanologists contributed to a series of exhibits on everything from island formation to contemporary resource protection, all infused with the manao (wisdom) and moolelo (stories) of Hawaii’s indigenous people.

Dinner: KMC buffet.

Evening: With our expert, we’ll discuss other fascinating aspects of Hawaiian culture.

DAY
4
Hawaii Volcanoes National
Volcanoes National Park (Volcano), HI
B,L,D
Kilauea Military Camp

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach for multiple stops throughout field trips; driving approx. 50 miles on field trips; about 2 hours total aboard motorcoach. Walking up to 2 miles throughout the day on varied terrain; Thurston Lava Tube can be wet and slippery; about 50 stairs total up and down. We will be returning after dark; sturdy shoes, water, flashlights required. Kilauea is a dynamic volcano; lava conditions can change often.

Breakfast: KMC buffet.

Morning: We’ll depart via motorcoach on our field trip, heading first to a small museum where we can see the effects of the volcano, then have a close-up view of the crater. We'll explore Nahuku (Thurston) Lava Tube, a natural cave formed by ancient lava flow and then ride to our starting point for walking along the so-called Devastation Trail, a mile through cinder outfall remaining from the 1959 eruption.

Lunch: At the Rim Restaurant Volcano House located within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, we’ll enjoy a plated meal with non-alcoholic beverages included while soaking in glorious views of steam rising from the active crater!

Afternoon: Time for independent exploration or relaxation before we depart mid-afternoon for the lava field. Depart on motorocoach with a local expert for a drive along Chain of Craters Road. This road is one of the parks most spectacular drives, with views from mountain to the sea.

Dinner: At a restaurant in Volcano Village, we’ll have plated meals with soup or salad, entrée, and non-alcoholic beverage; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: If Mother Nature cooperates, we’ll have night-time views of lava (conditions permitting).

DAY
5
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: KMC buffet.

Morning: After checking out of KMC, we’ll transfer on motorcoach to Kona, on the west coast of the island. Along the way, we’ll stop at Punaluu to see the “black sand” beach, where one can often see turtles near shore eating seaweed or sunning themselves on the warm volcanic black sand.

Lunch: At a local restaurant en route.

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: Hotel restaurant plated meal with beverage; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Kaloko-Honokohau NHP, Puukohola Heiau NHS
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. 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 catch glimpses of turtles and reef fish or just relax in the Hawaiian breeze. We’ll then return to the hotel with time to freshen up before dinner.

Dinner: At the hotel restaurant, plated meal.

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

DAY
7
Fly to Maui, Iao Valley
Kahului, Maui, HI
B,L,D
Maui Beach Hotel

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. Boarding bus; driving approx. 14 miles; up to 45 hour depending on Maui Traffic. Walking on uneven ground, standing during field trip. Up to 2 miles walking during the course of the day. During the Iao Valley field trip, there is an option of climbing 131 stairs to the top or staying on the bus.

Breakfast: At the hotel restaurant, buffet.

Morning: After checking out of the hotel, we’ll transfer with luggage via motorcoach to Kona International Airport.

Lunch: At Kona Airport.

Afternoon: We will fly to Maui Island. Upon arrival, we will collect our luggage and ride via motorcoach with a local expert to Iao Valley State Park. Lush green Iao Valley is a sacred site to the Hawaiian people and is the historic location of a fierce battle between Maui warriors and the army of Kamehameha I. We will discuss the area's natural and cultural history. We’ll proceed late afternoon to our hotel and check in.

Dinner: At the hotel restaurant, plated meal with non-alcoholic beverage. Other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
Road to Hana
Kahului, Maui, HI
B,L,D
Maui Beach Hotel

Activity note: The drive to Hana is about 50 miles but can take time due to hundreds of curves, many hairpin turns, & 54 narrow bridges. If you are susceptible to motion sickness, consider an appropriate remedy. Getting on and off bus, driving approx. 100 miles, altogether 3.5 hours on bus. Up to 2 miles walking during the course of the day.

Breakfast: Hotel plated breakfast.

Morning: We’ll embark on a field trip to Hana in the East End of Maui, one of the most isolated towns in Hawaii. The journey takes some time — and stamina! — but we will be rewarded with views of the last undeveloped tropical paradise on the island, and the only coastal rainforest reachable by vehicles. Lush landscapes dotted with waterfalls on one side and rugged shoreline on the other, the pristine natural beauty provides a vivid sense of how the islands used to be. Commentary en route. We will then visit the largest temple in Polynesia with our expert for an on-sight presentation.

Lunch: Picnic lunch along the coastline in Hana.

Afternoon: We’ll make our return trip to the hotel with time to freshen up and relax before dinner.

Dinner: Hotel plated dinner.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
9
Haleakala National Park, Plantation Towns
Kahului, Maui, HI
B,L,D
Maui Beach Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving approx. 90 miles total throughout the day with stops; about 3 hours altogether. Walking up to 2 miles total for the day; some uneven terrain and dirt trails. Bring sturdy walking shoes and sun protection is recommended.

Breakfast: Hotel plated breakfast.

Morning: Via motorcoach with a local expert, enjoy a spectacular day 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.

Lunch: At a restaurant in Kula (elevation 3,200').

Afternoon: After lunch, we will travel to the plantation towns of up-country Maui, including Olinda, Makawao, and Paia, and stop at an overlook at Hookipa Beach Park to see any wind surfers who may be out.

Dinner: At a local restaurant within walking distance of the hotel.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for transfer in the morning.

DAY
10
Class, Lahaina, Ferry to Molokai, Check In
Kahului, Maui, HI
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: Hotel plated breakfast.

Morning: In the hotel meeting room, we’ll be joined by a local expert for a class, "Where did Everyone Come From?" . After classe, check out of the hotel and depart via motorcoach for lunch in Lahaina.

Lunch: Buffet lunch at Pioneer Inn.

Afternoon: At Leisure. You may wish to venture on the Lahaina Restoration Foundation’s self-led route through town to see an array of culturally and historically significant sites. Vouchers will be provided for entrance to several Lahaina museums on Front Street. Lahaina was a longtime residence of kings and chiefs of Maui, and served as the capital of the united kingdom of Hawaii from 1820-1845. It was also a key port for the whaling industry as well as a center of missionary activities. Today, this is some of the most expensive real estate in the islands. We’ll rendezvous at Lahaina Harbor and then board the ferry for the ride to Molokai island.

Dinner: At a local Molokai restaurant, plated dinner.

Evening: We’ll check in to our hotel in Molokai towards the end of the evening.

DAY
11
Nene Sanctuary, Molokai Museum
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. 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.

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: At a Molokai restaurant, plated dinner.

Evening: We’ll gather for a preview of tomorrow's schedule and activities.

DAY
12
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: 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
13
Fly to Oahu, USS Arizona, 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 or strong water currents. 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. Suggested Evening Activity: Visit the original site of the Hawaii Calls radio program, the Banyan Court, at the Sheraton Moana Surfrider Hotel.

DAY
14
Oahu East End, Pali Lookout, Historic Honolulu
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 1.5 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, and a drive through Historic Honolulu including Chinatown, downtown Honolulu, and the historic capitol district with a local expert before returning to the hotel.

Lunch: Plated lunch at a downtown Honolulu restaurant.

Afternoon: At leisure.

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
15
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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