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Viking Oceans Cruises – Panama Canal & the Pacific Coast (Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, United States) 18 Days

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  • 18 Days
  • River Cruise
  • 6 Countries

Map of Panama Canal & the Pacific Coast itinerary

Lush rainforests & landscapes

Sail across the Gulf of Mexico and discover the tranquil island of Cozumel, famed for its world-class diving spots and delicious seafood. Take in the historic gems of Cartagena, Colombia, and cruise to Panama to cross its historic canal, a 20th-century engineering marvel. See the lush rainforests and verdant landscapes of Puntarenas, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua’s tropical jungle, and explore Cabo San Lucas on the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula.

Panama Canal & the Pacific Coast

Departure & Return Location

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, United States / Los Angeles, California, United States

Departure Dates/Times

2023 Sailings on October, and on December

2024 Sailings on January, on March, on October, and on December

2025 Sailings on April

* Please check with us for dates & pricing

Rates

Cruise fare from $6,999.0 per person

* Please check with us for dates & pricing

What's Included

Itinerary

Day 1Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, United States

Embark your ship and settle into your stateroom. A beloved leisure destination for Floridians and visitors alike, the Ft. Lauderdale area exudes the carefree attitude of South Florida’s coast. In Miami, a thriving Cuban culture infuses Old Havana and gleaming high-rises overlook Biscayne Bay. On the outlying barrier islands, South Beach is an intoxicating blend of seaside glamour and art deco pastel brilliance. Farther north, the seven-mile-long Ft. Lauderdale Beach provides a more leisurely ambience. Along Las Olas Boulevard, cafés and boutiques invite lingering and endless browsing.

Day 2Scenic Sailing: Gulf of Mexico

The Gulf of Mexico has been a witness to much of the history of North and Central America. In 1497, Amerigo Vespucci was purportedly the first European to sail into the gulf’s basin, charting its coast and changing the world map. The lush green shores of Cuba unfold to the south, from Havana to Santa Lucia, the Caribbean sun glittering off coastal cities. On the northern coast of the Yucatán Peninsula, vegetation is sparse on its flat coastal landscape, creating a dramatic scenic contrast. Enjoy the amenities of your ship as you sail. Perhaps take a breath of fresh air on a brisk walk around the Promenade Deck or begin your day with a workout in the well-equipped Fitness Center.

Day 3Cozumel, Mexico

The island of Cozumel holds the keys to many of the most intriguing secrets of Mexico’s ancient civilizations. At San Gervasio, pre-Columbian women made offerings to Ix Chel, goddess of the moon and fertility. More recently, the Spanish left marks of their early presence in the colorful colonial architecture and lively traditions of San Miguel and at the scenic lighthouse at Punta Sur. Today, this island off Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula attracts as many snorkelers as it does history buffs; the Cozumel Reefs National Marine Park is the world’s second-largest coral reef system.

Day 4Sail the Caribbean Sea

Sail through turquoise waters where legends of marauding pirates, swashbucklers and tales of hidden treasures were born. As you sail today, savor a range of international cuisine on board. Choose from a variety of international flavors at the World Café, enjoy al fresco dining on the Aquavit Terrace, or regional specialties in The Restaurant.

Day 5Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena is Colombia’s cultural treasure. The walls of its extensive San Felipe de Barajas Fortress stretch for seven miles and are 25 feet thick, making them the longest in South America. Inside this impregnable fortress, Cartagena’s Ciudad Vieja, or Old City, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its remarkable preservation. Its many picturesque plazas and beautifully preserved buildings invite endless strolls and exploration. Lively Afro-Caribbean rhythms spill into the charming alleyways, offering a hint of the vibrancy throughout the city.

Day 6Colón, Panama

Colón lies near the Panama Canal’s Atlantic entrance. During the California gold rush, prospectors from the eastern United States sailed here, trekked across the narrow isthmus of Panama, then sailed up the Pacific coast, believing the journey easier than traversing the entire United States. Indigenous tribes maintain a strong presence in this northern corner of Panama. In the city’s rural reaches—the Emberá people—descended from ancient tribes, live in thatched-roof huts, travel by dugout canoe and weave traditional baskets.

