Step aboard the elegant Ocean Explorer and sail with Vantage Deluxe World Travel on a small ship expedition cruise to some of the world’s most beautiful destinations throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.
Beginning in Panama City, your enchanting small ship cruise will cross the Panama Canal, counted among the modern world’s seven wonders, and visit unspoiled San Blas Island. Next, you’ll head to historic Cartagena and bustling Santa Marta before making your way to the Caribbean, where you’ll visit scenic islands and charming city’s, from Aruba to Barbados. Throughout your journey, your knowledgeable Expedition Team will guide your discoveries with 9 included features, plus you’ll have plenty of leisure time for further exploration on your own.
Along with days exploring ashore, you’ll enjoy sailing aboard the 5-star Ocean Explorer, a luxury vessel built for expedition travel with ULSTEIN X-BOW® technology. This elegant small ship ensures you’ll feel pampered aboard with sumptuous accommodations, gourmet dining, and first-class personalized service. Treat yourself to a soothing massage at the onboard spa, soak in the top-level hot tubs as you take in the passing scenery, or head to the fitness center for a workout. You’ll find everything you need on board to ensure this small ship expedition ticks all the boxes on your travel wishlist.
Please note that the nature of these journeys requires a certain level of physical fitness, and guests should be able to walk three miles unassisted over potentially-uneven terrain, be prepared to anchor offshore, and possess the physical agility to embark and disembark small Zodiac crafts in unpredictable waters.
Fly to Panama City
Today, you’ll board a flight to Panama City, Panama. If you purchased your airfare from Vantage, a representative will meet you at the airport to assist with transfers to your hotel. Check in and relax as you prepare for the adventure that awaits on your small ship expedition cruise. Dinner tonight is on your own.
Explore Panama City at your leisure
Panama City is Central America’s most cosmopolitan capital, and you’ll have a full day at leisure to explore it for yourself. Head to Casco Viejo, the historic side of Panama City and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and take a step back in time. Bask in sweeping vistas of the city's skyscrapers, explore ancient churches, and savor fresh seafood at El Mercado de Mariscos.
Tour Panama City and embark the Ocean Explorer today
Following breakfast at your hotel, you’ll head to the pier to begin the cruise portion of your journey, with a tour of Panama City along the way.
Upon arrival at the pier, you’ll board your elegant small ship to begin the cruise portion of your journey. There will be time to settle in and perhaps have a drink on deck as you set off on your adventure. Tonight, enjoy a special Welcome Dinner with your fellow travelers.
Cross the Panama Canal
Crossing the Panama Canal is a maritime experience unlike any other. Completed in 1914, the Panama Canal is considered one of the seven wonders of the modern world and a marvel of engineering. Today you’ll traverse the entire length of the canal, crossing its massive locks. Head to the top-level sundeck, or to the panoramic Observation Lounge, and view the full scope of this engineering wonder as you make your way to the Atlantic.
Discover the pristine beauty of San Blas Island
Today you’ll visit San Blas Island, part of a group of islands located in the archipelago northwest of Panama. Many of the 378 islands found here are uninhabited, and today you’ll head ashore to explore the pristine beauty found here. The powder-white sand and crystal-clear waters surrounding San Blas make this a picture-perfect destination on which to spend your day.
Relax on board with a day at sea
Indulge in the splendid amenities of the Ocean Explorer today. Lounge on the sundeck with a cocktail and a bestselling book. Get your heart racing with a cardio workout at the gym or pamper yourself with a soothing treatment at the onboard spa. The day is at your leisure to do as you please.
Onboard Enhancement: Customize your journey when you add an optional onboard experience. Enhance your time on board with one of our Vantage-exclusive activities, including wine and whiskey tastings, a multicourse Chef’s Table Dinner, or an exclusive wine-pairing dinner. Learn more
Discover Cartagena, Colombia
Located along the Caribbean coast of Colombia, Cartagena offers visitors charming colonial architecture, lush landscapes, narrow stone walkways, and fascinating cultural experiences. In fact, this vibrant and historic city — one of the most beautiful and well-preserved in the Americas — inspired the many works of Nobel-winning, Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez. You’ll explore this incredible destination for yourself today, and learn about its history and cultural heritage during an included city tour. There will be free time to further explore on your own following your tour.
