Trip Type : Large Ship Cruise
Swallow's Nest near the sea-Yalta_ 1279126_P

The Spying Game from the Cambridge Five to the Cold War: A Queen Mary 2 Voyage

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Travel Style: A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level: Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level: 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
13 days
From: $ 4,895 $ 377 / day
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Overview

Highlights

  • Gain expert insight into Yalta, the Manhattan Project and the greatest secret of the Cold War: VENONA.
  • Visit Bletchley Park, home to the Enigma machine and historic headquarters of secret British code-breaking in World War II.
  • At colleges associated with the Cambridge Five, learn how a group of undergraduates became a famous Soviet spy ring.

Short Description

Immerse yourself in the shadowy underworld of international espionage with renowned author and intelligence expert Nigel West. Learn the truth behind the acronyms of the CIA, SOE, NKVD and KGB, as well as the role of “sleeper agents,” the secret VENONA project and the race for atomic power. Aboard the elite Queen Mary 2, gain intimate vantages into the post-World War II geopolitical, ideological and economic struggles that shaped the world today.

This is the "floating city" experience, with multiple ways to enjoy your vacation aboard the ship as much as on land. Ships are multiple floors, provide several activities, culinary, and shopping options. They often make fewer stops and have less time available for shore excursions.
Trip Type Large Ship Cruise
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Lodging Level Premium - 4 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City New York
End City Cambridge

Trip Includes

  • 12 nights of accommodations
  • 7 expert-led lectures
  • 4 expert-led field trips
  • An experienced Group Leader
  • Customary gratuities throughout the program
  • The Road Scholar Travel Protection Plan, 24-hour-a-day emergency assistance coverage
  • Taxes

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Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive, Check-in, Orientation, Welcome Dinner, New York

Meals: Dinner

Accommodation: New York Marriott Downtown

Afternoon: After independent arrivals to the New York hotel, check-in. At 5:00pm enjoy a welcome meeting and reception with Nigel West, the Course Director.

Dinner: In the hotel at 7:00pm.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 2: Ground Zero Museum and Memorial

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Queen Mary II

Breakfast: In the New York hotel.

Morning: This morning you will have the opportunity to visit the Ground Zero 9/11 Memorial and Museum where you will examine authentic artifacts and learn about how people responded in the aftermath of the attack

Lunch: You may take a late lunch on board the Queen Mary II. The coach departs the hotel at 1:00pm for a 2:00pm embarkation.

Afternoon: A coach takes us to the pier to embark the Queen Mary II. After the safety drill, familiarise yourself with the many facilities of the ship. Enjoy a variety of shipboard-enrichment activities during each of your afternoons and evenings as you sail to London and your learning adventure. Experience the Cunard Insights guest lecture series, which explores historical and contemporary issues presented by speakers including explorers, academics, former ambassadors and politicians, historians and scientists, novelists, biographers and award-winning actors and film makers. If you are an avid reader, take advantage of the Book Club and literary discussions with librarians, or choose from a wide range of classes such as watercolors, computer lessons, wine tasting, ballroom dancing and more, or enjoy bridge and board games. On deck, games and more active entertainment are available. You can exercise in the fitness center, walk around the Promenade Deck, swim in one of the pools, play tennis, or take exercise classes such as yoga and Pilates. In the Royal Court Theatre, enjoy singers and dancers in stage shows. There are movies in the cinema, and the bars and lounges throughout the ship feature pianists, jazz bands and string quartets. Hear the Julliard School jazz series and take part in the Royal Night Theme Balls. Polish your acting skills with one-hour workshops with actors who spent three years at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Or simply take Afternoon Tea and enjoy the Maritime Quest exhibition throughout the ship.

Dinner: Taken in the Britannia Restaurant at 6:00pm. Delicious menus designed by Cunard’s Global Culinary Ambassador, Jean-Marie Zimmermann await you in Britannia and Britannia Club Restaurants. Make a dramatic entrance down the grand staircase into the elegant Britannia two tier dining room and revel in the sumptuous menus and perfectly attentive service.

Evening: At leisure. See a show tonight in the ballroom, or relax and watch a movie in the theatre, or perhaps wander to one of the bars for a beverage and chat. Or wander through the stacks of the library, one of the best shipboard libraries available, find a book and that perfect reading chair.

Day 3: Lecture on Kim Philby, Aboard Queen Mary II

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Queen Mary II

Breakfast: On board ship.

