Arriving Soon: Incredible New Journeys for 2023 & 2024!
Join Vantage Deluxe World Travel for an incredible small ship expedition cruise unlike any other. Sail from Lima, Peru, to some of the world’s most beautiful and unspoiled destinations in Ecuador, Colombia, and Panama, including three UNESCO World Heritage Sites. You’ll also have the opportunity to cross the full length of the Panama Canal, one of the modern wonders of the world.
Throughout your small ship expedition journey, you’ll be led by a knowledgeable Expedition Team comprised of experts in the fields of geology, marine biology, ornithology, and more. Board Zodiac boats and head ashore to explore remote islands teeming with indigenous wildlife in Ecuador and Panama, and hike through a lush jungle in Colombia. Then there’s the jewel in the crown of this small ship cruise: crossing the Panama Canal. You’ll traverse the entire length of the canal, crossing the famed Gatun Locks as you make your way to the Caribbean coast of Panama. In all, you’ll enjoy 8 included features and Cultural Discoveries on this one-of-a-kind journey.
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.
Cap off your Amazonian adventure with a deep dive into Peru’s Sacred Valley, where you’ll discover South America’s richest heritage at Machu Picchu and in the citified Inca capital of Cusco. Under the shadow of the Andes, you’ll explore ancient, indigenous, and contemporary culture in the towns and archaeological sites of Ollantaytambo, Sacsayhuamán, Machu Picchu, and Cusco. You’ll also join a local family in their home for an unforgettable dining experience, explore a centuries-long weaving tradition in Chinchero, catch a mototaxi to a chichería, and ride the Vistadome train up to Machu Picchu for extraordinary views and a true bucket-list experience.
Fly overnight to Lima, Peru
Depart the U.S. and fly to Peru. Or, depart earlier for an exhilarating pre-trip extension to Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley.
Arrive in Lima today
Welcome to Peru! 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.
Lima at your leisure
Following breakfast at your hotel, you’ll have a day at leisure to explore Lima on your own today. Known as the City of Kings, Lima has plenty to offer keen travelers.
The colonial-style architecture sets the stage for delightful discoveries, from the Plaza de Armas — the city’s main square where trumpets blare, drums pound, and cymbals crash at the daily changing of the guard outside the presidential palace — to the Palacio de Gobierno, a grandiose Baroque-style building that serves as Peru’s presidential residence, the ornate buildings found throughout will make for some unique photographic opportunities. The Malecón de Miraflores, the city’s waterfront boardwalk runs parallel to the Pacific Ocean and rewards visitors with miles of stunning views. Make the most of your day by renting a bicycle and pedal along this scenic esplanade. When hunger strikes, you’re in luck. Boasting world-renowned chefs and some of the world’s best restaurants, Lima has become the unofficial capital of gastronomy in Peru. Savor fresh ceviche, a Peruvian specialty, or pay a visit to Barrio Chino (Chinatown) for a taste of traditional chifa cuisine, a unique fusion of Chinese and Peruvian flavors.
Enjoy a tour of Lima and embark the Ocean Explorer
You’ll enjoy breakfast at your hotel this morning before checking out and making your way to Callao, where you will board the Ocean Explorer. Along the way, you’ll enjoy a tour of Lima’s engaging highlights and history. Founded in 1535 by Francisco Pizarro, the city’s historic center is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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.
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
Explore the pre-Columbian city of Chan Chan
Located in the La Libertad region of Peru, Salaverry is home to an array of important historical sites. Today, you’ll visit one of the most breathtaking of these sites: Chan Chan.
The pre-Columbian city of Chan Chan, located on the Pacific coast, dates back to AD 850. This UNESCO World Heritage Site, once the capital of the Chimú civilization, is the largest adobe city on earth, containing some 10,000 structures and walls reaching almost 30-feet-high. Among the maze of passageways and streets were palaces and temples decorated with elaborate friezes. Today, you’ll have the opportunity to explore this extraordinary archaeological site and learn about its history and the conservation efforts in place to protect this endangered site.
Destination Enhancement: Customize your journey when you add an optional excursion. Visit Trujillo, nicknamed “The City of Eternal Spring,” on this optional excursion where you’ll explore a local market and enjoy lunch. Learn more
Trujillo nicknamed “The City of Eternal Spring,” is Peru’s third largest city and the most important on the country’s northern coast. With its polychrome buildings and plentiful colonial-era churches, this charismatic city has barely changed in several centuries. Located on the banks of the Moche River, this area was once home to the Moche and Chimú civilizations. Its close proximity to two major pre-Columbian archaeological sites — UNESCO-listed Chan Chan and the Temples of the Sun and Moon — make this a top Peruvian destination for visitors. Get to know this fascinating city and its long history on this optional tour that includes a visit to a local marketplace and lunch.
Due to high call volume, we recommend you visit MyPortfolio to book this Destination Enhancement. Don’t wait — these optional experiences are limited to a select number of guests and are selling out fast!
Enjoy two days of scenic sailing
You’ll have two 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.
A taste of the Galápagos in Isla de la Plata
Sitting an hour off the coast of Ecuador and just south of the equator, you’ll find Isla de la Plata. This uninhabited island, part of the Machalilla National Park that covers part of country’s southern mainland, is home to a variety of incredible wildlife, including sea lions, rare lizards, and varied bird species. In fact, some of the animals found here include the blue-footed booby, Nazca booby, iguanas, and a large population of green sea turtles. The waters off the coast of the island also serve as a breeding ground for humpback whales and a critical migration path for oceanic manta rays, sharks, and other marine life. Today, you’ll have an unparalleled opportunity to board a Zodiac boat and head inland to explore this remote island, led by your knowledgeable Expedition Team.
Cross the Equator
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.
Explore the biodiversity of Utría National Park
Few places on earth can compare to the natural beauty of the Utría Inlet located in Colombia’s Chocó Forest, belonging to the Baudo Mountains. Today, join the Expedition Team on a walk through this biodiverse jungle, learning about the indigenous flora and fauna in this area. Set out to explore this protected area, home to a variety of mangrove trees and rocky cliffs soaring over 4,500 feet above sea level, and hear how the contrast of lush rainforest and offshore reefs contribute to the differing and unique ecosystem. You’ll also hear about the Indigenous communities that reside in this region and enjoy a folkloric performance.
Another enjoyable day at sea awaits you
The Ocean Explorer’s world-class amenities are yours once again as you continue your small ship expedition journey. If you haven’t yet treated yourself to a pampering massage, this is your time! And you’re sure to find the Observation Lounge the ideal spot for reflection. Settle in with a bestseller at the well-stocked library, enjoy cocktails on the sundeck, or pop into the gift shop for a few souvenirs.
Uncover the marine wonders of Coiba Island
Situated 30 miles off the Pacific Coast of Panama, in the Gulf of Chiriquí, you’ll find UNESCO-listed Coiba Island. Once used as a Panamanian penal colony, today the island serves as a protected marine reserve. Its use as a penal colony meant that access to the island was extremely restricted. As a result, minimal human interaction has allowed the island’s natural resources to thrive. Today, you’ll board a Zodiac craft and head ashore with your Expedition Team for a guided excursion. You’ll return to the ship for lunch and enjoy the remainder of the day onboard at your leisure.
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.
Disembark the Ocean Explorer and check into your Panama City hotel
The cruise portion of your journey comes to a close today in Colón, Panama. You’ll disembark your elegant small ship and head out on a tour of Colón’s highlights as you make your way to your Panama City hotel. Upon arrival at the hotel, you’ll have the afternoon at leisure with dinner on your own tonight.
Delve into the pleasures of Panama City today
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.
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.