Agadir, Morocco

Posted on 2 October 2015 @ 2:25pm

We had an amazing time in Morocco!

Lisbon, Portugal

Posted on 21 September 2015 @ 2:53pm

We had a beautiful day out in the sun on a bicycle tour of Lisbon during our port programme day. Our guides, Filipe, Teresa and Louis were wonderful and provided us with a great overview of the history of Lisbon. We headed off in three groups to the old town and centre for the historical part of our tour. Here we learned about the Earthquake of 1755 and the Tsunami that followed shortly afterwards devastating the city. We also learned that Portugal had one of the world's largest dictatorships that ended on April 25, 1974, and the large bridge we crossed under when arriving on the ship is the sister to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and named after the revolution. 

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Posted on 4 September 2015 @ 3:15pm

Our students, faculty and mariner crew gathered in the great city of Amsterdam to move into their new home - the majestic ship Gulden Leeuw. Our student crew spent a few days getting oriented to life on the ship, immersing themselves in sail and safety training and getting to know each other.

Horta, Faial, Azores

Posted on 16 April 2015 @ 6:36pm

What a busy port program! First we all went to a museum where we watched and interacted with different sorts of volcano images and volcanic rock. At the same location we were able to walk up a lighthouse to look at the oldest piece of land that was over 50 years old. It was made by a volcano that erupted underwater and came to the surface, hardened and became land. After that we drove to the begining of our 12km hike up Faial Caldera, the volcano on the island. Although it was very foggy and hard to see down into the volcano, it cleared up every once and a while to let us see the beautiful view.  It was a great port program after being at sea for 19 days to get out and stretch our legs.

Olivia O. Alberta, Canada

St. John’s, Antigua- Parent Port

Posted on 23 March 2015 @ 11:02am

Antigua is a green island, with turquoise water and beautiful beaches, but we were mostly excited to see our floaties!  Seeing the Gulden Leeuw majestically approaching the pier with the students aloft was quite impressive, although she looked so tiny beside the huge cruise ships!

 After warm hugs, all the floaties were enthusiastic to get off the boat with family and friends. One night, the Gulden Leeuw had to move from its berth and get anchored in a bay, a nice opportunity for some parents to see her motoring at night or at anchor in the morning.  

The crew was tendered to a nearby beach and some floaties directly at their parent's beach. Wednesday was the port program where everyone could enjoy a high powered speed boat ride to see the beauties of the archipelago, among which, the Great Bird Island, where we climbed a hill to see a magnificent view over the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. We all concluded with a dip in the ocean.

On departure day, it’s with mixed emotions that we looked at the Gulden Leeuw, heading to the Atlantic Ocean. 

Written by Caroline Rheaume, Current Parent. 

Samana, Dominican Republic

Posted on 19 March 2015 @ 2:47pm

The Dominican Republic was a good port. We got to partake in community service projects in Las Terrenas, mine being mural painting at a local school. The theme of the murals was about education, whether it be about imagination, reading, or nature. Our group chose reading, but we managed to sneak in an image of the Gulden Leeuw. While painting the first mural, a few local children came along and asked us if they could help us paint. They painted some flowers and added their handprints on the wall, all the while getting more paint on us than the wall in the process. We also got to sleep off of the ship this port for 2 nights, some students at home stays and some in hotels.

Belize City, Belize

Posted on 1 March 2015 @ 9:26am

The Port Program for Belize was an experience that will never be forgotten. The Mayan Temple was an incredible view I’ve never seen before. I couldn't believe how old all the Temple were. It was cool being able to learn about local history.

Puerto Limon, Costa Rica

Posted on 18 February 2015 @ 9:41am

As we tendered off the ship on the morning of the 16th we were all very excited to get to the white water rafting site. We were all very anxious as soon as we saw the rivers after an hour bus ride. We immediately split up into 11 different rafts and got out in the rapids. Each raft had a guide and six crewmembers. It was incredible to be rushing down the streams that tossed us around the blue 8-foot inflatable craft.

Cartagena, Colombia

Posted on 9 February 2015 @ 11:18am

It was a good day to be walking around the city. We had been split into three groups earlier today, and we talked as we walked, following our leader through the city to the meeting square. Once there, we found our tour guide, and followed her as she told us about the old city and the food culture. The food tour was unique and something so simple, yet something none of us had ever thought of doing. The concept was walking from street vendor to corner shop tasting the foods and smelling the cooking. 

We walked for about 2 solid hours, and it was beginning to get hot. Like perfect timing, our guide led us to an old lady’s home. She was a nanny that made extra cash by selling a type of Spanish popsicle right out of her living room to the kids on their way to school each morning. Each receiving one, we were let loose for shore leave and the lady went to meet the second group of floaties. We pondered around the old town in our shore leave, passing by street vendors and trying yet more food until 4pm, when we met at a Salsa Dance Studio. The name of the program, Crazy Salsa says it all. Half of us were over the moon about dancing whilst the other half (mainly the boys) trooped up the stairs as if it where the last time they would see daylight. 

Personally, I enjoyed the salsa dancing. Although the guides spoke little English, and some people hid out on the balcony, everyone got pretty into it by the end. We where taught a series of steps, much like line dancing, then, once we had those down, where partnered up boy girl, except for 2 girls because of the boys hiding out on the balcony, and danced to some Spanish music. 

We were once again released for shore leave until cerfew at 11pm, but most of us headed back early since it had been a long day. All in all, a unique and wonderful port program.

Willemstad, Curacao

Posted on 1 February 2015 @ 4:07pm

The program is quite unlike any aquarium I have ever been to. All the pens are attached to the ocean, allowing the natural tides to clean and replenish the water the animals live in. The nets that divide the pens have holes so that smaller fish and organisms may float through the aquarium as they please, as well as providing an ideal habitats for unclipped and untamed birds such as pelicans and gulls. Although the animals are still enclosed and the pens are considerably small, they are allowed the freedom of swimming out to the ocean on day trips, and if they wanted, are not expected to return. The animals are fed live food so they do not become lazy and dependent, and are given lots of attention and mental stimulation. The animals are also part of research papers, but not the kind with wires and test tubes. The kind with games and puzzles where understanding the patterns and mental capability are the central goal.