Holland America Line

15-NIGHT PANAMA CANAL

 
 
15-NIGHT PANAMA CANAL
Starting from $2,099*

San Diego, California, US Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US


Ship: ms Volendam


Departure Date :

Dec 03 2018

Optional tours are available from most ports for an additional charge.

 

Itinerary

 
Day San Diego, California, US
Depart 05:00 PM
"Easygoing San Diego embodies the Southern California surfer town fantasy, with its more than 300 days of sun, mild year-round temperatures and accessible, sporty pastimes and tourist attractions. You can hike the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve to get a glimpse of whale migrations, go sailing in the bay and, of course, surf the famous swells of Del Mar, Oceanside and La Jolla (among many other superb spots). But the sixth-largest city in the United States is surprisingly nuanced, with distinctive neighborhoods: Old Town, North Park, Point Loma and Coronado are all within a few miles of the port, while the bustling Gaslamp Quarter and Little Italy are within walking distance. And while there are lots of things to do for everyone—from visiting the country’s largest urban park to taking in the famous horse-racing season in Del Mar to riding the charming Old Town Trolley—definitely don’t pass up the chance to investigate San Diego’s quickly growing reputation as a culinary destination. Its inventive new restaurants and huge craft-brewing industry are something to be explored."
San Diego, California, US
 
 
Day At Sea

 
 
Day At Sea

 
 
Day Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Arrive 07:00 AM Depart 04:00 PM
Unique compared to Acapulco, Cancún, Zihuatanejo and several other coastal resort towns in Mexico—many of which were created by the government as planned communities—Puerto Vallarta ("PV" to locals), on the Pacific Ocean, retains quite a bit of its colonial-era charm. Its town square, Plaza de Armas, and the gorgeous parish church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, topped with an ornate crown and overlooking the port, serve as the loveliest representations of bygone ages. Alongside these echoes of the past are more modern attractions, including an ambitious public art project along the seaside walkway (the malecón) and trendy restaurants such as La Leche, serving contemporary Mexican cuisine. Round these out with plenty of fun-in-the-sun outdoor activities on and along Banderas Bay (whale-watching! snorkeling! jet-skiing!), excursions that reveal the best of Puerto Vallarta's flora and fauna, and a side trip to one of Mexico's pueblos mágicos (magical towns, a designation conferred by the government to recognize smaller towns that possess historical and cultural value), and you'd be hard-pressed to find a more pleasant place to spend part of your cruising vacation.
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
 
 
Day At Sea

 
 
Day Huatulco, Mexico
Arrive 08:00 AM Depart 02:00 PM
Huatulco, situated on Mexico's Pacific Coast in the state of Oaxaca, has nine bays and 36 beaches, offering more than enough opportunities for fun in the sun. The most popular beach is La Entrega, with clean white sand and calm waters, perfect for snorkeling and swimming . . . or just relaxing. But Huatulco's attractions aren't limited to sand and surf; there are also archaeological sites to explore, rivers to raft, and waterfalls whose pools invite childlike splashing. Bird lovers, in particular, will find Huatulco to be especially captivating. The region is home to more than 225 bird species, including many rare ones and a number that are endemic to Mexico, like the Colima pygmy owl and the wildly colorful orange-breasted bunting and citreoline trogon. Bring your bird list, because you're sure to add new species to your "sighted" column. And the food in Huatulco! The food will give you plenty to write home about. The state of Oaxaca has some of the most iconic dishes in Mexico's culinary repertoire. You won't go home hungry.
Huatulco, Mexico
 
