Optional tours are available from most ports for an additional charge.
Day Bridgetown, BarbadosDeparts 05:00 PM "Barbadians, or Bajans in local parlance, consider their island nation the most British of the Caribbean: Queen Elizabeth II is still head of state, and English products are stocked in many of its stores and restaurants. Barbados is known as the birthplace of international pop star Rihanna, but it has also produced some of the biggest Caribbean calypso and soca music stars. The summer Crop Over festival is a huge carnival event. With live music and crafts for sale, the popular Friday fish fry at Oistins Bay is a fun place to mingle with the locals.
Centered around a waterway called the Careenage and its handsome Chamberlain Bridge, the historic center of Bridgetown, the country's capital, was granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 2011 for its wealth of British colonial architecture dating from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Among the famous figures who visited Bridgetown when it was at its peak was none other than George Washington, who spent two months in 1751 in a house that still stands today, on his only trip abroad."
Day At Sea
Day At Sea
Day Santa Marta, ColombiaArrives 07:00 AM Departs 08:00 PM Romantic Santa Marta has it all: history (Colombias oldest city), natural beauty (from gentle bays and beaches to the highest coastal mountain range in the world),
and its very own celebrity. Simon Bolivar (The Liberator) is known as the George Washington of South America, and this was his Mount Vernon. Visit his beautiful
estate or head to one of the two UNESCO Biosphere Reserves nearby.
Day At Sea
Day Bocas del Toro, PanamaArrives 07:00 AM Departs 05:00 PM Bocas Town was established on Colon Island in this archipelago by the United Fruit Company in the 1920s as a base for its banana plantations. The picturesque period charm of the town is today exploited by the locals to attract tourists. All of the islands have lovely beaches, mangrove waterways to explore and even several different indigenous populations who make and sell colorful handicrafts. A plentiful variety of wildlife including many species of birds, animals and sea turtles adds to the areas appeal. Panama shares the nearby Parque Internacional La Amistad (Friendship), a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with Costa Rica.
Day Enter Panama Canal Cristobal / Cruising Panama Canal / Exit Panama Canal BalboaArrives 06:00 AM Departs 06:00 AM / Cruising / Arrives 08:00 PM Departs 08:00 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 Manta, EcuadorArrives 12:00 PM Departs 11:00 PM "Located on the Pacific coast, Manta is one of Ecuadors most important ports. The mainstay of the economy of this city with some 200,000 residents is tunaboth fishing and the processing and canning of the catch. In other words, unless you have a keen interest in the tuna industry, Manta will, most likely, simply be a stopping point to other destinations in the country like Quito, the Galápagos and the haciendas in the foothills of the Andes. Even so, Manta is a pleasant port town with some contemporary buildings and a few historic sights, interesting museums and natural beauty in the form of parks and nearby beaches.
Neither the Galápagos nor the countrys capital, Quito, can be visited as a day trip from Manta. If you have extra time before or after you reach Manta, however, it's a short flight to both. Still not enough time? Isla Corazón, to the north, and Machalilla National Park, to the south, provide introductions to the flora and fauna of equatorial rain forests. If even those destinations are too far, the citys archaeological museum is highly recommended, and a walk along the Malecón pairs ocean views with cooling breezes.
Day Isla de La Plata, EcuadorArrives 07:00 AM Departs 05:00 PM Just 17 miles off the Ecuadorean coast, this island is part of the Machalilla National Park, with a dry, tropical environment similar to the more distant Galapagos Islands. It also hosts a remarkably similar variety of fauna, including red- and blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, the striking white red-billed tropic birds and Magnificent Frigate birds. The island is surrounded by reefs teeming with colorful fishes, sea turtles and dolphins, which are popular with snorkelers.
Day Puerto Bolivar (Machala), EcuadorArrives 07:00 AM Departs 06:00 PM Located in the fertile lowlands near the Gulf of Guayaquil, Machala is said to be the banana capital of the world. Coffee and cacao are also important crops in the surrounding farmlands. The cathedral is impressive, very well attended by the Machalenos, since it is dedicated to the Virgen de la Merced, the towns patron. It is filled with light from the stained glass windows. The church of Nuestra Señora de Chilla has an impressive depiction of the Virgin and child bedecked in golden finery, attended by a rustic, a dog and a goat. Further afield, the Petrified Forest Puyango is the largest array of fossil trees in the world, with some measuring over six feet in diameter and nearly 50 feet long
Day At Sea
Day Salaverry (Trujillo), PeruArrives 05:00 AM Departs 11:59 PM The port of Salaverry is essentially a ticket to a best-of-Peru buffet. Half an hour away is Perus northern capital, Trujillo, home to one of the most iconic squares in the country: the city's Plaza de Armas. The bright blue, yellow and red buildings date back to the 16th century, andtraffic asidetransport you back to the days of the conquistadores. For time travel to a more distant pasta past that predates even the Incavisit the profusion of ruins around the city. Theres the Chimu capital Chan Chan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Mochica sites of Huaca del Sol and Huaca de la Luna, to name just a few. And for time travel with a twistor more accurately, with an arcthere are the caballitos de totora, curvilinear fishing boats made from reed and used by ancient Peruvians, that continue to ply the waters (and serve as the calling card) of the nearby village of Huanchaco. Watching these graceful arched vessels "surf" the waves is totally enchantingespecially if youre seated at a beach-view table with some ceviche and a cerveza.
Day Islas Guanape, PeruArrives 06:00 AM Departs 01:00 PM This four-island group is a breeding ground for huge populations of seabirds off the coast of La Libertad, Peru. It was formerly exploited for the guano used as fertilizer. The islands are now protected and guano harvesting is strictly regulated. They are rich in bird life and marine wildlife, including pelicans, boobies, Humboldt penguins and Southern sea lions, which thrive in the nutrient-rich Humboldt Current along the Peruvian coast.
Day Callao (Lima), PeruArrives 07:00 AM A 45-minute drive from the port city of Callao brings you to exciting Lima, the City of Kings. From its founding in 1535 until today, it remains one of the most important cities in all South America. The handsome old buildings from the earliest colonial days surrounding the Plaza de Armas contrast with the soaring modern towers rising in the newer sections of the city.