Optional tours are available from most ports for an additional charge.
Day Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USDeparts 04:00 PM "Shimmering blue waters, swaying palm trees and soft ocean breezes greet you in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, where you'll find yourself somewhere between laid-back island time and the fast pace of a thriving city. In this sun-filled, year-round beach town, pristine beaches are the main attraction, shorts and flip-flops are the daily uniform, and yachts are often the preferred form of transportation. It's a place where you can do as much, or as little, as you desire.
Because of its many canals and waterways, Ft. Lauderdale is sometimes called the Venice of America. It's home to the annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, one of the largest in-water boat shows in the world. Visitors can easily get a taste of the area's nautical lifestyle by cruising the Intracoastal Waterway on an old-fashioned paddle wheeler. Other options include hopping aboard one of the popular water taxis or Venetian gondolas that glide down the historic New River, which flows right through town. "
Day At Sea
Day At Sea
Day Willemstad, CuracaoArrives 10:00 AM Departs 11:00 PM "The capital of Curaçao, Willemstad, is almost as old as a more famous Dutch settlementit was founded in 1634, just 10 years after New Amsterdam, later called New York. But while the Dutch control of New Amsterdam was relatively brief, Curaçao remains a part of the Netherlands to this day. Its historic center is a unique mixture of Dutch architecture and Caribbean pastels, its gabled row houses overlooking Sint Anna Bay, a waterway dividing the city in two and connecting the Caribbean to the protected Schottegat Bay. The entire historic center of Willemstad has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
While Willemstad's legendary days of yore can be explored at institutions like the Kura Hulanda and Curaçao Maritime Museum, this is a vibrant, living city too. Highlights of this multicultural melting pot might include a stop at its floating market and a visit to a curaçao distillery to taste the famous local liqueur. Natural wonders await as well: Some of the Caribbeans most stunning diving and snorkeling spots are here. Finally, a meal in Willemstad will let you experience the diversity of the island through the surprising flavors of its cuisine, which reflects European, Caribbean and Latin American influences.
Day Oranjestad, ArubaArrives 08:00 AM Departs 06:00 PM "Located off the coast of Venezuela, the windswept Dutch island of Aruba is otherworldly. Here, the beaches are spectacularly pristine, the waters are romantically restless, the island interior is lunar-like and filled with cacti, and the trees arequite famouslybent in the wind. The island's consistent trade winds are part of the destination's allure: They keep the humidity, rain and hurricanes common in much of the Caribbean during its off-season at bay.
The main port and capital city, Oranjestad, is a maze of Dutch-colonial architecture painted in a palette of Caribbean pastels. There are some historic sites of note and myriad shops, from boutiques to megastores, selling all sorts of keepsakes, with jewelry and gold being popular itemsin fact, gold was mined here in the 19th century. In Oranjestad and along the beaches you'll also find a treasure trove of excellent seafood restaurants, while farther afield are lighthouses, gold mine ruins and natural wonders that reflect the rugged appeal of Aruba.
Day At Sea
Day Enter Panama Canal Cristobal / Cruising Panama Canal / Exit Panama Canal BalboaArrives 05:00 AM Departs 05:00 AM / Cruising / Arrives 07:00 PM Departs 07:00 PM Think of the Panama Canal, and the image that may come to mind is of the worlds huge tankers and cruise ships passing through a series of locks. That, however, reflects only one aspect of this part of the world. As ships travel from the Atlantic to the Pacific, they also pass colonial towns, historic fortresses and manmade lakes that are today home to sanctuaries for hundreds of different animal and plant species. At the Atlantic entrance to the Panama Canal, Colón evokes the old Panama of yesteryear, with its historic buildings gradually being restored. Some 77 kilometers (48 miles) to the south, at the canals Pacific entrance, Panama City's glittering skyline of office towers and condominiums reflects the countrys dynamic present and future. Traveling between these two cities, an epic tale unfolds before youan old-school feat of engineering, ambition and courage. As David McCullough recounts in his sweeping history The Path Between the Seas, it was a combination of sheer human might and engineering prowess that today allows ships to cross the Panama isthmus, saving sailors from making the dangerous, almost 13,000-kilometer (8,000-mile) journey around the tip of South America.
Cruising Panama Canal
"The construction of the Panama Canal is one of those epic tales from the past, an old-school feat of engineering, ambition and courage. A cruise along it today is a journey through the centuries, from the Spanish fortifications near Limón Bay to the glittering skyline of Panama City, not to mention the canal itself.
Over the course of a decade a little more than a century ago, tens of thousands of workers drilled dynamite holes, drove belching steam shovels and labored with pickaxes, all the while fighting off malaria. While the French builders of the Suez Canal ultimately gave up in Panama, American crews persevered and created a route allowing ships to travel across a continent. As David McCullough recounts in his sweeping history The Path Between the Seas, it was a combination of sheer human might and engineering prowess. In 2016 an expansion more than doubled the canal's capacity, ensuring it will continue to be central to the world's maritime traffic."
Exit Panama Canal Balboa
"At the end of your journey along the Panama Canal, youll reach Balboa, the town that sits at the Pacific entrance of the canal. Its namesake is Vasco Núñez de Balboa, the famed Spanish explorer who was the first European to see the Pacific from the New World. Balboas journey was historic, a legendary feat of the age of exploration. The construction of the canal that crosses the isthmus today was also a historic achievement, to this day the largest civil engineering project ever. Over the course of a decade at the beginning of the 20th century, a combination of sheer human might and engineering prowess was responsible for the construction of the canal.
