2022 REEFS AND RUINS
Oceania / Riviera
ANCIENT CULTURES AND MODERN DELIGHTS
Discover the majestic remnants of ancient Mayan civilizations, and then reflect on your history lesson as you bask in the sun on some of the most enchanting beaches in the Caribbean.
* Unwind on the beach at Big French Key, a lush private island off the Honduran coast at Roatan
* Soar 130 feet above the crystalline waters of Harvest Caye on an enthralling zip line
* Marvel at the restored Mayan pyramids of Chacchoben, just a short drive from Costa Maya
* Explore the Baroque and neoclassical monuments, romantic courtyards and enchanting plazas of Old Havana, protected by its UNESCO World Heritage status
Day 1: Miami
The usual fly to Miami, meet Oceania rep, and transfer to the ship.
Day 2: Key West, FL (8-5)
Visit the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory, which houses an impressive collection of flowering plants, cascading waterfalls and 50 different species of butterflies from around the world. Continue to the aquarium, Key West's oldest attraction, dating back to 1935 and home to hundreds of different species of local sea life. Don't miss the historic home of author Ernest Hemingway.
Discover Key West (EYW-006) 3 hours
This delightful tour allows you to discover Key West in three unique ways: on a colorful and entertaining tour of the island aboard a Conch Tour Train or an Old Town Trolley; through a close-up encounter with local marine life at the Key West Aquarium; and on a journey back in time to the 1800s to the days of shipwrecking at the Shipwreck Treasure Museum.
You will begin your Key West discovery with a fully narrated one hour tour of the island. Riding in comfort, cooled by island breezes, you will get a true feel of this unique island - the color, the history and the atmosphere, all while viewing its most important landmarks. Along the way, your friendly conductor will point out unique details and special places you might otherwise miss, such as Hemingway House, the Southernmost Point of the Continental U.S., President Truman's Little White House, the Henry Flagler Railroad Historian and many, many more sights that characterize the charm and distinctive appeal of Key West.
Following your panoramic tour, you'll enjoy a short walk to the Aquarium. Located in the corner of Mallory Square, the Aquarium is Key West's oldest tourist attraction, dating back to February 18, 1935. You will quickly find it is home to hundreds of different species of local marine life and includes a touch tank where visitors of all ages are encouraged to enjoy a hand's on experience with several species of sea life. The Aquarium is also the habitat of a wide variety of fish - including grouper, moray eels, barracuda, tropical fish, tarpon, sharks and parrotfish. During your tour, you will even be given the opportunity to pet a shark. When you reach the Atlantic Shore exhibit with its unique perspective on the mangroves, their inhabitants and this fascinating multifaceted ecosystem, you will have reached the environmental highlight of the attraction.
Your last stop before your tour concludes will be at The Shipwreck Treasure Museum which was opened in June 1994, as a re-creation of the 1856 wreckers' warehouse. Inside, you'll see a video presentation depicting how Key West once became the wealthiest city in America. This nautical museum serves as a backdrop for artifacts from the Issac Allerton, which sank in 1856. You won't want to miss the spectacular view from the observation tower, or wreckers' look-out. Rising 65 feet above street level, the look-out provides a great vantage point from which to photograph your ship.
Please note: This tour includes a limited amount of walking on paved surfaces. There may be some steps to negotiate at the Aquarium and Shipwreck Museum and those wishing to visit the tower at the Shipwreck Museum would need to negotiate approximately 100 stair steps. The order of sights visited may vary.
Day 3: Cruzzing the Caribbean Sea #1 of 2
Day 4: Roatan, Honduras (8-6)
Luxuriate on the magnificent beaches, snorkel or dive and explore the superb shallow reefs, or discover the island's other natural wonders on a horseback ride on the beach and through a tropical forest past spectacular volcanic rocks.
Island Highlights (ROA-008) 3 ¼ hours $66.75
Enjoy tropical Roatan by observing iguanas in a protected zoo-like habitat and then visiting an eco-park to interact with butterflies and tropical birds.
Depart from the pier and enjoy a leisurely narrated drive through Roatan's lush countryside, which supports a diversity of wildlife. Few tropical animals are as iconic as the iguana, which you will see in abundance at the Iguana Hideaway. It's an excellent venue to observe these prehistoric-looking reptiles, as iguanas are threatened on Roatan from loss of habitat and being captured for the pet trade. Watch them basking in the sun, lounging in trees and munching on vegetables. Some of the iguanas are over three feet long, and while they may look imposing they're really quite passive.
Continuing on, you'll make your way to the Mayan-Eden Eco-Park for a visit to the butterfly and tropical bird section there. Take a magical walk through an enclosed area that contains a wide variety of local butterflies. Learn about some of Honduras' most vibrant varieties of butterflies and about this delicate creature and its intricate lifecycle. The garden is also home to tropical trees, plants and exotic rescued birds and animals. Hummingbirds dart happily from blossom to blossom and you'll no doubt see colorful parrots flying free. You can even have a photo taken with one of these birds sitting right on your arm!
