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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.

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.

Countries
  • N/A
Cities & Attractions
  • N/A
Flights & Transport
  • Only ground transport
Ship Name
  • Queen Mary II

30
Road Scholar Travel Reviews & Ratings
87% Recommend

4.5 out of 5
Excellent 23 Great 3 Average 1 Disappointing 1 Terrible 2
Value
4.5 Guide
4.6 Activities
4.5 Lodging
4.3 Transportation
4.4 Meals
4.3
The Spying Game from the Cambridge Five to the Cold War: A Queen Mary 2 Voyage

No reviews yet for this trip. Browse other reviews below for Road Scholar .

S

Does Not Recommend

They take advantage of the elderly May 2018

1.0
  • Value 1.0
  • Guide 4.0
  • Activities 1.0
  • Lodging 1.0
  • Transportation 1.0
  • Meals 1.0
I had high hopes for Road scholar. However, when I was diagnosed with cancer I got no sympathy from Road Scholar. The agents and management kept saying you should have purchased insurance. But the insurance was extremely expensive and would not have covered the cancellation fee either. I ended up attending anyways because I didn't want to lose my money. I felt sick the entire time and could barely complete the activities. The group leader was wonderful. But the program was very strict and I felt that they over charged for everything. They demonstrated shocking behavior for a non profit that is supposed to be all about education and supporting the elderly. Yet they constantly are sending catalogs and pushing expensive programs. I highly recommend taking your money elsewhere. They do not respect their customers and only care about money. They took advantage of a cancer patient and according to the others on my trip this is common.
Read more

Operator Road Scholar

S

Does Not Recommend

A BIG DISAPPOINTMENT August 2017

3.0
  • Value 3.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 3.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 2.0
  • Meals 3.0
I would have enjoyed this trip much more if I felt I was being treated as an adult, the educated, enthusiastic traveler that I am.
Unfortunately, I took a fall and broke my arm near the end of the trip. I was shocked at the very insolent, uncaring attitude of Road Scholar. I received two calls from the insurance program my husband was encouraged to pay for for the trip (we usually use Travel Guard who is great). Both calls were very negative. Neither expressed concern about my condition and both apparently had called to state that ROAD SCHOLAR
WOULD NOT PAY FOR ANYTHING! WOW! A WAKEUP CALL FROM HELL. I WILL BE SHOUTING THIS FROM THE ROOFTOPS SO NO ONE ELSE
HAS THIS EXPERIENCE. DO NOT PURCHASE ROAD SCHOLAR INSURANCE -- IT IS A BOONDOGGLE!
Read more

Operator Road Scholar

LG

Does Not Recommend

Don't go! March 2017

2.0
  • Guide 1.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 1.0
  • Meals 1.0
  • Value 2.0
  • Transportation 2.0
I took a four day bridge class at Jekyll Island Club Hotel. The class was mediocre. And I came home with over 50 BED BUG BITES! Please beware.

Operator Road Scholar

TCtssvawmc

Recommends

Excellent coverage of major cities and Guizhou Province January 2017

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Road Scholar (also known as Elderhostel) offers hundreds of tours worldwide, using local tour companies, sometimes universities. I have taken RS tours to Africa, China, and France and look forward to more. This was my first "tour" of China, but my 20th visit, with the rest on business. Our guide, Mei Mei, was one of the finest I've seen on tours. We started with Beijing and continued to Xian and then to Guizhou Province for a week in this fascinating area, which was new to me. We were able to meet the people in the villages, thanks to our guide, and enjoyed the chance to see and photograph such a variety of places in China. Hotels were excellent and appropriate to this type of tour (usually centrally located and very fine). Meals were family style and always good. Road Scholar makes its tours educational and doesn't push shopping as so many commercial ones do. Touring in China is very safe. You do have a lot of walking and RS tells you this in the tour, but it seems that a great deal of the walking is in those huge airports! I recommend Road Scholar and always turn to their catalogs to choose my next trip.
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Operator Road Scholar

WE

Recommends

A peaceful and green country with lots of history revealed by motor coach travel. January 2017

4.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 4.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 3.0
  • Transportation 3.0
  • Meals 3.0
The trip was a good overview of the country. The Road Scholar guide was very knowledgeable. The motorcoach was very comfortable. The accommodations and meals were fine. Couldn't ask for a better overview of the place.
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Operator Road Scholar

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.

Dates & Pricing

Price From

$ 4,895

Price Per Day:

$ 377 per person
 
  • Select Custom Arrangements to get to and from Road Scholar-provided airfare for your program
Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.
Details
Ship Name

Queen Mary II

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
Meals Included:

12 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 12 Dinners

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.

Start City
New York
End City
Cambridge
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

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