Tours

Southern States and Eastern Caribbean Cruise

Tour departs: 20 April 2018
Tour length: 24 Days

Overview

Tour Departs – 20 April 2018.

Tour Length –  24 Days.

Visiting the Southern States of America is a way to experience the history and charm of the country which is so unique. It is of course the area that defined “Southern hospitality”, and at the conclusion of the tour we believe you will have a new appreciation for the term.
We start the tour off by flying with Air NZ to Houston for 2 nights, visit a ranch and have a true Cowboy experience before flying to Charleston, South Carolina. Spend time at Jekyll Island Club and explore Boone Hall, one of America’s oldest plantations.
After learning about the history of the States, we then learn about the future with a wonderful day at the Kennedy Space Centre at Cape Canaveral.

 

Highlights Include
  • Houston for a 2 night stay.
  • Charleston, South Carolina.
  • St Augustine, the oldest city in the USA.
  • Jekyll Island Club Resort for 2 nights.
  • Kennedy Space Centre.
  • Florida Everglades boat ride

 

Cruise Highlights Include

Our coach touring finishes in Fort Lauderdale, and then we set sail for the next 10 nights to explore the Eastern Caribbean, on board our ship, the Caribbean Princess.  Balcony Staterooms available upon request.

  • 10 Night Eastern Caribbean cruise
  • Princess Cays, Bahamas
  • Lucia
  • Barbados

Itinerary

Friday 20 April

Home – Houston

We depart today for our flight to Houston, Texas. On arrival we are met and transferred to our hotel for the next 2 nights.



Saturday 21 April

Houston (B.D)

After a leisurely breakfast we see what Texas has to offer with a Ranch visit and Cowboy experience.
Tonight we have a welcome dinner together at a local restaurant.



Sunday 22 April

Houston – Charleston, South Carolina (B.D)
An early afternoon flight today to Charleston where we experience true southern hospitality. Your tour opens in beautiful antebellum Charleston, where magnificent formal gardens grace much of the historic district.



Monday 23 April

Charleston (B.D)
Charleston has survived the Civil War, major fires, an earthquake and hurricanes – and still exudes elegance, charm and grace. Get to know the city with a local guide including its cobblestoned streets, historic homes and restored buildings – some with origins prior to the Revolution. Stop at the battery overlooking Fort Sumter, where on April 12 1861, the first shots of the Civil War were fired. Following your tour, experience southern plantation living as you explore one of America’s oldest working plantations, Boone Hall, set amidst moss draped oaks. Discover the remarkably preserved original slave cabins, unusual in their brick construction. Enjoy a local speciality at dinner, the famous She-crab soup!



Tuesday 24 April

Charleston – Beaufort – Savannah, Georgia (B.D)
Travel south along the coast through South Carolina’s Low Country to the charming town of Beaufort, the “Queen of the Carolina Sea Islands.” Perhaps you’ll opt to explore Beaufort’s quaint streets during a stroll and browse the shops at your own pace. Continue south to historic Savannah, home of the largest National Historic Landmark District in the United States. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure to wander this enchanting city’s tree-filled squares, the City Market or the River Street shops.



Wednesday 25 April

Savannah – Jekyll Island (B.D)
Begin the day with a guided tour of Savannah’s sprawling Historic District. Make your way along the cobblestone-paved Factors Walk and River Street, where old cotton warehouses have been converted into trendy shops, taverns and restaurants. Visit the beautiful Andrew Low Home and Gardens and learn about the driving force behind the Girl Scouts and its founder, Juliette Low. Travel south along the unspoiled Georgia coast of vast marshlands, winding rivers and beautiful beaches. Arrive at the exclusive Jekyll Island Club Hotel, grandly situated in the midst of the fabled Golden Isles.



