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, Welcome Dinner
Hilo, Big Island of Hawaii
D
Castle Hilo Hawaiian Hotel

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

Afternoon: Program Registration. After you have your room assignment, come 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 changes, other important information, and to confirm when and where the Orientation session will take place. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in.

Dinner: At the hotel, we’ll have a buffet welcome dinner with beverage options including coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars with a brief introduction to the members of our group. We will call it an early evening due to the travel and adjusting to the time difference. Settle in 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 on streets, sidewalks, parkland trails. Getting on/off motorcoach; driving approx. 30 miles one way to the entrance of Volcanoes National Park; approximately 1 hour depending upon local traffic.

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, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Travel and transfers for field trips will be via motorcoach and/or van depending on local conditions and schedules at the time of the program. Periods in the daily 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. 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. “America the Beautiful” passes cover entrance fees at national parks and wildlife refuges for up to 4 adults. If you have one of these national park passes, please bring it with you to the program and on our field trips to benefit other members of the group.. 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: In KMC's Crater Rim Café, we’ll have a buffet dinner with home cooking including soup, salad, entrée, baked potato bar, and ice cream; beverage choices include a fountain drink, juice, coffee, tea water. Other beverages available for purchase.

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

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

Activity note: Hiking up to 2.5 miles, level terrain.

Breakfast: At KMC's Crater Rim Café, the breakfast menu offers choices such as scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, biscuits, pancakes, oatmeal, seasonal fresh fruit, milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: A local expert will join us in the KMC meeting room 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: At KMC, buffet.

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

DAY
4
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
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. Kilauea is a dynamic volcano; lava conditions can change often.

Breakfast: At KMC, plated.

Morning: We'll set out via motorcoach with a local expert for a field trip of 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 would thrust a bare land from the sea and clothed it with complex and unique ecosystems and a distinct human culture. We will head 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 Volcano House Restaurant within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, we’ll have a plated meal with non-alcoholic beverages included; other beverages available for purchase. There are amazing views of the Kilauea caldera and the Halemaumau Crater.

Afternoon: After lunch, we will return to KMC for where there will be some 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) before we return to KMC.

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: At KMC, plated.

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 in Punaluu, we'll have a plated lunch.

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: In the hotel restaurant, the breakfast buffet includes options such as omelettes made to order, pancakes, tropical island fruit, yogurt, oatmeal, cereals, pancakes, waffle station, breads, muffins, juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: We will depart on motorcoach to Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park, Hawaii's newest, established in 1978 and a culturally significant Ancient Hawaiian settlement, where a park range will share its story. 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: Enjoy a 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. Prepare for check-out and transfer to Maui tomorrow.

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 minutes 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 vehicle.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We’ll then check out of hotel with our group leader and depart via motorcoach for Keahole-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's Rainbow Dining Room, we'll have 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 its many curves and 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: At the hotel's Rainbow Dining Room, breakfast offerings include choices such as scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, waffles, oatmeal, seasonal fresh fruit, juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: We’ll embark with a local expert via minicoaches 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: Boxed lunch along the coastline in Hana.

Afternoon: We’ll stop at the Hana Cultural Center as we make our return trip to the hotel. The center was established by kupuna (wise elders) and while there, we'll learn about the ancient artifacts including Hawaiian quilts and stone implements housed in this historic place. There will with time to freshen up and relax at the hotel before dinner.

Dinner: Hotel, plated.

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 the morning 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'), we’ll have a plated meal.

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: We'll walk to a nearby restaurant for a delicious plated meal; non-alcoholic beverages included, other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out and transfer tomorrow.

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, find out "Where Did Everybody Come From?" in an engaging lecture by a local educator. After class, we will check out of the hotel and depart via motorcoach for Lahaina town, located on Maui's west side.

Lunch: Buffet lunch at Pioneer Inn.

Afternoon: Free time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. We will provide vouchers 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: At a local Molokai restaurant, plated dinner.

Evening: We’ll check in to our hotel in Molokai after dinner 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 at the hotel 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 morning check-out and transfer for our flight to Oahu.

DAY
13
Fly to Oahu, USS Arizona, Punchbowl
Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii
B,L,D
Waikiki Resort Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off busses; driving approx. 20 miles; up to 1 hour depending on Honolulu Traffic. Walking approximately 2 miles throughout the day; stairs at USS Arizona Museum theater and memorial. Getting on/off a Navy operated shuttle boat. (Boat rides may be cancelled by the Navy in the event of high winds and/or strong water currents.) Walking through USS Arizona Museum.

Breakfast: At the hotel, plated.

Morning: With the group leader, we will check out of the hotel and transfer via van to Molokai Airport. Our luggage will be transported in a separate vehicle to the airport. We'll board our plane to Oahu. After claiming our luggage, we’ll then board a motorcoach and transfer to Pearl Harbor for lunch.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we’ll have plated meals and order from a select menu; iced tea and water included, other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: After lunch, 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. Our field trip will begin at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. We will explore the museum, view a short documentary film in the theater, and board the launch for a ride across Pearl Harbor to the USS Arizona Memorial. As the National Park Service explains, “The Arizona was bombed on December 7, 1941, about 15 minutes into the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, killing 1,177 sailors and Marines on board. Today she rests where she fell, just off the coast of Ford Island.” The memorial honors the memory of the Arizona crew and other service members and civilians who died during the attack: 2,335 sailors, soldiers, and Marines as well as 68 civilians. Next, we will drive through of the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific — commonly referred to as “Punchbowl” — and learn of its significance. The cemetery is situated in the extinct Puowaina volcanic crater formed 75,000 to 100,000 years ago. The Hawaiian name Puowaina has been translated as “hill of sacrifice.” More than 13,000 soldiers and sailors who died in World War II are interred here. From here, we will transfer to our Waikiki hotel and check in.

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. You might like to go out and experience Waikiki — once the playground of Hawaiian royalty — to check out live music, walk along the beach, or just soak up the atmosphere.

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

Activity note: Getting on/off busses; 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’ll board a motorcoach with a local expert and set out on a field trip that will take us around Oahu's spectacular east as we travel along a coastal road with spectacular views of the ocean and the Koolau Mountains of Oahu. This scenic route takes us by Diamond Head, Hanauma Bay, and Halona Blowhole. Weather permitting, we may be able to see Molokai as well. We’ll continue with a scenic stop at the Koolau Mountains’ beautiful and historic Pali Lookout, to see the famous pali (cliffs) that played a role in the 1795 defeat of Oahu's warriors by King Kamehameha I, and a drive through Historic Honolulu including Chinatown, downtown Honolulu, and the historic capitol district before returning to the hotel.

Lunch: Plated lunch at a downtown Honolulu restaurant.

Afternoon: Free time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: At a popular Waikiki restaurant with beautiful views, we’ll have a farewell plated meal with non-alcoholic beverages included; other beverages available for purchase. Share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends.

Evening: At leisure.

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. 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. 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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