Panama Canal & Colonial Highlights with Machu Picchu

Panama Canal & Colonial Highlights with Machu Picchu

Panama Canal & Colonial Highlights with Machu Picchu

Panama Canal & Colonial Highlights with Machu Picchu

Travel information 11 days MS Roald Amundsen, MS Fridtjof Nansen
Departures
October 8, 2022
October 9, 2022
September 26, 2023
October 3, 2023
Price from $ 7,982
$ 6,854
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

Your expedition begins in Colón, where you’ll transit the famous Panama Canal to reach the Pacific Ocean. We then head south to visit cities in Ecuador and Peru, where we’ll experience beautiful beaches and UNESCO sites. Then you’ll explore the grandest archeological mystery of them all: mighty Machu Picchu.

The Panama Canal

Traverse the Panama Canal before sailing south to Manta and the nearby town of Montecristi, famous for its Panama hats. Visit a banana plantation in Puerto Bolivar on an optional excursion before sailing south to Salaverry, in Peru. Strong currents may make landing here a challenge. If we do get ashore, however, you may have the opportunity to join optional excursions to the ruins of the ancient Chimú kingdom and the Mochican temples of the Sun and Moon.

Incan Secrets and Mysteries

Roam the imposing Ollantaytambo fortress before boarding the Hiram Bingham train to the once-hidden Machu Picchu. Wandering the ruins, develop your own theories about the mountain city’s mysterious rise and fall, whose facts still elude archeologists today. We then travel to Sacsayhuamán fortress, above Cusco, where you’ll behold Incan craftsmanship and architecture at their finest. The adventure comes to an end in the Peruvian capital of Lima, home to a historic center filled with Colonial cathedrals and Baroque buildings.

Panama Canal & Colonial Highlights with Machu Picchu Panama Canal & Colonial Highlights with Machu Picchu
  • Day 1
    Colón, Panama

    Gateway to the Panama Canal

    The city of Colón lies by the entrance to the Panama Canal on the Atlantic coast. Here, you you’ll find high-quality hotels, a casino, hot springs, a thriving handicraft scene, and great restaurants featuring local delicacies. If you want to really explore the city or join a Pre-Program where you’ll spend time in a beautiful jungle lodge next to the Chagres River, you should arrange to arrive a couple of days earlier.

    Once you board the ship, you’ll pick up your complimentary expedition jacket, settle into your cabin, explore the ship, and attend a mandatory safety drill. After the welcome dinner (featuring a toast by the captain), you’ll meet your Expedition Team, who will run through important health and safety protocols with you.

    Day 1
    Colón, Panama

    Gateway to the Panama Canal

  • Day 2
    Panama Canal

    Connecting two oceans

    We depart Colón early in the morning to start the process entering the Panama Canal. The complex canal network is over a hundred years old, stretching almost 50 miles through natural and man-made waterways. We’ll wait eagerly for our allocated slot to enter the first of a series of huge locks. In a feat of modern engineering, these ingenious locks effectively lift the ship more than 80 feet above sea level. If weather allows, the Expedition Team will be on deck to point out sites of interest around the canal and talk about the history of this ambitious project.

    Roughly halfway through the 12-hour transit of the canal, the ship will enter the Gatun Lake section. Created after the nearby Chagres River was damned, it’s one of the largest artificial lakes in the world. In contrast, the surrounding rainforest is virtually untouched by any development. The flora and fauna native to Central America flourish here, undisturbed. If you’re lucky, you may spot a crocodile or alligator ashore. Watch the trees and you may also catch a glimpse of a monkey (and maybe even a sloth or two).

    After a few more locks and lakes, the ship will pass under the Bridge of the Americas and emerge in the Pacific Ocean. In one day, you’ll have experienced the culmination of centuries of planning, hard work, and resourcefulness, and cross from one great ocean to another in the process. It’s sure to be an experience you won’t forget.

    Day 2
    Panama Canal

    Connecting two oceans

  • Day 3
    At Sea

    Welcome to the Pacific

    Spend some of your day at sea taking a relaxing walk on deck. Enjoy the seascapes and keep an eye out for marine wildlife like whales, sea lions, and seabirds. Want to feel closer to the water? Go for a dip in the infinity pool or one of the two outdoor hot tubs (where you can still admire the scenery).

    Head to the Science Center and make the most of the Expedition Team’s lectures to learn about what you will experience in the following days. Participate in a Citizen Science project, where you will help contribute to ongoing research around the world. When darkness falls and it’s a starry night, you can also join the Expedition Team on deck for some stargazing.

