Sail through the legendary Panama Canal as we head off on an adventure through the Pacific Ocean. From the jungles of Central America all the way to the deserts of Chile, you’ll experience a kaleidoscope of culture, color, and curiosities as we sample some of Latin America’s greatest highlights.
- 14 night expedition cruise aboard MS Fram (Hurtigruten Expeditions)
- Meals, including beverages*, in the Aune and Fredheim restaurants
- Complimentary tea and coffee
- Complimentary Wi-Fi on board**
- Complimentary reusable water bottle
- English-speaking Expedition Team who organize and guide activities, both on board and ashore
- Loan of boots, trekking poles, and all equipment needed for the activities
- Complimentary wind- and water-resistant expedition jacket
|October 6, 2024||Cruise Only|
|Rates in USD. Per person based on double occupancy.
Taxes & Fees are included
*House beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water
**Wi-Fi and phone reception are very limited in the remote areas where we travel, and streaming is not supported.
Other dates are available. Please call for more details!
Visit vibrant cities, jungle ruins, pretty resorts, and isolated islands along the Pacific coasts of Panama, Ecuador, Peru, and Chile.
- Enjoy feast of street food or fine dining, try ceviche, chifa and picarones. Finish of with Pisco sour, made from local brandy.
- Learn about great Pre-Columbian indigenous civilisations — the Moche, Chimu, Quechua, and the most famous of all, the Incas.
- Melting pot of cultures: from authentic Panama hats to Afro-Colombian community and the unique Uro people in Lake Titicaca.
- South America has the world’s most biodiverse region with an unparalleled number of plant and animal species.
|5||Puerto Bolívar, Ecuador|
|14||La Serena, Chile|
Day 1: Embarking at Colón
Get ready to start your adventure
Your South American expedition cruise begins in Colón, which stands at the entrance to the Panama Canal on the Atlantic coast. It’s a bustling cosmopolitan center with hot springs, a thriving handicraft industry, and wonderful local restaurants.
If you’d like to explore more of Panama, you can join an optional Pre-Program.
However you choose to spend your time in Panama, your expedition ship will be ready and waiting. Once on board, locate your cabin, explore the ship, and meet your Expedition Team.
Day 2: Travel through the Panama Canal
Navigate one of the world’s greatest engineering marvels.
Early in the morning, we’ll enter the Panama Canal, an impressive and complex network of ingenious locks stretching 50 miles through natural and man-made waterways. Weather permitting, our Expedition Team will invite you on deck and tell the story of this ambitious project.
Halfway through our transit, we’ll enter the Gatun Lake section, which is one of the world’s largest artificial lakes and is surrounded by verdant rainforest. Keep an eye out for crocodiles, alligators, monkeys, and even sloths.
After around twelve hours, we’ll emerge into the Pacific, having passed from one great ocean to another.
Day 3: On the way to Ecuador
Enjoy a day at sea
As we sail towards Ecuador, take time to relax and learn more about the ship. Go on deck and scan for wildlife – whales can often be seen in these waters. Your Expedition Team can be found in the Science Center. They’ll be giving some interesting talks on a range of topics.
While you’re there, ask about the Citizen Science projects we’re running. If you’d simply like to relax and enjoy the journey, try out a hot tub or settle into the comfort of the Explorer Lounge & Bar and watch the world pass by. Later, stargazing from the deck is a lovely way to end your day.
Day 4: Made in Montecristi
Discover the birthplace of Panama hats in… Ecuador?
It’s not every day that you get the opportunity to seek Neptune’s blessing. That’s just what we’ll do in a traditional – and somewhat quirky – ceremony as we cross the Equator in the early morning.
Later, we’ll dock at the port of Manta and set foot on South American soil as we visit the town of Montecristi. Known for its handicrafts, you can buy a stylish, genuine Panama hat here, expertly handwoven from the leaves of the jipijapa tree.