 
Day Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala
Arrive 09:00 AM Depart 07:00 PM
Puerto Quetzal is Guatemala's largest port on the Pacific Ocean side of this Central American country, important for both cargo and cruise ships. There's not a great deal to see and do in Puerto Quetzal itself, and visitors should adjust their expectations accordingly. Yet you shouldn't despair, either; Puerto Quetzal is an ideal point of departure for exploring several corners of the country. Choose your mode of transportation—plane, bus, car or boat—and decide whether you want to take in Guatemala's stunning, volcano-studded landscape, one (or more!) of the country's Maya sites, the UNESCO–recognized colonial city of Antigua (the former capital), a coffee plantation or one of the many beguiling bodies of water. In addition to the gleaming Pacific, there's Lake Atitlán, which 19th-century German explorer Alexander von Humboldt described as the most beautiful lake in the world. All of these attractions are accessible as day trips, and getting to them is all part of your Guatemalan adventure.
Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala
 
 
Day Corinto, Nicaragua
Arrive 08:00 AM Depart 04:00 PM
Puerto Corinto -- a small, tropical paradise in northwest Nicaragua's Chinandega department -- is a common stop for cruise ships touring the Panama Canal area. Puerto Corinto, founded in the 1858, is Nicaragua's largest port; it has lovely, white sand beaches and clear, cerulean water. The city sits on the Punto Icaco island and is connected to the mainland by bridges.
Corinto, Nicaragua
 
 
Day Puerto Caldera (Puntarenas), Costa Rica
Arrive 08:00 AM Depart 06:00 PM
One of the stops along the Panama Canal Zone route, Puerto Caldera on Costa Rica's Pacific Coast isn't your ordinary port of call, positioned as it is within easy day-trip distance of the country's multiple national parks. The town itself is small, but makes for an ideal base from which travelers can venture out to explore the variety of this Central American country's outdoor attractions and activities. These include snapping photos of gushing waterfalls (and swimming at the base of one, if you bring your swimsuit!), sightseeing near active volcanoes, bird-watching in nature reserves and sanctuaries and horseback riding on Pacific beaches . . . and that's just for starters. Visitors to Puerto Caldera and the surrounding region also enjoy shopping for handicrafts that local artists sell at their cooperatives, as well as sampling traditional Tico cuisine, especially gallo pinto—a combination of rice and beans eaten at any time of the day or night. Puerto Caldera is the perfect reminder that adventure often awaits just around the bend.
Puerto Caldera (Puntarenas), Costa Rica
 
 
Day At Sea

 
 
Day Enter Panama Canal Cristobal / Cruising Panama Canal / Exit Panama Canal Balboa
Arrive 05:00 AM Depart 05:00 AM / - - / Arrive 07:00 AM Depart 07:00 PM
Think of the Panama Canal, and the image that may come to mind is of the world’s huge tankers and cruise ships passing through a series of locks. That, however, reflects only one aspect of this part of the world. As ships travel from the Atlantic to the Pacific, they also pass colonial towns, historic fortresses and manmade lakes that are today home to sanctuaries for hundreds of different animal and plant species. At the Atlantic entrance to the Panama Canal, Colón evokes the old Panama of yesteryear, with its historic buildings gradually being restored. Some 77 kilometers (48 miles) to the south, at the canal’s Pacific entrance, Panama City's glittering skyline of office towers and condominiums reflects the country’s dynamic present and future. Traveling between these two cities, an epic tale unfolds before you—an old-school feat of engineering, ambition and courage. As David McCullough recounts in his sweeping history The Path Between the Seas, it was a combination of sheer human might and engineering prowess that today allows ships to cross the Panama isthmus, saving sailors from making the dangerous, almost 13,000-kilometer (8,000-mile) journey around the tip of South America.

Cruising Panama Canal

"The construction of the Panama Canal is one of those epic tales from the past, an old-school feat of engineering, ambition and courage. A cruise along it today is a journey through the centuries, from the Spanish fortifications near Limón Bay to the glittering skyline of Panama City, not to mention the canal itself. Over the course of a decade a little more than a century ago, tens of thousands of workers drilled dynamite holes, drove belching steam shovels and labored with pickaxes, all the while fighting off malaria. While the French builders of the Suez Canal ultimately gave up in Panama, American crews persevered and created a route allowing ships to travel across a continent. As David McCullough recounts in his sweeping history The Path Between the Seas, it was a combination of sheer human might and engineering prowess. In 2016 an expansion more than doubled the canal's capacity, ensuring it will continue to be central to the world's maritime traffic."