    When you’ve worked up an appetite, head to one of the three restaurants on board for varied and delicious meals. Afterward, grab a seat in the Explorer Lounge & Bar and raise a glass or two with your new-found friends.

    Day 3
    At Sea

    Welcome to the Pacific

  • Day 4
    Manta, Ecuador

    Made in Montecristi

    We cross the Equator early in the morning. In a traditional ceremony, we’ll seek King Neptune’s blessing on board. If luck is on our side, he might even make an appearance before we reach our first call in Ecuador.

    The main attraction of the day will be to Montecristi, located 5 miles inland from the tuna-fishing port city of Manta. It was established in the 16th century by manteños fleeing the frequent pirate raids on the coast. Even though it is located in Ecuador, Montecristi is the actual birthplace of the Panama hat, despite its name. The misnomer originated when President Roosevelt wore one of these hats on a visit to the Panama Canal in 1904, sparking their popularity worldwide. There are plenty of shops selling the genuine article, which local artisans have expertly handwoven from the leaves of the jipijapa tree.

    When you’re done hat-hunting, browse the stalls at the town’s pretty plaza, admire the architecture of the church, and look at the varied street art. One prominent mural at the plaza depicts General Eloy Alfaro, two-time Ecuadorian President and a Montecristi native. If time allows, head to the top of the main hill, where there is a museum and a grandiose mausoleum in honor of Alfaro, who was also known as the Viejo Luchador (Old Warrior).

    • Included Manta and Montecristi Highlights
    Day 4
    Manta, Ecuador

    Made in Montecristi

  • Day 5
    Puerto Bolivar (Machala), Ecuador

    ‘Banana Capital of the World’

    Machala’s main claim to fame is Puerto Bolivar, an important Ecuadorian port where coffee, cocoa, shrimp, and bountiful bananas (which the locals call oro verde, or ‘green gold’) leave for export. As part of one of our optional excursions, you may have an opportunity to visit a local banana plantation, or try and spot hummingbirds, parakeets, and howler monkeys at the Buenaventura Nature Reserve to the south. The nearby Puyango Petrified Forest has one of the largest collections of fossilized trees in the world, thought to be about 100 million years old—as old as the Andes Mountains themselves.

    Feast on fresh seafood at Puerto Bolivar at one of the harbor’s many restaurants and enjoy views of the natural mangrove swamps of Isla Jambeli. Machala has all the charm you’d expect from a small coastal city. Stroll through quaint plazas filled with friendly locals, and admire unusual monuments dedicated to sorting fish and bananeros. The restaurants here are evolving and have started dabbling in the hip, modern cuisine for which Ecuador and Peru have increasingly become known.

    • Included Machala City Tour
    Day 5
    Puerto Bolivar (Machala), Ecuador

    ‘Banana Capital of the World’

  • Day 6
    At Sea

    Serenity at Sea

    Enjoy the serenity of this day at sea. Relax and admire the scenery from the observation deck or from the lounge.

    Throughout your journey, the Expedition Team will give lectures in the Science Center and share their extensive knowledge of the region. Topics could include periods of pre-Columbian history, the geology of the surrounding mountains and islands, the folklore of the local communities, and much more. Not all of our lectures are indoors, though! If curious seabirds fly nearby the ship, the Expedition Team might also help you spot and identify them from the deck. Our designated expedition photographer will also be available to help you learn the basics of expedition photography, in addition to documenting on our journey

    Day 6
    At Sea

    Serenity at Sea

  • Day 7
    Salaverry, Peru

    Ancient kingdoms

    Pummeled by the Pacific’s wind and waves, Salaverry can be a hard port to access. If we are able to land there, though, it’ll be a good starting point to explore Trujillo, Peru’s third-largest city, and the array of archeological sites scattered throughout the region.

    Trujillo sits in a fertile valley oasis irrigated by the Moche River. It boasts a colorful Baroque 17th-century cathedral, 10 colonial churches, and many Neoclassical mansions, not to mention one of the longest mosaic murals in the world at the local university. It’s more likely, however, that your focus will be further back on the past.

    The city of Chan Chan was created by the Chimú Empire, which appeared in the region around 900 A.D. The vast ruins of the complex, measuring almost 8 square miles, include the Tschudi temple-citadel and Huaca Esmeralda. On the other side of Trujillo are you’ll find the Mochican pyramids of the Sun and the Moon. These pre-date Chan Chan by a few hundred years! Huaca del Sol stands out as the largest adobe structure on the continent, while Huaca del Luna is a more detailed specimen, with many of its pastel frescos still visible.