Wander around this interesting town and take a look at the imposing white church, or take in the colorful street art and murals. Returning to Manta, we’ll stop at the archeological museum.
INCLUDED: Visit the archaeological museum of Manta and discover Montecristi, home of the Panama hat.
Day 5: Bountiful Puerto Bolívar
Explore a bustling port with a charming atmosphere
We have a fruitful day ahead exploring Puerto Bolívar, a port in the city of Machala that exports coffee, cocoa, shrimp, and masses of bananas. Puerto Bolívar is dubbed the ‘Banana Capital of the World’, as it ships more of Ecuador’s ‘green gold’ than anywhere else in the country.
Machala itself has all the charm you’d expect from a small coastal city, including friendly locals, quaint plazas, and striking monuments. You can try delicious fresh seafood at the harbor restaurants, taking in views of the mangrove swamps of Isla Jambeli. Then stroll through the local markets, plazas, and the Casa de la Cultura museum.
INCLUDED: On a guided tour, visit the market of Machala, the archaeological and paleontological museum, and a local craft fair.
Day 6: Leisure and learning
Your Pacific coast cruise continues as we head towards Peru. As we sail, soak up the scenery on deck, dine on delicious food, or just enjoy the onboard facilities.
The Expedition Team will continue their talks in the Science Center, sharing insights on all kinds of topics. You may learn about Indigenous communities and cultures, local geology, and pre-Columbian history, among other things.
Out on deck, they’ll help you identify the seabirds that like to follow our ship, as well as other wildlife. Our onboard photographer will be on hand with tips.
Day 7: Salaverry, Peru
Discover Trujillo’s ancient kingdoms
Salaverry is the gateway port to Peru’s third-largest city, Trujillo, and some fascinating archeological sites. Colorful Trujillo boasts a Baroque cathedral, colonial churches, and Neoclassical mansions, as well as one of the longest mosaic murals in the world.
Nearby, the vast ancient ruins of the Chimú city of Chan Chan date back to at least 900 CE. On the other side of Trujillo, the mysterious Moche pyramids of the Sun and the Moon are from even further back in history.
Back on the ship, there will be a traditional Peruvian dance performance.
INCLUDED: Learn about Peru’s many different cultural traditions and enjoy a dance performance.
Day 8: Lima – a city both ancient and modern
Explore Peru’s historic capital
Lima’s historical center is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s a jewel of Spanish-era architecture, from colonial churches and monasteries to elegant mansions. Go further back in time and learn about the city’s pre-Hispanic heritage at the ruins of the Huaca Pucllana pyramid.
Known as the food capital of South America, Lima has everything from specialty restaurants to can’t-miss street food. We recommend trying ceviche, Peru’s national dish. It is fresh fish marinated in lime juice, onion, and chili.
INCLUDED: Explore beautiful Lima on a guided tour.
Day 9: Ballestas and Nazca
Discover extraordinary wildlife and ancient mysteries
Among Peru’s most notable attractions are the Nazca Lines and the Ballestas Islands, both of which are accessible from Paracas.
Known as El Chaco, the town has an array of restaurants along the main shorefront where you can enjoy traditional jalea – fried seafood with salsa criolla (Creole sauce) and yuca root. Just offshore are the wildlife-rich Ballestas Islands. On today’s boat tour, look for Humboldt penguins, turtles, pelicans, sea lions, Inca terns, and humpback whales as you cruise around the islands.
You can also explore the Paracas National Reserve, with its otherworldly yellow sand dunes and red beaches. Another option is to fly over the mysterious Nazca Lines, etched in the Peruvian coastal desert – an experience on many people’s bucket lists.
Day 10: Clear skies, cool climate
Rich marine life produced by the Humboldt Current
As we cruise towards Chile, we’ll sail through the Humboldt Current. The cold-water climate here creates conditions that sustain an incredible abundance of marine life, including vast shoals of anchovies, mackerel, and sardines. Your Expedition Team will tell you more about the Humboldt Current’s importance to the marine ecosystem.
