Tropical Waters and Remote Island Communities in the Caribbean

Tropical Waters and Remote Island Communities in the Caribbean

Tropical Waters and Remote Island Communities in the Caribbean

Tropical Waters and Remote Island Communities in the Caribbean

Travel information 11 days MS Roald Amundsen
Departure
28 September 2022
Price from
$ 4784
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

Your voyage begins in the city of neon, Miami. From here, we head south to experience a slice of Mayan heritage before disconnecting from the rest of the world as you encounter island living, vibrant sea life and mesmerising coral reefs. 

Mayan majesty

Belize is home to several historic locations of the ancient Maya empire, but arguably none as popular as Altun Ha, just outside of Belize City. It’s one of the best-restored Mayan ruins, enabling you to get a true sense of the ancient civilisation.

A sea of flora and fauna.

White sandy beaches, densely forested islands and a rich variety of sea life await you. We land at the uninhabited Half-Moon Caye island in the Lighthouse Reef, home to the Blue Hole natural monument. UNESCO’s Seaflower Biosphere Reserve in the waters around Isla Providencia has inspired a nickname: the Sea of Seven Colours. In Bocas del Toro, you may have a few optional excursions to spot the exotic wildlife in the UNESCO-listed National Marine Park here.

Island communities.

One of the perks of an expedition with us is the opportunity to learn about the island communities we’ll be visiting. Through lectures from our expedition team, you’ll learn about their history and society. The warm welcome you’ll receive on Big Corn Island will stay with you, and that’s even before sampling the local food of some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet.

Tropical Waters and Remote Island Communities in the Caribbean
  • Day 1
    Miami, Florida, USA

    Latin Beats

    28 September 2022

    The sun-soaked city of Miami is the perfect launchpad for your long-anticipated expedition and you’ll spend one night in a centrally located hotel in Miami Beach. The ‘City of Neon’ has forged a well-earned reputation as one of the world's most popular holiday destinations and it’s easy to see why. Year-round sunshine, white sandy beaches and clear teal waters are just a few reasons why visitors come in droves.

    Yes, there’s all the glitz you’ve seen in the movies, but there’s a lot more to Miami than cocktails and red carpets. Delve a little deeper and you’ll find a thriving metropolis with vibrant doses of Latin American, Caribbean, Asian and European influence. Searching for trendy clubs and bars? Head to South Beach – day or night. A taste of exotic Cuban Culture? That’ll be Little Havana then. 

    We definitely recommend starting your trip early with an optional Pre-Programme. This will give you more time and opportunity to explore the full range of excitement that Miami and its surroundings have to offer.  

    Day 1
    Miami, Florida, USA

    Latin Beats

  • Day 2
    Miami, Florida, USA

    The expedition begins

    29 September 2022
    Estimated time of departure is 6:00 PM

    After an overnight stay, you’ll have the opportunity to explore colourful Miami Beach or Downtown Miami in the morning on your own. Return to your hotel for lunch and an included excursion – a guided walking tour through South Beach Art Deco District. 

    The district is packed with over 800 historic buildings in a range of styles including Mediterranean Revival and MiMo (Miami Modern). This is the largest concentration of Art Deco architecture in the country, so soak up avenues of pastel-coloured walls, exotic flora motifs, chrome accents, and geometric gems. The tour will end in the afternoon at the pier where you embark MS Roald Amundsen

    After checking in on the ship, you’ll attend a mandatory safety drill before departure. Later, enjoy the first of many delicious meals, followed by the Captain’s welcome toast. The Captain will then introduce you to other ship officers and to the Expedition Team, who will be your guides and lecturers on your journey, both on and off ship.

    Day 2
    Miami, Florida, USA

    The expedition begins

  • Day 3-4
    At sea

    Serenity at sea

    30 September 2022 - 1 October 2022

    We’ll spend these two days at sea preparing you for the tropical island experiences that await you. First things first, you’ll want to acquaint yourself with your comfortable explorer vessel.

    Feel free to indulge yourself in our Wellness Center. Take part in an art workshop. Invigorate yourself with a yoga session. Eat in style in one of our three restaurants or just spend time on deck looking for seabirds or other marine wildlife. 

    You’ll also use these days at sea to get to know your Expedition Team. They’ll deliver in-depth lectures on a whole range of subjects relevant to your cruise. Lecture topics may include oceanography, Mayan culture, coral reefs, Caribbean Sea creatures, island biogeography, archaeology and stargazing.

    You can also pick up tips from the onboard photographer to get those post-card-picture perfect snaps.

