Panama Canal and Andean Coast Discoveries
A Complete South American Odyssey
Join us as we sail the warm waters of the Caribbean, through the Panama Canal, and down the western coast of South America to Valparaíso, Chile on this exploration of South America.
The Famed Transit
Starting in Costa Rica, we sail south to Panama's Bocas del Toro before entering the Panama Canal. Watch MS Fram maneuver through locks, artificial canals and natural lakes. We cross the continent at 80 ft above sea level!
Ecuador, Peru and Chile
In Ecuador, we explore some of Guayaquil’s historic sites. Peru provides amazing opportunities for wildlife watching, exploring historical sights and learning about its ancient civilizations. In Chile, we visit colorful colonial towns and enjoy the Mediterranean climate.
Ocean Serenity and Wildlife
This is an extensive cruise and offers sea days to spend at your leisure. Join a lecture or simply relax and enjoy the ship’s facilities. All along the way, the expedition team shares its knowledge and inspires your curiosity and wonder.
At times, we are escorted by seabirds, and other times, by playful dolphins. We cross the equator and celebrate with King Neptune.
The mix of exceptional nature, fascinating cities, vibrant South American culture and captivating lectures make this cruise utterly unforgettable.
- Explore the best of Central and South America on an expedition cruise to remember
- Pass through the legendary Panama Canal
- Get the chance to discover fascinating archaeological sites like Chan-Chan and the Nazca Lines
- Experience rich wildlife above and below the water’s surface
- Hurtigruten expedition cruise in the cabin grade of your choice
- One hotel night in San José before the cruise including breakfast
- Transfer from hotel to ship in Puerto Limón including lunch and excursion
EVERYTHING YOU NEED FOR AN ADVENTURE
- A rich program of included activities on all voyages designed to immerse you in the destinations you visit, including onshore exploration with the expedition team
- Professional English-speaking expedition team - an international handpicked team of highly educated experts in various academic fields with profound knowledge of the regions we sail through
- Complimentary wind- and water-resistant jacket
- Loan of boots, trekking poles, and equipment needed for optional and included activities
ENGAGING ONBOARD ACTIVITIES AND EDUCATION
- In-depth lectures on science, history, biology, geography, geology or culture that provide context to your voyage and help you understand the destinations you will experience
- Explorer Science program, with educational and Citizen Science activities that let you learn about the sights you’ll see while contributing to research
- Introductory photo lecture, including camera adjustments and tips and tricks
- Photos and film/video footage from the voyage shared in the Expedition Logbook
- Casual opportunities to engage with the expedition team and other guests, including a welcome event, daily gatherings to recap the day and prepare for the day to come
- Opportunities to dine and interact with the expedition team and officers
- Destination-focused onboard library
- Port presentations providing destination insight
- A farewell event
PREMIUM ONBOARD COMFORT
- All meals including beverages (beer and wine, sodas and mineral water in all ship restaurants)
- Coffee and tea included throughout the day
- Early riser and afternoon treat offered in addition to breakfast, lunch and dinner
- A la carte restaurant (only for suite guests)
- Gym, outdoor hot tubs and sauna with windows
- Free Wi-fi onboard for all guests. Be aware that we sail in remote areas with limited connection. Streaming is not supported.
- No gratuities expected
- International flights
- Optional shore excursions with our local partners
- Travel protection plan
- Luggage handling
Grand San José - San José, Costa Rica - Embarkation
After your arrival in the Costa Rican capital, San José, stroll the streets and discover the neo-classical grandeur of this unique Central American metropolis.
We recommend enhancing your stay by adding a pre-cruise Land Adventure to impressive Manual Antonio National Park.
Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica - San José / Puerto Limón, Costa Rica
We head towards the Caribbean coast and tour along the canals of Tortuguero National Park, before we embark on MS Fram in Puerto Limón, one of the oldest cities on the continent. The port was established in 1502 when Christopher Columbus landed here during his exploration of the New World.
Island Style - Bocas del Toro, Panama
We begin our journey along the Caribbean coast of Panama, heading for Bocas del Toro, an archipelago of islands, cays, and thousands of islets.
Bocas is brimming with sandy beaches and called the “Galápagos of the Caribbean” because it is one of the most biologically diverse places on the planet.
Water taxi to local beach with nature trail walk (2 - 4 hrs)
Travel by local tender boats to one of two beaches on either Solarte Island or Bastimentos Island to relax or walk on one of many trails. Solarte Island is a nature reserve without electricity. Watch for leaf-cutter colonies, birds of all types and red frogs. You might also spot three-toed sloths, rare birds and eagles. Red Frog Beach is located on Bastimentos Island, not far from Isla Colon, and you walk to the beach on a jungle trail.
Connecting Two Oceans - Panama Canal, Panama
We enter the Panama Canal near the city of Colón. Experience the thrill of canal transit and intricacy of the locks system as MS Fram is lifted more than 80 ft above sea level, from one body of water to the next. We enter the Pacific Ocean near Balboa.
Crossing the Equator - At sea - At sea
Spend time on deck fully enjoying the serenity of our days at sea. Hear our experienced lecturers and meet our expedition team outside on deck to spot marine wildlife. As we cross the Equator, we ask King Neptune for permission and invite him onboard. Join us for a proper baptism!