Morning: Informative and fascinating lecture on the Cambridge spy - Kim Philby: Synonym for Betrayal by Nigel West.

Lunch: Taken on board ship in the Britannia or more casually in King's Court.

Afternoon: Enjoy a variety of shipboard-enrichment activities during each of the next six afternoons and evenings as you sail to London and your theatrical learning adventure. Experience the Cunard Insights guest lecture series, which explores historical and contemporary issues presented by speakers including explorers, academics, former ambassadors and politicians, historians and scientists, novelists, biographers and award-winning actors and film makers. If you are an avid reader, take advantage of the Book Club and literary discussions with librarians, or choose from a wide range of classes such as watercolors, computer lessons, wine tasting, ballroom dancing and more, or enjoy bridge and board games. On deck, games and more active entertainment are available. You can exercise in the fitness center, walk around the Promenade Deck, swim in one of the pools, play tennis, or take exercise classes such as yoga and Pilates. In the Royal Court Theatre, enjoy singers and dancers in stage shows. There are movies in the cinema, and the bars and lounges throughout the ship feature pianists, jazz bands and string quartets. Hear the Julliard School jazz series and take part in the Royal Night Theme Balls. Polish your acting skills with one-hour workshops with actors who spent three years at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Or simply take Afternoon Tea and enjoy the Maritime Quest exhibition throughout the ship.

Dinner: On board ship.

Evening: See a show tonight in the ballroom, or relax and watch a movie in the theatre, or perhaps wander to one of the bars for a beverage and chat. Or wander through the stacks of the library, one of the best shipboard libraries available, find a book and that perfect reading chair

Day 4: The Illegals, Cocktail Party

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Queen Mary II

Breakfast: On board ship.

Morning: Nigel's insightful lecture this morning is on The Great Illegals; the NKVD and the Penetration of the British Establishment.

Lunch: On board ship.

Afternoon: Shipboard activities: Enjoy the QM2’s many educational and entertainment activities, which include: a guest lecture series; a book club with literary discussions with the ship librarian; and classes in watercolors, computers, wine tasting, ballroom dance, bridge and board games. You may also take acting lessons or a course in celestial navigation. Musical entertainment includes the Julliard Jazz School series, as well as singers and dancers in stage shows in the Royal Court Theatre, or pianists, string quartets and a movie theater. Enjoy personal fitness activities such as swimming, tennis, yoga, Pilates, aerobics and spinning. Or simply take tea and enjoy a museum-quality exhibit that takes you back to the golden era of transatlantic ship crossings. Also, enjoy a welcome cocktail party .

Dinner: On board ship.

Evening: Enjoy a variety of shipboard-enrichment activities, including many kinds of evening entertainmet featuring dancing, music and more

Day 5: The Defectors

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Queen Mary II

Breakfast: On board ship.

Morning: This morning hear about the Defectors: Walter Krivitsky, Igor Gouzenko and Vladimir Petrov as expert Nigel West takes you through their activities.

Lunch: On board ship.

Afternoon: Enjoy a variety of shipboard-enrichment activities, perhaps excercising your mind playing bridge with new friends or trying out a board game, then exercising your body in the QM2's fitness center. You activity choices are plentiful.

Dinner: On board ship.

Evening: Enjoy a variety of shipboard-enrichment activities. Check the QM2 schedule to see which night you can experience a Royal Night Theme Ball, donning your formal dancing attire and taking to the floor in a sea of glittering ball gowns and tuxedos accompanied by the sounds of a wonderful orchestra.

Day 6: At Leisure

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Queen Mary II

Breakfast: On board.

Morning: Spend a relaxed morning further enjoying everything the Queen Mary 2 has to offer.

Lunch: On board.

Afternoon: Free afternoon for shipboard activities. Choose from a large range of activities to suit all interests.

Dinner: On board.

Evening: Shipboard activities.

Day 7: Soviet Espionage

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Queen Mary II

Breakfast: On board.

Morning: Nigel West lectures on Yalta and the Manhattan Project: Triumphs of Soviet Espionage. Lessons to be learned.

Lunch: On board.

Afternoon: Maybe you're in need of a rigorous walk around the Promenade Deck. Or perhaps you and new friends have been keeping track of your wins and losses playing bridge and are hoping to swing things in your favor. There are ample shipboard activities from which to choose. You may enjoy a yoga or Pilates class with one of the QM2's expert fitness instructors, or improve your skills in a computer class or one of many other class offerings. Choose from the plentiful shipboard activities offered on this grand ship.

