Print this trip dossier
Cookies

At Journey Latin America we use cookies to give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on our website.
Find out more


My Enquiry is for
*
Contact details
*
*
*
*
Enquiry
*
*

Panama Canal and tropical rainforest expedition cruise -13 Oct 2018

15 days from £4,379pp

Dates & Prices Get in touch

Panama Canal and tropical rainforest expedition cruise -13 Oct 2018:
Trip Dossier

Silversea’s Silver Cloud pushes back the frontiers on this expedition cruise from Panama to Peru, passing through the waters of the Caribbean to the Pacific Ocean. Travelling on this luxurious motor yacht you can relax in an ultra-comfortable suite after a day out exploring.

Wwildlife spotting in the celebrated national parks of Costa Rica are programmed. Viisit the bird-filled Isla de la Plata off the coast of Ecuador, sometimes known as Poor Man's Galápagos and finish your cruise at Peru's principal port, Callao, the gateway to the dynamic capital Lima.

Short itinerary

Holiday itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Panama City, transfer to hotel.

Day 2

Excursion to the rainforested banks of the Panama Canal.

Day 3

Transfer to Colon, Panama. Embark expedition ship Silver Cloud; set sail.

Day 4

Pass through the entire length of the Panama Canal.

Day 5

Visit Coiba Island, Panama.

Day 6

Visit the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica

Day 7

Explore Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica

Day 8

At sea in the north Pacific Ocean.

Day 9

Visit wildlife habitat Isla de La Plata, Ecuador.

Day 10

Bird watching off Machala on Ecuador’s coast.

Day 11

At sea sailing towards Lima, Peru

Day 12

Isla Lobos de Tierra, Peru

Day 13

Salaverry, Peru

Day 14

Arrive in Callao, the port serving Lima, capital of Peru.

Day 15

Transfer to Lima airport for your international flight.

Detailed itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Panama City, transfer to hotel.
 
Panama City

Arrive Panama City, transfer to  the beautifully refurbished art deco American Trade hotel. It is in UNESCO protected Casco Viejo, which has many examples of graceful Spanish colonial architecture.

Show more Show less
Panama City

Day 2

Excursion to the rainforested banks of the Panama Canal.
 
panama butterfly

Soberania National Park where you board an expedition boat for an adventure on Lake Gatún, one of the largest man-made lakes in the world. A naturalist guide is on hand to help spot the wildlife - among which are three-toed sloths, crocodiles, and several species of monkey.

Show more Show less
panama butterfly

Day 3

Transfer to Colon, Panama. Embark expedition ship Silver Cloud; set sail.
 
Silver Cloud

Arrive in Colón, on the Atlantic Ocean entry point of the Panama Canal. The city was founded as a hub on the railway transporting gold to California during the 19th century gold rush.Many of the inhabitants are descendants of West Indian Canal workers. Once a vibrant port it declined, but in 2014 a project was started to refurbish the historic buildings and add new parks and avenues. 

Transfer to the port and embark your cruise vessel, the luxury expedition ship Silver Cloud. After she weighs anchor you will meet the Expedition Team, meet fellow travellers, and enjoy your first meal of contemporary, international cuisine and regional specialties unique to the voyage destination.

Show more Show less
Silver Cloud

Day 4

Pass through the entire length of the Panama Canal.
 
Panama Canal

In the 1880s a French company began the ambitious construction of a waterway to link the Pacific to the Atlantic Oceans. The Panama Canal was eventually completed by the United States in 1914. Since the Canal was handed back to Panama in 1999 the bio-diverse jungle along its banks is being protected and developed for eco-tourism.

Today your ship will pass through it. This: It’s a complicated manoeuvre:  a trained canal pilot will guide the vessel through three massive sets of locks, These, raise ships to the level of the vast artificial Lake Gatún, 26m above sea level, and lower them again to sea level on the other side. 

Show more Show less
Panama Canal

Day 5

Visit Coiba Island, Panama.
 
