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Exclusive AQS Member Panama Canal Quilt Seminar at Sea

12 Days • February 2-14, 2025

A memorable journey to the historic Panama Canal on our inaugural American Quilting Society Member’s only cruise!

Dear Quilters and Friends,

We are launching our FIRST EVER Exclusive AQS Member Only Quilt Seminar at Sea in conjunction with American Quilter’s Society! We’ll sail on Holland America Line’s beautiful Rotterdam, round trip out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida exploring the Panama Canal! Included on this cruise is a fabulous AQS Gift Package, a custom shore excursion in Costa Rica exclusively for our quilting group, and plenty of activities and socialization while onboard the ship. Our quilting classes are held during our “at sea” days with 4 different class choices each class day. We offer you a wide variety of classes from which to choose, taught by four award-winning, renowned instructors in the world of quilting:

Heather Kojan, Catherine Redford, Heidi Proffetty and Cindy Seitz-Krug!

Quilting and “sewcializing”

There’s something wonderful awaiting you in every port of call! Wildlife and exotic cultures abound on this trip of a lifetime! Onboard ship you will have the opportunity to perfect your quilting skills with our class choices from four fabulous teachers, as well as myriad opportunities for “SEWCIALIZING” with other people who all share your love of quilting!

Ports of Call

We will visit some beautiful ports in the Caribbean, Central and South America! You will also be privileged to see one of the world’s greatest engineering marvels with a partial transit of the Panama Canal! It’s an amazing accomplishment and sure to take your breath away! What a great way to beat the winter blues and take a short break from everyday life while enjoying 5-star service and the company of fellow quilters!

Fort Lauderdale – Before you set out on your cruise from Fort Lauderdale, take in the city’s many attractions. Popular with tourists and lined with beaches and boating canals, Fort Lauderdale has a truly pleasant year-round temperature of 75.5 °F on average. Restaurants, marinas, shopping malls and over 60 golf courses are just a few of the things that make this city in the Miami Metropolitan area a huge draw for visitors. Some of Fort Lauderdale’s key attractions include the tropical Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, the shopping district East Las Olas Boulevard, and the all-ages Museum of Discovery and Science.

Curacao -Curacao, 35 miles north of the Venezuela coast in the southern Caribbean in the Netherlands Antilles, is 4 1/2 hours by jet from New York City and 2 1/2 hours from Miami. The island is approximately 38 miles long and 2 to 7 miles wide. Average daily temperatures hover near 80 degrees with your round trade winds and only 22 inches of rain each year. The island is outside the hurricane belt. There are about 160,000 residents with as many as 55 different backgrounds from all over the world living on Curacao and the island enjoys a well-earned reputation for religious and racial tolerance. Most people speak English, Dutch, Spanish and the native language, Papiamento. Curacao’s history is as rich and varied as its people. Spaniards first came here in 1499 when Amerigo Vespucci, on his way to South America, left a few of his sailors, afflicted with scurvy, on the island to die. When he returned less than a year later, expecting to find them dead, he was astonished to see them alive and well, having been completely cured and because of this named the island Curacao based on the Portuguese word for “the cure”. Spaniards settled here in the early 1500’s, followed by the Dutch in 1634 who captured the island and founded a settlement with Peter Stuyvesant becoming governor in 1642. The Dutch established it as an important world port and filled its city streets and country landscapes with seventeenth-, eighteenth- and nineteenth- century colonial architecture, much of which remains standing today.

Colon – Colon lies on the stunning Caribbean coast of Panama, where unparalleled beaches and lush tropical scenery are de rigueur. In nearby Portobello, discover the ruins of Spanish forts, watch the colorful yachts sailing in the bay or hunt for treasures in the local markets. Travel to the Gatun Locks for a bird’s eye view of the immense ships passing through the Panama Canal

Cartagena – Its official name is Cartagena de Indias—or ‘Cartagena of the Indies’—but call it Cartagena for short. The formal name hints at this Colombian city’s colonial relationship with Spain; it was founded in 1533 and named after the mother country’s Cartagena. Colombia declared independence in 1810, but there’s plenty about its fifth-largest city that evokes old Spain, including the impressive fort of Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, and the wall that encloses the old town, one of the few intact structures of its kind in the Americas. Both were considered important enough to inscribe on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites in 1984. They may be historical artifacts, but the fortress and wall aren’t merely tourist attractions; they are central to daily life here. Take a stroll and you’ll see couples sitting atop the wall, locked in passionate embraces; parents watching their children walk it like a balance beam; and friends chatting while enjoying the Caribbean breeze. Along with history, there’s cultural and culinary intrigue here, too. This colorful city was a muse of the late Nobel Prize–winning writer Gabriel García Márquez, and is increasingly being recognized outside Colombia for its cuisine, which takes many cues from Caribbean ingredients. (Don’t leave without trying the coconut rice.)