Dinner: On board.

Evening: Shipboard activities.

Day 8: Venona

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Queen Mary II

Breakfast: On board ship.

Morning: Nigel West lectures on the subject of one of his many books - VENONA: The Greatest Secret of the Cold War.

Lunch: On board ship.

Afternoon: Shipboard activities.

Dinner: On board ship.

Evening: Shipboard activities.

Day 9: Disembarkation, Cambridge

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: DoubleTree by Hilton Cambridge

Breakfast: Early breakfast on board ship before disembarkation at approximately 9:00am.

Morning: Disembark in Southampton and transfer by coach to Cambridge.

Lunch: In the hotel.

Afternoon: Free afternoon.

Dinner: Dinner is in the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 10: American Cemetery, Oxford Colleges, Cambridge

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: DoubleTree by Hilton Cambridge

Activity note: Walk of up to two hours on paved streets and in historic colleges with stairs.

Breakfast: Full English breakfast in the hotel dining room.

Morning: This morning pay homage at the American Cemetery Madingley, where more than 3,900 Americans who served in WWII were laid to rest.

Lunch: Lunch will be included at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: The field trip continues. With a local expert, take a fascinating walk around the many colleges of Cambridge University and explore the myriad espionage connections therein.

Dinner: Dinner is included in the hotel.

Evening: At leisure, or enjoy a showing of a film relating to our topic at the hotel.

Day 11: Bletchley Park, Cambridge

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation: DoubleTree by Hilton Cambridge

Breakfast: Full English breakfast in the hotel.

Morning: Take a field trip to "Station X" or Churchill's Golden Egg, Bletchley Park, home to the Enigma machine. Historic site of secret British codebreaking activities during WWII and birthplace of the modern computer. Check out the tales of spies and strategic deception. You may even be the one to discover the map to genius mathematician Alan Turing's silver, supposedly buried in or near Bletchley Park. Have a look inside the ornate Victorian Mansion that was headquarters to intelligence staff during the War. Wander by the Lake, relax and observe the wildlife.

Lunch: Lunch is excluded. There is a café at Bletchley.

Afternoon: The field trip continues.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 12: Guest lecturer on real life spies, Cambridge

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: DoubleTree by Hilton Cambridge

Breakfast: Full English breakfast in the hotel.

Morning: Nigel West lectures on "The Cambridge Spies: The Significance of the Five" and Glenmore Trenear-Harvey on "The Litvinenko Case".

Lunch: In the hotel.

Afternoon: At leisure.

Dinner: Farewell dinner in the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 13: Departure, Cambridge

Meals: Breakfast

Breakfast: Full English breakfast in the hotel.

Morning: Transfer to London Heathrow by coach and private cars. Arranged according to flight departure times. Some transfers may leave before breakfast.

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Price Per Day: $ 377 per day
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41 Road Scholar Travel Reviews & Ratings

90%
4.6 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 34
Great 3
Average 1
Disappointing 1
Terrible 2
Value
4.6
Guide
4.7
Activities
4.6
Lodging
4.5
Transportation
4.5
Meals
4.5

The Spying Game from the Cambridge Five to the Cold War: A Queen Mary 2 Voyage

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Old Cuba is fantastic and should be seen before it's spoiled by capitalism.

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities4.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation5.0
Meals3.0
This was my wife's and my first trip with Road Scholar. At the time (April, 2012), it was not possible for Americans to directly visit Cuba. You had to do it with a cultural/educational group, often associated with a university. Or, you could fly to Canada, Mexico, or Europe first and then get a flight to Cuba from there (while risking a ~$10,000 fine from the US Government). We opted for the legal route with Road Scholar.

It was a fantastic trip! We had a small-ish group of about 20 people and a wonderful guide, José Luis (who, like most Cubans, had never been off the island).
The trip began in Miami where we had an orientation and spent the night. Then we flew to Havana and stayed in the Hotel Nacional for four nights. It doesn't get more historic -- or fun -- than the Nacional:
https://vimeo.com/41612444

While in Havana, we enjoyed great history/culture lectures from experts, toured various parts of Havana (including Hemmingway's home in the hills nearby), and, on our own, had the opportunity to have dinner at a paladar -- a restaurant inside someone's home.

