Highlights of South America – Land and Sea Expedition

Highlights of South America – Land and Sea Expedition

Highlights of South America – Land and Sea Expedition

Highlights of South America – Land and Sea Expedition

Travel information 14 days MS Fram
October 6, 2024
Price from $ 9,103
$ 7,231
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

14-day expedition cruise through the Panama Canal and down South America’s Pacific coast to Lima, crossing the Andean Plateau

The legendary Panama Canal

Sail through the legendary Panama Canal as we head off on a South American adventure.

From the jungles of Central America to the high-altitude Andean Plateau of the Altiplano, you’ll visit a community where Panama hats are made, as well as the intriguing ruins of ancient Chan Chan. After a week at sea exploring the highlights of the Pacific coast, your adventure turns inland, where you will discover Lima on a panoramic bus tour.

Mysteries of the Andes

You’ll fly to the ancient Inca capital of Cusco to discover the region’s mysterious treasures, including Machu Picchu, before continuing to the high altitudes of Lake Titicaca. Here, you will experience the warmth of the Uru people, who live on floating islands, and visit the Sillustani tombs. Return to Lima for your final stop, and enjoy the opportunity to discover South America’s hottest culinary destination.

Highlights of South America – Land and Sea Expedition Highlights of South America – Land and Sea Expedition
  • Day 1
    Colón, Panama

    Embarking at Colón  

    October 6, 2024

    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 1
    Colón, Panama

    Embarking at Colón  

  • Day 2
    Panama Canal, Panama 

    Travel through the Panama Canal

    October 7, 2024

    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 2
    Panama Canal, Panama 

    Travel through the Panama Canal

  • Day 3
    At sea 

    On the way to Ecuador 

    October 8, 2024

    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 3
    At sea 

    On the way to Ecuador 

  • Day 4
    Manta, Ecuador 

    Made in Montecristi  

    October 9, 2024

    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.

    Day 4
    Manta, Ecuador 

    Made in Montecristi  

  • Day 5
    Puerto Bolívar, Ecuador 

    Bountiful Puerto Bolívar 

    October 10, 2024

    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.

    Day 5
    Puerto Bolívar, Ecuador 

    Bountiful Puerto Bolívar 

  • Day 6
    At sea 

    Science and leisure 

    October 11, 2024

    Relaxation, research – or a bit of both

    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 6
    At sea 

    Science and leisure 

  • Day 7
    Salaverry, Peru 

    Trujillo and Chan Chan 

    October 12, 2024

    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.

    Day 7
    Salaverry, Peru 

    Trujillo and Chan Chan 

  • Day 8
    Callao, Peru 

    Ancient and modern Lima 

    October 13, 2024

    Explore ‘The City of Kings’

    We’ll disembark in Callao and transfer to Lima, where we’ll discover an extraordinary blend of ancient and modern on today’s guided panoramic bus tour.

    We’ll see the colonial architecture of the UNESCO-listed historic center and visit the sacred Inca pyramid of Huaca Pucllana in Miraflores. We will also see some of Lima’s most beautiful parks, like El Parque del Amor (‘Love Park’). We’ll also visit the fascinating Larco Museum, which holds the best private collection of pre-Columbian art in the country.

    You can then spend the rest of the day at your leisure before settling down for a relaxing evening at your hotel.

    Day 8
    Callao, Peru 

    Ancient and modern Lima 

  • Day 9
    Cusco, Peru

    Imperial Cusco    

    October 14, 2024

    Explore the center of the Inca Empire.

    After breakfast, you will transfer to the Lima airport to catch your flight to Cusco, the Imperial City and archeological capital of South America.

    You can admire some of the finest examples of Inca history and architecture – including the Santo Domingo church, built over the Inca temple of Koricancha, and the Sacsayhuamán fortress, a 15th-century ceremonial compound featuring panoramic views of the city. Other tour highlights include a visit to the Sulca Textiles Museum and a stop at the main square to admire the stunning cathedral, which dates back to the Spanish colonial era.

    You’ll then enjoy a comfortable night’s stay at your hotel in Cusco.

    Day 9
    Cusco, Peru

    Imperial Cusco    

  • Day 10
    Machu Picchu 

    Mystical Machu Picchu  

    October 15, 2024

    Discover the Lost City of the Incas

    Start your day with a transfer to Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley. Then we board the deluxe Hiram Bingham train to Machu Picchu, enjoying brunch while the breathtaking Andean scenery rolls past.

    Estimated to have been built around 1450, Machu Picchu was abandoned during the Spanish conquest. It was hidden by jungle for centuries, rediscovered only in 1911. The Incas left no written records, so mystery surrounds this magnificent stronghold. Enjoy the trails around the ruins, admire the precise Inca stonework, and meet some of the friendly resident llamas.

    After the day’s adventures are done, we head back to Cusco for another relaxing overnight stay.

    Day 10
    Machu Picchu 

    Mystical Machu Picchu  

  • Day 11
    The Altiplano Path 

    The Altiplano Path 

    October 16, 2024

    Cross the awe-inspiring Andean Plateau

    Take an unforgettable journey by bus across the Northern Andean Plateau, or the Altiplano, as it’s known.