Visit the Science Center to find out more. Your Expedition Team will tell you more about its importance and impact on the marine ecosystem.
You’ll also have plenty of time to relax in the hot tub, work out in the gym, and take in stunning views and stimulating breezes from out on deck.
Day 11: Sunny Arica
Stretch your legs in sunny Arica
Arica experiences a year-round desert climate and is classed as one of the driest cities in the world, unusual for a place by the ocean. No wonder the city is popular with sunbathers and surfers.
On the lively streets Calle 21 de Mayo and Bolognesi, you can try local treats and peruse the El Agro market. Take a 15-minute hike up the remarkable El Morro cliff for glorious views, or visit San Marcos Cathedral, designed by Gustave Eiffel.
See mummies and learn about Chinchorro culture at the archeological museum. You could also stretch your legs on a trek along Playa Corazones or explore the Caves of Anzota.
Day 12: Iquique and the Atacama Desert
Discover the history of UNESCO-listed Humberstone
Our cruise continues to bustling Iquique, a flat city of promenades lined with palm trees.
We’ll visit the abandoned saltpeter mining towns of Santa Laura and UNESCO-listed Humberstone in the arid Atacama Desert. Back in Iquique, explore this cosmopolitan oceanside city on foot, or simply pull up a chair in a café and do some people watching.
While you’re there, enjoy a delicious coffee or a traditional mango sour and chumbeque, a beloved regional sweet. You can also pay a visit to La Esmeralda, a four-masted corvette from the 19th century that has historical significance.
Day 13: Relax at sea
Reflect on your adventure
Your expedition cruise down South America’s Pacific coast continues towards La Serena in Chile.
By this stage of your journey, you’ll have struck up friendships with your fellow explorers after finding interests in common and sharing a passion for nature. Chat the day away in the Explorer Lounge and Bar and recall the best parts of your expedition cruise so far.
Of course, the Expedition Team will continue to deliver insightful lectures in the Science Center. You can also delve into the books in the onboard library if you want to learn more about a particular subject.
Day 14: Stunning La Serena
Explore the ‘City of Churches’ and Serena Beach.
Docking at the port of Coquimbo, we’ll head to Chile’s second-oldest city, La Serena.
La Serena is blessed with beautiful sandy beaches all along Avenida del Mar and beyond. Bursting with classical architecture, there are around 30 carefully restored stone churches to discover, and you can visit the Archeological Museum to marvel at pre-colonial artifacts.
Take a stroll through the city’s manicured public gardens, like the Japanese-inspired Jardín del Corazón. You can also shop for handicrafts at La Recova market. Down the picturesque lane of Patio Colonial, near Balmaceda, you’ll find relaxed cafés and eateries. Before boarding the ship, leave some time to explore Coquimbo.
Day 15: Valparaíso, a UNESCO gem
End your cruise in style in Valparaíso.
Your South American Pacific coast expedition cruise ends in Valparaíso. Known as the ‘Jewel of the Pacific,’ this UNESCO-listed city is built on steep hillsides overlooking the ocean. It’s well worth spending time exploring before you fly home.
It’s an exhilarating maze of winding alleyways and barrios, colorful houses, and mercados packed with local produce. It is intriguing and sure to leave an impression. Take it all in on a cable car ride up to Cerro Alegre and Concepción.
Your cruise may have come to an end, but not necessarily your adventure. If you’re hungry for more, join an optional Post-Program.
Hurtigruten Group is the leader in the travel industry towards a greener future.
Committed to taking care of our guests, wildlife, nature, and the communities we visit, we’re setting a new standard of sustainability for the travel industry.
Exploring our blue planet for more than a century has taught us the importance of being green.