Toucan, Osa Peninsular , Costa Rica

Coiba Island, off the country's Pacific coast, sits in the Gulf of Chiriquí. Once a penal colony, it's now part of Coiba National Park, which is known for its diverse marine life and jungle animals including white-faced monkeys. Making full use of small, easily maneuverable Zodiacs, you land here for a hike through the rainforest.  The onboard naturalists will point out the local flora and search for signs of wildlife. 

 

Show more Show less
Toucan, Osa Peninsular , Costa Rica

Day 6

Visit the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica
 
Osa Peninsula

Moving on to the next Central American country, Costa Rica, you have the opportunity to visit Santuario Silvestre de Osa - the only wildlife sanctuary and rescue centre in Golfo Dulce which devotes all of its efforts to the care and rehabilitation of rainforest animals. The sanctuary is home to a wide variety of orphaned and injured animals including: howler monkeys, spider monkeys, squirrel monkeys, white-faced capuchin monkeys, scarlet macaws, toucans, parrots and two-toed sloths.  Enjoy the sanctuary grounds in the company of the park wardens as they share their knowledge on local natural history and show you some of the animals. You'll also visit Casa Orquideas, a beautiful garden with many tropical plants and an area cultivating medicinal herbs.

If you prefer to observe dolphins and other marine life, you can opt for a cruise on a catamaran. Here, off the Osa Peninsula, is the country's best spot to view large groups of dolphins, sea turtles and manta rays. Marlins and sailfish can sometimes be seen chasing large schools of tuna, while six different species of turtles might glide by. If time permits there will be the opportunity to swim in the placid waters of Punta Encato.

For those wanting a little more activity, a nature walk in the National Wildlife Refuge of Golfito is on offer. Golfito is surrounded by a spectacular primary rainforest with more than 125 species of trees, 31 species of orchids, and 300 species of birds. Bird species that can be spotted during the hikes include toucans and tanagers, while all four Costa Rican monkey species also call Golfito National Wildlife Refuge their home.

Show more Show less
Osa Peninsula

Day 7

Explore Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica
 
sloth

Go ashore by Zodiac to the small port town of Quepos, 7 km from Costa Rica's most popular national park at Manuel Antonio. Manuel Antonio National Park is one of the most stunning and bio-diverse areas of the world, jam-packed with diverse wildlife which thrives in primary and secondary forest. Together with the informative Costa Rican naturalist guides you will hike through the exotic, bio-diverse tropical rainforest. There's a stunning shoreline ideal for bird watching. You may spot endemic species of plants and animals including iguanas, sloths, and squirrel monkeys.

Alternatively, enjoy a cruise through the mangroves, an important ecosystem packed with hundreds of species of marine and terrestrial animals. Your guides and captain navigate around shifting sandbanks to reveal the animals, insects and plants that lie hidden from the untrained eye. Pass through wide lagoons where many species of seabirds can be observed, hoping for a chance to encounter white-collared capuchin monkeys.

If cruising on a river is more to your liking, choose the Savegre, considered one of Central America's most beautiful rivers, for a leisurely 2-hour class I & II river floating activity. You will view rainforest scenery and may catch sight of cormorants, egrets, herons, and white ibises.

Show more Show less
sloth

Day 8

At sea in the north Pacific Ocean.
 
Cape Petrel
At sea. Attend informative lectures which will prepare you for the upcoming ports-of-call in Ecuador and Peru. Along with lectures there will also be a food workshop. Since bananas and plantains are very important in Ecuador's cuisine, the Chef might present the various uses for banana and plantain.
Show more Show less
Cape Petrel

Day 9

Visit wildlife habitat Isla de La Plata, Ecuador.
 
Frigate Bird

The ship anchors off the coast of the uninhabited Isla de la Plata (Island of Silver), 37km off the Ecuadorian mainland and part of the Machalilla National Park. This island's name derives from a legend which claims that in the 16th century hundreds of tons of plundered silver and gold were hidden here (by Drake) which have never been fully recovered.

