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Panama Canal Cruise - Journey between the seas

7 Days FROM AUD 6,195

Overview

Embark on a 7 day cruise along the famous Panama Canal on board of the impressive Discovery ship. Here you will discover the rich history of the region by meeting the ancestral Embara Indians as well as admiring the pristine islands, beaches and wildlife.  Experience a once in a lifetime opportunity  to get up close to the history and operation of the engineering marvel that is the Panama Canal. 

This itinerary travels in a southbound direction.  Northbound direction also available on the following dates 27/11/2019, 31/03/2020, 19/05/2020, 25/11/2020

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Optional Activities :

Trip Code: PNTSPCC

Location: Panama

Ship: The Discovery

CRUISE ITINERARY

Start your itinerary aboard the Panama Canal Railway train to Colon City. This one hour railroad trip will allow you to traverse the picturesque trans-isthmian route from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean. The line flanks the Panama Canal passing through lush rainforests, cruising alongside the Canal’s locks, and gliding over slender causeways in Gatun Lake. Arrive Colon City where your motor coach will be waiting to take you to Portobelo. Enjoy this town located on Caribbean waters which was discovered by Christopher Columbus on his fourth voyage to the new continent in 1502. Explore the fortifications built by the Spaniards to protect their treasures and visit the Church of San Felipe, the sanctuary of the Black Christ.

At noon time you will board the MV Discovery and set sail in the tropical waters of the Atlantic Ocean towards the Chagres River where you will stay the first night. Take this opportunity to meet your expedition leaders, the crew and your fellow travelers while you savor our tempting native cuisine. Once we arrive to the Chagres River, you will get off to explore Fort San Lorenzo. This fort is located on a cliff at the mouth of the Chagres on the Atlantic side where your leader will offer details of the immense amount of history found on this area. The fort was built by the Spaniards in the 16th century to defend their well known gold trail.

Portobelo – Chagres River

Experience the magnificent Chagres River which was used by the conquistadors to move their gold across the Isthmus of Panama en-route from Peru to Spain and by the gold prospectors who attempted a ''short cut'' from the US East coast to the gold fields of California. The river was the centerpiece of the colonial inter-oceanic route and is now the lifeline of the Panama Canal full of wildlife and tropical jungle. In the afternoon you will set sail towards the entrance of the Panama Canal. You will start transiting the Gatun Locks, the biggest set of locks, while enjoying the Caribbean sunset and watching the Canal being lit.

Chagres River – Gatun Locks

Prior to the construction of the Panama Canal, the vast jungle area that is now the Gatun Lake was teeming with an overwhelming abundance of wildlife. As the region was flooded to create the lake, animals took refuge in the mountain peaks, which are now the many islands that dot the renowned lake. Explore Gatun Lake and kayak in Panama Canal waters.
Your expedition leader will take you on board zodiacs past lush rainforests to secluded areas of the lake to witness first-hand the splendor and excitement of the jungle. Exotic birds, monkeys, sloths, iguanas, and crocodiles are just a few of the animals that you can see in their native surroundings. The sights, sounds and scents that make up this beautiful, tropical jungle will engulf you. Cameras are a must as this is considered the world’s premier location for viewing monkeys and other animals in the wild.

Panama Canal  - Gatun Lake

Wake up in the middle of the Panama Canal and join the morning’s ship convoy for our southbound canal passage. The Discovery will complete its full Panama Canal transit on its way to the Pacific Ocean. Navigate the Gaillard Cut, the narrowest section of the Panama Canal, bisecting the Continental Divide. This section of the canal is full of history and geological value and you will be able to appreciate the continuous maintenance that this area requires, because it is very susceptible to landslides. At Pedro Miguel Locks and Miraflores Locks the Discovery will be lowered 85 feet back to sea level in the Pacific. You will have a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience up close the history and operation of this engineering marvel.

Panama Canal Daylight Transit

Step aboard a time machine and travel back more than 600 years to a place that not many have had the privilege of experiencing. More than an excursion, this is a journey into the lives of the Embera Indians. A proud people who have been able to maintain their traditions and lifestyle as they were before the Spaniards colonized the region. These natives are also master crafters of cocobolo wood carvings and basketry. After motoring up river you will see the village emerging from the jungle, as if by magic. Keep your eyes open along the way as the region offers abundant wildlife that is particularly active along the river’s edge.

Darien Jungle

Snorkel and swim in the waters of the Pearl Islands. The archipelago owes its name to the abundance of pearl oysters which supported a substantial fishery in the early 1900’s. On the outer portion of the archipelago, the islands of San Telmo and Galera are home to some pristine beaches and fertile fishing grounds. View the remains of the submarine Explorer built in 1865 during the Civil War and which sunk off the coast of San Telmo during the oyster fishery of the late 1800´s.

Pearl Islands – San Telmo

Wake up to a farewell breakfast before you disembark the Discovery. Our motor coach will take you to the hotel of your choice.

Panama City
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Pricing & date

Panama Canal Cruise - Journey between the seas from AUD 6,195
Departing Ending Duration
26 Oct 2019 01 Nov 2019 7
26 May 2020 01 Jun 2020 7
24 Oct 2020 30 Oct 2020 7
29 Dec 2020 04 Jan 2021 7
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Important Information

  • Cruise accommodation 
    Transfers to and from the ship
    Transportation, shore excursions and the use of equipment
    All meals and beverages on-board the ship
    Taxes and port charges
    Service charges

    Exclusions

    International Airfare
    Panama Tourist Card (If applicable)
    Lodging in Panama City
    Personal Gear
    Gratuities for guides/crew

  • Available upon request

  • Please note cruise operates with a minimum 8 passengers.  Contact us for more details

  • Season and availability

SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST

Talk to one of our Destination Specialists to plan your South American adventure and turn your dream into a reality. With exceptional knowledge and first hand experience, our consultants will assist in every way possible to make your journey the most memorable it can be, matching not only the itinerary, but the accommodation and activities to suit your style of travel and budget.

Sustainability

Chimu Adventures undertakes a number of sustainability measures within its operations including:

1) Only using local guides and office staff to both maximise local employment opportunities and minimise carbon footprints. Local guides also ensure you benefit from the intimate knowledge, passion and culture of the country you’re visiting.

2) Where possible, using locally owned and operated boutique hotels to maximise the return to the local community.

3) Chimu’s “Pass it on” programme has provided funding to hundreds of local community projects in Latin America. Our aim is to empower local communities, helping them to develop their own infrastructure for the future. Since 2006, we have been working with Kiva (a well-known Non-Governmental Organisation), providing hundreds of loans to local businesses all over South America.

4) In our pre tour information we provide a range of tips and advice on how to minimise your impact on both local environments and communities.

5) Chimu Adventures’ offices also take a number of sustainability measures including carbon offsets for company vehicles and most staff travel. Chimu Adventure’s internal processes are also structures to create a paperless office and to reduce waste. There are also internal programmes to help staff minimise their carbon footprint such as our staff bike purchase assistance plan which encourages office staff to commute to work via bicycle. Currently almost half of our office based staff commute to work via bicycle.