THE SCIENCE GEMS OF LOS ANGELESpdf icon
MONDAY, MARCH 30 – FRIDAY, APRIL 3
Fly home anytime on April 4

DAY 1: SPACE SHUTTLE ENDEAVOUR

This afternoon visit the Shuttle Endeavour up close and discover some of the science behind this amazing vehicle. Endeavour is positioned horizontally along with displays that reveal the science and technology behind one of the most advanced transportation systems ever created. From its thundering ascent into orbit to its high-speed runway landing, the functions of key components — including its thermal protection system, orbital maneuvering system, and main engines — will be highlighted. The pavilion features images and video of Endeavour’s past missions and the crews who flew them. (Meals provided: breakfast onboard our cruise ship and lunch.)

DAY 2: NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM

We’ll visit the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles from 10am – 4pm. The Museum is the largest natural and historical museum in the western United States. Its collections include nearly 35 million specimens and artifacts. (Meals provided: breakfast and lunch)

  • The Dinosaur Hall (SLIDE SHOW): The premier dinosaur experience in the western United States. Inside are more than 300 real fossils, and 20 complete dinosaurs and ancient sea creatures. One of the centerpieces is a trio of different aged T. Rex specimens — the only one in the world.
  • The Dino Lab (SLIDE SHOW): Get an inside look at a functioning prep lab staffed by paleontologists from the Dinosaur Institute. The crew of preparators are currently (March 2019) working on fossils excavated in Utah from the Jurassic-aged Morrison Formation. Enjoy this unique opportunity to watch paleontologists work on real fossil specimens and a rare behind-the-scenes chance to follow the steps in preparing fossils for eventual display and research.
  • Hall of Birds (SLIDE SHOW): View an incredibly diverse selection of birds from all over the world, with examples of more than 400 species that are local to Southern California. You’ll learn about the mechanics of flight and the particular anatomical details that determine how birds can fly.
  • Gem (SLIDE SHOW) and Mineral Hall (SLIDE SHOW)
  • Treasures from Ancient Latin America (SLIDE SHOW)
  • Plus a dozen other exhibits (details) (SLIDE SHOW)

DAY 3: HUNTINGTON LIBRARY & MUSEUM

We’ll visit The Huntington Library, Museum, and Gardens from 11am to 5pm, with lunch and an early dinner onsite.

Spanning from the 11th century to the present, the library’s holdings (SLIDE SHOW) contain 7 million items, over 400,000 rare books, and over a million photographs, prints, and other ephemera (SLIDE SHOW). Highlights include one of eleven vellum copies of the Gutenberg Bible (SLIDE SHOW) known to exist, the Ellesmere manuscript of Chaucer (ca. 1410), and letters and manuscripts by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and Abraham Lincoln. It is the only library in the world with the first two quartos of Hamlet and it holds the manuscript of Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography and Isaac Newton’s personal copy of his Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica with annotations in Newton’s own hand. With the 2006 acquisition of the Burndy Library (SLIDE SHOW), a collection of nearly 60,000 items, the Huntington became one of the top institutions in the world for the study of the history of science and technology. (Meals provided: breakfast, lunch, and dinner)

DAY 4 (PART 1): MOUNT WILSON OBSERVATORY

We’ll arrive at 10am and stay until 3pm for our private tour (led by an engineer) and private lectures (provided by astrophysicsts). Mount Wilson Observatory hosts two historically important telescopes: the Hooker telescope, which was the largest aperture telescope in the world from its completion in 1917 to 1949, and the 60-inch telescope which was the largest operational telescope in the world when it was
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completed in 1908. You’ll see both of these telescopes up close. Edwin Hubble discovered the first galaxy — the Andromeda galaxy — in 1923 using the Hooker telescope. NOTE: Mt. Wilson Observatory is at 5,700 feet of elevation and not ADA compliant. (Meals provided: breakfast and lunch on the Mt. Wilson premises.)

DAY 4 (PART 2): GRIFFITH OBSERVATORY

We’ll drive down the Mt. Wilson mountain with an expected arrival time, at the Griffith Observatory, around 4pm. (Meal provided: dinner in the cafeteria)

  • The Griffith Observatory: Sitting on the south-facing slope of Mount Hollywood in Los Angeles’ Griffith Park offers panoramic views of Downtown Los Angeles to the southeast, Hollywood to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the southwest. Beloved by Angelinos, the Griffith is a popular tourist attraction with a close view of the Hollywood Sign and an extensive array of space and science-related displays. Each exhibit focuses on a unique aspect of observation: The Wilder Hall of the Eye (helping our eyes see farther), the Ahmanson Hall of the Sky (defining time with the Sun and Moon), the W.M. Keck Foundation Central Rotunda (showing the Earth’s rotation with Foucault Pendulum), the Cosmic Connection (marking the history of the Universe, the Gunther Depths of Space Hall (detecting our place in space), and the Edge of Space Mezzanine (Measuring cosmic rays). Seeing the Griffith’s large Tesla coil (built in 1910) in action is a thrill. The coil, dubbed the Million Volt Oscillator, was briefly installed for an electrical show in Madison Square Garden, as an attraction sponsored by the Edison Electric Illuminating Company. At that time, the coil’s discharge was estimated to be upward of 1,300,000 volts.
  • Samuel Oschin Planetarium
  • Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon Theater Programs
  • Exhibits

DAY 5 (PART 1): JPL

We arrive NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory around 9:30am for our 10am private tour.

  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory: NASA JPL is a unique national research facility that carries out robotic space and Earth science missions. JPL helped open the Space Age by developing America's first Earth-orbiting science satellite, creating the first successful interplanetary spacecraft, and sending robotic missions to study all the planets in the solar system as well as asteroids, comets and Earth’s moon. In addition to its main missions, JPL developed and manages NASA’s Deep Space Network, a worldwide system of antennas that communicates with interplanetary spacecraft. From Voyager 1 & 2 to the Mars Curiosity Rover, JPL explores the Universe. Learn about JPL’s current missions as we tour its bustling campus.
  • Current Missions
  • Lecture Series

DAY 5 (PART 2): CALTECH

We’ll arrive at the California Institute of Technology (aka Caltech) around 12 Noon for our private tour. This evening join us for the 175th Anniversary Celebration in a famous Hollywood location. Special guest stars will help us toast to 175 years of Scientific American magazine! (Meals provided: breakfast, lunch, and celebration dinner)

As of October 2018, Caltech alumni, faculty, and researchers include 73 Nobel Laureates, four Fields Medalists, and six Turing Award winners. In addition, there are 53 faculty members who have been elected to one of the U.S. National Academies, four Chief Scientists of the U.S. Air Force, and 71 recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Science or Technology. According to a 2015 Pomona College study, Caltech ranked number one in the U.S. for the percentage of its graduates who go on to earn a Ph.D.



NOTE: Our schedule is subject to change. Our hotel will be the Westin Bonaventure Hotel or similar/comparable.

PRICING: $3,275 pp, based on double occupancy. Add $1,000 for a single. Subtract $1,300 (or $650 pp if two people would share one room) if you would like to stay in your own hotel in Los Angeles (please note that all buses, on Days 2 through 5, only start from our group hotel and no other pickups are available). Subtract $375 if you are a CONFERENCE participant on the cruise. $150 pp deposit. If you wish to upgrade to a Suite in our hotel, please email (info@insightcruises.com).