    Day 3-4
    At sea

    Serenity at sea

  • Day 5
    Belize City, Belize

    Mayan Heritage

    2 October 2022

    Welcome to Belize City - the largest city in Belize and a characterful hub of colonial architecture, lively shopping areas and seaside parks. Among the urban scenery, you’ll find colourful colonial architecture, serving as a reminder of the city’s past as the country’s old capital. If you want a one-stop-shop introduction to Belize, then head to Old Belize. A moving museum, the Old Belize train ride will take you through five different exhibitions showcasing Belize’s history and natural beauty. Or you could just spend some time browsing the art shops or the Museum of Belize for some Mayan history.

    Our main aim for the day lies 31 miles north of the city at the well preserved Altun Ha ruins. Only excavated in 1968, there are two main plazas and thirteen structures. If weather allows, you can climb the ancient temples and imagine what the area was like over 2000 years ago when Altun Ha was a wealthy trading town. Besides the ancient plazas, Altun Ha is situated in an area rich in wildlife. Over 200 species of birds have been sighted here as well as bats, raccoons, tapir, armadillos and the white-tailed deer.

    Day 5
    Belize City, Belize

    Mayan Heritage

  • Day 6
    Lighthouse Reef, Belize

    Birds of Beauty at Half Moon Caye

    3 October 2022

    Belize’s famed barrier reef is the country’s pièce de resistance and considered as one of the best marine sites in the whole Caribbean. A thrilling variety of sea life, lush cayes and opportunities to participate in water activities await you. 

    We anchor for the day at the uninhabited Half Moon Caye island in the Lighthouse Reef, the most remote of the atolls. The island is best known for the sanctuary it provides to the rare red-footed booby bird and this is their only nesting site in the region.

    Follow local guides along the sandy trails to the bird tower. Here, you’ll have an uninterrupted view of nesting boobies and magnificent frigatebirds. Large iguanas sometimes like to sunbathe on the paths so you might spot a few as you explore.

    Half Moon Caye is also the country’s first marine protected area and a UNESCO world heritage site. It’s crystal clear waters are home to endangered loggerhead, hawksbill, and green turtles. Optional snorkelling excursions are available at the Blue Hole natural monument – a massive watery sinkhole in the reef with a kaleidoscopic array of fish.

    Day 6
    Lighthouse Reef, Belize

    Birds of Beauty at Half Moon Caye

  • Day 7
    At sea

    Lectures and enjoying the tropical temperatures

    4 October 2022

    After two days of excursions, you’ll be grateful for the opportunity to recharge your batteries on your comfortable state-of-the-art vessel. Start the day with some yoga or join the expedition team for lectures on topics varying from wildlife to geology and the indigenous peoples we will encounter.

    This is also the perfect time to get up to speed with what’s happening in the Science Center. Our access to some of the most remote parts of the world enables us to provide the scientific community with some precious data – and we invite you to take part in these Citizen Science projects.

    For example, as we sail, the chief scientist in the Expedition Team will be taking Secchi disk samples of the water. These samples contain plankton, which is the basis of the oceanic food chain. Their distribution, abundance, and seasonality are sensitive to climate change and studying plankton helps the scientific community keep abreast of overall patterns of the planet. This is one of the many things that sets expedition cruising apart from your traditional cruise.

     Feel free to spend time out on deck enjoying the fresh sea air as you scout for wildlife. After a sumptuous dinner, relax in the elegant Explorer Lounge or take advantage of a pristine, dark sky to do some stargazing.

    Day 7
    At sea

    Lectures and enjoying the tropical temperatures

  • Day 8
    Isla de Providencia

    ‘The Sea of Seven Colours’

    5 October 2022

    This remote Columbian island in the Spanish Caribbean was once used as a base by 17th century Pirate Henry Morgan to plunder passing imperial galleons loaded with gold doubloons. Legend has it that much of his treasure remains on the island. Few will argue, however, that its real treasure lies in its gorgeous sandy beaches, charming locals and pristine waters.

    Sadly, the island was affected by Hurricane Iona in 2020. Rebuilding works are underway and our visits are vitally important in supporting local businesses and the community as a whole to recover.

    There are no public buses, so the humble golf cart is many

    people’s de facto means of exploring the island's beaches and villages. There are a limited number available and going around on foot is just as enjoyable.

    Hiking to the highest point of the island is not for the faint-hearted, but you will be rewarded with breathtaking views of the island and the sea beyond. Frigate birds, iguana and electric blue lizards make up the local wildlife you might encounter on the way.

    The seas around the island are shallow and surrounded by beautiful coral. The diverse coral reefs are the centre point of UNESCO’s Seaflower Biosphere Reserve – an oceanic archipelago of rare systems in the Caribbean Sea. Here, you’ll have opportunities to spot the now famous clownfish, turtles and manta ray whilst snorkelling.