    • Included Onboard Marinera Dance Show
    Day 7
    Salaverry, Peru

    Ancient kingdoms

  • Day 8
    Callao/Lima/Cusco/Sacred Valley

    Voyage to the Sacred Valley

    We arrive in Callao at noon, where you’ll bid a fond farewell to the captain and the crew. A packed lunch will be provided for your transfer to the Lima airport and your flight to Cusco. Once we arrive in the former capital of the Incan Empire, located over 11,000 above sea level, we’ll head to the Tambo del Inka Resort in the Sacred Valley for dinner and a good night’s sleep.

    Day 8
    Callao/Lima/Cusco/Sacred Valley

    Voyage to the Sacred Valley

  • Day 9
    Sacred Valley/Machu Picchu/Sacred Valley

    ‘The Lost City of the Incas’

    After breakfast at the resort, you’re in for an unforgettable day. We start off in Ollantaytambo, once the royal estate of Pachacuti, the Incan emperor. He conquered the region and built up the town that shares its name, featuring a formidable stone fortress that still towers above the community on a massive cliff. Constructed with rose-colored granite, this huge structure was once a thriving complex of baths, temples, and military barracks. This fortification was the valley’s main defense against their rivals, the Antis people. It was also the site of the Inca’s greatest victory against the Spanish during the Spanish conquest of the Incan Empire, also known as the Conquest of Peru.

    Then we head to the nearby train station and board the deluxe Hiram Bingham train to Machu Picchu. Enjoy a savory brunch while you marvel at the views on the way to this magical and renowned location.

    At last, we arrive at spectacular Machu Picchu. Built around 1450 and abandoned with Spanish colonization, thick tangles of vines and trees shielded it from the prying eyes of the outside world for centuries. After being ‘found’ by American archeologist Hiram Bingham in 1911, ‘The Lost City of the Incas’ is now widely regarded as one of the ancient wonders of the world.

    Explore the city’s ruins and imagine what life was like here, when priests, craftsmen, and servants roamed these streets Excavations at the site have revealed skeletons, artifacts, and woolen clothing. Now it’s your turn to admire the precise Incan stonework. Even if we have a basic understanding of the site, the Incas left no written records behind about the city’s rise or fall. Thus, Machu Picchu remains one of the most mysterious archeological sites in the world.

    After spending an eventful day at these two sites, we’ll return to the Tambo del Inka Resort by train for a relaxing evening and an overnight stay.

    Day 9
    Sacred Valley/Machu Picchu/Sacred Valley

    ‘The Lost City of the Incas’

  • Day 10
    Sacred Valley/Cusco/Lima

    Center of the Incan Empire

    After breakfast, we’ll head back to Cusco to visit the Sacsayhuamán fortress. It’s strategically located on a hill overlooking Cusco. Like many other Incan structures, it was constructed without mortar. The enormous stones can weigh up to 200 tons apiece, but still fit together so tightly that not even a thin blade of grass can slide between them. This is a lasting testament to the Inca’s sophisticated construction techniques and architectural skills.

    Next, we’ll explore the splendid Baroque-style Cusco Cathedral, built by the Spaniards in the mid-1500s on the foundation of an Incan palace. Many of the stones used to construct it were looted from the nearby Sacsayhuamán fortress. Then we’ll visit Koricancha, where we’ll admire the Dominican Convent of Santo Domingo, built on the foundation of the Temple of the Sun, the most important temple in the Incan Empire. The curved masonry wall at the west end of the church, built without mortar, is considered to be one of the greatest existing examples of Incan stonework.

    At lunchtime, we’ll eat at a local restaurant before our transfer to the airport for the flight to Lima. Upon arrival in Lima, you’ll meet our local guide and transfer to your hotel. Enjoy the evening at your leisure in Peru’s capital after check-in,. We recommend checking out the bars and restaurants of the trendy Barranco neighborhood, or dropping by the illuminated ruins of the ceremonial clay pyramids Huaca Pucllana and Huaca Huallamarca.

    Day 10
    Sacred Valley/Cusco/Lima

    Center of the Incan Empire

  • Day 11
    Lima, Peru

    ‘The City of Kings’

    Sadly, your expedition officially ends after breakfast at the hotel, where you’ll bid a fond farewell to your fellow explorers. Seeing as you’re already here, we recommend extending your journey a few days to spend extra time in the Peruvian capital, which was known as La Ciudad de los Reyes (‘The City of Kings’).

