MS Roald Amundsen, MS Fridtjof Nansen
11 days

Panama Canal & Colonial Highlights with Machu Picchu

Price from
$ 8086
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included
MS Roald Amundsen, MS Fridtjof Nansen
11 days

Panama Canal & Colonial Highlights with Machu Picchu

Price from
$ 8086
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

Your expedition with us begins in Colón where we transit the famous Panama Canal to the Pacific Ocean. We then head south where you get to visit cities in Ecuador and Peru to experience beautiful beaches and UNESCO sites. You’ll then get to explore the biggest archaeological mystery of them all, the mighty Machu Picchu.

The Panama Canal

Pass through the Panama Canal before sailing south to Manta and the nearby Panama-hat weaving town of Montecristi. Maybe visit a banana plantation in Puerto Bolivar on an optional excursion before we sail further south to Salaverry in Peru. Strong currents may make our stop here a challenge, but if we do get ashore, 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.

Inca Secrets and Mysteries

Admire the imposing Ollantaytambo fortress before boarding the Belmond Hiram Bingham train to once hidden Machu Picchu. Wandering the ruins, you might develop your own theories as to the mountain city’s mysterious rise and fall, the facts of which still elude archaeologists today. We then travel to Sacsayhuamán fortress above Cusco where you get to behold Inca craftmanship and architecture at their finest. Your adventure comes to an end in the Peruvian capital of Lima, home to a historic centre boasting colonial cathedrals and Baroque buildings.

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. There are high-quality hotels, a casino, hot springs, a thriving handicraft scene and great restaurants with local delicacies. If you want to really explore the city or join a Pre-Programme to a beautiful jungle lodge next to the Chagres River, you should clear your calendar and arrange to arrive a couple of days earlier.

    Once on board the ship, you’ll be busy picking up your complimentary expedition jacket, settling into your cabin, exploring the ship and attending a mandatory safety drill. After dinner and a welcome toast by the Captain, you’ll meet your Expedition Team who run through important health and safety aspects 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 of entering the Panama Canal. The complex canal network is over a hundred years in the making, stretching 80 km through natural and man-made waterways. We’ll wait with anticipation 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 26 metres above sea level. If weather allows, the Expedition Team will be out on deck to point out sites of interest around the canal and to talk about the history of this ambitious project.

    Roughly half way through the 12-hour transit of the canal, the ship will enter the Gatun Lake section. Created by damning the nearby Chagres River, it is one of the largest artificial lakes in the world. By contrast, the surrounding rainforest is virtually untouched by any development and various flora and fauna native to Central America flourish here undisturbed. Along the shores, you might be lucky enough to spot crocodiles and alligators. Scan the trees for glimpses of monkeys and maybe sloths too.

    After a few more locks and lakes, the ship will pass under the Bridge of the Americas and emerge into the Pacific. Passing from one great ocean to another in a day, you’ve just experienced the culmination of centuries of planning, hard work and resourcefulness. It’s sure to be a moment you won’t soon forget.

    Day 2
    Panama Canal

    Connecting two oceans

  • Day 3
    At Sea

    Welcome to the Pacific

    Spend some of your day taking a relaxing walk out on deck, enjoying the seascapes and keeping an eye out for marine wildlife like whales, sea lions and sea birds. If you want to feel closer to the water, go for a dip in the infinity pool or the two outdoor hot tubs, and still be able to admire the scenery.

    This is also a great opportunity to head to the Science Center for lectures with the Expedition Team and to learn more about what you will experience in the following days. Pick your preferred Citizen Science programme to get involved in too, knowing that you will be helping research currently happening around the world. When darkness falls and it’s a starry night, you might also join the Expedition Team out on deck to do some stargazing.

    When you’ve worked up an appetite, head to one of the three restaurants for varied and delicious meals, or find a comfortable seat in the Explorer Lounge & Bar to raise a glass or two with 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. You can join a traditional ceremony on board where we seek King Neptune’s blessing. If we are lucky, he may even make an appearance before we reach our first call in Ecuador.

    Our main tour of the day will be to the handicraft town of Montecristi located 8km 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. Montecristi, Ecuador is the actual birthplace of traditional Panama hats, despite the name. The misnomer originates from when President Roosevelt wore one of these hats on a visit to the Panama Canal in 1904, sparking their popularity worldwide. You’ll see many shops throughout the town selling the genuine article in all sizes and shades, expertly handwoven from the leaves of the jipijapa tree by local artisans.