    Day 8
    Isla de Providencia

    ‘The Sea of Seven Colours’

  • Day 9
    Corn Islands, Nicaragua

    The Caribbean’s Best Kept Secret

    6 October 2022

    We believe that one of the things we do so well is taking you to smaller, hard-to-get-to destinations that are often missed by the bigger cruise ships. We plan to land on Big Corn Island, which lies roughly 50 miles off the coast of Nicaragua.

    The sea here often has a lot of swell, so the island only receives a modest number of visitors year-round. If wind and waves allow us to be among the lucky few, you’ll be able to discover one of the Caribbean’s best-kept secrets.

    You’ll find none of the usual tourist traps here, just a slow island vibe with beautiful beaches and genuinely friendly locals. In fact, don't be surprised if you’re greeted with local dance and music. You get the feeling this is a place where everybody knows everyone, and you’ll be welcome wherever you go. The lobster is juicy, and the hammocks in abundance.

    Getting around the island is easy – there is literally one paved road that that goes around the whole island. Although the beach is the obvious draw, you’ll be rewarded with some charming street art and sleepy restaurants if you make the effort to explore. Hike up Mount Pleasant Hill for views of the coves and stunning horseshoe bays.

    Keeping with the theme of the expedition – the coral reefs surrounding both Big and Little Corn are pristinely beautiful. If you haven’t already, this is your chance to immerse yourself in the water: watch the world go slowly by in a kayak or atop a stand-up paddleboard.

    Day 9
    Corn Islands, Nicaragua

    The Caribbean’s Best Kept Secret

  • Day 10
    Bocas del Toro, Panama

    National Marine Park

    7 October 2022

    Bocas del Toro is a stunning archipelago made up of nine main islands and hundreds of smaller ones. Clear blue waters? Check! Densely forested islands? Check! Uninhabited islets? Check.

    This is the kind of place people imagine when they dream of paradise. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this National Marine Park is one of the world’s most biologically diverse places on Earth and has an exotic mix of wildlife spread across its many islands.

    You’ll take a local water taxi transport to one of the surrounding islands and go on a guided walk. One place we might visit is Red Frog Beach where you can try and spot the titular frogs.

    Or maybe you’ll go to Solarte Island which has a number of hiking trails. The tropical rainforest here is home to industrious leaf-cutter ants and hums with the calls of exquisite birdlife. If we’re lucky, we might spot red frogs and three-toed sloths.

    There are also optional excursions to visit a sustainable cacao farm or to snorkel in Zapatilla Cay where the hit TV show Survivor was filmed.

    Day 10
    Bocas del Toro, Panama

    National Marine Park

  • Day 11
    Colón

    Entrance to the Panama Canal

    8 October 2022
    Estimated time of arrival is 7:00 AM

    Your wonderful tropical voyage concludes at the Caribbean entrance to the Panama Canal. This bustling port town is a popular stop for cruises going to the Caribbean and has a diverse population for its small size.  

    If you’re not quite ready to see an end to your adventure, add on three extra nights with our Post-Programme, staying at an exotic jungle lodge nestled in the rainforest next to Chagres River. During your stay, you’ll visit a rainforest centre and a farm working with reforestation, explore the jungle on a night boat safari, and enjoy views of the area by cable car.  

    There's also another Post-Programme option to Casco Viejo, arguably the most charismatic neighbourhood in Panama City. Stroll the rustic cobblestone streets and plazas, admire the architecture of colonial churches, mansions and the Metropolitan Cathedral, and try out some of the local specialities like coffee and cocoa. 

    You can even book another expedition cruise from here that takes you through the ingenious man-made locks of the Panama Canal and through to the Pacific Ocean on the other side. You can then explore the many sights and coastal cities of South America. 

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

    Day 11
    Colón

    Entrance to the Panama Canal

Departures

  • 2022
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28 September 2022

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What's included

Included in your voyage

Hotel

  • Overnight in Miami before the expedition cruise, including breakfast and lunch

Transfers

  • Transfer from hotel to ship in Miami including an excursion before the expedition cruise

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 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 Teamwho organise and accompany activities on board and ashore 
  • Range of included activities

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 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 entry and boarding requirements 
  • No gratuities expected 
MS Roald Amundsen
Science Center
Photo: Agurtxane Concellon
A small boat in a large body of water
Your ship

MS Roald Amundsen

Year built 2019
Shipyard Kleven Yards
Passenger capacity 530 (500 in Antarctica)
Gross tonnage 20 889 T
Length 140 m
Beam 23,6 m
Speed 15 knots
MS Roald Amundsen

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

Aune Restaurant, MS Roald Amundsen
Photo: Espen Mills
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