US not-for-profit organisation Road Scholar, which offers educational travel for older adults, has unveiled new fully chartered shipboard learning adventures worldwide – the Floating Campus.
“For our Floating Campus collection, we have carefully selected mid-sized ships that are ideal for the regions where they will be sailing,” explained Road Scholar’s Chief Programme Officer, Maeve Hartney.
For example, participants on board the new cruise ship ‘Ocean Albatros’ (pictured) will learn together in Iceland or Scotland. This expedition vessel with 95 staterooms and suites is one of the most environmentally friendly ships on the sea.
Also joining the Floating Campus fleet is American Queen Voyages’ ‘American Countess’, a paddle wheeler built in 2019 that accommodates 245 guests in 123 staterooms, and ‘La Belle des Oceans’, from Crosi Europe, which accommodates 130 passengers in 54 cabins and suites.
Road Scholars on board the ‘American Countess’ will study American music history along the Mississippi River, and ‘La Belle des Oceans’ passengers will explore the island of Corsica from North to South, learning about art, culture, cuisine, history and more.
“Road Scholar is a non-profit organisation with an educational mission,” Hartney added, “and participants can expect to do lots of learning both on board the ship and during field trips on land.”
On each Floating Campus, participants will be joined by two full-time instructors who will share their expertise on topics that will enhance their understanding of the region they are exploring.
Participants will enjoy on board lectures, unique onshore field trips, and access to the instructors throughout the journey for insightful Q&A and discussions.
Road Scholar has been offering shipboard learning adventures, or ‘Adventures Afloat’ since 1998.
What makes these programmes different is that all passengers on board the ships will be Road Scholars, and, because the ship is fully chartered, the expert educational programme designers have more control over the atmosphere, itinerary, and activities both on board and in port.
“The vision for these programmes is to create a college campus for older adults on the water,” Hartney said. “The special camaraderie that comes along with travelling amongst a community of other lifelong learners is what makes these Adventures Afloat particularly special.”
Participants will be divided into smaller groups for classes and field trips. For each activity, they will be able to choose between two activity levels, based on their physical ability and level of challenge. Plus, smallgroup activities like book club sessions will be available for additional opportunities to meet and bond with others.
The latest Floating Campus adventures will embark in spring and autumn of 2024 and take place over 11-12 days.