Great Lakes Cruise Lets Passengers Become Scientists

A chilly breeze blowing across the Great Lakes separating the U.S. from Canada greeted passengers as they climbed to the top deck of the cruise ship. From the far end of the boat, three figures holding aloft an enormous helium-filled weather balloon began moving toward the gathering in an awkward six-legged parade. Expedition cruises featuring adventurous activities and exotic destinations, such as the Antarctic and the Galapagos Islands, are increasingly popular with families desiring a learning experience. The Viking Octantis, a 380-passenger vessel built to be part cruise ship and part scientific research platform, includes a laboratory and its very own submarines. The goal, says a marine scientist on the Viking staff, “is to do rigorous science that will be credible in academia and allow guests to participate.”

New Zealand’s Maori of Ohinemutu Offer Visitors Hot Tea and Ears of Corn 

Many Western texts say Dutch East India Company explorer Abel Tasman discovered New Zealand in 1642. In fact, the islands’ first inhabitants were Polynesian Maori who arrived in successive waves 300 years before. Today the Maori comprise about 850,000 of New Zealand’s population of just over five million. About 86% live on the north island in places like Ohinemutu, a colorful neighborhood adjacent to the popular resort town of Rotorua.

Solomon Islands

Secrets of the Solomon Islands By Julie L. Kessler For World War II history buffs, the far away and often forgotten Solomon Islands are awe-inspiring. They are the place where U.S. marines fought and died on Guadalcanal. It is where young Navy Lieutenant John F. Kennedy saved his crew after their PT boat was cut…