On your way back to the pier you will pass through the small capital city of Coxen Hole, once home to the pirate John Cox.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 1 hour of easy walking/standing plus any additional walking at the guests' discretion during free time. Sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; a bottle of water from the ship are recommended.
Day 5: Santo Tomas, Guatemala (8-6)
Visit fascinating Quiriguá and its stunning Mayan stele. Take a boat ride along the Rio Dulce to Lake Izabal past riverside Mayan villages, lush tropical vegetation and Fort San Felipe. Or take a short flight to Flores for an unforgettable visit to incredible, mysterious Tikal, its soaring ancient temples rising from the jungle floor.
The only excursion listed is:
Trolley Town Tour (STC-011) 1 hour $21.75
Ride a unique trolley for a 50-minute ride through from the Port of Santo Tomas through the simple streets of Puerto Barrios, the nearest town. Your guide provides a narration on the history and folklore. Depending on traffic, we’ll stop at one or two local attractions including the colorful local graveyard perfect for some unique pictures. A maximum of three cold alcoholic drinks (usually beer) or soft drinks per person are included.
Day 6: Harvest Caye, Belize (7-6)
Featuring an enchanting range of environments such as tropical rainforests, marshes and coral reefs, Harvest Caye offers both relaxation and adventure amid lush landscapes. This 75-acre paradise invites you to explore its incredibly biodiverse surroundings, witnessing exotic wildlife or perhaps discovering the world’s second largest coral reef. Gain insight into the region’s Mayan and Garifuna roots, discover traditional arts and traditions at the local artisans’ village or simply soak up the abundant Belizean sunshine and relax.
Mango Creek & Independence Village Life (HAR-022) 3 hours $51.75
Board your awaiting air-conditioned bus at Malacate Landing after a short tender ride from Harvest Caye. Within a couple of minutes of departing from Malacate Landing, you are entering the twin villages of Mango Creek and Independence. Your entertaining bus guide will point out the sights of Mango Creek and Independence and give you a detailed history of how the villages got their start. You will pass churches and schools, then a ride down to "Water Side", the local water taxi landing on Mango Creek. Then it's back through the village of Mango Creek and the other side of the street......Independence. All the while your guide will be showing you points of interest and describing Belizean village life, then and now.
Your bus will now head to the commercial port of Big Creek, only two miles away, Big Creek Port is the only natural deep water port in all of Belize. Here is where all the bananas are loaded onto ships and transported to Europe, crude oil is stored and shipped from this port as well and also bulk sugar has just begun to be exported from the Big Creek port.
It's off to Savannah Forest Station, a short 4 miles from Big Creek where on the way you will pass the Savannah Airstrip where the local airlines land with passengers and cargo and is home to the agricultural planes that service the banana industry.
Upon arrival to the Mango Creek / Independence Village Market, you will disembark your bus and be greeted by the melodious sounds of local musicians. At this venue, you will have a chance of observe the hand crafting of a large wooden dory as it’s carved from a solid hardwood log by a skilled dory builder. There will be other artisan’s present working on their crafts. During these activities you can also explore the craft market where you will find tasty snacks and drinks and purchase an authentic Belizean made souvenir.
Before you know it, it's time to re-board your bus and head back to the pier at Malacate and the tender back to Harvest Caye. It's been a fun and educational tour of rural Belizean village life.
Note: Wear cap or hat, sunglasses, camera, cash (no credit card machines) for purchase of drinks, snacks and souvenirs.
Day 7: Costa Maya, Mexico (9-7)
The cruise port of Costa Maya in Mexico's developing Costa Maya region is surrounded by dense jungle and turquoise waters and blessed with radiant sunshine. No wonder the ancient Maya lived nearby, building ceremonial centers like Chacchoben, where you can climb among the ruins, many of which are still being excavated. Look for raucous toucans in the trees.
Dolphin Encounter (CMA-039) 1 ½ hours $74.25
Fun, convenient and the experience of a lifetime! You’ll be greeted by your smiling dolphin guide at the end of the dock who will brief you on the day`s events. It is only a five-minute walk to the Dolphin Park located within the dock facility! You’ll be given a locker and lifejacket. A member of the training team will provide an educational briefing that details what to expect during your dolphin interaction and key points of interest. Cameras and valuables are to be placed in the lockers for safe keeping as cameras are not allowed in the water. (But I won't go in.)
The Dolphin Encounter is the classic dolphin program which provides an exhilarating dolphin experience for couples, families and guests of all ages. This excursion allows guests to kiss, pet and interact with the dolphin on a submerged platform and learn about this amazing creature and their habitat. You’ll be surprised by the great intelligence and friendliness of these wonderful marine mammals. Enjoy 30 minutes in the water with the dolphin. This a great dolphin program for non-swimmers!
