UWI Open Campus Scholar Ship Cruise Offers A Good Look at the Caribbean

Kingston, Jan. 26, 2011: Typically, cruisers to the Caribbean take touristic land tours that feature a few landmarks and, of course, shopping, but do not get a really good look at the islands they visit. The “University of the West Indies Open Campus Scholar Ship” is no typical cruise but, “a learning adventure” designed to showcase the Caribbean in a unique and fun way while promoting continuing education.

The inaugural sailing of the UWI Open Campus Scholar Ship, scheduled for April 17-24, 2011, will be dedicated to the culture, flora and fauna of the region under the expert guidance of tour leader Dr. Lennox Honychurch, distinguished Caribbean Anthropologist and Honorary Research Fellow at the UWI.

Beginning and ending in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the cruise aboard the elegant Caribbean Princess, will dock in St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands; Tortola, British Virgin Islands; Antigua &Barbuda, St. Lucia and Barbados.

Of course, one of the best ways to know the culture of a place is through its history and architecture.

Cruisers registered for on-board UWI Open Campus Scholar Ship lectures, will explore with Dr. Honychurch “the cultural crossroads of the Virgin Islands” which, despite their geographic location between the Lesser and Greater Antilles, as a virtual sub-archipelago geographically attached to Puerto Rico, have more in common with the younger volcanic islands of the Eastern Caribbean.

Thiers is a rich history of movement of indigenous people and their cultures as they traded, raided and relocated back and forth across the Caribbean.

Then there are the remains of the many fortifications that overlook the towns and harbours of our islands. Previously linked to the protection of trading centres, colonial defence and suppression of revolt, many of these buildings have been transformed for modern purposes into police stations, prisons, colleges and tourist attractions; like Nelson’s Dockyard and Shirley Heights in Antigua, Pigeon Island National Park and Morne Fortune in St. Lucia and the Garrison in Barbados, which spreads over many acres south of Bridgetown.

No visit to the eastern Caribbean could be complete without a discussion about the geology of the Lesser Antilles with the mythology of the volcanic formation of islands and areas of volcanic peaks or pitons and sulphur springs, like Montserrat’s famous Soufriere.

Then there is the architecture. Five hundred years of constructing various forms of shelter in the region has made for an interesting mix of colonial, industrial and urban architecture across the region, that tell their own story.

Dr. Honychurch’s lectures on board the UWI Open Campus Scholar Ship will be complemented by other distinguished regional scholars, subject experts, famous Caribbean personalities including calypsonians cricketers and artists at specially created in-country tours and activities including guided tours of ecological landmarks and historical and cultural sites, performances of indigenous music and dance and the sampling of local cuisine.

Book for the UWI Open Campus Scholar Ship on the website: www.open.uwi.edu/adventures. Deadline for payment is February 15th.

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