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UWI launches cruise and learn Scholar Ship


The University of the West Indies Open Campus has launched a cruise and learn programme designed to showcase the Caribbean in a unique and fun way, while promoting continuing education.{{more}}

“The UWI Open Campus Scholar Ship” has been described by Professor Hazel Simmons-McDonald, Principal of the UWI Open Campus, as “a lifelong learning adventure, especially designed to strengthen the relationships between UWI alumni, friends and family, and provide knowledge and information on various subjects relevant to the region.”

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 and subsequent packages will cater to other spheres including medicine and law.

Beginning and ending in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the first cruise and learn adventure on the elegant Caribbean Princess will dock in St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands; Tortola, British Virgin Islands; Antigua & Barbuda; St. Lucia; and Barbados. Scholar Ship passengers will enjoy a range of unique activities in these ports, including tailor-made tours of cultural and heritage sites and exchanges with local celebrities and notables.

Professor Simmons-McDonald said that distinguished Caribbean anthropologist and Honorary Research Fellow at the UWI Dr. Lennox Honychurch will be the on-board lecturer/facilitator for the cruise, which will feature lectures on and off board in addition to on-island tours.

A lecturer and tour leader with wide expertise in areas of Caribbean history, indigenous people, folklore, politics, geography and ecology, Honychurch has extensive experience in guiding and giving lectures to university-organised cruises, including for Cambridge University in the UK and various universities in the United States. His past trips include several visits to Venezuela, up the Orinoco River, in the Dutch Antilles ABC islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao and all of the Lesser Antilles and Trinidad and Tobago, up into the Virgin Islands.

An expert in environmental conservation, art and design, carnival, historic building research and restoration, he is currently directing the restoration of Fort Shirley at the Cabrits National Park in Dominica, designing the layout of the Interpretation Centre of Betty’s Hope Plantation in Antigua and advising on the restoration and layout of the visitor site at Fort Frederick in St. Georges, Grenada. He is also designing a restoration programme for Fort Charlotte, Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Honychurch and other distinguished regional experts will lead escorted in-country study tours for Scholar Ship passengers in select UWI Open Campus countries.

Bookings for the UWI Open Campus Scholar Ship opened on December 10, 2010, on the website: