Ten-day Southern Caribbean Cruise January 20–30, 2019
Join Landsharkz and a group of adventurous geocachers as we spend ten days exploring the Southern Caribbean on Holland America’s brand new ship, the ms Nieuw Statendam! We are pretty sure the paint will be dry, this will be an opportunity to experience the nieuwest of the nieuw while we light up the geocaching map in some exciting destinations! The Ship: Here is a link to the layout of the Nieuw Statendam.
Benefits of being part of our Group!
We (Helen and Chris – Landsharkz) love traveling and exploring new places; we also love to find a few caches along the way while we take in the sights and experience new cultures. More than this though, we love to share our adventures with friends old and new! We like to make the adventure awesome for the folks that join us, so we do a few things to make the experience special. For example, as part of our group, you will be able to join us for:
- Customized private shore excursions (not available through the ship and less expensive than the ship’s!) that take in the sights and also stop for a few geocaches. We’ll allow some time to explore on your own also. Please note – this does not apply to all port stops and will vary from cruise to cruise.
- Custom pre-built Pocket Queries, largely based on favourite points, ready for the cruise and our private excursions/tours.
- Group dining so that you can share your adventures with other geocachers in a relaxed meal setting.
- A private group meet-and-greet on day-one so that everyone gets to know each other and touch-base on some logistics related to the adventure.
- Ship-board activities on at least one sea-day, for example mini-golf or a scavenger hunt with prizes.
- Optional evening meet and greets to connect about the day and arrange evening social time.
- Custom coin and tag, lanyard and geo-luggage tags.
- Option to pre-order trackable group T-shirt with your name and personal tracking number if you have one (leave your metal name-tag at home).
- Photography Seminar by Chris Edley to help you get the best out of your travel photos.
- Private group wrap-up on the last day to discuss logistics of departure, go over any EarthCaches or Virtuals that might have answers sent by one team for the group, and any last minute discussion points.
This itinerary is broken into two parts, the Highly Recommended and the Cruise.
Jan 18/19th 2019 Fort Lauderdale, Florida
You really need to be in Fort Lauderdale one or two days prior to the cruise to make sure your luggage is in-hand and you are settled in and ready for adventure! Tara has a few recommended hotels that will fit a range of budgets and comfort needs including transportation from the airport and to the ship.
Jan 20 2019 Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Transfers to the ship and boarding. Our first formal get-together will be at 8:00pm on-board the ship.
20 Jan 2019 Depart Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Holland America’s ms Nieuw Statendam at 5:00pm
On-board lifeboat station familiarization
Dinner upon completion – Manhattan Dining Room – Note dinner is at 6:00pm.
8:00pm Private group Meet and Greet in an event room on the ship (location to be announced) – Please be at this meeting.
21 Jan 2019 Half Moon Cay, Bahamas – Ashore from 8:00am – 3:00pm
Breakfast – Daily 7:00am – 10:00am in the Manhattan Dining Room or any-time at the buffet
No group excursion. Spend the day geocaching and/or relaxing at the beach. There are 6 traditional geocaches and 1 EarthCache on Half Moon Cay.
Lunch is available ashore for no cost or back on board at the buffet
Depart 3:00pm – Enjoy Holland America’s on-board entertainment
4:00pm Optional photography seminar: How to get the most out of your holiday photos by Chris Edley (Mr. Landsharkz)
8:00pm (daily when at sea) – Optional informal group get-together.
22 Jan 2019 Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos – Alongside from 11:00am – 6:00pm
Landsharkz arranged shore excursion departs at 11:30am for approx 3 1/2 hrs. Price is $55USD and includes tour, buffet lunch and geocaching. Tour Guide tip is optional and appreciated – Excursion Details below.
Depart 6:00pm – Enjoy Holland America’s on-board entertainment
23 Jan 2019 Amber Cove, Dominican Republic – Ashore from 8:00am – 6:00pm
Landsharkz arranged shore excursion departs at 9:00am for approx 6 hrs. Price is $75USD and includes tour, sit down table service lunch and geocaching. Tour Guide tip is optional and appreciated – Excursion Details below.
Depart 6:00pm – Enjoy Holland America’s on-board entertainment
24 Jan 2019 Cruising (This is a sea-day, we do not leave the ship)
Enjoy Holland America’s on-board entertainment
25 Jan 2019 Kralendijk, Bonaire – Ashore from 8:00am – 6:00pm
Landsharkz arranged shore excursion departs at 9:00am for approx 3 hrs. Price is $37USD and includes tour and geocaching. Tour Guide tip is optional and appreciated – Excursion Details below.
Depart 6:00pm – Enjoy Holland America’s on-board entertainment
26 Jan 2019 Willemstad, Curacao – Ashore from 7:00am – 11:00pm
Landsharkz arranged shore excursion departs at 8:30am for approx 7 hrs. Price is $119USD and includes tour, buffet lunch, a beach stop and geocaching. Tour Guide tip is optional and appreciated – Excursion Details below.
Depart 11:00pm – Enjoy Holland America’s on-board entertainment
27 Jan 2019 Oranjestad, Aruba – Ashore from 7:00am – 5:00pm
NO Landsharkz Shore excursion – see important note below.
Depart 5:00pm – Enjoy Holland America’s on-board entertainment
28 & 29 Jan 2019 Cruising (These are sea-days, we do not leave the ship)
Jan 28th – Group activity – On-board Scavenger hunt with prizes (time and location to be announced).
Jan 29th at 8:00pm – Wrap-up discussion and group social (time and location to be announced).
- Our group shore excursions are all Landsharkz’ custom arranged excursions that will allow our group to visit the highlights of our stops, plus visit a few geocaches along the way.
- Your cruise pricing does not include any shore excursions. The prices and detailed itineraries for the shore excursions are below and will be updated as further information becomes available.