A journey from Colón, at the Caribbean end of the canal, to Balboa, at its Pacific end, allows you to marvel at this world wonder, as well as see colonial towns, historic fortresses and sanctuaries for Panamas wildlife along the way. Measured by miles, the journey along the canal is relatively short, but it is one with an epic sweep. You will follow in the footsteps of giants from Balboa to the workers who built the canal.
Day At Sea
Day Puerto Caldera (Puntarenas), Costa RicaArrives 07:00 AM Departs 05:00 PM One of the stops along the Panama Canal Zone route, Puerto Caldera on Costa Rica's Pacific Coast isn't your ordinary port of call, positioned as it is within easy day-trip distance of the country's multiple national parks. The town itself is small, but makes for an ideal base from which travelers can venture out to explore the variety of this Central American country's outdoor attractions and activities. These include snapping photos of gushing waterfalls (and swimming at the base of one, if you bring your swimsuit!), sightseeing near active volcanoes, bird-watching in nature reserves and sanctuaries and horseback riding on Pacific beaches . . . and that's just for starters. Visitors to Puerto Caldera and the surrounding region also enjoy shopping for handicrafts that local artists sell at their cooperatives, as well as sampling traditional Tico cuisine, especially gallo pintoa combination of rice and beans eaten at any time of the day or night. Puerto Caldera is the perfect reminder that adventure often awaits just around the bend.
Day Corinto, NicaraguaArrives 09:00 AM Departs 05:00 PM Puerto Corinto -- a small, tropical paradise in northwest Nicaragua's Chinandega department -- is a common stop for cruise ships touring the Panama Canal area. Puerto Corinto, founded in the 1858, is Nicaragua's largest port; it has lovely, white sand beaches and clear, cerulean water. The city sits on the Punto Icaco island and is connected to the mainland by bridges.
Day Puerto Quetzal, GuatemalaArrives 07:00 AM Departs 05:00 PM Puerto Quetzal is Guatemala's largest port on the Pacific Ocean side of this Central American country, important for both cargo and cruise ships. There's not a great deal to see and do in Puerto Quetzal itself, and visitors should adjust their expectations accordingly. Yet you shouldn't despair, either; Puerto Quetzal is an ideal point of departure for exploring several corners of the country. Choose your mode of transportationplane, bus, car or boatand decide whether you want to take in Guatemala's stunning, volcano-studded landscape, one (or more!) of the country's Maya sites, the UNESCOrecognized colonial city of Antigua (the former capital), a coffee plantation or one of the many beguiling bodies of water. In addition to the gleaming Pacific, there's Lake Atitlán, which 19th-century German explorer Alexander von Humboldt described as the most beautiful lake in the world. All of these attractions are accessible as day trips, and getting to them is all part of your Guatemalan adventure.
Day Huatulco, MexicoArrives 01:00 PM Departs 07:00 PM Huatulco, situated on Mexico's Pacific Coast in the state of Oaxaca, has nine bays and 36 beaches, offering more than enough opportunities for fun in the sun. The most popular beach is La Entrega, with clean white sand and calm waters, perfect for snorkeling and swimming . . . or just relaxing. But Huatulco's attractions aren't limited to sand and surf; there are also archaeological sites to explore, rivers to raft, and waterfalls whose pools invite childlike splashing. Bird lovers, in particular, will find Huatulco to be especially captivating. The region is home to more than 225 bird species, including many rare ones and a number that are endemic to Mexico, like the Colima pygmy owl and the wildly colorful orange-breasted bunting and citreoline trogon. Bring your bird list, because you're sure to add new species to your "sighted" column. And the food in Huatulco! The food will give you plenty to write home about. The state of Oaxaca has some of the most iconic dishes in Mexico's culinary repertoire. You won't go home hungry.
Day At Sea
Day Puerto Vallarta, MexicoArrives 10:00 AM Departs 08:00 PM Unique compared to Acapulco, Cancún, Zihuatanejo and several other coastal resort towns in Mexicomany of which were created by the government as planned communitiesPuerto Vallarta ("PV" to locals), on the Pacific Ocean, retains quite a bit of its colonial-era charm. Its town square, Plaza de Armas, and the gorgeous parish church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, topped with an ornate crown and overlooking the port, serve as the loveliest representations of bygone ages. Alongside these echoes of the past are more modern attractions, including an ambitious public art project along the seaside walkway (the malecón) and trendy restaurants such as La Leche, serving contemporary Mexican cuisine. Round these out with plenty of fun-in-the-sun outdoor activities on and along Banderas Bay (whale-watching! snorkeling! jet-skiing!), excursions that reveal the best of Puerto Vallarta's flora and fauna, and a side trip to one of Mexico's pueblos mágicos (magical towns, a designation conferred by the government to recognize smaller towns that possess historical and cultural value), and you'd be hard-pressed to find a more pleasant place to spend part of your cruising vacation.
Day At Sea
Day At Sea
Day San Diego, California, USArrives 07:00 AM "Easygoing San Diego embodies the Southern California surfer town fantasy, with its more than 300 days of sun, mild year-round temperatures and accessible, sporty pastimes and tourist attractions. You can hike the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve to get a glimpse of whale migrations, go sailing in the bay and, of course, surf the famous swells of Del Mar, Oceanside and La Jolla (among many other superb spots). But the sixth-largest city in the United States is surprisingly nuanced, with distinctive neighborhoods: Old Town, North Park, Point Loma and Coronado are all within a few miles of the port, while the bustling Gaslamp Quarter and Little Italy are within walking distance.
And while there are lots of things to do for everyonefrom visiting the countrys largest urban park to taking in the famous horse-racing season in Del Mar to riding the charming Old Town Trolleydefinitely dont pass up the chance to investigate San Diegos quickly growing reputation as a culinary destination. Its inventive new restaurants and huge craft-brewing industry are something to be explored."