Science Luau 2016 Registration Info


Your hosts, Phil Plait and Marcella Setter

Aloha! Your hosts, Phil Plait and Marcella Setter have planned a fantastic Hawaiian adventure for science lovers and their companions. Registration is $1450 per person for all ages. If you’re traveling with someone who just wants to lie on the beach or play golf and not participate in the group activities, that’s ok – they don’t have to register. You do have to stay at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and make your reservations with our group rate to participate though. Commissions will not be paid to third party travel agents, so you’ll need to make your reservation personally.

You should plan to arrive at the hotel on or before the evening of Monday, 19 September and check out on Saturday, 24 September or later. The welcome reception will be held in the early evening of 19 September and the farewell dinner will be on Friday, 23 September. Our special hotel group rate of $199 per night + $10 resort fee will be available 3 days before and after the Science Getaways events, so you can extend your stay in paradise at a low price.

Registration will include:

  • Welcome reception to meet your fellow Science Luauers
  • Talks by your favorite vacation astronomer, Phil Plait, in addition to other local scientists and experts who will give presentations about the local ecology and volcanology.
  • Farewell dinner – We’ll have a private catered farewell dinner for our group on the last day of our getaway.
  • The following group field trips (including all transportation and admission fees):
  1. Volcano Tour – Our most exciting field trip will be visiting Kilauea, an active volcano in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, with our own tour guide. At the park we’ll walk on recent lava flows, see some steaming vents, and view the glowing red Kilauea crater at sunset.
  2. Snorkeling & Manta Rays Adventure – Our next excursion will be a snorkeling adventure on a private boat, the Hula Kai. On the boat we’ll have our own expert guides who will offer snorkeling instruction before we hit the water to swim around a gorgeous coral reef teeming with beautiful tropical fish. Last year we saw a baby shark and lots of spinner dolphins too. After a barbecue dinner with cash bar on the boat, we’ll hit the water again to night snorkel with manta rays!  
  3. Tropical Dry Forest and Waimea Tour – We’ll have exclusive access to tour the 275 acre Waikoloa Dry Forest nature preserve that is dedicated to conserving indigenous Hawaiian habitats. After the tour, we’ll head to the charming village of Waimea to grab lunch and experience genuine Hawaiian hospitality.
What’s NOT included in the registration fee:
  • Your lodging at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel, air and ground transportation to and from the hotel
  • Meals (except for welcome reception, farewell dinner, snorkel barbecue and sack lunches on field trips – these are all included in the registration fee)

Hotel rates:

The Mauna Lani is offering us an exceptional group rate of $199 per night + $10 resort fee for an ocean view room! Science Luau 2016 will be 5 nights, September 19-23, 2016. This special rate will apply for 3 days before and after Science Luau, so you can extend your Hawaiian vacation. The discounted daily resort fee of $10 per night includes overnight valet or self-parking, basic in-room internet access, free access to the fitness center, 2 bottled waters daily, 10% food discount on lunch and dinner at select hotel restaurants, $20 off 1 spa treatment per day, 20% discount at the gift shop, 10% discount on golf lessons, 1 double beach cabana per day, daily snorkel equipment for up to 4 hours, 20% discount on 1 stand up paddle board and 1 kayak per stay, long distance calls up to 30 minutes daily.


Getting to the hotel:

You should plan to arrive at the hotel on or before the evening of Monday, 19 September and check out on Saturday, 24 September or later. The welcome reception will be Monday evening and farewell dinner will be on Friday.

It’s easiest to fly into the Kona Airport (KOA). Kona is only about 30 minutes from the hotel, while Hilo is about 1.5 hours and you have to drive over Mauna Kea to get there. The hotel does not provide a free airport shuttle, but they’ll be happy to help you arrange transportation from the airport. You won’t need to rent a car, unless you’re staying additional days and want to explore the island. During Science Luau 2016 all transportation will be provided. The hotel also offers free use of bicycles to get around the resort or you can hop on the free resort shuttle van to take you to the nearby Shops at Mauna Lani. This upscale shopping area is a great place to grab dinner or buy groceries.


Deposit and Cancellation Policy:

The Mauna Lani Bay Hotel will require a deposit of 2 night’s stay at the time of booking, which is refundable up to 15 days before arrival. If the reservation is cancelled within 14 days of arrival, this deposit will not be refunded. The Science Luau 2016 registration fee will be fully refundable up to 10 weeks before the event. Within 10 weeks of September 19, refunds will be offered only if we are able to fill your spot. You may want to look into purchasing private travel insurance if you think you may have to cancel.


How to Register in 2 Easy Steps:

  1. Go to the Register and Pay page and follow the instructions to purchase registration to participate in Science Luau 2016.
  2. Go to the Mauna Lani’s Science Getaways group reservations page to reserve your hotel room and pay the deposit. On the groups’s main reservations page you’ll find all the details of what’s included in our group rate. If you would rather book by phone, the number is 800-367-2323. Be sure to tell them you’re with the Science Getaways group.
If you have any questions about registering, please email us.
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