    Aside from hat-hunting, you can spend time browsing the stalls at the pretty plaza, admiring the architecture of the church, or looking at the varied street art. One prominent mural at the plaza depicts General Eloy Alfaro, two-time Ecuadorian President and Montecristi native. You might also have time to head to the top of the main hill where there is a museum and grandiose mausoleum in honour of Alfaro who was also known as the Viejo Luchador or "Old Warrior".

    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 for the export of coffee, cocoa, shrimp, and bountiful bananas which the locals call oro verde – ‘green gold’. As part of a choice of optional excursions, you may visit a local banana plantation or try and spot hummingbirds, parakeets and howler monkeys in Buenaventura Nature Reserve to the south. Puyango Petrified Forest is nearby with one of the largest collections of fossilised trees in the world, thought to be about 100 million years old, as old as the Andes Mountains themselves.

    At Puerto Bolivar, you can feast on fresh seafood at one of the many harbour restaurants and enjoy views of the natural mangrove swamps of Isla Jambeli opposite. Machala itself has all the charm you’d expect from a small coastal city, including friendly locals, cute plazas and unusual monuments dedicated to sort-fish and bananeros. The restaurants are evolving and beginning to dabble in the hip modern cuisine which Ecuador and Peru are increasingly known for.

    Day 5
    Puerto Bolivar (Machala), Ecuador

    ‘Banana Capital of the World’

  • Day 6
    At Sea

    Better Photos

    Enjoy the serenity of this day at sea, relaxing and admiring the scenery from the observation deck or over in the lounge.

    Throughout your journey, the Expedition Team will be running lectures in the Science Center to share their extensive knowledge of the region with you. Topics could include periods of pre-Columbian history, the geology of the surrounding mountains and islands, folklore of local communities, and so on. But not all lectures are confined to indoors. If the ship attracts seabirds who come to fly alongside us, the Expedition Team might also help you spot and identify these feathered followers out on deck. There is also a designated photographer on board who, in addition to taking pictures from our journey together, will be available to help you with the basics of expedition photography.

    Day 6
    At Sea

    Better Photos

  • Day 7
    Salaverry, Peru

    Ancient kingdoms

    Buffeted by the wind and waves of the Pacific, Salaverry can be a hard port to access. If all goes to plan though, it will be a good transit point to explore Trujillo, Peru’s third largest city, as well as an array of archaeological sites scattered throughout the surrounding region.

    Trujillo sits in a fertile valley oasis irrigated by the Moche River. It boasts a colourful 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. However, it is more than likely that your focus will be elsewhere and on things not so modern.

    The city of Chan Chan was raised by the Chimu Empire which appeared in the region around 900 AD. The vast ruins of the 20-square kilometre complex include the Tschudi temple-citadel and Huaca Esmeralda. On the other side of Trujillo are the Mochican pyramids of the Sun and the Moon which pre-date Chan Chan by a few hundred years. Huaca del Sol in particular is the largest adobe structure on the continent while Huaca del Luna is more detailed with many of its pastel frescos still visible.

    Day 7
    Salaverry, Peru

    Ancient kingdoms

  • Day 8
    Callao/Lima/Cusco/Sacred Valley, Peru

    On your way to the Sacred Valley

    Around noon, we arrive in Callao and it will be time to say goodbye to the Captain and crew. A packed lunch will be provided for your transfer to Lima airport and your flight to Cusco. Once we arrive in the old capital of the Inca Empire 3,400 metres above sea level, we’ll head to the Tambo del Inka Resort in the Sacred Valley for dinner and to spend the night.

    Day 8
    Callao/Lima/Cusco/Sacred Valley, Peru

    On your way to the Sacred Valley

  • Day 9
    Sacred Valley/Machu Picchu/Sacred Valley, Peru

    ‘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 Emperor Pachacuti who conquered the region and built the town that shares its name with the formidable stone fortress that clings to a massive cliff above the community. Constructed of rose-coloured granite, this huge structure was once a thriving complex of baths, temples and military barracks, and the fortification was the valley’s main defence against the rival Antis people. It was also the site of the Inca’s greatest victory against the Spanish during the wars of conquest.

    We then head to the nearby train station to board the deluxe Hiram Bingham train to Machu Picchu. Tuck into a savoury brunch while enjoying the views on the way to the renowned location.

    At last, we arrive at spectacular Machu Picchu. Built around 1450 and abandoned at the time of the Spanish conquest, thick tangles of vines and trees shielded it from the outside world for centuries. Since being 'found’ by an American archaeologist in 1911, 'The Lost City of the Incas’ has now taken centre stage as one of the greatest destinations in the world.

