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Panama Discovery Voyage

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Panama Discovery Voyage

International Expeditions' Panama cruise aboard the 24-guest Discoveroffers a range of experiences: intimate exploration of Panama's remote places, the multicolor tapestry of nature, and immersion into distinct cultures. This journey was designed to cover the narrowest marine routes into pristine lands. Accompanying your cruise is a carefully selected 10-person crew. 

Leading Your Panama Tour 

Onboard the Discovery, enthusiastic Expedition Leaders and well-trained naturalists provide unparalleled insight into the region's culture and nature.  They will introduce you to native human groups that still preserve their customs and traditions, and to a world of stunning natural beauty and rich history.


Daily Itinerary

Panama Cruise Itinerary

  • Day

    Arrive Panama City

    Arrive in Panama City aboard your independent flight, and transfer to the Bristol Hotel. 

  • Day

    Panama City / Embark

    After a morning at leisure to explore, transfer to Flamenco Marina where you embark the 24-guest M/V Discovery. Sail the tropical waters of the Pacific Ocean towards Contadora. Over a delicious meal of local cuisine, meet your Expedition leaders, crew and fellow guests. (D)

    panama photos embera village
  • Day

    Darien Jungle

    Delve into the lives of the Embera Indians on an excursion in the Darien Jungle. The Embera have still live mush as they did before the arrival of the Spanish. These natives are master crafters of cocobolo wood carvings and basketry. As we travel by excursion boat to and from the village, watch for aabundant wildlife along the river's edge. (B,L,D)

  • Day

    Pearl Islands: San Telmo & Mogo Mogo

    Snorkel and swim in the waters of the Pearl Islands, named for the archipelago's abundance of pearl oysters. San Telmo and Mogo Mogo Islands are home to pristine beaches and fertile fishing grounds. View the remains of the Civil War-era submarine Explorer, which was built in 1865 and sunk off the coast of San Telmo during the oyster fishery boom of the late 1800s. (B,L,D)

    panama cruise photos civil war era submarine explorer
  • Day

    Panama Canal Transit / Gatun Lake

    Begin our day at the Panama Canal's Pacific entrance, where we join the morning’s ship convoy for our northbound canal passage traversing Miraflores Locks and Pedro Miguel Locks. The Discovery will be raised 85 feet above sea level to Gatun Lake. Enjoy the opportunity to experience the history and operation of this engineering marvel. Navigate the Gaillard Cut, the narrowest section of the Panama Canal, bisecting the Continental Divide. This section of the canal is full of history and geological value and you will be able to appreciate the continuous maintenance that this area requires. Spend the night in Gatun Lake. (B,L,D)

  • Day

    Panama Canal / Barro Colorado Island

    Prior to the construction of the Panama Canal, the vast jungle area that is now the Gatun Lake was teeming with an abundance of wildlife. As the region was flooded to create the lake, animals took refuge in the mountain peaks, which are now the many islands that dot the renowned lake. Explore Barro Colorado Island where the Smithsonian’s Tropical Research Center is located. Excursion boats take you through lush rainforests to secluded areas of the lake. Exotic birds, monkeys, sloths, iguanas, and crocodiles are just a few of the animals that you could see in their native surroundings. Cameras are a must as this is considered the world’s premier location for viewing monkeys and other animals in the wild. The Discovery will exit the Panama Canal in the afternoon on its way to the mouth of the Chagres River. (B,L,D)

    panama cruise photos howler monkey
  • Day

    Chagres River / Fort San Lorenzo

    Experience the magnificent Chagres River which was used by the conquistadors to move their gold across the Isthmus of Panama en-route from Peru to Spain and by the gold prospectors who attempted a "short cut" from the US East coast to the gold fields of California. The river was the center piece of the colonial inter-oceanic route and is now the lifeline of the Panama Canal full of wildlife and tropical jungle. Explore Fort San Lorenzo which is located on a cliff at the mouth of the Chagres on the Atlantic side where your leader will offer details of the immense amount of history found on this area. The fort was built by the Spaniards in the 16th century to defend their well known gold trail.  (B,L,D)

    panama cruise photos miraflores lock
  • Day

    Disembark / Portobelo / Panama City

    After a farewell breakfast, disembark the Discovery and travel to Portobelo, founded by Christopher Columbus on his fourth voyage to the new continent in 1597. This quaint town is rich in history as it was the site of many sea and land battles between the Spanish colonials and the pirates and corsairs raiding the Spanish Main. Explore the fortifications built by the Spaniards to protect their treasures and visit the Church of San Felipe, the sanctuary of the Black Christ. Later in the afternoon, board the Panama Canal Railway train back to Panama City. This one hour railroad trip will allow you to traverse the picturesque trans-isthmian route from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. The line flanks the Panama Canal passing through lush rainforests, cruising alongside the Canal’s locks, through the historic Gaillard Cut and gliding over slender causeways in Gatun Lake. Spend tonight at the Bristol Hotel. (B,L)

  • Day

    Depart Panama

    Transfer to the airport and board your independent flight home. 


Panama Cruise Ship M/V Discovery

M/V Discovery

Passenger numbers on the M/V Discovery are limited to just 24, ensuring everyone can enjoy serenity and privacy together with the excitement and closeness of a true exploration cruise.

Discovery is a 33 meter-long, purpose built catamaran providing six queen and six twin cabins. All cabins have individual climate control, bathrooms and huge windows which extend along the length of the cabin allowing you to enjoy the scenery in complete privacy.

The dining area, bar and lounge are located on the upper deck which is fitted with floor to ceiling “glass walls” providing a spectacular dinning experience and plenty of space to unwind. Enjoy Panamanian gastronomy, sampling indigenous dishes prepared by our talented Chef. A BBQ and sun deck are located on the topmost observation deck.

The Discovery is equipped with a unique platform that lowers kayakers and zodiacs gently into the water and also retrieves them in perfect safety and comfort.

From: $4,360 per person
9 Days, 8 Nights
Trip Type
Land & Sea

Trip Highlights

  • 2017 Departures: October 26; November 30
  • 2018 Departures: March 30; April 29; May 28; June 4; October 26; November 26