Savor the sites of Santa Marta, Colombia
Santa Marta is known as the premier beach destination in Colombia. But there is more to this hidden gem than the beautiful, secluded beaches. The city’s many museums focus on everything from masterpieces created by local artists to the history of the city and the importance of former Colombian president and revolutionary hero Simón Bolívar. Coffee and chocolate lovers can find much to satisfy their tastes, as the small villages dotting the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain rage is known for producing rich, organic coffee and cacao. The Santa Marta Market is the place to shop for unique souvenirs and gifts made by local artisans, or savor traditional fare from street-food stalls. You’ll enjoy an included tour of the city’s best highlights today with time to explore further on your own
Enjoy a day of scenic sailing on board
You’ll have a day of scenic sailing to indulge in your ship’s 5-star amenities. Relax on the sundeck, visit the spa for a soothing treatment, and shop for souvenirs at the onboard gift shop. At mealtimes, savor culinary creations prepared by your skilled onboard chefs. In the evening, head up to the Observation Deck for magnificent stargazing.
Enchanting Aruba welcomes you today
Aruba welcomes you ashore with its soft ocean breezes and warm Caribbean sun, and charms you with its vibrant Dutch architecture and beautiful unspoiled beaches. It should come as no surprise that this hospitable island is a favorite year-round destination for visitors. Its temperate crystalline waters are perfect for windsurfing, and its vibrant coral reef rewards snorkelers and divers with a display of colorful tropical fish and ancient shipwrecks. After a day spent exploring this lovely island you’re sure to feel the special sense of happiness locals call “the Aruba effect” for yourself.
Be charmed by colorful Curaçao
Today, you’ll visit colorful Curaçao. With its pastel-hued, 17th-century Dutch-style buildings; lively waterfront, vibrant open-air markets; and numerous cafés, galleries, and shops, there is more to this friendly island than just its beaches. You’ll enjoy an included tour of Curaçao’s favorite sites, taking in the picturesque scenery and charming architecture along the way.
Enjoy another leisurely day on board
Enjoy another day at sea aboard your elegant small ship. Visit the spa, relax in the well-stocked library, sip a cocktail as you take in the panoramic views from the sundeck, or perhaps get a workout in the gym. At mealtime, savor incredible culinary creations thoughtfully prepared by your onboard chefs.
Set foot on picturesque St. Vincent
The largest of the island chain comprising St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the volcanic island of St. Vincent is one of the most beautiful in the Caribbean. With its wide white-sand beaches, clear sapphire-hued waters, and the sweet scent of tropical flowers permeating the air, it’s easy to see why this destination evokes visions of a peaceful island paradise. You’ll set out for a guided tour of this idyllic island today, viewing its top highlights for yourself.
Disembark in charming Barbados
Thanks to its rich British heritage, few places can blend calypso music and cricket as seamlessly as Barbados. And Bridgetown is the heart of this picturesque island. From its glorious beaches and historic architecture to the 17th-century churches and UNESCO-listed Garrison, this is one island worth visiting. After disembarking the Ocean Explorer, you’ll enjoy a tour of this beautiful island on the way to your hotel. The rest of the day is yours to spend at your leisure with dinner on your own.
Enjoy Barbados at your leisure today
You’ll be able to explore more of Barbados for yourself with a full day at leisure today.
Pay a visit to Harrison’s Cave, an amazing gallery of stalactites and stalagmites, with streams of crystal-clear waterfalls forming deep emerald pools. Or, pop into historic Mount Gay Rum Distillery, established in 1703 and known as the birthplace of rum, and follow up a tour of the fully-operational rum making headquarters with a tasting. Barbados is also known for having some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, with crystalline waters and powder-soft sand. Spend an afternoon soaking up the sum on one of these legendary beaches.
Today, you’ll transfer to the airport for your flight back to the U.S.
Please Note: Ocean cruising is not the same experience as river cruising; as such, you may experience fluctuating tides and weather patterns that may involve some rocking of your vessel. Itineraries will include all activities as planned except in extreme cases that can’t be controlled by your shipboard crew. Day-by-day itineraries are preliminary and therefore subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Cruise Director or regional expert.