Thursday 26 April

Jekyll Island – St. Simons Island – Jekyll Island (B)
Jekyll Island was once the winter retreat of prominent gilded age families. Their grand “cottages” still stand. A tram takes you on a tour of the Jekyll Island Historic Landmark District – one of the nation’s largest restoration projects. The Rockefellers, Vanderbilt’s and J.P. Morgan once vacationed here along the 240-acre river edge. Visit another of the fabled Golden Isles, quaint St. Simons Island. See its striking 104 foot tall lighthouse and visit the Museum of Coastal History. Later, enjoy leisure time to explore the quaint shops and restaurants in the village.



Friday 27 April

Jekyll Island – St. Augustine  (B.D)

Travel south to the United States’ oldest city, St. Augustine, first settled in 1565. Upon arrival, enjoy a guided trolley tour highlighting the Old Spanish Quarter, historic Bayfront, “Old Town,” which dates to 1572, and the Plaza de la Constitucion with its shops and restaurants. Spend time at leisure this afternoon and come to know more of the city’s many cultural attractions. Visit the Fountain of Youth – an archaeological park and site of the area first explored by Juan Ponce de Leon in 1513. Dinner is included at the hotel tonight.



Saturday 28 April

St. Augustine – Daytona – Cape Canaveral (B)

After a leisurely start this morning we depart St. Augustine and en-route to Cape Canaveral, we stop at Daytona Speedway for a tour and some free time to explore. On arrival in Cape Canaveral, the remainder of the afternoon and evening is at your leisure.



Sunday 29 April

Cape Canaveral  (B)

Breakfast at the hotel before blasting off to today’s experience at the Kennedy Space Centre:

Kennedy Space Centre Visitor Complex is a must see destination in Central Florida. Less than an hour east of Orlando, KSC provides a mixture of the past and the future, with rich historical references in each of the exhibits, coupled with a clear vision into the future, bolstered by the amazing learning from both the International Space Station and the Hubble telescope photos.



Monday 30 April

Cape Canaveral – Fort Laudedale (B.D)

After breakfast we will depart Cape Canaveral early in the morning and head to the swamp!

Explore the heart of the Central Florida Everglades on this exciting airboat adventure and educational tour! Enjoy the exhilarating ride as a U.S. Coast Guard licensed boat captain whisks you over land and water at approximately 40 miles per hour, into the Central Florida Everglades. Experience beautiful protected wetland hammocks, pristine fresh water marshes, a bald-cypress swamp, and the local wildlife. Later today we have city tour of Miami and South Beach before heading to our hotel.


Tuesday 1 May

Commence Cruise (B.L.D)

After a leisurely start to the day, we transfer to the port and get settled in to our home for the next 10 nights, the “Caribbean Princess”. Our ship departs at 4.00pm.


Wednesday 2 May

Princess Cays, Bahamas   (B.L.D)

Today’s port of call is the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas. One hundred miles long and only two miles wide, Eleuthera offers unspoiled beaches. Take in the views from the observation tower. Sip a cool drink or browse the shops and the local craft market. Recreational activities abound or simply relax on the beach. Ship arrives 9.00am and departs at 4.00pm.



Thursday 3 May

Cruising at Sea (B.L.D)



Friday 4 May

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands   (B.L.D)

The US Virgin Islands are America’s paradise, offering an easy-going blend of island ways and American practicality. St. Thomas, capital of the island group, offers every imaginable sport, stunning mountain scenery, crystalline waters, and white-sand beaches with palms swaying in the breeze – the US Virgin Islands are truly a slice of paradise. Ship arrives 8.00am and departs at 6.00pm.


Saturday 5 May

Antigua, Antigua & Barbuda   (B.L.D)

The largest of the British Leeward Islands, Antigua boasts one of the Caribbean’s most spectacular coastlines with secluded coves and sun-drenched beaches. The island’s rolling hills are dotted with stone sugar mills, relics from the bygone era when sugar was king. Historic Nelson’s Dockyard, where Admiral Horatio Nelson quartered his fleet in 1784, attests to Antigua’s long and colourful nautical history during colonial times. And St. John’s, the island’s bustling capital, offers visitors a wealth of boutiques, restaurants and pubs. Ship arrives at 8.00am and departs at 5.00pm.

