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Horizons 11TM

E. CARIBBEAN • JANUARY 14th — 21st, 2012

Cruising the Caribbean — Holland America style

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Get an insiders’ tour (here are pictures from our December ’09 trip with Scientific American magazine) of this iconic facility, and absorb an in-depth look at the unique contributions derived from Arecibo research and development.

Arecibo Observatory

Join us as we wind through the rainforest-blanketed karst terrain of Northern Puerto Rico. We’ll get a sense of the massive physical scope of the Arecibo radio telescope. We’ll boldly go where ordinary visitors are not permitted. NAIC scientists will update us about the radio astronomy, planetary radar discoveries, and climatology research at the observatory. From the monitoring of near-earth objects to cosmology, astrophysics, and global warming research, you’ll gain insight into the vital activities at Arecibo. (Optional six-hour tour price: $275. Includes transportation, entrance fees, and lunch at the Arecibo Observatory.)

Arecibo Observatory


Arecibo_MessageTransmission of the Arecibo message to star cluster M13 in 1974 marked the remodeling of the telescope we’ll be visiting (see below). The 73-row-by-23-column message depicts: the numbers one through 10; the atomic numbers of the elements hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and phosphorus (the components of DNA); the formulas for the sugars and bases in the nucleotides of DNA; the number of nucleotides in DNA, and a graphic of the double helix structure of DNA; a graphic figure of a human, the dimension (physical height) of an average man, and the human population of Earth; a graphic of Earth’s solar system; and, a graphic of the Arecibo radio telescope and the the physical diameter of the transmitting antenna dish. For a full explanation of this data, visit the Wikipedia page dedicated to this graphic.


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For detailed information on a port including the weather, books to read, restaurants, maps, etc., please visit our ITINERARY page.

FT. LAUDERDALE — Saturday, January 14, 2012

There is an abundance of things to see and do in the Ft. Lauderdale area: visit the newly redesigned Ft. Lauderdale Beach and cafes, stroll the historic Riverwalk, shop the luxurious stores on Las Olas Boulevard, or venture to the Everglades for an intriguing air boat excursion.

»» Wikipedia »»

»» Ft. Lauderdale Excursion Details »»

GRAND TURK, TURKS AND CAICOS — Monday, January 16, 2012

Named for the fez-like scarlet blossoms of the cactus that grows here, Grand Turk is a pristine place of simple pleasures. Float dreamily over vibrant coral reefs, dine on conch fritters, set your watch to “island time.”

»» Wikipedia »»

»» Grand Turks Excursion Details »»

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO — Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Massive El Morro Fortress guards Old San Juan, while the benevolent Indian spirit Yuquiyu keeps watch over the entire island from the highest peak in the rain forest. By night there are roulette wheels to spin and fiery flamenco shows to catch.

»» Wikipedia »»

»» San Juan Excursion Details »»

ST. THOMAS — Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The lovely, European-influenced port of Charlotte Amalie wins the prize for Caribbean shopping thrills. Cameras, jewelry, watches, perfumes are all here. So are beautiful beaches, undersea gardens, and tales of Blackbeard.

»» Wikipedia »»

»» St. Thomas Excursion Details »»

HALF MOON CAY, BAHAMAS — Friday, January 20, 2012

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.

Holland America’s »» description »»

»» Wikipedia »»

»» Half Moon Cay Excursion Details »»


Spencer C.H. Barrett, Ph.D.
Marc Davis, Ph.D.
Frans B.M. de Waal, Ph.D.
Patrick E. McGovern, Ph.D.
Richard Wolfson, Ph.D.

Speakers have confirmed their intent to participate; however, scheduling conflicts may arise.


Friday, January 13, 9am to 5pm

Guided by tour specialists, see the giant structures that make up the world’s largest launch facility. Get an up close look at the coastal launch pads that unleashed the power to put people on the moon and send space shuttles to the International Space Station. Discover what it takes to launch the space shuttle from preparation to liftoff. All of this and more are included in our full day of tours and events. Our tour will include:

  • LC 39 Observation Gantry:
    The 60-foot-tall Launch Complex (LC) 39 Observation Gantry provides a breathtaking 360-degree view of the two giant Shuttle Launch Pads, 39A and 39B. In addition to the bird’s-eye view of the launch pad structures, the panorama also includes the Launch Control Center, the well-traveled crawlerway and the massive Vehicle Assembly Building.
Kennedy Space Center Shuttle Gantry
  • International Space Station Center:
    This fascinating attraction gives you an up-close glimpse inside the facility where NASA prepares the components of the International Space Station. In an elevated observation room, you’ll see the processing bay where each Space Station component is checked out, processed, and readied for its trip into orbit. After the observation room, you can enter a full-scale mock-up of the Habitation Module and see how Space Station crew members live, sleep, and work.
  • Lunch With an Astronaut:
    We’ll pause for lunch and meet a veteran member of NASA’s Astronaut Corps. An impressive roster of astronauts have appeared since the program’s inception in 2001, among them Wally Schirra, John Glenn, Jim Lovell, etc. While we don’t know yet who we’ll be lunching with we do know that after lunch we’ll participate in a 30-minute interactive Q&A with the Astronaut.
  • Apollo/Saturn V Center:
    The Apollo/Saturn V Center is the home of the largest rocket ever built — a real Saturn V 363-foot long moon rocket.
Apollo Saturn
  • IMAX Space Films:
    In two giant IMAX theaters, the dream of spaceflight comes alive. Dramatic footage shot by NASA astronauts during actual missions will make you feel like you’re floating alongside them.
  • Astronaut Hall of Fame:
    Explore a rare collection of astronaut artifacts and see remarkable displays, exhibits, and tributes dedicated to the heroes. From Wally Schirra’s Sigma 7 Mercury spacecraft to stunning glass etchings that line the Hall of Heroes, the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame celebrates the accomplishments of astronauts everywhere. After you see the Astronaut Hall of Fame, it’s your turn to take the controls with hands-on activities such as the G-Force Trainer that lets you feel the pressure of four times the force of gravity, the shuttle landing simulator, and riding a rover across the rocky Martian terrain.

Price: $575 per person. Includes the tour as described above, plus: one-night pre-tour hotel stay in Orlando; breakfast the morning of the tour; transfer from Orlando hotel to Kennedy Space Center (KSC); lunch (with an astronaut) onsite at KSC; transportation from the KSC to our pre-cruise hotel in Ft. Lauderdale (January 13), and dinner en route (on January 13). Your pre-cruise hotel in Ft. Lauderdale is additional.


Cruise prices vary from $699 for an Inside Stateroom to $2,699 for a Deluxe Suite, per person. (Cruise pricing is subject to change.) For those attending our PROGRAM, there is a $1,475 fee. Government taxes, cruiseline fees, port charges, and an InSight Cruises fee totals $183.80 per person. All prices and fees are detailed on the BOOK NOW page.

For a detailed listing of the cruise itinerary please review our ITINERARY page. Use our PRICING CALCULATOR for a quick price quote!

For questions, please don't hestitate in calling 650-787-5665 or emailing


The conference fee is $1,475 and includes all 19 90-minute seminars below. You may take every class — i.e., there will be no overlap as only one class will be going on at any one time. Classes only take place when we’re at sea, between 8:30am and 7:30pm.

Astrophysics, Astronomy, and Relativity

The Ancients and Chemistry



Environmental Science


264 S. Meridith Ave., Pasadena, CA 91106 • 650-787-5665 • Copyright 2011 © InSight Cruises • Scientific American is a trademark of Nature America, Inc.