Ecuador and Panama – From Pacific Cities to Caribbean Islands

On this voyage you'll find departures with:

Early bird : Flight included

Duration: 10 days

Departure:
13 April 2021
Price from :
£ 3495 £ 3883 per person
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included
  • See a range of cities and islands around Central America and the Caribbean
  • Experience a transit of the Panama Canal aboard your small expedition ship
  • Spot wildlife such as whales, turtles, dolphins, manatees, and a range of seabirds
  • Enjoy yoga and meditation classes with a professional instructor
Scan for rich avian life like the blue-footed booby in Ecuador.
Photo: shutterstock
Ecuador and Panama
Explore history at Panama Viejo.
Photo: shutterstock
Explore history at Panama Viejo.
Explore colourful cities like Guayaquil.
Photo: shutterstock

Itinerary

This cruise first takes in the rich culture and colonial architecture along Ecuador’s colourful coast, stopping at the ports of Guayaquil, Manta and Puerto Bolivar. We then cross from the Pacific to the Caribbean Sea via the impressive Panana Canal. Spend the next few days hopping around Panama’s string of stunning tropical islands while watching for exotic wildlife and enjoying Yoga classes on deck.
Day 1
Guayaquil, Ecuador
Metropolis on the Ecuadorian Coast
Explore colourful cities like Guayaquil.
Explore colourful cities like Guayaquil.
Photo: shutterstock

Your journey starts with an overnight in this sprawling city, the largest in Ecuador. High-rise buildings line the Guayas river while colourful favelas blanket the hillsides. Visit Malecón 2000, the riverfront town square before posing with tame iganuas in the local park. Extend your adventure by adding a Pre-Programme to mystic Machu Picchu or the amazing Galápagos Islands.

Explore colourful cities like Guayaquil.
Explore colourful cities like Guayaquil.
Photo: shutterstock
Wander the city´s waterfront.
Wander the city´s waterfront.
Photo: shutterstock
See the impressive Cathedral Metropolitana.
See the impressive Cathedral Metropolitana.
Photo: shutterstock
Historic and charming neighbourhood Las Peñas.
Historic and charming neighbourhood Las Peñas.
Photo: Shutterstock
Day 2
Guayaquil, Ecuador
Embarkation on MS Fram
See the impressive Cathedral Metropolitana.
See the impressive Cathedral Metropolitana.
Photo: shutterstock

After breakfast at your hotel, we take you on a guided city tour by bus to see its highlights and learn about its history. Possible sites of interest include the Clock Tower that dates back to 1842 or Henry Morgan’s pirate ship along the river. The tour ends at the pier where MS Fram awaits embarkation.

Scan for avian life like this colourful hummingbird.
Day 3
Puerto Bolivar (Machala), Ecuador
Bananas, Hummingbirds and Petrified Forest
Day 3
Puerto Bolivar (Machala), Ecuador
Bananas, Hummingbirds and Petrified Forest
Scan for avian life like this colourful hummingbird.
Scan for avian life like this colourful hummingbird.
Photo: Shutterstock

Known as the banana capital of the world, this area is surrounded by banana plantations - approximately 80% of Ecuador’s bananas are shipped through Puerto Bolivar. Join an optional excursion to an organic plantation and learn about their unique process of growing their banana plants – by playing classical music for them. Further ashore you can explore the Buenaventura Reserve where you have the chance to observe hummingbirds, hawks and parakeets, or walk amongst fossilized trees, flowers, and plants in the Petrified Forest of Puyango on one of our optional excursions.

Discover the Puyango Petrified Forest.
Discover the Puyango Petrified Forest.
Photo: Shutterstock
Explore the area known as the world´s banana capital.
Explore the area known as the world´s banana capital.
Photo: Shutterstock
Manta´s scenic fishing port.
Manta´s scenic fishing port.
Photo: Shutterstock
Visit the home of the Panama hat.
Visit the home of the Panama hat.
Photo: Jesper Nielsen
Learn about the craftmanship of hatmaking from local experts.
Learn about the craftmanship of hatmaking from local experts.
Photo: Camille Seaman
Day 4
Manta, Ecuador
Made in Montecristi
Visit the home of the Panama hat.
Visit the home of the Panama hat.
Photo: Jesper Nielsen

Manta is a bustling port town with high-rise buildings and lovely beaches. You can visit the city museum which showcases artefacts from local pre-Colombian culture, a collection of Ecuadorian art, and weird and wonderful fishing paraphernalia. We recommend an excursion to nearby Montecristi where traditional Panamanian straw hats are hand woven.