Admired for its trusting fauna, which is similar in a variety of species and abundance to that of the Galápagos Islands, Isla de la Plata is a nesting place for colonies of seabirds and as such is an enticing place for birdwatching, photography and nature walks. You will go ashore and, together with a local natural history guide, follow trails watching out for herons, pelicans, gulls, frigate-birds, red-footed, masked and Nazca boobies, albatrosses and hawks.

Show more Show less
Frigate Bird

Day 10

Bird watching off Machala on Ecuador’s coast.
 
Mindo

Machala is nick-named the 'Capital of the Banana' but in fact there is more to the place than fruit. Opposite the town is Isla Jambeli with its sunny beaches and mangrove forests and Isla del Amor, where pelicans, frigate-birds, and egrets nest. Santa Clara, a refuge for marine birds including blue-footed boobies, is further out to sea. Whales and dolphins can still be seen in Santa Clara's vicinity in October prior to migration.

Several National Sanctuaries or Ecological Reserves can be found near Machala and you have three options: you can either visit the Buenaventura cloud forest reserve with its staggering number of hummingbirds or the Arenillas Reserve, a 'dry forest'. The Puyango Petrified Forest might appeal more: it is one of the largest petrified forests in the world - located within a lush tropical forest.

Since Machala is also well known for several regional dishes, mostly seafood - from raw marinated shrimp to shrimp soup and fried shrimp; and from fried bananas to fish soup, all excursions will offer the opportunity to taste local refreshments.

Show more Show less
Mindo

Day 11

At sea sailing towards Lima, Peru
 
pisco sour
While the ship sails south towards Peru, take the time to attend one of the lectures, seminars or workshops, or simply relax next to the pool -a pisco sour cocktail might be a tasty introduction to Peru and its unique flavours. In the evening the ship will arrive in Paita for a technical stop before entering Peruvian waters.
Show more Show less
pisco sour

Day 12

Isla Lobos de Tierra, Peru
 
Blue footed booby
The ship anchors off Isla Lobos de Tierra - steep and rocky islands which protrude 61m from the surface of the deep blue Pacific. An abundant array of marine mammals and seabirds surround these two islands and offer you a splendid opportunity to explore by Zodiac. Sea lions bask on the beach and hundreds of blue-footed boobies can be viewed ashore as well, while Peruvian pelicans pass overhead. If the weather permits, an attempt will be made to land on the island. 
Show more Show less
Blue footed booby

Day 13

Salaverry, Peru
 
chan chan

Salaverry is a port town located 14km southeast of the city of Trujillo, an elegant colonial city with many Spanish style mansions lining the grid of streets emanating from the main square. Nearby are many archaeological sites pertaining to the Chimú and Mochica culture.

This morning you explore the main religious centre of the pre-Inca Mochica culture, which flourished from 100-700AD. The culture was sophisticated: artifacts express the day to day lives of the people, with detailed scenes of hunting, fishing, fighting, sacrifice, sexual encounters and elaborate ceremonies. The archaeological complex includes the Temple of the Sun - one of the largest adobe structures in the world - and the Temple of the Moon, covered with beautiful Moche designs. You will next visit a private hacienda for sparkling wine and appetisers, watching a performance of graceful Peruvian Paso horses. This smooth trotting horse has five gears, and comes from this region of Peru.

During the afternoon our onboard Videographer will present the specially created voyage documentary.

Show more Show less
chan chan

Day 14

Arrive in Callao, the port serving Lima, capital of Peru.
 
lp

After breakfast, disembark in Callao, Peru's chief seaport a short distance from Lima, Peru's City of Kings.Transfer to your first class hotel In Miraflores, set in parkland overlooking the Pacific Ocean

Expedition highlights and wildlife listed here are programmed experiences but cannot be guaranteed. Your Expedition Leader and Captain will work together to ensure opportunities for adventure and exploration are the best possible, taking into account the prevailing weather and wildlife activity.

