Visiting coastal towns
and nature reserves you will get an impeccable insight into the rich
archaeological, modern as well as natural history of Chile, Peru and
Ecuador. Added to this is the dense tropical jungle, white sandy
beaches and stunning wildlife on the coastal islands of Panama and
Costa Rica. An expedition cruise of a lifetime!
Setting out from colorful Valparaíso, we sail north to the
lovely towns of Coquimbo, Iquique and Arica in northern Chile. While in
Callao, Peru, it is possible to visit its capital, Lima.
We will visit popular Manta while in Ecuador, with options to visit
Isla de la Plata, a national park known as a mini-Galapagos. We cross
the Gulf of Panama to reach the beach and jungle islands of Granito de
Oro & Coiba in Panama as well as Golfito Bay in Costa Rica,
where the term Paradise is an understatement.
Disembarking in the Costa Rican port of Puntarenas, we get the last
impression of this beautiful country on our way to San José,
the airport and homebound flight.
DATES / RATES
Rates are listed per person
Rates are listed per person
DAY 1 : ARRIVAL AND
EMBARKATION IN VALPARAÍSO
Our journey begins in Valparaiso, Chile, where MV Ocean Victory is
located by the dock. Boarding is in the afternoon, where the ship is
ready to become our home for the next many days. After the mandatory
security review and drill, we sail out from the colorful and artistic
city known as Valpo, heading north towards Coquimbo.
DAY 2 : CULTURAL CITY OF
COQUIMBO – WITH EIFFEL’S CHURCH AND BUSTLING SEA
Coquimbo is located in a valley, about 10 kilometers south of the town
La Serena, and the two cities combine to create the area Grande La
Serena with around 400.000 inhabitants. According to legends Sir
Francis Drake has hidden a treasure outside Coquimbo (still unfound!.
It is also said that the famous architect Gustave Eiffel left a more
visible treasure in the local church, the iron and zink based Iglesia
Guyacan. The coast is riddled with stories of Drake and Eiffel and we
will “meet” them again as we call upon Arica.
Our expedition team leads a short walk around the charming little town
of Coquimbo, known for a mix of modern and colonial architecture. The
walk normally includes a visit at either Plaza de Armas or Plaza Prat
and the promenade at Avenida Costanera.
We also set up a shuttle bus service that runs during our visit. The
shuttle goes to the neighbouring town of La Serena where the town
centre is worth a visit. It is known as Chile’s second oldest
town, founded in 1544. The town has 3 different architectural periods
in clear view, with traditional Spanish styles mixing in with the
neo-classical era and most clearly the new colonial period. The local
market (La Recova) is a good place to find local handicrafts and
jewelry with lapis lazuli.
DAY 3 : ALONG THE
HUMBOLDT CURRENT CRUISING BY THE ISLANDS OF GAVIOTA, CHOROS AND DAMAS
We cruise slowly as we pass the islands known for their penguin nature
reserve. If the weather allows it, we will embark our Zodiacs and pass
by closer to the islands. We are not allowed to make any landings, but
hopefully we can see some of the wildlife that the area is known for.
We observe the animals from a safe distance and make sure not to bother
After our visit we continue our journey along the Chilean coast.
DAY 4 : AT SEA, ENJOYING
THE FIVE-STAR COMFORTS OF OCEAN VICTORY
Listen to a lecture from our experienced expedition staff, enjoy a good
lunch and go out on deck to catch glimpses of migrating birds and
hopefully some whales. Even though the whale season is normally
considered to run December-March they are also often seen in April. The
whales along the Humboldt Current is mostly blue whales, fin whales and
humpbacks, all feeding on the krill-filled waters we are moving through.
DAY 5 : IQUIQUE, CHILE.
THE ATACAMA DESERT LANDSCAPES AND THE GHOST TOWNS OF SANTA LAURA AND
Iquique, which loosely translates to “quiet place to
relax” in the native tongue of Aymará, is a modern
city, where travelers in the northern Chile often stop by. Apart from
its beautiful location, it is known for wonderful beaches and the old
central Plaza Arturo which marks the city centre. At the centre you can
find the clocktower Torre de Reloj and the old Teatro Municipal.
