South America Sensations – Peru to Panama Expedition

South America Sensations – Peru to Panama Expedition

South America Sensations – Peru to Panama Expedition

South America Sensations – Peru to Panama Expedition

Travel information 14 days MS Fram
March 31, 2024
Price from $ 8,275
$ 6,848
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

14-day expedition from Lima to Colón, featuring the Andean Plateau, Peruvian deserts, and the tropical forests of Ecuador and Colombia

Highlights of the Altiplano

Wander around Lima’s UNESCO-listed center and visit the pre-Inca tombs of Sillustani before heading to mighty Lake Titicaca, the largest high-altitude lake on Earth. You’ll then begin an unforgettable journey along the Altiplano to mystical Machu Picchu and beautiful Cusco.

Cruise north along the Pacific coast

Meet your ship in Lima to cruise up the Pacific coast, discovering the ancient kingdoms of Trujillo, colorful Puerto Bolívar, and the well-surfed beaches of Manta along the way. You’ll experience vibrant Afro-Colombian culture in Bahía Solano before heading through the legendary Panama Canal.

South America Sensations – Peru to Panama Expedition South America Sensations – Peru to Panama Expedition
  • Day 1
    Lima, Peru

    Lima’s UNESCO treasures  

    Your adventure starts in Lima, ‘The City of Kings.’

    With an exciting cocktail of cosmopolitan cool and ancient heritage, Lima is the perfect place to begin your adventure. See colorful murals, bustling cafés, and contemporary art museums in the bright, bohemian area of Barranco.

    Lima’s historical center is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s a jewel of Spanish architecture, with colonial-era churches and monasteries and elegant mansions. You can also see Lima’s Inca heritage in the ruins of the Huaca Pucllana and Huaca Huallamarca ceremonial pyramids.

    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.

    • Included Panoramic Tour of Lima
    Day 1
    Lima, Peru

    Lima’s UNESCO treasures  

  • Day 2
    Sillustani tombs  

    Visit the Sillustani tombs

    Fly to Juliaca and visit the Sillustani tombs

    Your day starts with a flight to Juliaca. Once there, we will take you on a guided tour of 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, continue to your hotel in Puno, on the banks of Lake Titicaca. This will be your home for the next two nights.

    Day 2
    Sillustani tombs  

    Visit the Sillustani tombs

  • Day 3
    Lake Titicaca

    Uru community at Lake Titicaca

    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 aquatic villages 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 3
    Lake Titicaca

    Uru community at Lake Titicaca

  • Day 4
    Altiplano Path

    Altiplano Path

    Cross the awe-inspiring Andean Plateau

    Enjoy an unforgettable journey across the northern Andean Plateau, or the Altiplano, as it’s known in Spanish.

    The Altiplano is one of the world’s largest and highest plateaus, sitting over 12,000 ft above sea level. The vast plain 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.

    Look out for the famous Pucara bulls perched on rooftops, enjoy lunch by the ancient rock formations of Tinajani, watch for wild llamas and alpacas on La Raya Pass, and marvel at the 15th-century Raqch’i archeological complex.

    Your journey ends with a comfortable overnight stay in Cusco.

    Day 4
    Altiplano Path

    Altiplano Path

  • Day 5
    Machu Picchu 

    Mystical Machu Picchu 

    Explore 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 5
    Machu Picchu 

    Mystical Machu Picchu 

  • Day 6

    Imperial Cusco

    Explore the center of the Inca Empire.

    Before catching your flight to Lima, you’ll enjoy a guided tour of Cusco, the so-called ‘Imperial City’ and archeological capital of South America.

    You can admire some of the finest examples of Inca architecture, as well as 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 that dates back to the Spanish colonial era.

    Then, you’ll transfer to the airport and fly to Lima to meet your ship and begin your expedition cruise.

    Day 6

    Imperial Cusco

  • Day 7
    Salaverry, Peru

    Trujillo and Chan Chan

    Discover Trujillo’s ancient kingdoms

    Salaverry is the gateway port to Peru’s third-largest city, along with 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. 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 for you to enjoy.

    • Included Onboard Marinera Dance Show
    Day 7
    Salaverry, Peru

    Trujillo and Chan Chan

  • Day 8
    At sea

    Science and leisure

    Relaxation, research – or a bit of both

    Your Pacific coast cruise continues as we head toward Ecuador. Soak up the scenery on deck, read a book by a window, and enjoy the onboard facilities.

    The Expedition Team will continue their lectures in the Science Center, sharing insights on topics such as Indigenous communities and cultures, local geology, and pre-Columbian history.

    Back on deck, they’ll help you identify the seabirds that like to follow our ship. Our onboard photographer will also be on hand with tips on snapping great pictures of birds in flight – along with other expedition highlights.

    Day 8
    At sea

    Science and leisure

  • Day 9
    Bountiful Puerto Bolívar

    A bustling port with a charming atmosphere

    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. Try fresh seafood at the harbor restaurants and take in views of the mangrove swamps of Isla Jambeli. Then stroll through the local markets, plazas, and the Casa de la Cultura museum.

    • Included Machala City Tour
    Day 9
    Bountiful Puerto Bolívar

    A bustling port with a charming atmosphere

  • Day 10

    Made in Montecristi

    Discover the birthplace of Panama hats in... Ecuador?

    We’ll dock at the port of Manta and 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 Manta and Montecristi Highlights
    Day 10

    Made in Montecristi

  • Day 11
    Relax at sea

    Relax at sea

    Serenity at sea

    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.

    Enjoy onboard adventures as we spend the day cruising to Colombia. Go on deck and scan for wildlife – whales can often be seen in these waters. You can find the Expedition Team in the Science Center.

    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 11
    Relax at sea

    Relax at sea

  • Bahía Solano, Colombia

    Afro-Colombian culture

    Music, dancing, and rainforest walks at Bahía Solano

    Your day in Bahía Solano begins with a walk around town hosted by members of the local Afro-Colombian community.

    Students will greet you with a traditional song and later perform unique Afro-Colombian music and dance. In between, they’ll tell you about the town and their culture.

    Consider taking a hike through a tropical rainforest in the botanical gardens. At this 170-acre reserve, you can enjoy a guided walk and learn about the local flora and fauna, along with the important conservation projects launched to protect it.

    • Included Bahia Solano Town Walk
    Bahía Solano, Colombia

    Afro-Colombian culture

  • Day 13
    Panama Canal

    Travel through the Panama Canal

    Navigate one of the world’s greatest engineering feats

    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 13
    Panama Canal

    Travel through the Panama Canal

  • Day 14
    Colón, Panama

    Disembarking in Colón

    Bright city lights amid a lush rainforest landscape

    Your South American expedition cruise ends in Colón, which stands beside the portal 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.

    Your cruise may have come to an end, but not necessarily your adventure. If you’re hungry for more, join an optional Post-Program.

    Whatever’s next for you, we wish you a safe onward journey and look forward to seeing you on your next adventure.

    Day 14
    Colón, Panama

    Disembarking in Colón



  • January
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  • July
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  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

What’s included

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

  • One night at a hotel in Lima, including breakfast
  • Two nights at a hotel in Puno and two nights at a hotel in Cusco, including half board
  • Picnic lunch on days 2 and 4, set lunch on days 3, 5, and 6.
  • Flights in economy class from Lima to Juliaca and Cusco to Lima
  • All transfers, excursions, and train rides are as described, including an English-speaking guide
  • Entrance fee as listed in the program

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.

Landing activities

  • Escorted landings with small boats (RIBs)
  • 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’s altitude is approximately 12,500 ft and the city of Cusco is at approximately 11,100 ft and 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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