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Home > Travel Destinations > Cruises > Panama and the Canal Cruise Venture

Panama and the Canal Cruise Venture

9 Days / 8 Nights

Package Overview

Discover all the sights and beauty of Panama while cruising on "The Discovery", a 33 meter luxury catamaran. Customers can choose from the Northbound itinerary (listed below) or the Southbound itinerary. (Southbound itinerary order is reverse of the Northbound). See package details below for departure dates.

Agent Commission Starting At: $457.90

Package Pricing

Package starting at: $4579.00 PP * Prices based on double occupancy. Prices per person in USD.

Travel Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive to Tocumen International Airport in Panama City. After clearing Immigration and Customs you will be met by an Ancon Expeditions of Panama representative outside Customs. A private transfer to your hotel has been arranged. If you arrive early today you will have time to explore downtown Panama City and have dinner (on own).

Overnight accommodations at a Panama City Hotel.

Day 2

Transfer from the hotel to the pier and board the Discovery. Sail the tropical waters of the Pacific Ocean towards Contadora, where the Discovery will stay the first night before navigating to the Darien Jungle. Take this opportunity to meet your expedition leaders, the crew, and your fellow travelers while you savor our tempting native cuisine. (D)

Day 3

Step aboard a time machine and travel back more than 600 years to a place that not many have had the privilege of experiencing. More than an excursion, this is a journey into the lives of the Embera Indians. A proud people who have been able to maintain their traditions and lifestyle as they were before the Spaniards colonized the region. These natives are also master crafters of cocobolo wood carvings and basketry. After motoring up river you will see the village emerging from the jungle, as if by magic. Keep your eyes open along the way as the region offers abundant wildlife that is particularly active along the river's edge. (B,L,D)

Day 4

Snorkel and swim in the waters of the Pearl Islands. The archipelago owes its name to the abundance of pearl oysters which supported a substantial fishery in the early 1900's. On the outer portion of the archipelago, the islands of San Telmo and Mogo Mogo are home to some pristine beaches and fertile fishing grounds. View the remains of the submarine Explorer built in 1865 during the Civil War and which sunk off the coast of San Telmo during the oyster fishery of the late 1800's. (B, L, D)

Day 5

Wake up at the Pacific entrance of the Panama Canal and join the morning's ship convoy for our northbound canal passage traversing Miraflores Locks and Pedro Miguel Locks. The Discovery will be raised 85 feet above sea level to Gatun Lake. You will have a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience up close the history and operation of this engineering marvel. Navigate the Gaillard Cut, the narrowest section of the Panama Canal, bisecting the Continental Divide. This section of the canal is full of history and geological value and you will be able to appreciate the continuous maintenance that this area requires, because it is very susceptible to landslides. Spend the night in Gatun Lake on Panama Canal waters. (B, L, D)

Day 6

Prior to the construction of the Panama Canal, the vast jungle area that is now the Gatun Lake was teeming with an overwhelming abundance of wildlife. As the region was flooded to create the lake, animals took refuge in the mountain peaks, which are now the many islands that dot the renowned lake. Explore Barro Colorado Island where the Smithsonian's Tropical Research Center is located. Your expedition leader will take you on board small crafts past lush rainforests to secluded areas of the lake to witness first-hand the splendor and excitement of the jungle. Exotic birds, monkeys, sloths, iguanas, and crocodiles are just a few of the animals that you could see in their native surroundings. The sights, sounds and scents that make up this beautiful, tropical jungle will engulf you. Cameras are a must as this is considered the world's premier location for viewing monekys and other animals in the wild. The Discovery will exit the Panama Canal in the afternoon on its way to the mouth of the Chagres River. (B, L, D)

Day 7

Experience the magnificent Chagres River which was used by the conquistadors to move their gold across the Isthmus of Panama en-route from Peru to Spain and by the gold prospectors who attempted a "short cut" from the US East coast to the gold fields of California. The river was the center piece of the colonial inter-oceanic route and is now the lifeline of the Panama Canal full of wildlife and tropical jungles. Explore Fort San Lorenzo which is located on a cliff at the mouth of the Chagres on the Atlantic side where your leader will offer details of the immense amount of history found in this area. The fort was built by the Spaniards in the 16th century to defend their well known gold trail. Later that evening, the Discovery will reposition to Colon, where it will spend the night before disembarking the next day. (B, L, D)

