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Discovery (Panama Canal)

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

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!

 

Info

 

Embark

Meet in Panama City and board the Panama Canal Railway train to Portobelo for a short city tour before boarding the Discovery ship.

Day 1: Panama City - Portobelo - Colon

Arrive in Panama City and board the Panama Canal Railway train. The 1 hour journey takes you through the picturesque trans-isthmian route from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic. The line borders the Panama Canal, passing through the historic Gaillard Cut, gliding over the narrow causeways in Gatun Lake, through lush rainforests and beside the impressive locks. Your train journey terminates in 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. You will then be transported by coach, to Colon, where the Discovery will be waiting for you. Settle into your cabin and meet the other guests and crew. Later, enjoy a fabulous meal, showcasing native cuisine as you set sail on your cruise adventure.

Day 2: Fort San Lorenzo - Chagres River

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.

Day 3: Barro Colorado - Panama Canal

Your day begins at the mouth of the Chagres River and continues towards 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.

Day 4: Gatun Lake - Panama Canal

Start the day in Gatun Lake, on the waters of the Panama Canal. 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. The Discovery will be lowered 85 feet at Gatun Lake, providing an excellent opportunity to witness this engineering marvel at close range. This will take you along Pedro Miguel Locks and Miraflores Locks, where you will enter the southbound canal passage, before reaching the Pacific entrance of the Panama Canal.

Day 5: San Telmo - Pearl Islands

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 of the coast of San Telmo in the late 1800s.

Day 6: Darien Jungle

Travel back more than 600 years today to experience 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 7: Flamenco Marina

Sail through the tropical waters of the Pacific Ocean, leaving Contadora behind. You will arrive in Flamenco today, where you will disembark the Discovery and bid farewell to your fellow passengers. This marks the end of your cruise.

Disembark

Disembark the ship at Flamenco Marina, Panama City.

Includes

  • 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

Excludes

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

Sailing dates