- We will make sure there is time at each port for group members to explore on their own if they wish.
- If you have a non-geocacher accompanying you, please let them know they will not be bored! We’ll be grabbing a few caches along the way, but these tours will have a strong focus on the culture and the experience of the destination!
- Please note, the shore excursions are an optional add-on. Most people participate in the excursions and enjoy them immensely.
Half Moon Cay (Pronounced “KEY”)
Half Moon Cay is Holland America’s private island. We will not be arranging a group shore excursion here. There are 7 geocaches plus a multitude of activities ashore. Access to the shore is by the ship’s tender.
Our privately arranged tour will depart cruise terminal at 11:30am
The tour covers the entire island with several stops along the way including Cockburn Town and the lighthouse. Grand Turk’s main industry for nearly 500 years was sea salt. Old salt ponds, windmills and canals make up a good part of the island centre. Wild horses and donkeys roam as well as amazing bird-life, including flamingos.
Arrangements have been made with the tour company to stop at geocache locations along the way. Lunch is included – it will be a buffet-style lunch which will include local specialties such as jerk chicken, peas and rice, vegetables, salads and desserts, rum cake, fresh fruit, and rum punch. Other drinks will be available for purchase if desired.
Total tour duration is about 3 1/2 hours including stops for lunch and caches.
Cost is $55 USD – this does not include a gratuity for the tour guide. That is optional and appreciated if you feel it is warranted.
Our privately arranged tour will depart Amber Cove 9:00am
We will visit approximately 10 Puerto Plata attractions with a guide including San Felipe Fortress and Mt. Isabela. We will be driving up Mt Isabela and taking a cable car back down after a visit at the summit. Arrangements have been made for geocache stops during the tour.
A sit-down table-service lunch (and lunch gratuity) is included in the price. When paying, please inform us of any dietary restrictions.
Total duration, including lunch, is approximately 6 hours. This leaves approximately three hours to explore Amber Cove and do the geocaches located at Amber Cove. Please note, Amber Cove is about 10km from the nearest town, Puerto Plata. It is not recommended to explore Puerto Plata on your own. Amber Cove itself is a safe, cruise line owned resort, with full amenities including beaches, restaurants, pools, and souvenir shops.
Price for our tour is $75 USD per person – this does not include a gratuity for the tour guide. That is optional and appreciated if you feel it is warranted.
Our privately arranged tour will depart the dock in Kralendijk at 9:00am
We’ll head to the south side of the island and visit the Slave Houses (and find a cache there), then the Salt Water ponds (cache) then head to the 1000 Steps viewpoint for photos, then Goto Lake where Flamingos live with a cache there and enroute. We’ll then head to Rincon for a visit at the museum Chi’tan and a liquor tasting, and then head back to Kralendijk.
We’ll be back in Kralendijk by approximately noon, at which time you’ll be on your own for lunch and self-guided exploration of the city until we depart at 6:00pm.
We’ll be on two airconditioned busses with guides and a bottle of water each.
Total tour duration is about 3 hours. Price will be $37 USD per person – this does not include a gratuity for the tour guide.That is optional and appreciated if you feel it is warranted.
Our privately arranged tour will depart the dock at 8:30.
We will do a driving tour of the city of Willemstad followed by a visit to the Curacao Liquor Factory. We’ll then visit a souvenir shop and Fort Beekenburg (bit of exploring and a geocache stop). This will be followed with an amazing-sounding Creole buffet lunch with drinks (two drinks included) at a plantation house. After this we’ll head to the northern part of the island for an EarthCache stop (near where flamingos live). The last stop is a one hour beach visit at Cas Abao (there is a cache here also).
Total tour time is approximately 7 hours, this leaves you another seven hours or so to explore on your own and find the Willemstad caches if you wish.
Price will be $119 USD per person. This includes lunch (with two drinks), and entry cost for the beach – this does not include a gratuity for the tour guide.That is optional and appreciated if you feel it is warranted.
Travel in Aruba is safe and easy. Geocaches abound! We are not arranging a group excursion in Aruba, it is an ideal place for people to explore on their own or with fellow geocachers on the cruise.
This is a private group cruise adventure designed for geocachers, but that doesn’t mean we’ll be trying to get as many caches as we can at each stop. Our adventures are all about exploring the destinations, taking in the culture and the food, stopping to smell the bougainvillea and recording our adventures with some photo-stops. Along the way, we’ll stop to find a few geocaches… usually seeking out the ones with lots of favourite points! Many of our past group members have travelled with non-geocaching companions – we’ve had consistent excellent reviews from cachers and non-cacher-companions alike!
Group Package Pricing
Our group package pricing starts at $2229 CDN per person plus taxes and fees for inside cabins for the cruise. This pricing includes the cruise and the exclusive group benefits listed above; it does not include the shore excursions, nor does it include hotels costs the night before the cruise. Our group custom shore excursion arrangements are being sorted out, and details including pricing are being added as they become firm.
Please note: Special promotions or savings may be available at the time of cabin confirmation, please ask Tara at the time of booking if you qualify for a sale or promotion on your chosen cabin.
Gratuities, drinks, air travel, spending money and insurance are not included – medical insurance is HIGHLY recommended. Click here to read about our Group Cruising Costs and Fees.
We have a limited number of cabins block-reserved for our group, but Holland America will take unbooked cabins from our reservation if they need them for other cruisers. On our last three cruises, we had people that could not join us because they decided to join us after the ship was fully booked. These cruises fill up fast, so reserve your place now by paying a refundable reservation fee. Final payment will due in the summer/fall of 2018 (exact date to be determined).
To reserve, contact Tara Bradley (this is the only way to be part of our Group):
Phone: (250) 748-2594 or toll-free: 1-800-748-2594