The Cuban people are friendly but the infrastructure of their country is in shambles. It's been a long time since Russia's deep pockets left the island (1991), and you see poverty everywhere. But not the begging-in-the-street kind. Cuba provides universal health care, education (including room and board all the way through grad/med school!), food staples, and a very modest income (~$30/month) to everyone. Most people add to that income by working on the side.

After Havana, we traveled to Cienfuegos. From there we saw the infamous Bay Of Pigs, but also the wonderful Benny Moré Art School where we learned of the fantastic support for the arts by the Cuban government. Children are identified in grade school as having artistic talent and then funneled into magnet schools like Benny Moré to study art for their entire scholastic career!

Don't go to Cuba for the food. It's edible (and won't make you sick) but rather boring. You mainly get the "three amigos": fish, pork, or chicken, along with rice and/or black beans. But the aged rum is superb and so are the cigars!

Probably my favorite thing on the island, though, was the music -- whether on the street or in a more formal setting:
https://vimeo.com/43273083

Cuba is fantastic. Go enjoy it!
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Best trip I ever took!

5.0
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Loved the variety of different hotels, the expertise of the individual tour guides, the meals and especially the beautiful countryside. All 17 of us on the t rip got to know each other well, thanks to the kindness, the personality and the organizational skill of Mark, our tour director. Keep up the good work!
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Sunrise, Sunset, Learning Photography

5.0
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Lodging4.0
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Meals4.0
Road Scholar offers many tours starting in Utah. The one I took focused of photography of the National Parks in Utah, with a professional photographer traveling with us. The schedule was set up such that we would get "the golden light" at each of the parks. Those not familiar with the term must know that the best light occurs at either sunrise or sunset, when the impact of the sun on objects is diffused by having to travel through the earth's atmosphere on a diagonal rather than vertically.

As such, you can now expect that sleep will be an issue as you will get to bed late and rise early. But the territory is beautiful at all times, and more so illuminated by the golden light.

In order to maximize your sleeping ability, the tour is only offered in the spring and the fall. Doing this in the winter would be pretty cold and require special equipment to traverse the snow. Doing it in the summer would basically mean no sleep as the daylight is so long.

A great learning experience in beautiful territory.
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Thank you Road Scholar

5.0
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Thank you Road Scholar Staff for planning a wonderful introduction to Cuba today. My previous knowledge was from people who felt they had to leave Cuba more than fifty years ago. I learned from qualified professors, tour guides and from talking to Cuban people from different parts of Cuba who work in different kinds of jobs. I could see how the Cuban people have come together to meet the challenges of the past and to prepare for a brighter future.
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Thank you Road Scholar!

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Road Scholar tours are the best bang for your buck

Fabulous!

5.0
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Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
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This is a fabulous program for young and old. The instructors are great with kids and adults. The activities are very well organized and varied. My grandson is already making plans for next year.
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Details

Ship Name

Queen Mary II

All Deck & Cabin Plans

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Standard Group

Accomodations

New York Marriott Downtown: 1 night  New York

The only Marriott hotel centrally located in Lower Manhattan, New York City's Financial District, and within walking distance to Wall Street and NYSE.

 

Queen Mary II: 7 nights  New York.

The stylish, 17-deck grand ocean liner Queen Mary 2 represents the pinnacle of maritime achievement. Affectionately known as the QM2, it is 1,132 feet long and 131 feet wide, and is capable of carrying 2,620 passengers. Recent refurbishments added fifteen staterooms, additional balcony cabins, an all-new restaurant and much more! Indulge in other state-of-the-art facilities that include a 3D cinema, planetarium, library, spa and casino.

 

DoubleTree by Hilton Cambridge: 4 nights  Cambridge

Situated on the banks of the River Cam in historic Cambridge, DoubleTree by Hilton Cambridge offers air-conditioned rooms and a Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill.

Guides

Nigel West

Nigel West is a military historian specializing in intelligence and security issues. In 1989, he was voted The Experts' Expert by a panel of spy writers. He is the European Editor of the Washington D.C.-based International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence and a lecturer at the Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies in Alexandria, Va. In 2003, he was awarded the U.S. Association of Former Intelligence Officers’ first Lifetime Literature Achievement Award.

Trip ID#:

TheSpyRoa

Meals Included:

12 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 12 Dinners

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