Show more Show less
lp

Day 15

Transfer to Lima airport for your international flight.

Essential information

Transport

12 day expedition cruise from Colon, Panama, to Callao, Lima, Peru.

Accommodation

his holiday incorporates a luxurious cruise on board a first class cruise ship, Silver Cloud.  All guest suites are ocean view and all have verandas, marble bath, flat screen TV, on demand movies, and spa robes. All suites have a designated trained butler. Among his or her many services for you, your butler helps customise your mattress, pillow and bathroom amenities. Wifi internet (when coverage is available) and computers are accessed in the Internet café. The ship also has a medical centre, spa, beauty salon, fitness room and boutique.

The hotel in Panama City, American Trade, is a first class boutique style property in the historic centre.

Meals

Breakfast daily, full board on the cruise ship. On board ship, all meals and snacks are included, with options to eat al fresco or in your suite. Complimentary beverages incl wine, spirits, coffee, soft drinks; customised minibar items.

Guides

We carefully select our local partners, some of whom we have worked with for over 30 years. Their English-speaking guides understand the expectations of our clients very well, and are consistently singled out for praise by the latter on their return. Guides, lecturers and presenters on the cruise ship are all qualified in a field of expertise relevant to the cruise.

Included excursions

• Rainforest expedition at Gatún lake alongside the Panama Canal.
• Passage through the Panama Canal.  
• Land and sea-based excursions and activities on the expedition cruise.

Summary of nights

Panama City 2 nights, 12 day cruise.

Included in the journey price

• Services of our team of experts in our London office.
• Services of Journey Latin America local representatives on the mainland..
• All land transport within Latin America
• Passage through the Panama Canal.
• All inclusive cruise as specified, including land and sea excursions, activities and lectures. 
• Complimentary water bottle and backpack on cruise.
• Accommodation as specified.
• Meals as specified.
• Excursions as specified. 
• Cruise staff tips and gratuities.

Not included in the journey price

• Tips and gratuities on the mainland and mainland excursions.
• Meals other than specified.
• International flights to Latin America
• Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket.
• Excursions designated optional.

Currency

The unit of currency in Panama is the Balboa, equivalent in value to the US dollar. US dollars also circulate in Panama. ATMs are available in Panama City. Ecuador uses the US dollar. Notes can be withdrawn from the many ATMs in larger towns and cities using a UK credit or debit card.

Daily spend

It is very difficult to give a guideline for essential expenses but a budget of around US$50 per day should cover the cost of good quality meals, drinks and the odd souvenir on those days in the holiday itinerary or extension outside the cruise. Eat at the very best restaurants and you will pay considerably more. On the cruise, excursions, drinks, meals and tips are included.

How to take it

Outside the cruise period, cash machines are available in major cities and towns, and so taking a debit or credit card with a PIN number is the most convenient way of withdrawing money while on your trip, and in most shops and restaurants you can also pay by card. However, since cards can get lost, damaged, withheld or blocked, you should not rely exclusively on a card to access funds. 

We recommend that additionally you take a reasonable quantity of US dollars cash (no more than is covered by your insurance), which you can spend where the dollar is the local currency. Dollar bills should be in good condition, soiled or torn bills may be refused. You can take sterling, but the exchange rate is not always competitive or even available, restricting the number of places where you can change money.

You can pay for extras on the cruise (beauty salon and spa treatments, boutique items) with a credit card or US dollars. Optional excursions may be offered which have to be booked and  paid in advance before departure. Acquiring some local currency for tips for services provided by local people on the mainland and purchases from markets is advisable.

Tipping

Tips for the cruise staff are included, but local guides onshore will welcome a gratuity: they often rely on their tip as a significant proportion of their income. Most service industry workers will hope for a tip so it is useful to have spare change for waiters, hotel porters, taxi drivers etc. It is common to leave 10 - 12% in restaurants.

Tipping guidelines can be found in our Briefing Dossier.