Ecuador’s Metropolis - Guayaquil - Half Day
Welcome to Ecuador! Guayaquil was founded in 1538 and quickly became the largest shipyard in South America, often being attacked by pirates. Stroll through the historic center with parks and colonial mansions, visit the Mercado Artesanal, the city’s largest artisan market, or walk along the riverfront at Malecón 2000.
City Tour, Seminario Park & Museum (4 hrs 30)
Explore highlights of Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest city, founded in 1537. See Santo Domingo church, built in 1548, and visit Parque Seminario, or Park of the Iguanas. It won't take you long to figure out where the name comes from. Also visit the municipal museum, highlighting different historical periods, and see Guayaquil's oldest barrio, the artistic district of Santa Ana hill.
Serenity at Sea - At Sea - At sea
Our expedition team continues its lecture program, sharing their extensive knowledge and experience, as well as summarizing the voyage so far and letting you know about plans for the exciting days ahead.
Temple of the Sun and Moon - Salaverry, Peru - Half Day
The small port of Salaverry is the starting point for an optional excursion to the ancient Chimu kingdom (700-1400 A.D.). The ancient city of Chan Chan (Sun-Sun) is considered the largest mud-brick citadel of the pre-Hispanic Americas and was listed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site in 1986.
Moon Temple & Trujillo / Chan Chan & Trujillo (4h30)
Visit either the Moon Temple or ancient city of Chan Chan. The Moon Temple tour takes you on a 30-minute bus ride to the Mochica culture’s capital city of Cerro Blanco. Looted by Spanish conquistadors in the 17th century, the Temple of the Moon was left largely untouched, revealing insights to Peru’s ancient past. The Chan Chan tour takes you to the excavated city of Chan Chan, dating back to 850 A.D. Chan Chan is the world’s largest adobe city and was the capital of the Chimu kingdom, which reached its peak in the 15th century but fell not long after to Inca conquerors. Afterwards, both tours visit Trujillo.
Seaside City and Vibrant Capital - Callao / Lima, Peru - Docked - Full Day
We dock at the seaside city of Callao, some 9 miles from the historic center of Lima, the capital of Peru. Discover the “City of Kings” and the Plaza de Armas, where Francisco Pizarro founded the city in 1535. Lima’s historic center was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 1988.
Scenic city tour of Lima (4 hrs)
Discover the fascinating highlights of the Peruvian capital in a specially designed panorama bus that allows you to get a great view of what makes Lima so special. You will be picked up by a bus and taken on a ride to see the landmarks of the city and get numerous chances to take memorable pictures while a knowledgeable guide will tell you everything you need to know about this beautiful place.
The Nazca Lines - Paracas, Peru
Paracas is the gateway to the quiet colonial town of Pisco and its fertile coastal valley with the famous and mysterious Nazca Lines and geoglyphs. These lines were scratched onto the surface of the ground between 500 B.C. and 500 A.D.
Ballestas Island (3 hrs)
Explore one of this region's most beautiful natural attractions, the Ballestas Islands, often referred to as ‘Peru's Galapagos’, with its volcanic scenery and diverse wildlife. Spot sea birds and mammals on the boat trip and enjoy photogenic landscapes on the islands. Enjoy some free time to explore and perhaps see seals, sea lions, and even penguins!
At your Leisure - At sea
Join the expedition team for interesting lectures, learn the basics of expedition photography, and spend time out on deck enjoying the fresh salt air as you scout for wildlife.
Adventure and Archaeology - Arica, Chile - Docked - Full Day
Arica is blessed with a warm climate all year round, and we will spend a full day here. Explore the city, walk up the “El Morro” cliff to get a panoramic view, see the beaches or visit the archaeological sites with some of the world's oldest known mummies.
Atacama Coastal Walk (3h30)
Depart the pier and head towards the beach resorts of El Laucho and La Lisera. At El Morro de Arica vista, we enjoy a panoramic view of the city, port and ocean. We then proceed south along the coastal road to Corazones/Anzata, where we walk up sandy hills that lead us to Puntilla. Here we observe sea lions and many local birds at close range. After relaxing, taking pictures and breathing the ocean air, we walk back to the buses and return to the pier.
Serenity at Sea - At sea - At sea
Enjoy two peaceful days at sea as we make our way south to Valparaíso. The expedition team recaps our voyage and continues its lecture program.
Seaside Living - La Serena, Chile
La Serena, a seaside settlement, is one of the oldest cities in Chile. The town is overflowing with colorful gardens and beautiful churches. In the Archaeological Museum, you can learn about the ancient Diaguita culture that thrived in the region before the Incan conquest.
Coquimbo and La Serena City Tour (4h15)
Join us on a city tour of La Serena and the Coquimbo region. Our first stop is La Serena lighthouse for sweeping panoramic views. We then visit La Serena´s main plaza, where the city was founded in 1544. We also drive to La Herradura Bay, where legends say pirates buried a treasure. Before returning to the ship, we visit La Recova Market featuring handicrafts like lapis lazuli (Chile's famous semi-precious blue stone) and alpaca wool.
The `Jewel of the Pacific´ - Valparaíso, Chile
Our expedition ends in the wonderful, colorful and poetic city of Valparaíso. After disembarking MS Fram, take some time to stroll the UNESCO-listed historic quarter, or ride a funicular to one of the many hilltops for a citywide panorama.