    The historic center, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is full of Colonial-era architecture, such as the Plaza Mayor and San Francisco Monastery. In contrast, the clay ruins of the Huaca Pucllana and Huaca Huallamarca ceremonial pyramids are remnants of the long-lost Incan civilization. There are at least four different museums you can explore for a deeper dive into pre-Columbian archeology. You might enjoy the bright and arty area of Barranco, complete with murals, creative cafés, and two of Lima’s contemporary art museums.

    Many say the ultimate Lima experience revolves around the food. Cuisine from the capital has made a splash the world over. Try it in one of the many internationally recognized and award-winning restaurants found here. One of Peru’s all-time gastronomic greats is ceviche, fresh fish marinated in tangy lime juice and other seasonings. This staple dish can be savored in many locations around the city, from upscale restaurants in Miraflores to salt-of-the-earth cevicherías at the fishing docks over in Chorrillos.

    Day 11
    Lima, Peru

    ‘The City of Kings’

Departures

2022

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December
October:
8.
9.

2023

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December
September:
26.
October:
3.

Available Promotions on This Itinerary:

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What's Included

Included in Your Expedition

Peru/Machu Picchu Land-Program after the expediton cruise

  • Two nights at Tambo del Inka Resort, including half board
  • One night in Lima, including breakfast
  • 3-course set lunch and dinner on Days 11 and 12, and a packed lunch on Day 10
  • Economy flight from Lima to Cusco, and Cusco to Lima
  • All transfers and train rides as described in the itinerary, including an English-speaking guide
  • Entrance fees according to the itinerary

Expedition Cruise

  • Expedition cruise in a cabin of your choice
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner, including beverages (house beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water) in restaurants Aune and Fredheim (on MS Roald Amundsen)
  • Fine-dining À la carte restaurant Lindstrøm is included 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 fill at onboard water refill stations
  • English-speaking Expedition Team who organize and guide activities, both on board and ashore
  • Range of included activities

Onboard activities

  • Experts from the Expedition Team present detailed lectures on a variety of topics
  • Use the ship’s Science Center, which features an extensive library and advanced biological and geological microscopes
  • The Citizen Science program allows guests to contribute to current scientific research projects
  • The onboard professional photographer will give tips and tricks for taking the best landscape and wildlife photos
  • The ship has hot tubs, an infinity pool, a sauna, an outdoor and indoor gym, and an outdoor running track
  • Use of the ship’s hot tubs, panoramic sauna and indoor gym. Outdoor gym, outdoor running track and infinity pool on MS Roald Amundsen only. 
  • Participate in informal gatherings with the crew, such as daily recaps and the next day’s preparations

Landing activities

  • Loan of boots, trekking poles, and all equipment needed for the activities
  • Complimentary wind- and water-resistant expedition jacket
  • Expedition photographers will help configure your camera settings before landings

Not Included In Your Expedition

  • International flights
  • Travel protection
  • Baggage handling
  • Optional shore excursions with our local partners
  • Optional small-group activities with our Expedition Team
  • Optional treatments in the onboard wellness and spa area (only on MS Roald Amundsen)

Notes

  • All planned activities are subject to weather conditions
  • Excursions and activities are subject to change
  • Please ensure you can meet all entry and boarding requirements
  • No gratuities are expected

Ships

MS Roald Amundsen

MS Roald Amundsen

Year built 2019
Shipyard Kleven Yards
Passenger capacity 528 (500 in Antarctica)
Gross tonnage 20 889 T
Length 140 m
Beam 23,6 m
Speed 15 knots

In 2019, Hurtigruten added a brand new ship to its fleet: the MS Roald Amundsen. The state of the art vessel features new and environmentally sustainable hybrid technology that will reduce fuel consumption and show the world that hybrid propulsion on large ships is possible.

Read more about MS Roald Amundsen

MS Fridtjof Nansen

Year built 2020
Shipyard Kleven Yards, Norway
Passenger capacity 528 (500 in Antarctica)
Gross tonnage 20 889 T
Length 140 m / 459 ft
Beam 23.6 m / 77 ft
Speed 15 knots

MS Fridtjof Nansen is the latest addition to Hurtigruten’s fleet of custom-built ships – and represents the next generation of expedition ships. She will explore some of the most spectacular corners of the globe.

Read more about MS Fridtjof Nansen

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