Insurance

Travel insurance is essential.  Details of our recommended policy can be found on our Travel Insurance page. 

Airport taxes

If you have purchased your flights through Journey Latin America, the international departure tax is usually included in the ticket.

Journey grade

This holiday is suitable for all able, reasonably fit visitors. If you have doubts about your fitness for the cruise, we will send you a medical questionnaire. 

Children are accepted, but must be over 6 years old to participate in excursions. There is no special entertainment programme on board for children. Children and and teenagers who are interested in the wildlife and nature should enjoy the cruise and if there is a number of children/teenagers on board, the expedition team might dedicate a team member to lead the group and explain things to them.

Climate

Situated well within the tropics, Panama City has high temperatures (over 30°C) all year round. May-Nov is the rainy season. The city lies outside the main hurricane belt.

The coasts of Costa Rica and Ecuador are similarly hot and humid, although you will be travelling in a drier season, with cloud cover but also substantial periods of sunshine. Once you enter Peruvian territorial waters, the influence of the Humboldt current results in the climate becoming dry and landscape arid. 

Clothing and special equipment

Pack for hot weather with summer-weight loose, comfortable clothing including shorts and trousers (bear in mind that you have to get in and out of Zodiac boats). Brings sun-protective headgear, swimwear, smart casual for the evening, fleece, light sweater or jacket for cool evenings, wet weather gear: umbrella for tropical downpours, rain-cape or coat, comfortable non-slip footwear including stout walking boots or shoes and consider bringing aqua socks for snorkelling etc. Long sleeved shirts and long trousers are advisable for on shore excursions as you may encounter insects including mosquitoes.  There’s no need to over-pack: On board the cruise ship there is a laundry and dry cleaning service.

Sun block and insect repellant are essential. Don’t forget your sun-glasses, binoculars, camera, charger and memory cards. Some items can be bought in the on board boutique, including branded and unbranded T shirts and sweatshirts, scent, souvenir mugs etc. Remember to pack any personal medication (carry it in cabin luggage on the flights). A small first aid kit with blister pads, aspirin etc may come in handy. The ship has a medical centre.

Vaccinations

Preventative vaccinations are recommended against the following: typhoid; polio; tetanus; hepatitis A. You should consult your GP for specific requirements such as malaria prophylactics.

You can also find helpful information on the Masta Travel Health website.

Visas

Holders of a full British passport do not require a visa, although passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the trip begins. Anyone with a different nationality should enquire with us or check with the relevant consulate.

APIS and ESTA - important flight information:

ESTA - if flying to the US, or via the US you will need to fill in your application to ESTA online at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/esta.html

This costs $14 per person, and must be applied for by you personally.

UK Passport holders must present an e-passport with a built in chip. Avoid locking suitcases if transiting the USA, as their customs authorities retain the right to break into them.


APIS - many countries now oblige airlines to provide additional information about passengers prior to the flight departure. This Advance Passenger Information (APIS) must be supplied to us promptly in order to issue tickets and avoid fare increases. We will provide the airlines with the relevant details if we are booking your international flights. If the information is not provided you may be denied boarding.

Page Full Path: /sitecore/content/JLA/Home/destinations/panama/holidays/Panama-canal-and-tropical-rainforest/trip-dossier

Page ID: {86075F79-9A32-4C8F-AA63-EF717EBE02D5}

Page Name: trip-dossier

Page Display Name: Trip Dossier

Page Template Name: T054-TripDossier

Page Template ID: {4B17EDBB-85D2-4A79-B178-A0CE05055C05}

Parent ID: {95A70B5D-5A91-425A-8F04-7E95C9B09C44}

Parent Name: Panama-canal-and-tropical-rainforest

Parent Display Name: Panama Canal and tropical rainforest expedition cruise -13 Oct 2018

Parent Template Name: T013-Tour

Parent Template ID: {9701B79C-85FD-4A45-8072-3FFF55338F72}