Exit Panama Canal Balboa

"At the end of your journey along the Panama Canal, you’ll reach Balboa, the town that sits at the Pacific entrance of the canal. Its namesake is Vasco Núñez de Balboa, the famed Spanish explorer who was the first European to see the Pacific from the New World. Balboa’s journey was historic, a legendary feat of the age of exploration. The construction of the canal that crosses the isthmus today was also a historic achievement, to this day the largest civil engineering project ever. Over the course of a decade at the beginning of the 20th century, a combination of sheer human might and engineering prowess was responsible for the construction of the canal. A journey from Colón, at the Caribbean end of the canal, to Balboa, at its Pacific end, allows you to marvel at this world wonder, as well as see colonial towns, historic fortresses and sanctuaries for Panama’s wildlife along the way. Measured by miles, the journey along the canal is relatively short, but it is one with an epic sweep. You will follow in the footsteps of giants from Balboa to the workers who built the canal. "
Enter Panama Canal Cristobal / Cruising Panama Canal / Exit Panama Canal Balboa
 
 
Day Cartagena, Colombia
Arrive Noon Depart 06:00 PM
The Spanish founded Cartagena, officially known as Cartagena de Indias, in 1533. The city rapidly became a thriving commercial port, where precious stones and minerals from the New World awaited shipment back to Spain. Situated in a bay on the Caribbean Sea, Cartagena had the most extensive fortifications in South America, once guarded by 29 stone forts and a high wall of coral-stone measuring 16-miles long, 40-feet high and 50-feet wide. Completed in 1657, the Castle of San Felipe de Barajas is said to be the most grandiose work of military architecture erected by Spain in the Americas. Today, Cartagena's riches are found in the Boca Grande, an area of the city with beautiful waterfront hotels, trendy restaurants, casinos and boutiques.
Cartagena, Colombia
 
 
Day At Sea

 
 
Day At Sea

 
 
Day Key West, Florida, US
Arrive 08:00 AM Depart 05:00 PM
"One of the first things you’ll notice about Key West, after the colorful gingerbread wooden houses and the amazing sunsets, is the constant crowing of roosters. Hundreds of the noisy birds—along with their quieter-clucking mates—roam the streets at all hours, and are nearly as synonymous with Key West as its six-toed cats, the famous furry residents of Ernest Hemingway’s mansion in the Old Town district. They’re all part of the quirky charm of the United States' southernmost point, whose compact 11 square kilometers (4.2 square miles) pack in everything from gorgeous historic architecture and spectacular fishing and sailing to a raucous party scene along famed Duval Street. While the island is known for its laid-back approach to life—“Margaritaville” singer Jimmy Buffett developed his signature musical style in bars around town—it also has a flourishing creative scene, with many galleries and artists' studios as well as live theater. But back to those brilliant sunsets: There is no shortage of places in Key West to soak in the fiery spectacle, from sunset cruises to rowdy waterfront bars to peaceful beachside parks. "
Key West, Florida, US
 
 
Day Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US
Arrive 07:00 AM
"Shimmering blue waters, swaying palm trees and soft ocean breezes greet you in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, where you'll find yourself somewhere between laid-back island time and the fast pace of a thriving city. In this sun-filled, year-round beach town, pristine beaches are the main attraction, shorts and flip-flops are the daily uniform, and yachts are often the preferred form of transportation. It's a place where you can do as much, or as little, as you desire. Because of its many canals and waterways, Ft. Lauderdale is sometimes called the Venice of America. It's home to the annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, one of the largest in-water boat shows in the world. Visitors can easily get a taste of the area's nautical lifestyle by cruising the Intracoastal Waterway on an old-fashioned paddle wheeler. Other options include hopping aboard one of the popular water taxis or Venetian gondolas that glide down the historic New River, which flows right through town. "
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US
 
 
Book Now