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
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: Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
2
Hilo Walking Field Trip, Volcanoes Nat. Park, Orientation
Volcanoes National Park (Volcano), HI
B,L,D
KMC Lodging

Activity note: Walking 1.5 to 2 miles, streets, sidewalks, parkland trails.

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 review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures including contact numbers for key staff, and answer any questions you may have. Travel and transfers for field trips will be via motorcoach, bus, school bus and/or van depending on local conditions and schedules at the time of the program. Scheduled free time is reserved for your personal independent exploration. Please be aware that program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. 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 to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and check in to our accommodations inside the park with time to freshen up and relax before a social hour preceding dinner.

Dinner: At the KMC 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
KMC Lodging

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 you 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
Volcanoes National Park Field Trip
Volcanoes National Park (Volcano), HI
B,L,D
KMC Lodging

Activity note: Hiking up to 2 miles, returning after dark; uneven ground, slippery steps and lava tubes; sturdy shoes, water, flashlights required. Kilauea is a dynamic volcano; lava conditions can change often.

Breakfast: KMC buffet.

Morning: We’ll depart 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 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 Rim Restaurant. The restaurant overlooks the rim of Kilauea caldera and showcases spectacular views of billowing Halema‘uma‘u Crater. You will experience a taste of Hawaii with a bento style lunch. Non-alcoholic beverage included.

Afternoon: You’ll have to explore on your own or relax before we depart mid-afternoon for the lava field.

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
Kona, Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park
Kona, Big Island of Hawaii
B,L,D
Royal Kona Resort

Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles, sandy trails; bring hat, sunscreen, water. 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 the hotel, we’ll transfer to Kona, with a stop en route at a black sand beach.

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 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
Royal Kona Resort

Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles; park-maintained, coastal, sandy and rocky trails.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: we will depart on bus with a local expert to Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park, Hawaii's newest, and Pu'ukohola Heiau National Historic Site, a culturally significant Ancient Hawaiian settlement.

Lunch: At a coastal beach, we’ll have box lunches picnic style.

Afternoon: Free Time. 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: Hotel plated meal.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for our flight tomorrow.

DAY
7
Fly to Maui, Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum
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.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: After checking out of the hotel, we’ll ride to Kona Airport.

Lunch: At the Kona Airport.

Afternoon: We will fly to Maui Island. Upon arrival, we will collect our luggage and ride to Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum. Located next to Hawaii's largest working sugar factory in the historic plantation town of Puunene, Maui, the award-winning Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum is a marvelous repository of information and exhibits about one of the most significant and influential periods in Maui's history. A cultural specialist will lead our exploration. We’ll then proceed to our hotel and check in.

Dinner: Hotel plated meal.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
Hana Field Trip & Temple Visit, Hawaiian Style Lunch
Kahului, Maui, HI
B,L,D
Maui Beach Hotel

Activity note: The drive to Hana is about 50 miles but can take 2-3 hours or more due to hundreds of curves, many hairpin turns, & 54 narrow bridges. If you are susceptible to motion sickness, consider an appropriate remedy.

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: The drive is only about 30 miles but can take up to 1.5 hours due to winding roads & local conditions. Altitude at the summit area of Haleakala National Park is 10,023 feet. Short walk on trail leading into crater at summit.

Breakfast: Hotel plated breakfast.

Morning: We’ll ride out for a field trip to Haleakala National Park with commentary en route; park rangers will speak to all visitors present at the time as well explore the visitor center and enjoy spectacular crater views.

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

Afternoon: Next we’ll ride to the plantation towns of up-country Maui, including Olinda, Makawao, and Paia, with 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: We’ll be joined by a local expert for a class, "Where did Everyone Come from" then we’ll check out, and depart for lunch in Lahaina.

Lunch: Plated lunch at a Lahaina restaurant.

Afternoon: At Leisure. Vouchers will be provided for entrance to several Lahaina museums. 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: Hotel plated dinner.

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

DAY
11
Molokai Museum, The Nene, Home Visit, Ancient Fishpond
Kaunakakai, Molokai
B,L,D
Hotel Molokai

Activity note: Field Trip in 15-passenger vans while in Molokai (except Kalaupapa). 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: 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. 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: At a west end beach, we’ll have box lunches.

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, we’ll have plated dinners.

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.

Breakfast: 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: Walking through USS Arizona museum.

Breakfast: Hotel, plated.

Morning: We’ll check out and transfer to the airport for our flight to Oahu Island.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we’ll have a plated meal.

Afternoon: We’ll pay our respects at the USS Arizona Memorial National Historic Park at Pearl Harbor. We’ll view a historical film in the theater, board the launch for a ride across Pearl Harbor to the USS Arizona Memorial, and explore the museum. Rangers are on hand to provide information. 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’ll then head to our Waikiki hotel for check-in.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, we’ll have a plated meal.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
14
Oahu East End, Pali Lookout, Historic Honolulu
Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii
B,L,D
Waikiki Resort Hotel

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

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: At a restaurant in Honolulu, we’ll have a plated meal.

Afternoon: Free time.

Dinner: We’ll walk to a nearby restaurant for an “Aloha” farewell dinner.

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!