Day 7Scenic Sailing: Panama Canal

The Panama Canal connects the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, crossing the narrowest stretch of the isthmus of Panama. A full transit through the 48-mile-long canal takes around eight to ten hours and passes through the Gatun Lake and the Culebra Cut, an artificial valley that runs through the Continental Divide. An engineering marvel of the 20th century, the crossing passes through a series of locks that lift and lower ships 85 feet from sea level, guided by electric locomotives known as mulas. The Panama Canal transit is a rite of passage and a truly memorable experience.

Day 8Sail the Pacific Ocean

Sail Mar Pacífico, meaning “peaceful sea,” dubbed by Ferdinand Magellan when he crossed these waters almost 500 years ago. As you sail today, savor a range of international cuisine on board. Choose from a variety of international flavors at the World Café, enjoy al fresco dining on the Aquavit Terrace, or regional specialties in The Restaurant.

Day 9Puntarenas (Puerto Caldera), Costa Rica

Puntarenas is the gateway to magnificent beaches and rich wildlife. The port prospered on the shoulders of coffee barons as oxcarts delivered satchels of beans to the docks from the mountains. With the opening of a railroad in 1879, the oxcarts disappeared, but coffee remains Costa Rica’s major export. Today, Puntarenas retains its fishing heritage, as colorful boats in the harbor attest, and the lush rainforests nearby offer endless walking trails under a dense canopy; rich in vegetation and echoing with the screeches of howler monkeys.

Day 10León (Corinto), Nicaragua

Léon boasts innumerable and incredibly preserved Spanish colonial churches, residences and other buildings, exuding a timeless atmosphere. The city is the gateway to some of the world’s most visually arresting vistas, from vast tropical jungles and soaring peaks to enormous freshwater lakes. Home to dozens of volcanoes, Nicaragua claims some of the most fertile soils on Earth and its farming culture has thrived for centuries. Many of the country’s fincas, or coffee plantations, open their doors so visitors can see how the beloved bean is grown, harvested and roasted.

Day 11Sail the Pacific Ocean

Traverse the world’s largest ocean, covering almost 64 million square miles. At twice the size of the Atlantic, the Pacific is an ocean of extremes. As you sail today, relax in the Explorers’ Lounge, inspired by epic journeys of discovery. Marvel at the views through the two-story panoramic windows as you share a cocktail with friends, or settle down to read a book.

Day 12Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Located at the tip of the 775-mile Baja Peninsula, where the Pacific Ocean meets the Gulf of California, Cabo—as it is commonly known—is one of Mexico’s top destinations for its long beaches, resorts, scuba diving and picturesque coast. Renowned for the spectacular rock formations that line its shores, this bustling playground boasts one of the region’s most scenic harbors. The sleepier side of this resort town lies in San José del Cabo. Its charming pink church, inviting town square and low adobe homes evoke an old colonial flair.

Day 13Sail the Pacific Ocean

Learn about the vast array of marine life that call the Pacific Ocean home. Gigantic humpback and blue whales troll the water for microscopic krill, while predators such as sharks and orcas feed on the likes of tuna and swordfish. As you sail today, attend an informative lecture or watch a film in our state-of-the-art theater. A range of insightful TED Talks and destination-inspired seminars are offered daily.

Day 14Los Angeles, California, United States

Los Angeles is renowned as the world’s leading center of film and television, and is home to an endless array of museums, concert venues and other cultural institutions. The city also offers some of the best dining in the world. Along the palm-lined streets of Beverly Hills, grand celebrity mansions hide behind iron gates. The chic shops of Rodeo Drive invite endless browsing. The Roosevelt Hotel, an icon built in the 1920s that once served as the residence of Clark Gable and Carole Lombard, oversees the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the historic Grauman’s Chinese Theater. After breakfast, disembark your ship and journey home.

Additional Info

* One shore excursion included per port; all others available at an extra charge.

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