Iquique also has an important share of Chiles trade, as it has one of
South Americas largest duty-free commercial zones (the Zona Franca
Iquique also known as Zofri ). The local fishing port also adds to the
tally by being the world’s largest export harbor for fishmeal
(used mostly for animal feed).
Our coaches are waiting for us at the pier, driving us through the
indescribable beauty of the Atacama desert. Initially we enjoy the
panoramic view of Iquique, its beaches and the ridged Cerro Dragon
(dragon hill). Our destination is the nitrate ghost town of Santa
Laura, that operated from 1872 to 1960. The processing plant and
smokestacks are still visible along with the administration building
and the warehouse. Along with the town we are visiting next,
Humberstone, these two form a National monument that also since 2005 is
classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Only a short drive away we find Humberstone that was founded in 1862.
The town is well worth a visit, if nothing else for its theater built
of Oregon pine.
DAY 6 : ARICA CITY TOUR
WITH EIFFELS CATHEDRAL AND THE WORLDS OLDEST MUMMIES IN SAN MIGUEL DE
Chiles most northern city, is only 12 kilometers from Peru’s
border in the area Norte Grande. The milder climate and easier access
to water has always made Arica into an important area, witnessed by the
first settlements that are as old as 6.000 bc.. The local tribes grew
corn (maize), zucchini and cotton, made ceramic pottery and was later a
part of the Tihuanaco culture in Bolivia and subsequently the Inca
empire. The Arica of today is a lively place, with golden sandy
beaches, duty-free shopping and a vibrant nightlife. Culturally many
use Arica as a base to explore the ruins found inland.
Within the town you can find Sir Francis Drakes grave and the cathedral
de San Marcos, that was designed and constructed in steel and zink by
As we climb aboard the awaiting busses, we drive towards the Azapa
valley. On our way, we can hopefully catch a glimpse of several of the
geoglyphs that adorn the sides of the hills. The geoglyphs were created
centuries ago. We stop at the San Miguel de Azapa Archaeological
Museum, where are to see one the most amazing things on this planet,
the Chinchorro mummies. They are the oldest on earth, dating
6.000-8.000 BC. They are classified as the oldest examples of
artificial mummified human remains, considerably older than their
After our visit we return to Arica where we take a city tour, visiting
some of the highlights.
DAY 7 : AT SEA, CROSSING
FROM CHILEAN WATERS TO PERUVIAN WATERS
Another day to enjoy some of the services onboard as we cruise along
the last part of the journey following the cold Humboldt Current, soon
we will break free of it as our course takes us even more north along
the coast of Peru towards the Equatorial counter.
Our expedition staff onboard schedule lectures and activities.
DAY 8 : OUR FIRST
PERUVIAN CALL IN PARACAS, SANDY BEACHES AND OPTIONAL EXCURSIONS TO THE
FAMOUS BALLESTAS ISLANDS OR BY FLIGHT TO THE NAZCA LINES
Our first port of call in Peru is Paracas, known as the entrance to
Pisco. The small village has ample beaches, hotels and shorefront
restaurants. Apart from the lovely sandy beaches, the area is famous
for the islands of Ballestas located not far from the coast. The
islands are jokingly known as “the poor mans Galapagos
islands” for their likeness in both geology and wildlife. The
Nazca lines made famous from countless magazine covers is also very
close by, giving us an opportunity to offer flight excursions.
Morning tour visiting Ballestas Islands. The excursion offers excellent
chances of seeing wildlife such as: sea lions, cormorants, boobies,
pelicans, penguins and more than 200 species of birds (both migratory
and native species). The area also has dolphins which will show up if
we are in luck. The islands are very important breeding grounds for
hundreds of thousands of birds, that are all feeding off the huge
quantities of anchovies that live along the Peruvian coast.
The trip takes around 2 hours
Duration total approx.: 3 hours
Optional excursion: Nazca Lines
Transfer (30 minutes) to the airport of Pisco for the famous Nasca
The Nazca lines are a group of very large figures formed by depressions
or shallow incisions made in the soil of the Nazca desert in southern
Peru. They were created between 500 BC and 500 AD. They cary in size up
to 1 km and are thus best appreciated from the air.
The significance of the figures is still not completely understood, but
most theories point towards them being of religious content.
The trip takes around 1½-2 hours in small Cessna-planes,
from which you can observe the most famous figures (The Astronaut, the
Monkey, The Condor, The Hummingbird etc.)