    You can explore the city’s ruins, imagining what life must have been like when it was inhabited by priests, craftsmen and servants. Excavations at the site have revealed skeletons, artefacts and woollen clothing, and you can admire the famous precision of Incan stonework on display here. Still, as the Incas left no written records behind about the city’s rise or fall, Machu Picchu remains one of the most archaeologically mysterious sites in the world.

    After spending an eventful day at the two sites, we head back to Tambo del Inka Resort by train for another relaxing evening and overnight stay.

    Day 9
    Sacred Valley/Machu Picchu/Sacred Valley, Peru

    ‘The Lost City of the Incas’

  • Day 10
    Sacred Valley/Cusco/Lima, Peru

    Centre of the Incan Empire

    After breakfast, we head back to Cusco to visit Sacsayhuamán fortress. It is strategically located on a hill overlooking Cusco and constructed without mortar like many other Inca structures. Even though the enormous stones can weigh up to 200 tons, they fit so tightly together that not even a thin blade of grass can slide between them, a testament to the Inca’s sophisticated construction techniques and architectural skills.

    Next, we proceed to the splendid Baroque-style Cusco Cathedral, built by the Spaniards in the mid-1500s on the foundations of an Incan palace. Many of the stones used in its construction were looted from the nearby Sacsayhuamán fortress. From there, we continue to Koricancha where you can admire the lovely Dominican Convent of Santo Domingo that was built on the foundations of the Temple of the Sun, the most important temple in the Inca Empire. The curved, mortar-less masonry wall at the west end of the church is considered to be one of the greatest existing examples of Inca stonework.

    When it’s time for lunch, we’ll eat at a local restaurant, before we transfer to the airport and fly to Lima. Once there, we meet our local guide and transfer to the hotel. After checking in, you can enjoy the evening in Peru’s capital at your leisure. We recommend heading to the trendy neighbourhood of Barranco for bars and restaurants or dropping by the illuminated ruins of clay ceremonial pyramids Huaca Pucllana and Huaca Hulallamarca.

    Day 10
    Sacred Valley/Cusco/Lima, Peru

    Centre of the Incan Empire

  • Day 11
    Lima, Peru

    ‘The City of Kings’

    Sadly, this is the last day of your expedition and it officially ends after breakfast at the hotel when you’ll say farewell to your fellow explorers. Seeing as you’re already here, we recommend extending your holiday for a few days to spend more time in the Peruvian capital which was known as La Ciudad de los Reyes, or ‘The City of Kings’.

    The UNESCO World Heritage historic centre is full of colonial-era architecture like Plaza Mayor and San Francisco Monastery. On the other hand, the clay ruins of ceremonial pyramids Huaca Pucllana and Huaca Huallamarca are reminders of long-lost Inca civilisation. For more pre-Columbian archaeology, there are at least four separate museums to pick from. Arty types among you will also enjoy the bright and Bohemian area of Barranco, complete with murals, creative cafés and two of Lima’s contemporary art museums.

    But the ultimate Lima experience has got to be the food. Cuisine emanating from the capital has raised the bar the globe over and there is no shortage of internationally recognised and award-winning restaurants for you to delight in. One of Peru’s all-time gastronomic greats is ceviche, fresh fish marinated in tangy lime juice and other seasonings. The staple dish can be savoured in many locations around the city, from up-market diners 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
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
    8 Oct
    9 Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
8 October 2022
9 October 2022

Current offers on this cruise:

  • New Year Global Expedition Sale

    Welcome in a new year of discoveries, with savings of up to AU$1,500 per cabin on select The Americas expeditions in 2022 and 2023.
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Possibilities

What's included

Included in your voyage

Land-Programme Peru/Machu Picchu after the cruise

  • Two nights at Tambo del Inka Resort, including half board
  • One night in Lima, including breakfast
  • 3-course set lunch and dinner on day 11, 12 and packed lunch on day 10
  • Return economy flight Lima-Cusco-Lima
  • All transfers and train rides as described, including English-speaking guide
  • Entrance fees according to programme

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
  • À la carte restaurant Lindstrøm 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 use at water refill stations on board
  • English-speaking Expedition Team who 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 Center which has an extensive library and advanced biological and geological microscopes
  • Citizen Science programme 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, infinity pool, panoramic sauna, outdoor and indoor gyms, and outdoor running track
  • Informal gatherings with the crew such as daily recaps and preparation for the day to come

Landing Activities

  • 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
  • Optional treatments in the onboard wellness and spa area

Notes

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

Ships

MS Roald Amundsen

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

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 530 (500 in Antarctica)
Gross tonnage 20 889 T
Length 140 m
Beam 23,6 m
Speed 15 knots

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

Read more about MS Fridtjof Nansen

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