Note: This is not a "swimming with the dolphins" program.
Day 8: Cozumel, Mexico (8-5)
Enjoy a day snorkeling, diving to fabulous reefs, exploring the jungle with an ATV, relaxing beside the pool at a beach club, strolling a vast beach and visiting an ancient Mayan temple.
No excursions of interest currently listed.
Day 9: Cruzzing the Caribbean Sea #2 of 2
Day 10: Havana, Cuba (7-6)
The door to Cuba’s soul, Havana captivates with its larger-than-life culture, sultry rhythms and weathered beauty. Take a relaxing stroll along the evocative Malecón, the quintessentially Cuban thoroughfare and get lost among the Baroque facades and colonial cobblestone alleys of Old Havana. Visit the grandiose Capitolio Nacional and explore the world-class Cuban art collection at Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, which showcases everything from colonial-era paintings to countless masterpieces from Cuba’s famed Vanguard Period. Enjoy memorable explorations such as touring one of Havana’s venerable old cigar factories for an inside look at the birthplace of these world-famous cigars and the centuries-old process of how they are made. Sip a daiquiri at Hemingway’s favorite haunt, El Floridita, happen upon a live jazz group and simply savor an unforgettable moment in this unique corner of the world.
Ultimate Highlights Of Havana - Old & New (HAV-001) 3 hours $74.25
Discover the remarkable history of Havana, Cuba through its massive buildings and notable structures dating back to the 15th century. Colonial Life and modern times are all part of this unforgettable tour of Cuba’s capital, Havana.
After departing from the pier, ride through Old Havana where you will have the opportunity to learn about some of the most iconic sites and the history of this charming municipality. You will have a chance to see age-old buildings such as the Iglesia de San Francisco de Paula, one of Havana's most charming churches, fully restored in 2000 and now used as a concert hall. Among the most significant buildings here, you will also see Train Central Station, the main railway terminal in Havana and the largest train station in Cuba, considered a national monument for its architectural and historical values.
At the entrance of Havana Harbor stands El Castillo De Los Tres Reyes Del Morro, built by the Spanish in 1589 and completed in 1640 to protect the city from buccaneers and pirates. In 1762, the castle was captured by the British under Sir George Pocock. Discover the military architecture of Havana from the 16th to 19th century on a visit to this historical fort.
On your way to El Cristo de La Habana, you will see another military fortress originally built to fill a weakness in the city's defenses – Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabaña.
Then witness the majestic representation of El Cristo de La Habana, only four decades old, which forms part of the landscape that characterizes the entrance to the Havana harbor. Standing at 65 feet tall, weighing 320 tons, consisting of 67 different pieces, and made of white Carrara marble, the monument was built in Italy by Cuban artist Jilma Madera, and inaugurated on December 25, 1958. History tells that the artist did not use a model as her inspiration but was inspired by what she felt was the definition of masculine beauty. However, legends say that she was inspired by the physique of an old lover.
On your way to the city’s famous Malecón seafront, one of the city's most meaningful and essential Cuban main roads, you will pass through the Túnel de La Habana (Havana’s Tunnel), which links the historic forts on the eastern bank with the ornate Spanish architecture in Old Havana.
From Havana Vieja to the atmospheric streets of Vedado in a comfortable air-conditioned bus you will get a view of the Nacional Hotel, the American Embassy, the University of Havana, the Christopher Columbus Cemetery and the famous corners, parks and plazas of this striking city.
Discover historical sites like the Civic Square, which was later, renamed the Revolution Square in 1959. You will also walk through the University of Havana, located in the Vedado district of Havana. This is oldest university in Cuba, founded in 1728 and one of the first to be founded in the Americas.
Our guide and expert on Cuban architecture will demonstrate the transition from Colonial to Modern times in this panoramic view of the city.
On your way back to the pier you will drive by the Green Tile House, Miramar, the Business Center, and palm tree-lined Fifth Avenue, considered one of the most beautiful avenues in Havana and initially called Avenida de las Américas, here, you will feel the pulse of the emerging economy. You’ll continue on through the Fifth Avenue Tunnel, which connects the Calzada Street, in Vedado, to the Santa Ana River in Santa Fe. The origin of this famous avenue goes back to the early 20th century as a result of the immigration of Havana’s wealthy classes to the west beyond the opening of the Almendares River.
Note: This tour involves minimal walking, mostly on asphalt. The tour has a few stops around the city but is ideal for guests with limited mobility. Guests are advised to bring their cameras. This tour is OFAC compliant.
Day 11: Miami / Depart
Breakfast then escape and take pre-booked transfer to the airport.
The scheduled ship is the RIVIERA. I’ll book a “C” cabin with large window but no veranda.