We are now supporting 41 environmental, cultural and social projects in 11 different countries. These range from helping endangered orcas in the Pacific Northwest and protecting Galápagos seabirds, to securing safe spaces for vulnerable Greenlandic children and enabling community storytelling for the Itquamavit elders in Canada’s frozen north. We hope that the ripples we create today will one day turn into the waves of the future. With the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals as our compass, our cruises to the planet’s most stunning corners are where explorers can truly feel at home. After all, it’s not about us, it’s about all of us.
Saying Goodbye to Plastic
We announced our war on plastics in 2018 when we were the first expedition company to ban non-essential single-use plastic throughout our entire operation. That means you won’t find items like plastic cups, plastic straws or plastic cutlery on board our ships. You also won’t see our shops selling microplastic-made fleeces but stocking natural wool clothing instead. Absent too are plastic water bottles. We provide all our guests on an expedition cruise with a complimentary high-quality reusable bottle for use at water refill stations dotted around the ship. This simple act saves at least 1,000 plastic bottles a day on some of our larger ships.
Inspiring Environmental Ambassadors
Witnessing the beauty of our planet is sure to leave a lasting impression on you, and you’ll talk enthusiastically about these stunning destinations with friends and family for decades to come. To make sure you can speak informatively when you return home, every one of our expedition cruises has a focus on the environment.
The Expedition Team give lectures that raise awareness of climate change, ocean plastic, and the measures we can all take to help ease these issues. It is our hope that engaging with nature on our expedition cruises will inspire you to do all you can to cherish and protect the precious world we all share.
Connecting With Communities
We are dedicated to supporting the local communities we visit, and to creating beneficial ripple effects that continue long after we’ve left. By trading locally and sourcing services such as food produce and excursions from local suppliers, we contribute to the livelihood and welfare of people.
We strive not only to connect with these communities, but to share genuine friendship with them while always respecting their values and customs. As guests in their home, our emphasis is on appreciating their unique culture and ensuring our interactions are positive and upbuilding for all. You can therefore enjoy authentic experiences knowing your visit is doing good, both for you and for them.
A Footprint We’re Proud Of
You’ll likely encounter a range of wildlife during your expedition, doing so from a safe distance. We’ll be sure to never get too close to them, out of respect for their welfare as much as yours. By not disturbing wildlife with our presence, you’ll be able to observe their natural behavior, in their natural habitat. We want to leave nothing but footprints and take nothing but pictures! In fact, in many of the areas we visit in Antarctica, we even specifically wipe out our footprints so as to prevent penguins tripping and falling into them.
Working Together As One
Sustainability isn’t something we can do alone. Everyone in our industry needs to work together for a greener future. We are therefore founding members of the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) and members of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO). These trade member organisations work to establish sustainable tourism in polar regions, fighting mass tourism by limiting ships and shore visits, and creating guidelines that protect fragile environments and rare wildlife.
We’ve also committed ourselves to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. These guiding principles will take us steps ahead of current regulations to offer you greener and more sustainable expedition cruises on and for the planet.
Serving Planet-Friendly Plant-Based Food
We offer full menus of delicious plant-based dishes that will impress even those yet to be convinced by this way of eating. These meals not only have low or even zero CO2 footprints, they also promote healthier living and prove conclusively that vegan and vegetarian cuisine can still taste great. We’ve also put in place food management waste programmes on all our ships, aiming to reduce food waste by at least 30%.
Investing in Green Tech
Building our two new hybrid-powered expedition ships, MS Roald Amundsen and MS Fridtjof Nansen, represents the biggest investment in our almost 130 years of history. They are packed with ground-breaking green technology, such as battery packs, heat recovery systems, and a cutting-edge hull design. These innovations combined reduce carbon emissions by more than 20 %, compared to other cruise ships of the same size.
Hurtigruten stopped using heavy fuel oil more than a decade ago and campaign for its worldwide ban. To set a new standard, we are also considering a range of new, green fuel options, including biofuels made from organic waste.