Day 8

Wake up to a farewell breakfast before you disembark the Discovery. Travel by motor coach to Portobelo and enjoy this town located on Caribbean waters which was founded by Christopher Columbus on his fourth voyage to the new continent in 1502. This quaint town is rich in history as it was the site of many sea and land battles between the Spanish colonials and the pirates and corsairs raiding the Spanish Main. Explore the fortifications built by the Spaniards to protect their treasures and visit the Church of San Felipe, the sanctuary of the Black Christ. Later in the aftenoon, board the Panama Canal Railway train back to Panama City. This one hour railroad trip will allow you to traverse the picturesque trans-isthmian route from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. The line flanks the Panama Canal passing through lush rainforests, cruising alongside the Canal's locks, through the historic Gaillard Cut and gliding over slender causeways in Gatun Lake. Transfer to your hotel in Panama City and have dinner on your own. Overnight accommodations at a Panama City Hotel. (B)

Day 9

Today you will be transferred to Tocumen International Airport 2 ½ hours prior to your scheduled flight departure time.

Click here to download the brochure for this package.


Departure Dates for 2018

  • March 31 - Northbound (add $200 to price)
  • April 30 - Southbound (add $200 to price)
  • May 29 - Northbound
  • June 5 - Southbound
  • October 27 - Northbound
  • November 27 - Southbound
  • Departure Dates for 2019

  • March 30 - Northbound
  • April 30 - Southbound
  • May 28 - Northbound
  • June 4 - Southbound
  • October 26 - Northbound
  • November 27 - Southbound
  • The Discovery:

    Passenger numbers on the Discovery are limited to just 24 people, ensuring everyone can enjoy serenity and privacy together with the excitement and closeness of a true exploration cruise.

    Discovery is a 33 meters, purpose built catamaran providing 8 queen and 4 twin cabins. All cabins have individual climate control, bathrooms and huge windows which extend along the length of the cabin allowing you to enjoy the scenery in complete privacy.

    The dining area, bar and lounge are located on the upper deck which is fitted with floor to ceiling "glass walls" providing a spectacular dinning experience and plenty of space to unwind. Enjoy Panamanian haute gastronomy as we delight you with exquisite indigenous dishes prepared by our talented chef. A BBQ and sun deck are located on the topmost observation deck.

    The Discovery is equipped with a unique platform that lowers kayakers gently into the water and also retrieves them in perfect safety and comfort.

    The Leaders:

    Onboard the Discovery you will find enthusiastic expedition leaders that will provide insight and profound understanding of the adventure you will undertake. They are experienced and well trained naturalists ready to share their vast knowledge and understanding.

    Our expedition leaders share a love for history and a passion for nature. They will introduce you to native human groups that still preserve their customs and traditions, and to a world of stunning natural beauty and rich history unknown by most. They are experts on their fields and they will make your journey onboard the Discovery an unforgettable experience.

    Additional Package Information

     Package Includes

    • Airport to hotel transfers and back
    • Hotel to ship transfers and back
    • Two nights at a Panama City hotel
    • Meals in accordance with itinerary
    • All meals and beverages onboard the vessel
    • Tours stated in itinerary
    • Taxes and port charges

     Package Does Not Include

    • International air
    • Gratuities

     Package Notes

    • Minimum number of people required. You will be fit in with others to make the minimum.
    • Date flexibility may be necessary.
    • Prices are subject to change without notice.
    • Itinerary sequence may change.
    • Scheduled tours may change due to weather conditions or other unforeseen issues. An alternate comparable tour will be offered.
    • To prevent any loss due to cancellation, travel insurance is recommended.
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    General Information

    • Capital: N/A
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    Points of Interest

    • Embera Indian village
    • Pearl Islands
    • Gatun Lake
    • Barro Colorado
    • Fort San Lorenzo
    • Portobelo