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Caribbean Sea – Hidden Highlights and sailing through the Panama Canal (Itinerary 2)

Resort:Caribbean Sea – Hidden Highlights and sailing through the Panama Canal (Itinerary 2)
Operator: Hurtigruten
Destination: Caribbean and Central America, Central America
Price From: £3620.00

Overview

This exploration cruise takes you island hopping in the Caribbean, ending the journey with a transit through the Panama Canal. From Nassau, we visit a treasure trove of tropical islands in the Bahamas, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Nicaragua and Panama. Along the way, youll see the best beaches, lagoons, and coral reefs the Caribbean has to offer.

Itinerary

Day 1 Nassau, The Bahamas

Former pirate haven, lively Nassau still trades in rum and cigars, but now sports a bustling central shopping district and endless options to wine and dine. New Providence Island and Paradise Island are also renown for their beaches and splendid coral reefs. Take some time to explore more with a Pre-Programme before your expedition.

Day 2 At Sea

Enjoy a pleasant day at sea on the way to the Inagua Islands. The Expedition Team will begin their lecture series on the Caribbean. Spend time on deck looking for birds or other marine life following the ships wake. Make the most of the perfect climate and join a yoga workshop out on deck.

Day 3 Inagua Islands, The Bahamas

With 140 different species of exotic birds including over 80,000 flamingos, Inagua is a birdwatchers dream. The mangroves are also a natural habitat for nesting Hawkbill and Green sea turtles. Visit one of the three remaining kerosene-burning, hand-cranked lighthouses in The Bahamas or learn about the Islands main industry, salt production, from the friendly locals.

Day 4 Cockburn Town, Turks and Caicos

As capitals go, few are as calm and quiet as Cockburn. The long, narrow streets are lined with old street lamps and 18th and 19th century British Bermudian architecture. The National Museum houses Taino artifacts and an exhibit of theMolasses Reef Wreck, the oldest known European shipwreck in theAmericas, dated 1505.

Day 5 At Sea

Join the Expedition Team for interesting lectures, learn the basics of expedition photography, and spend time out on deck enjoying the fresh sea air as you scout for wildlife. Use the Science Centers state-of-the-art microscopes to observe the tiniest creatures in samples taken during this voyage. Continue your yoga routine and unwind with guided meditation.

Day 6 Port Antonio, Jamaica

Once a beach escape for celebrities in the 1940s, this quiet town is tucked well away from Jamaicas more touristic areas. With its makeshift markets and chatty street vendors, there is a romantic, slow-paced rhythm here. Trek to the stunning Reach Waterfall and famed Blue Lagoon, or take a bamboo raft to the aptly named Monkey Island.

Day 7 Montego Bay, Jamaica

Christopher Colombus first anchored here in 1494, calling it the Gulf of Good Weather. Today, it buzzes with locals and visitors out enjoying the beaches and exuberant eateries. Visit Rose Hall to learn about Mobays colonial history, explore hidden underground caves, or board a bamboo raft down the glistening Martha Brae River.

Day 8 George Town, Cayman Islands

There is an endless array of activities available in George Town. Go on a submarine tour, board a glass-bottom boat, go snorkelling, scuba-diving, parasailing, visit rum distilleries and art galleries, and of course, enjoy duty-free shopping and restaurants galore. The 19th century National Museum contains over 8,000 exhibits, including a 14-ft traditional handmade catboat.

Day 9 At sea

As we continue toward Central America, spend this sea day at your leisure. Take advantage of the many onboard facilities, relax and meditate in our yoga workshop, or join in on lectures as we recap our voyage.

Day 10 Isla de Providencia, Colombia

This tiny Colombian island in the Spanish Caribbean is a rare and unspoiled find off the grid. Tour the deserted golden beaches by buggy cart or go in search of pirate Henry Morgans hidden treasure. The diverse coral reefs are the centre point of UNESCOs Seaflower Biosphere Reserve, and kaleidoscopic marine life inspires the above nickname.

Day 11 Corn Island, Nicaragua

Most of the Creole population live in colourful wooden houses on Great Corn, engaging in lobster fishing. Hike up Mount Pleasant Hill for views of the coves and stunning horseshoe bays. Pristine coral reefs surround both islands, tantalising snorkelers with the likes of barracudas,nurse sharks, hammerheads,green sea turtles, andspotted eagle rays.

Day 12 Bocas del Toro, Panama

Bocas del Toro is a stunning archipelago brimming with deserted sandy beaches, teeming coral reefs, and lush rainforest. It is home to Panama’s first National Marine Park and one of the most biologically diverse places on Earth. This `Galpagos of the Caribbean supports wildlife such as manatees, dolphins, turtles, sloths, monkeys, and iguanas.

Day 13 San Blas Island, Panama

More than 365 cayes, islands and reefs make up the San Blas Islands. Only 49 are inhabited, exclusively by Guna Yala Indians, who protect their islands by only accepting ecologically friendly tourism and shunning mass market cruise ships. Try fresh red snapper with coconut rice and a Coco-Loco drink, before relaxing in a beach-side hammock.

Day 14 Panama Canal, Panama

We enter the Panama Canal near the city of Coln. Experience the canal transit and the ingenuity of the lock’s system firsthand as MS Fridtjof Nansen is lifted over 26 metres above sea level, passing through man-made channels and lakes to eventually emerge in the Caribbean Ocean, effectively crossing from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

Day 15 Panama City, Panama

Your voyage ends in Panama City, which is much more than just its famous canal. Visit the ruins of Old Panama City which was devastated by notorious pirate Henry Morgan. Hike Ancn Hill and enjoy views of the skyscraper-lined cityscape and of Casco Antiguo district which boasts a real mix of architectural styles.