You’ve heard the claims: “The world is ending in December!” “The Maya people predicted a shift in cosmic consciousness at the end of 2012!” In this fun exploration of unlikely doomsday predictions, we’ll set sail from Tampa, Florida to the heart of Maya civilization, with stops in the Rotan Bay Islands, Honduras; Belize City, Belize; Costa Maya, Mexico; and Cozumel, Mexico. Between guided tours and talks about prophecies of impending doom and other skeptical topics, you’ll have ample time to scuba, snorkel, enjoy the beach and the jungle, and see some of the most beautiful Maya ruins.
But the best part? You’ll be spending the week with Randi and scores of other seafaring skeptics like you, sharing laughs, learning, and like-minded community while the world doesn’t end.
Join us for sun, fun, and skepticism!
The beautiful Norwegian Dawn is a luxury cruise ship with unsurpassable accommodations. With a relaxing spa, a live casino and thrilling performances to visit when you’re not discussing exciting skeptical topics, you’ll be entertained morning, noon and night. The ship includes 11 restaurants, entertainment and activities like The Second City® comedy troupe, Broadway-style shows, 10 bars and lounges, hot tubs, spacious suites and lots of balconies – perfect for taking in the dramatic views along the way.
James Randi has an international reputation as a magician and escape artist, but today he is best known as the world’s most tireless investigator and demystifier of paranormal and pseudoscientific claims. Randi has pursued “psychic” spoonbenders, exposed the dirty tricks of faith healers, investigated homeopathic water “with a memory,” and generally been a thorn in the sides of those who try to pull the wool over the public’s eyes in the name of the supernatural. He has received numerous awards and recognitions, including a Fellowship from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in 1986. On October 19, 1993, the PBS-TV NOVA program broadcast a one-hour special dealing with Randi’s life work, particularly with his investigations of Uri Geller and various occult and healing claims being made by scientists in Russia. He is the author of numerous books, including The Truth About Uri Geller, The Faith Healers, Flim-Flam!, and An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural. His lectures and television appearances have delighted – and vexed – audiences around the world. In 1996, the James Randi Education Foundation was established to further Randi’s work. Randi’s long-standing challenge to psychics now stands as a $1,000,000 prize administered by the Foundation. It remains unclaimed.
Benjamin Radford is deputy editor of Skeptical Inquirer science magazine and a Research Fellow with the non-profit educational organization the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. He has written hundreds of articles and on a wide variety of topics, including urban legends, the paranormal, critical thinking, and science literacy.
Jennifer Michael Hecht is the author of four history books and three volumes of poetry, including her bestselling Doubt: A History. Hecht’s The End of the Soul: Scientific Modernity, Atheism, and Anthropology won the Phi Beta Kappa Society’s 2004 Ralph Waldo Emerson Award “for scholarly studies that contribute significantly to interpretations of the intellectual and cultural condition of humanity.” Her prose and poetry appear in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Boston Globe, and The Washington Post. Hecht earned her Ph.D. in the History of Science from Columbia University and now teaches in the Graduate Writing Program at The New School University and the MFA Writing Program of Columbia University.
Jamy Ian Swiss has appeared internationally for presenters ranging from Fortune 500 companies to the Smithsonian Institution. He is the author of books including The Art of Magic, and two collections of essays, the most recent is Devious Standards. His U.S. television appearances include CBS’ 48 Hours, PBS’ Nova, The Today Show, and repeat appearances on The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson. He has produced and written for television, including Penn & Teller’s Sin City Spectacular. An expert in deception, he has lectured to magicians in 13 countries; to prosecutors and law enforcement about con games and street scams; to casino and gaming industry executives about cheating and gaming protection; and to scientists and academics on The Illusion of Psychic Powers. He is a founder of the National Capital Area Skeptics and of the New York City Skeptics.
D. J. Grothe is President of the James Randi Educational Foundation. A contributing editor to Skeptical Inquirer magazine, he lectures and debates frequently on topics surrounding science and central beliefs at colleges and universities throughout the United States. He hosts the podcast and radio show, For Good Reason, discussing fundamental questions with the world’s thought-leaders, exploring the implications of the scientific outlook for society’s most cherished convictions. Formerly a “mind-reader” and magician, he studies the processes of deception and self-deception.
Toni Van Pelt is currently the Public Policy Director for the Institute for Science and Human Values, serving as a congressional lobbyist focusing on separation of church and state, social justice issues, women’s rights, the importance of research, the funding of science and LGBTi rights. She participates in coalitions with other organizations on issues of mutual concern. She writes and presents on a number of topics, including the funding of scientific research as well as the defunding of alternative health care in today’s health care system. She also serves on the board of the National Organization for Women as the Southeast Regional Director.
Tampa is so much more than merely home to Busch Gardens (one of the most popular theme parks in Florida). The Ybor City district is alive with history, shopping and fine dining. The Tampa Museum of Art and the Museum of Science and Industry are also must-sees.
Rotan Bay Islands, Honduras
Beautiful and unspoiled, Roatan is a peaceful, eco-tourist’s dream, just 30 miles off the coast of Honduras. Teeming with marine life and home to some of the best pillar coral in the Caribbean, the pristine Belizean Reef is a diver’s paradise. And the beauty of Tabyana Beach is always a sight to see.
Belize City, Belize
Long before the 17th-century powers to fight over Belizean sovereignty, a complex Maya civilization flourished here. Today, many of the architectural treasures from that amazing lost culture remain for you to explore in virtually untouched verdant jungles.
Costa Maya, Mexico
This unspoiled coastal paradise in the Yucatán sprawls off the beaten path, with brilliant butterflies, exotic tropical birds, deer, monkeys – even jaguars are said to roam the remote parts of this pristine jungle.
The island of Cozumel off the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula continues to be known for its fantastic fishing, snorkeling and diving opportunities. And despite the growth of tourism in recent years, the island and its only town, San Miguel, retain much of their original warmth and charm.