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Discovery (Panama Canal)

Journey between the Seas - 7 Day Cruise - Panama Canal Northbound

The Discovery is a 33 metre long, purpose built catamaran, accommodating just 24 guests in 12 comfortable cabins. Her compact size ensures an intimate and peaceful cruise in a somewhat exclusive setting. Likewise, the vessel is able to manoeuvre easily, getting up close and personal with nature, guaranteeing an unforgettable cruise along the Panama Canal and beyond!





Embark the ship at Flamenco Marina, Panama City.

Day 1: Panama City - Flamenco Marina

Arrive at Flamenco Marina and board the Discovery. Set sail through the tropical waters of the Pacific Ocean heading towards Contadora, where the ship will remain moored overnight. Settle into your cabin and meet the other guests and crew. Later, enjoy a fabulous meal, showcasing native cuisine.

Day 2: Darien Jungle

Travel back more than 600 years today for a glimpse into the lives of the Embera Indians. They are a proud people who have managed to preserve their traditions and lifestyle as they were before the Spanish colonised the region. The natives are master craftsmen, specialising in cocobolo wood carvings and basket making. Motor up the river and observe the villages emerging from the jungle at either side. The region offers a variety of wildlife and this is particularly active along the edge of the river.

Day 3: Pearl Islands - San Telmo

Spend the day snorkelling and swimming today in the waters around the stunning Pearl Islands. The archipelago owes its name to the plentiful pearl oysters whish supported the local fishing industry in the early 1900s. The islands of San Telmo and Mogo Mogo are located on the outer portion of the archipelago and are home to some pristine beaches and fertile fishing areas. You may wish to kayak along the coastline, past the remains of an old submarine, built in 1865, during the Civil War, which sunk off the coast of San Telmo in the late 1800s.

Day 4: Panama Canal – Gatun Lake

Wake up this morning to a stunning scene – the Pacific entrance of the Panama Canal. Join the morning’s ship convoy for the northbound canal passage, traversing Miraflores Locks and Pedro Miguel Locks. The Discovery will be raised 85 feet above sea level to Gatun Lake, providing an excellent opportunity to witness this engineering marvel at close range. Your captain will navigate the Gaillard Cut, the narrowest section of the Panama Canal, effectively bisecting the Continental Divide. This section of the canal is steeped in history, with considerable geological value, and you will gain an understanding of the work involved in maintaining this area, which is susceptible to landslides. Spend the night moored in Gatun Lake, on the waters of the Panama Canal.

Day 5: Panama Canal – Barro Colorado

The vast jungle area that is now the Gatun Lake was once teeming with wildlife, prior to the construction of the Panama Canal. The region was flooded to create the lake and the animals took refuge on the mountain peaks, which are now islands, dotting the lake. Explore Barro Colorado, where the Smithsonian’s Tropical Research Centre is located. You will experience the lush rainforests and the lively jungle, first hand, as your expedition leader guides you to the remote areas. Exotic birds, sloths, monkeys, iguanas and crocodiles are just a few of the animals that you may well see whilst you are here. The unique sights, sounds and scents of the tropical jungle will mesmerise you. Be sure to have your camera ready for some unforgettable memories. The Discovery leaves the Panama Canal in the afternoon, on her way to the mouth of the Chagres River.

Day 6: Chagres River - Fort San Lorenzo

The impressive Chagres River was used by the conquistadores to transport their gold across the Isthmus of Panama, en route from Peru to Spain. The gold prospectors were also known to have used this route as a short cut from the East coast of the USA to the gold fields of California. The river was the centre piece of the colonial inter-oceanic route and is now considered to be the lifeline of the Panama Canal, teeming with wildlife and a lush, tropical jungle. Take time to explore Fort San Lorenzo, located on a cliff at the mouth of the Chagres, on the Atlantic side. Your knowledgeable expedition leader will tell you all about the history of the area. The fort was built by the Spanish in the 16th Century to defend their well known gold trail. This evening the Discovery will reposition to Colon, where you will spend the night before disembarking the following day.

Day 7: Portobelo – Caribbean - Panama City

Wake up and enjoy a farewell breakfast on board the Discovery, before disembarking for the last time. Travel by coach to Portobelo, a town situated on Caribbean water and founded by Christopher Columbus on his fourth voyage to the continent in 1597. This quaint little town is steeped in history, being the site of many sea and land battles between the Spanish colonials and the pirates and corsairs raiding the Spanish Main. Explore the fascinating fortifications which were built by the Spanish in order to protect their treasures. Visit the Church of San Felipe, known as the sanctuary of the Black Christ. This afternoon you will have the opportunity to board the Panama Canal Railway train, back to Panama City. The journey takes approximately 1 hour and, during this time, you will pass through the picturesque trans-isthmian route from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. The line borders the Panama Canal, passing through lush rainforests, cruising adjacent to the locks, through the historic Gaillard Cut and gliding over the narrow causeways in Gatun Lake. Your arrival in Panama City marks the end of your journey.


Disembark the ship and transfer by coach to Portobelo. After a short city tour, board the Panama Canal Railway train back to Panama City.


  • 6 Nights' accommodation on board the Discovery
  • Full Board (from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 7)
  • All alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages onboard the ship
  • Transfer to and from the ship
  • Transportation, shore excursions and the use of equipment
  • Taxes and port charges


  • International transportation and lodging in Panama City
  • Personal expenses
  • Naturalist guides and crew gratuities
  • Travel Insurance

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