THE SCIENCE GEMS OF LOS ANGELES
MONDAY, MARCH 30 – FRIDAY, APRIL 3
Fly home anytime on April 4

DAY 1: SPACE SHUTTLE ENDEAVOUR

This afternoon you will be to see the Shuttle Endeavour up close and discover some of the science behind this amazing vehicle. Endeavour will be positioned horizontally along with displays that reveal the science and technology behind one of the most advanced transportation systems ever created. From its thundering ascent into orbit to its high-speed runway landing, the functions of key components — including its thermal protection system, orbital maneuvering system, and main engines — will be highlighted. The pavilion will feature images and video of Endeavour’s past missions and the crews who flew them. (Meals provided: breakfast onboard our cruise ship and lunch.)

DAY 2: NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM

We’ll visit the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles from 10am – 4pm. The Museum is the largest natural and historical museum in the western United States. Its collections include nearly 35 million specimens and artifacts. (Meal provided: lunch)

  • The Dinosaur Hall (SLIDE SHOW): The premier dinosaur experience in the western United States. Inside are more than 300 real fossils, and 20 complete dinosaurs and ancient sea creatures. One of the centerpieces is a trio of different aged T. Rex specimens — the only one in the world.
  • The Dino Lab (SLIDE SHOW): Get an inside look at a functioning prep lab staffed by paleontologists from the Dinosaur Institute. The crew of preparators are currently (March 2019) working on fossils excavated in Utah from the Jurassic-aged Morrision Formation. Enjoy this unique opportunity to watch paleontologists work on real fossil specimens and a rare behind-the-scenes chance to follow the steps in preparing fossils for eventual display and research.
  • Hall of Birds (SLIDE SHOW): View an incredibly diverse selection of birds from all over the world, with examples of more than 400 species that are local to Southern California. You’ll learn about the mechanics of flight and the particular anatomical details that determine how birds can fly.
  • Gems (SLIDE SHOW) and Mineral Hall (SLIDE SHOW)
  • Treasures from Ancient Latin America (SLIDE SHOW)
  • Plus a dozen other exhibits (details) (SLIDE SHOW)

DAY 3 (PART 1): HUNTINGTON LIBRARY

We’ll visit The Huntington Library, Museum, and Gardens from 11am to 4pm, with lunch and an early dinner onsite. We’ board our bus at 5pm and drive (about an hour) to Mt. Wilson Observatory.

Spanning from the 11th century to the present, the library’s holdings contain 7 million items, over 400,000 rare books, and over a million photographs, prints, and other ephemera. Highlights include one of eleven vellum copies of the Gutenberg Bible known to exist, the Ellesmere manuscript of Chaucer (ca. 1410), and letters and manuscripts by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and Abraham Lincoln. It is the only library in the world with the first two quartos of Hamlet; it holds the manuscript of Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography and Isaac Newton’s personal copy of his Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica with annotations in Newton’s own hand. With the 2006 acquisition of the Burndy Library, a collection of nearly 60,000 items, the Huntington became one of the top institutions in the world for the study of the history of science and technology. (Meal provided: lunch and dinner)

DAY 3 (PART 2): MOUNT WILSON OBSERVATORY

We’ll arrive around 6pm and stay until just after midnight for private, realtime observations through the the 100-inch Hooker telescope. Mount Wilson Observatory hosts two historically important telescopes: the Hooker telescope, which was the largest aperture telescope in the world from its completion in 1917 to 1949, and the 60-inch telescope which was the largest operational telescope in the world when it was completed in 1908.
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You’ll personally observe through the same telescope where the first galaxy was discovered; Edwin Hubble discovered the Andromeda galaxy in 1923 using the Hooker telescope. NOTE: Miminum of 15 people required (and a maximum of 40) for our private telescope reservation. (Meal provided: snack.)

DAY 4: GRIFFITH OBSERVATORY

We’ll sleep in this morning and board our bus for the Griffith Observatory around 11:30am. (Meal provided: lunch)

  • The Griffith Observatory: Sitting on the south-facing slope of Mount Hollywood in Los Angeles’ Griffith Park offers views of Downtown Los Angeles to the southeast, Hollywood to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the southwest. The observatory is a popular tourist attraction with a close view of the Hollywood Sign and an extensive array of space and science-related displays. The observatory is split up into six sections: The Wilder Hall of the Eye, the Ahmanson Hall of the Sky, the W.M. Keck Foundation Central Rotunda, the Cosmic Connection, the Gunther Depths of Space Hall, and the Edge of Space Mezzanine. One of the many fascinating exhibits is a large Tesla coil built in 1910 (still works!). The machine, dubbed the Million Volt Oscillator, was briefly installed for an electrical show in Madison Square Garden (over 100 years ago). This Tesla coil exhibit was sponsored by the Edison Electric Illuminating Company. At the top of each hour the lights in the main hall of The Garden were shut off, and sparks would shoot from the copper ball atop the coil to a matching coil 122 inches away, or to a wand held by an assistant. The chief engineer of the General Electric Company, at the time, estimated (rightly) that the discharges were at least 1,300,000 volts.
  • Samuel Oschin Planetarium
  • Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon Theater Programs
  • Exhibits

DAY 5 (PART 1): JPL

We’ll arrive JPL around 9:30am for our 10am private tour.

  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory: JPL is a unique national research facility that carries out robotic space and Earth science missions. JPL helped open the Space Age by developing America's first Earth-orbiting science satellite, creating the first successful interplanetary spacecraft, and sending robotic missions to study all the planets in the solar system as well as asteroids, comets and Earth’s moon. In addition to its missions, JPL developed and manages NASA&rsuo;s Deep Space Network, a worldwide system of antennas that communicates with interplanetary spacecraft.
  • Current Missions
  • Lecture Series

DAY 5 (PART 2): CALTECH

We’ll arrive at the California Institute of Technology (aka Caltech) around 12 Noon for our private tour. This evening join us for the 175th Anniversary Celebration and Banquet in a famous Hollywood location. Special guest stars will help us toast to 175 years of Scientific American magazine! (Meals provided: lunch and Banquet dinner)

As of October 2018, Caltech alumni, faculty, and researchers include 73 Nobel Laureates, 4 Fields Medalists, and 6 Turing Award winners. In addition, there are 53 non-emeritus faculty members (as well as many emeritus faculty members) who have been elected to one of the United States National Academies, 4 Chief Scientists of the U.S. Air Force and 71 have won the United States National Medal of Science or Technology. Numerous faculty members are associated with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute as well as NASA. According to a 2015 Pomona College study, Caltech ranked number one in the U.S. for the percentage of its graduates who go on to earn a Ph.D.



NOTE: Our schedule is subject to change. Our hotel will be the Westin Bonaventure Hotel or similar/comparable.

PRICING: $3,275 pp, based on double occupancy. Add $1,000 for a single. Subtract $1,300 (or $650 pp if two people would share one room) if you would like to stay in your own hotel in Los Angeles (please note that all buses, on Days 2 through 5, only start from our group hotel and no other pickups are available). Subtract $375 if you are a CONFERENCE participant on the cruise. $575 to participate in Day 3 only (no hotel included). If you wish to upgrade to a Suite in our hotel, please call (650-787-5665) or email (info@insightcruises.com).