Half Moon Cay – Half Moon Cay is a private island owned by Holland America Lines. Frequented on their Caribbean cruises, Half Moon Cay has the charm of the old-world Caribbean. From stunning intricate coral reefs to state-of-the-art restaurants serving Caribbean cuisine, on this pristine, private island, there are no hassles. When was the last time you whiled away the day on a private Caribbean Island? Here’s your chance. The island is ours; the day is yours to sun, swim, and sail. Enjoy! Try out Snorkeling, Scuba Diving, Parasailing, or just take a relaxing walk through this Island Paradise, all is yours as this is a Private Island for your pleasure.

Puerto Limon – Puerto Limón probably isn’t the most bustling port you’ve ever visited, but don’t be put off by its facade; like most coastal towns in Costa Rica, it is a perfect base from which to explore an attraction- and activity-rich region that can fulfill a variety of interests. You’re never far from a rain forest or outdoor adventure in Costa Rica, and there are lots of day trips from Puerto Limón that allow you to pack in an adrenaline rush or a few more ticks on your birding list within just a few hours. There are treetops for zip lining and rushing rivers for whitewater rafting if you’re a more active traveler, and animal lovers can take sanctuary tours in and around Puerto Limón. Of course, when it comes time to eat, there’s plenty of the national favorite, gallo pinto (rice and beans), and as with many port towns, there is lots of fresh seafood and even an upscale Italian restaurant. As for shopping, you can find arts and crafts that were made locally as well as edible treats like handmade chocolate.

EXCLUSIVE INCLUDED TOUR: Costa Rica Quilt and Nature at the Mangrove Canals. Enjoy a meeting with a local Costa Rican Quilt Guild where we will participate in a fun activity and a block exchange with their members! After our meeting you will travel to a private dock in Moín, where we will take you on board a jungle pontoon boat specially designed to cruise comfortably through beautiful canals in the jungle. These canals are part of a river system, which runs parallel to Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast. The Tortuguero Canals are known as Costa Rica’s Amazon due to the surrounding rainforest that, with the help of heavy annual rainfall fills the area with an extremely rich flora and fauna. You will observe orchids, water lilies, spot birds, monkeys, lizards, sloths and toucans in this unique system of natural and man-made canals used as waterways for transportation and exploration. Wonderful views of the lush jungle foliage mirrored in the canal’s waters will delight your eyes.

Key West – One of the first things you’ll notice on your Key West cruise is the colorful gingerbread wooden houses and the amazing sunsets, and the constant crowing of roosters. Hundreds of the noisy birds—along with their quieter-clucking mates—roam the streets at all hours, and are nearly as synonymous with Key West cruises as its six-toed cats, the famous furry residents of Ernest Hemingway’s mansion in the Old Town district. They’re all part of the quirky charm of the United States’ southernmost point, whose compact 11 square kilometers (4.2 square miles) pack in everything from gorgeous historic architecture and spectacular fishing and sailing to a raucous party scene along famed Duval Street. All of which is truly enjoyed by vacationers who cruise to Key West, Florida.

Be Our Guest

From turtles to stingrays, submarines to snorkeling, there’s something wonderful awaiting you in every port of call! Onboard ship you will have the opportunity to perfect your quilting skills with many class choices from our fabulous teachers, as well as myriad opportunities for “SEWCIALIZING” with other people who all share your love of quilting! Bring a friend, your spouse, or your family – non-quilters are always welcome to join us! There are many activities to pursue while you are in class! We can’t wait to see you on board!

Heather Kojan, Heidi Proffetty, Catherine Redford and Cindy Seitz-Krug

Quilt Seminars at Sea
American Quilter’s Society