 



Sunday 6 May

St. Lucia   (B.L.D)

Nestled below the Pitons, twin peaks rising over 2,600 feet above the azure waters of the Caribbean, St. Lucia is an oasis of tropical calm. The island’s capital, Castries, is a town of charming, pastel-coloured colonial buildings, home to some 60,000. Yet despite its peaceful setting, St. Lucia has a turbulent and colourful history. Today this beautiful island welcomes visitors drawn to its exotic tropical landscape, superb beaches, crystalline waters, and colourful marine life. Ship arrives at 8.00am and departs at 6.00pm.



Monday 7 May

Barbados      (B.L.D)

Barbados is one of the few Caribbean islands solely colonized by one nation. It’s no wonder Bajans describe their country as being “more English than England sheself” surnames like Worthing and Hastings abound. But look around and you know you’re not in England: rich and fertile tropical fields meet a glistening, azure sea. The soft pastels of old chattel houses blend with the vibrant reds, oranges, and greens of roadside fruit stands. In short, Barbados exudes a charm all its own. Ship arrives at 7.00am and departs at 4.00pm.



Tuesday 8 May

St. Kitts, St. Kitts & Nevis   (B.L.D)

Jagged volcanoes soaring above azure and turquoise seas, dense rainforests in myriad shades of green, rolling fields of sugarcane – welcome to St. Kitts. Along with its neighbour, Nevis, St. Kitts presents an exotic landscape more common to Polynesia than the Caribbean. The islands’ terrain, rich soil, and climate made them ideal locations for raising sugarcane. In fact, St. Kitts and Nevis were once the crown jewels of the Caribbean. During the 17th and 18th centuries, Spain, France and England vied for control of the islands, with the English finally winning out in 1787. Today, British and French heritage is evident on both islands. Basseterre, the capital of St. Kitts, boasts fine, restored colonial buildings. Impressive Brimstone Hill Fortress, called the “Gibraltar of the West Indies,” is one of the most impressive fortresses in the Caribbean. Ship arrives at 9.00am and departs at 6.00pm.



Wednesday 9 May

At Sea (B.L.D)



Thursday 10 May

At Sea (B.L.D)


Friday 11 May

Disembark Fort Lauderdale – Houston – Home                    (B)

Sadly, this morning our cruise comes to an end. We disembark in Fort Lauderdale and are transferred to the airport where we will fly to Houston before continuing our journey home later this evening.

 



Sunday 13 May

Arrival time is early morning. Welcome Home.

 

Map

Prices

Tour Costs per person Ocean View

Share Twin Per Person Ocean View Stateroom- $17,900
Supplement for Single Room – $ 4,950

Tour Costs per person Balcony

Share Twin Per Person Balcony Stateroom – $18,750
Supplement for Single Stateroom -$5,700

Costs Include
  • Economy class air travel from Auckland (additional cost to upgrade to Premium Economy or Business Class available on request)
  • Superior Tourist / First Class hotel accommodation.
  • Ocean View Staterooms on the cruise ship.  Upgrade to balcony staterooms available
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary B = Full Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner.
  • First Class air-conditioned coach transportation for all touring.
  • Sightseeing and entrance fees as indicated in the itinerary.
  • Services of a tour director and local guides for touring and sightseeing.
  • All port taxes and tips to crew on the 15 night cruise.
  • Tips to local guides and coach drivers.
  • Airport and government security taxes.
  • Baggage handling of one suitcase per person
  • Fully Escorted by a Maher Tours Leader

Costs Exclude
  • Any meals and sightseeing tours not specifically mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Items of a personal nature such as room service, laundry, drinks, telephone charges etc.

“Maher has “the mix” right – content with action and fun, all at a relaxed pace, attention to detail, value for money and above all, leaving with a desire to travel with them again.”
– Tony and Bets Simpson

“Annie was wonderful, looked after me very well. Being on my own and it was my first time but I didn’t feel alone. The group were good with me, I never got left out. Annie is a good tour leader nothing was too much trouble.”
– PS

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Need Assistance?

By Phone: 0800 500 518 | By Email: info@mahertours.co.nz