Polar Vortex Escape 2018

Main destination Caribbean, · About Escorted or Guided Tour

Polar Vortex Escape 2018

Main destination Caribbean, · About Escorted or Guided Tour

Ft. Lauderdale, St. Maarten, Martinique, St. Lucia, Barbados,
Dominica, St. Thomas, and Half Moon Cay.

Price Includes:

  • Roundtrip transfer from DeKalb to O’Hare.
  • Roundtrip airfare from Chicago to Ft. Lauderdale.
  • Pre-night at Ft. Lauderdale hotel including transfer from airport.
  • 11-day cruise on the 2,650 passenger ms KONINGSDAM
  • FREE photo from photo gallery
  • Private cocktail party
  • Government taxes and fees.

Special group pricing:

Price includes round-trip transfers from De Kalb to O’Hare, round-trip airfare, taxes, transfers from Ft Lauderdale airport to hotel, 10-day Holland America Line cruise, transfer from the ship to the airport, (group travel protection plan optional).


Day 1: Dec 9 — DeKalb to Ft. Lauderdale

Today you will be transferred from DeKalb to O’Hare to board your flight to Ft. Lauderdale. After you land you will be transferred to your hotel.

Day 2: Dec 10 — Ft. Lauderdale

Late morning you’ll board the ms KONINGSDAM, the newest ship in the Holland America Line. Join ship staff for an orientation walk about the ship following lunch onboard. L, D.

Day 3: Dec 11 — Sea Day

Perhaps take in a cooking demo or a cocktail class at the Culinary Arts Center.You can see the ship's top chefs whip up mouthwatering dishes, and occasionally catch a visiting star chef from the line’s Culinary Arts Council. B, L, D.

Day 4: Dec 12 — Sea Day

Trivia takes place most days up in the Crow's Nest, or -- in an inspiring link-up -- in the Queen's Lounge using footage from BBC Earth to supplement the questions. B, L, D.

Day 5: Dec 13 — Philipsburg, Sint Maarten. 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

This Leeward island has been famously bisected into French and Dutch territories since 1648, and is referred to both as Saint Martin and Sint Maarten. In their respective capitals—Marigot and Philipsburg—there are ancient stone forts and candy-colored buildings lining winding streets. The Dutch side has a slightly larger population but is a bit smaller, at 13 square miles, versus the 20-square-mile Saint Martin. B, L, D.

Day 6: Dec 14 — Fort-De-France, Martinique. 8 a.m. - 5 p.m

Some three centuries after Columbus landed here, the French-speaking island of Martinique had established strong economic and cultural ties to New Orleans, thanks to its sugar and rum production. That came to an abrupt halt when Mount Pelée erupted in 1902, destroying the island's rich trading port of St. Pierre. Tourism led to development in other areas, but Martinique sees far fewer English-speaking visitors than other Caribbean island. B, L, D.

Daylight passing Mount Pelee

Sailing along the northwest coast of the Caribbean island of Martinique offers panoramic views of one of the world's most famous active volcanoes. Mount Pelée most recently erupted in 1932, but it was the eruption in 1902 that made it infamous.

Day 7: Dec 15 — Castries, Saint Lucia. 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

So you think you've "done" the Caribbean? St. Lucia kindly asks you to think again. With mountain peaks, plunging valleys, lush rain forests, historic sites, tropical flora and fauna and the world's only drive-in volcano, this island of 165,000 residents is more than just pretty palm-fringed beaches along a turquoise sea—though there happen to be plenty of those, too Scenic Cruising Soufriere Bay, B, L, D.

Day 8: Dec 16 — Bridgetown, Barbados. 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Barbadians, or Bajans in local parlance, consider their island nation the most British of the Caribbean: Queen Elizabeth II is still head of state, and English products are stocked in many of its stores and restaurants. Barbados is known as the birthplace of international pop star Rihanna, but it has also produced some of the biggest Caribbean calypso stars. B, L, D

Day 9: Dec 17 — Roseau, Dominica. 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Dominica, an Anglophone island between the French islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique, may well be the most unspoiled of the larger Caribbean islands. With few hotels and no mass tourism to speak of, Dominica is called "the nature island” for good reason. One of the most dramatic natural wonders in the West Indies sits at the bottom third of the isle. The Boiling Lake is a flooded fumarole (volcanic fissure) whose water emits sulfurous vapors as it bubbles and boils at around 92 degrees Celsius (nearly 200 degrees Fahrenheit). Surrounding the lake is the lush rain forest of Morne Trois Pitons National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This vital habitat is teeming with birds, tiny tree frogs and vibrant bromeliads. B, L, D.

Day 10: Dec 18 — St. Thomas, U.S.Virgin Islands. 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

The capital island of the U.S. Virgin Islands is often the first stop for travelers as they begin to explore the Caribbean. Its easy access, use of American currency and cultural cues, as well as its reputation for safety, make St. Thomas the easy first choice.” B, L, D.

Day 11: Dec 19 — Sea Day

Enrichment activities are scheduled throughout the day and might include a digital workshop and tips and tricks for using your cellphone at sea. B, L, D

Day 12: Dec 19 — Half Moon Cay, Bahamas. 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Holland America Line's pristine private island offers everything you need for a day of play in paradise: a two-mile crescent of perfect beach; an interior lagoon; private beachside cabanas with butler service, showers and misters; and all manner of watersports and activities, including a children's aqua park and a buoyed personal watercraft course. B, L, D.

Day 13: Dec 20 — Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Transfer to the airport for your return to De Kalb. B.

Click to Download Full Itinerary

Terms, conditions and restrictions apply; pricing, availability, and other details subject to change and/ or apply to US or Canadian residents. Please confirm details and booking information with your travel advisor.

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