Yorktown Entertainment & Activities
Enrichment is TDI's calling card, and lectures -- sometimes more than one -- are scheduled every day. Our Central America cruise featured two visiting professors, a microbiologist from the American Museum of Natural History and an archaeologist from Wake Forest University. These experts took the tours and ate dinner with the rest of us, which led to a high degree of interaction (and they never lost patience during the barrage of questions that inevitably came their way).The Observation Lounge, located toward the bow, is the ship's social hub, with armchairs, banquettes and a Steinway piano where the ship's musician played standards during Happy Hour and after dinner. While one could feasibly use the small space at the front of the lounge for dancing (no one did), the area, which also features a drop-down screen and podium, is mainly used for the PowerPoint lectures given by ship staff and visiting onboard experts. On our trip, these talks ranged in topic from the collapse of the Mayan empire and Caribbean seabirds to an overview of a scientific program that tracks jaguar genomes. (The latter, given by Susan Perkins of the American Museum of Natural History, turned out to be the most interesting.)
As is the case on most expedition or small ships, Yorktown includes shore excursions in its price. Passengers who decide not to take the provided tours -- which occasionally involve multiple hours on a bus -- don't tend to have options other than staying on the ship (though that may change depending on destination and itinerary). On the hikes, the tour director asked passengers to divide into groups based on fitness level and experience; that being said, the overall activity level seemed lower than you'd expect for an expedition cruise.
Back onboard, passengers kept to their books and Kindles; the line does not attract a late-night, partying crowd. The cabins do not have television, although the ship occasionally shows movies in the lounge. A piano player provides music during cocktail hour and after dinner.