Day 5
At Sea
Serenity at Sea
Learn in our Science Center.
Learn in our Science Center.
Photo: Andrea Klaussner

A day at sea means you can attend interesting lectures, learn basic expedition photography, and enjoy the fresh sea air out on deck as you scout for wildlife. You can also use microscopes in the Science Center to analyse samples taken during the voyage or participate in a yoga and meditation workshop.

Learn in our Science Center.
Learn in our Science Center.
Photo: Andrea Klaussner
Enjoy Yoga on deck.
Enjoy Yoga on deck.
Photo: Andrea Klaussner
Explore history at Panama Viejo.
Explore history at Panama Viejo.
Photo: shutterstock
Climb Ancón Hill for a panoramic view.
Climb Ancón Hill for a panoramic view.
Photo: shutterstock
Casco Antiguo boasts an attractive mix of architectual styles.
Casco Antiguo boasts an attractive mix of architectual styles.
Photo: Shutterstock
Day 6
Panama City, Panama
Cosmopolitan Capital
Climb Ancón Hill for a panoramic view.
Climb Ancón Hill for a panoramic view.
Photo: shutterstock

Panama City is much more than just the entrance to its famous canal. Visit the ruins of Old Panama City which was devastated by notorious pirate Henry Morgan. Hike 30 minutes up the 200-metre Ancón Hill and enjoy views of the skyscraper-lined cityscape and of the Casco Antiguo district which boasts a real mix of architectural styles.

Day 7
Panama Canal, Panama
Connecting Two Oceans
Marvel at the ingenuity of the Panama Canal.
Marvel at the ingenuity of the Panama Canal.
Photo: Getty Images

We enter the Panama Canal near the city of Balboa. Experience the canal transit and the ingenuity of the lock's system firsthand as MS Fram 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 Pacific to the Atlantic.

Marvel at the ingenuity of the Panama Canal.
Marvel at the ingenuity of the Panama Canal.
Photo: Getty Images
Enjoy front-row seats as we transit between oceans.
Enjoy front-row seats as we transit between oceans.
Photo: Andrea Klaussner
Find your own slice of paradise.
Day 8
San Blas Island, Panama
Eco-Conscious Paradise
Enjoy island colour and soft sand in the San Blas Islands.
Enjoy island colour and soft sand in the San Blas Islands.
Photo: Dietmar Denger
Local Guna Yala indians are proud of their islands and culture.
Local Guna Yala indians are proud of their islands and culture.
Photo: Andrea Klaussner
Day 8
San Blas Island, Panama
Eco-Conscious Paradise
Find your own slice of paradise.
Find your own slice of paradise.
Photo: shutterstock

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 9
Bocas del Toro, Panama
Galápagos of the Caribbean
Local rainforests host sloths and other amazing wildlife.
Local rainforests host sloths and other amazing wildlife.
Photo: Andrea Klaussner

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 `Galápagos of the Caribbean´ supports wildlife such as manatees, dolphins, turtles, sloths, monkeys, and iguanas.

Optional excursions
  • Bocas del Toro - Sustainable Cacao Farm
    Great views and chocolate tasting with a “feel good” factor! Enjoy a short boat tour and brief hike to the beautiful and fascinating Bocas Sustainable Farm.
  • Bocas del Toro - Cayo Zapatilla
    Visit the picturesque Zapatilla Cay – the setting for numerous episodes of the “Survivor” series. Enjoy the white sand beaches and fine coral for snorkelling as we scan for exotic wildlife.
  • Cacao Farm & Indigenous Community
    Get a taste of life in a Ngabe village, learn about organic cacao and enjoy a delicious chocolate tasting as you support the local community.
Local rainforests host sloths and other amazing wildlife.
Local rainforests host sloths and other amazing wildlife.
Photo: Andrea Klaussner
Bocas is home to Panama´s first National Marine Park.
Bocas is home to Panama´s first National Marine Park.
Photo: Andrea Klaussner
Colón´s harbour at the Atlantic entrance to the canal.
Colón´s harbour at the Atlantic entrance to the canal.
Photo: Shutterstock
Join a Post-Programme to discover more.
Join a Post-Programme to discover more.
Photo: Andrea Klaussner
Say farewell to your expedition ship for this time.
Say farewell to your expedition ship for this time.
Photo: Andrea Klaussner
Day 10
Colón, Panama
Entrance to the Panama Canal
Join a Post-Programme to discover more.
Join a Post-Programme to discover more.
Photo: Andrea Klaussner

Your journey ends here at the Atlantic entrance to the Panama Canal. Colón’s Canal Expansion Observation Center has viewing platforms over the locks and Gatún Lake. There is also a trade zone that attracts shoppers looking to make the most of its tax-free status. Why not explore more of Panama and add on a Post-Programme?