    The Altiplano is one of the world’s largest and highest plateaus, sitting over 12,000 ft above sea level. The vast plateau extends into Bolivia, northern Peru, and southern Chile. During this full day of adventure, you’ll pass through breathtaking scenery and be awed by the imposing Andes. There will be many opportunities to photograph this remarkable landscape. You will enjoy a delicious picnic lunch en route.

    At the end of your journey, rest and prepare yourself for Lake Titicaca with a comfortable overnight stay in Puno.

    Day 11
    The Altiplano Path 

    The Altiplano Path 

  • Day 12
    Lake Titicaca 

    Uru community at Lake Titicaca  

    October 17, 2024

    See handwoven islands in South America’s largest lake

    The sheer beauty of Lake Titicaca will amaze you. Visit the rural community of Llachón, which has spectacular views over the lake. Enjoy a guided kayaking tour on the peaceful, deep blue waters. You will also join a guided walk before joining a local family for a traditional lunch.

    Then we will take a boat tour to reach the Uro people on their floating islands, which shimmer golden in the sun. These otherworldly islands are woven from the reeds that grow in the lake.

    At the end of the day, relax and reflect at your hotel in Puno.

    Day 12
    Lake Titicaca 

    Uru community at Lake Titicaca  

  • Day 13
    Sillustani tombs 

    Sillustani tombs    

    October 18, 2024

    Visit the Sillustani tombs

    Before heading to the airport to catch your flight to Lima, we will take time to stop at the Sillustani tombs, a pre-Inca burial place overlooking Lake Umayo.

    The tombs (also called chullas) are tower-like structures built by the ancient Colla people, some as tall as 39 feet and big enough to hold entire families. Enjoy a picnic lunch by the shores of the lake in this peaceful and mysterious place.

    After exploring this archeological marvel, we head to the local airport for our flight to Lima. In Lima, your local guide will transfer you to your hotel and you can enjoy the evening at your leisure.

    Day 13
    Sillustani tombs 

    Sillustani tombs    

  • Day 14
    Lima, departure 

    Lima’s UNESCO treasures 

    October 19, 2024

    End your adventure in Peru’s culinary capital

    Your expedition ends in Lima, once known as ‘The City of Kings’.

    Head back to Lima’s historical center, a jewel of Spanish architecture, to admire the colonial-era churches, monasteries, and elegant mansions.

    Known as the food capital of South America, you have a range of choices at your fingertips, 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. It’s the perfect place to end your adventure.

    Day 14
    Lima, departure 

    Lima’s UNESCO treasures 



  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

What’s included

Land Program: Peru/Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca (after the cruise)

  • Two nights at a hotel in Lima, including breakfast
  • Two nights at a hotel in Cusco and two nights at a hotel in Puno, including half board
  • Set lunch on Days 8–10 and 12. Picnic lunch on Days 11 and 13.
  • Flight in economy class from Lima to Cusco and Juliaca to Lima
  • All transfers, excursions, and train rides as described, including English-speaking guides
  • Entrance fees according to the itinerary

Expedition Cruise

  • Stay in a cabin of your choice
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner, including beverages* in the Aune restaurant
  • Fine-dining À la carte restaurant Lindstrøm is included for suite guests
  • 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
  • Range of included activities

*House beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water

†Please note that Wi-Fi and phone reception are very limited in the remote areas where we travel, and streaming is not supported.

Onboard activities

  • In-depth lectures and discussions hosted by experts on the Expedition Team
  • Full use of our Science Center, small library, and advanced biological and geological equipment
  • The Citizen Science Program allows guests to contribute to ongoing scientific research projects.
  • Our onboard professional photographer will give photography tips and teach techniques for capturing landscape and wildlife photos.
  • The ship has hot tubs, a sauna with a view, and an indoor gym
  • Join informal gatherings with the crew for daily briefings.


  • Loan of boots, trekking poles, and all equipment needed for the activities
  • Complimentary wind- and water-resistant expedition jacket
  • Expedition photographers will be on hand to assist you.


  • All planned activities are subject to weather conditions
  • Excursions and activities are subject to change
  • Please ensure you meet all entry and boarding requirements
  • No gratuities are expected
  • The land program in Peru takes place at high altitudes. Lake Titicaca has an altitude of approximately 12,500 feet and the altitude of the city of Cusco is approximately 11,100 feet, which may require a certain level of physical fitness. The order of sights visited may vary.

Not included in your voyage

  • International flights
  • Travel protection
  • Baggage handling
  • Optional shore excursions with our local partners
  • Optional small-group activities with our Expedition Team
MS Fram in Greenland
Photo: Stian Klo
MS Fram in Antarctica
Photo: Sandra Walser
Your Ship

MS Fram

Year built 2007
Year of refurbishment 2022
Shipyard Fincantieri, Italy
Passenger capacity 318 (200 in Antarctica)
Beds 276
Car capacity 0
Gross tonnage 11,647 T
Length 374 ft
Beam 66.3 ft
Speed 13 knots
MS Fram in Greenland
Photo: Stian Klo

The original Fram was the most famous explorer ship of her time, and the achievements of her Arctic and Antarctic expeditions are the stuff of legend. In this spirit, the comfortable surroundings and advanced technology on today’s MS Fram – which was fully upgraded in summer 2022 – make her exceptionally well suited for modern expedition cruising.

Read more about MS Fram

Icebergs – one of many favorite photo motives when on an expedition with MS Fram
Photo: Tomas Mauch
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