Hurtigruten offers unique expedition cruises to some of the most remote and pristine waters of the world. As with all expeditions; nature prevails. Weather, and ice and sea conditions, sets the final framework for all Hurtigruten’s operations. Safety and unparalleled guest experiences are at all times our top priorities. All our indicative itineraries are continuously evaluated for adaptions, whether this is due to constraints the elements unexpectedly presents – or exciting possibilities nature and wildlife offer. That is why we call it an expedition.
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What's included

Included in your voyage

Expedition Cruise  

  • Expedition cruise in a cabin of your choice
  • Overnight in Guayaquil, including breakfast before the expedition cruise
  • Transfer from the hotel to the ship, including guided tour of Guayaquil by bus
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner including beverages (house beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water) in restaurant Aune
  • À la carte restaurant Lindstrømincluded for suite guests 
  • Complimentary tea and coffee
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on board. Be aware that we sail in remote areas with limited connection. Streaming is not supported.
  • Complimentary reusable water bottle to use at water refill stations on board
  • English-speaking Expedition Team who organise and accompany activities on board and ashore 
  • Range of included excursions

Onboard Activities 

  • Experts on the Expedition Team deliver in-depth lectures on a variety of topics
  • Use of the ship’s Science Centerwhich has an extensive library and advanced biological and geological microscopes 
  • Citizen Scienceprogramme allows guests to assist with live scientific research 
  • Professional onboard photographer gives top tips and tricks for the best landscape and wildlife photos
  • Use of the ship’s hot tubs, panoramic sauna, indoor gym
  • Yoga and meditation sessions with an instructor
  • Informal gatherings with the crew such as daily recaps and preparation for the day to come

Landing Activities 

  • Escorted landings with small expedition boats
  • Loan of boots, trekking poles, and all equipment for activities
  • Complimentary wind and water-resistant expedition jacket
  • Expedition Photographers help with your camera settings before landings 

Not included in your voyage

  • International flights 
  • Travel insurance
  • Luggage handling
  • Optional shore excursions with our local partners
  • Optional small-group activities with our Expedition Team 

Notes

  • All planned activities are subject to weather conditions
  • Excursions and activities are subject to change 
  • Please ensure you meet all visa entry requirements
  • No gratuities expected 
MS Fram in Antarctica
Photo: Sandra Walser
Icebergs – one of many favorite photo motives when on an expedition with MS Fram
Photo: Tomas Mauch

Your ship

MS Fram

Year built 2007
Year of refurbishment 2020
Ship yard Fincantieri, Italy
Passenger capacity 318 (200 in Antarctica)
Beds 276
Car capacity 0
Gross tonnage 11 647 T
Length 114 m
Beam 20.2 m
Speed 13 knots
MS Fram in Antarctica
Photo: Sandra Walser

The original Fram was the most famous explorer ship of its time, and the achievements of her expeditions are unparalleled. MS Fram brings on the heritage of the original Fram, using the most advanced technology to make her exceptionally well suited for expedition voyages in Polar Regions.

Read more about MS Fram

Optional excursions

Some expedition cruises may include excursions that can be reserved for no additional charge. These included excursions can often be combined with other excursions available in port.

Please note excursions are subject to change and are not yet available for booking for departures after March 2021.

A bird perched on a tree branch A bird perched on a tree branch

Bocas del Toro - Sustainable Cacao Farm

Caribbean and Central America

Duration

4 - 5 h

Price per person

From £ 97

Booking code

A-BOC1

See excursion
Underwater view of a coral Underwater view of a coral

Bocas del Toro - Cayo Zapatilla

Caribbean and Central America

Duration

4h15

Price per person

From £ 113

Booking code

A-BOC2

See excursion
A boat is docked next to a body of water A boat is docked next to a body of water

Bocas del Toro - Cacao Farm & Indigenous Community

Caribbean and Central America

Duration

5 hours

Price per person

From £ 103

Booking code

A-BOC4

See excursion

Extend your cruise

Get more out of your journey by adding a Pre- or Post-programme before or after your expedition cruise.

A close up of a lizard A close up of a lizard

Guayaquil - Pre-Programme Galápagos Islands (20/21 and 21/22)

South America

Duration

4 Days

From

£ 2461

Booking code

GYEGALPRE

See program
A group of people in a garden A group of people in a garden

Guayaquil - Post-Programme Machu Picchu (20/21 and 21/22)

South America

Duration

4 Days

From

£ 2415

Booking code

GYEMACPOST

See program
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