Duration approx.: 4 hours
DAY 9 : THE PORT TOWN OF
CALLAO AND THE CAPITAL CITY OF LIMA
We arrive today to the seaside city of Callao, with its historic port.
Not only was it the historical main port for all trade coming in from
Peru, Bolivia and Argentina, before being shipped to Panama and then
Spain, it is also the famed starting point for the Kon-tiki expedition.
The city is only 15 kilometers from Peru’s capital Lima, to
which an optional excursion can take you.
Callao is still Peru’s greatest and most important port (and
also home to a naval base). The city also boasts of the fort Real
Felipe, the Callao cathedral and some wonderful plaza’s, so
it’s worth taking an afternoon stroll through the city before
we set sail north.
Optional excursion: Lima
We have around 1 hour bus drive to the city centre and on the way, we
will get an idea of this enormous city with more than 10 million
inhabitants. Lima is also the second largest desert city in the world,
only surpassed by Cairo. As we arrive the Colonial center, we leave the
bus and continue by foot and visit the Main Square (Plaza de Armas),
where Lima was founded by Conquistador Francisco Pizarro. We also have
a chance to enjoy the colonial architecture. Some of the older
buildings have disappeared, but fortunately, in recent years, there is
a renewed focus on the colonial centre where many buildings have been
We then walk the short distance to the San Francisco church and
monastery, where we will visit the bizarre catacombs where Catholics
were buried until the end of the Spanish era.
We return to the ship for lunch.
Duration approx.: 4-5 hours
DAY 10 : TRUJILLO AND THE
LARGEST PRE-COLOMBIAN CITY IN THE AMERICAS: CHAN CHAN.
We are set to arrive in the port city of Salaverry after lunch and from
here we will embark on an adventure in both the past and the present.
We begin with the past, as we visit the Chimu cultures old capital Chan
Chan, renowned for being the largest city in both North- and South
America in the pre-colombian era. It is still the largest city built
with clay (using the mudbricks or Adobe). The city covers 28 square
kilometers and was built around 1300 AD. It is believed that around
60.000 people inhabited the area. The people had amassed great reserves
of gold, silver and other valuables, which the Inca’s had
never been interested in. Once the Spaniards came along, they plundered
the treasures of Chan Chan.
The city consists of nine different parts, each built by a ruler and we
will visit a few of these “king cities”. We will
enjoy the ceremonial yards, wall decorations and the cistern that
provided water to the inner city.
Our next visit will be in the more modern Trujillo, who albeit being
founded all the way back in 1535 by the infamous conquistador Pizzaro.
The colonial heart of the city is well preserved with lively colours
and wrought iron balconies. Tourism has yet to make a big impact on
this part of Peru, allowing us to get a more genuine sense of life.
There is a buzz in the city that gives us a good impression of modern
Peru. Trujillo is the third largest city in the country, with around
DAY 11 : AT SEA, ALONG
THE COAST OF ECUADOR
During the night we have made our way north and will enter the
Ecuadorian waters during the day and continue along the coast towards
our next destination.
Today there is time to relax, read a book, listen to some of the
scheduled lectures and enjoy the company of our co-passengers. As
always the ship’s chefs will conjure great meals for us and
do their utmost to spoil our taste buds.
The temperature gets hotter as we encroach on the tropical climates of
Ecuador, Panama and Costa Rica.
DAY 12 : THE LOVELY
COASTAL CITY OF MANTA, ECUADOR – OPTIONAL EXCURSION TO ISLA
DE LA PLATA
Although Manta, Ecuador is not a typical tourist destination, this city
has a lot to offer when it comes to seascapes, history, and culture.
Manta is the second largest port city in Ecuador and its economy
largely relies on the fishing and tourism industry.
Today we offer an exciting excursion by boat to the nearby island Isla
de la Plata. We will transfer by coach to the small port town of Puerto
Lopez where we board a smaller boat that can land at the islands.
Optional excursion: Isla
de la Plata
Tour visiting Isla de la Plata. The excursion offers excellent chances
of seeing the teeming wildlife which is reminiscent of Galapagos such
as: frigate birds, albatrosses, boobies, pelicans, manta rays, sea
lions, dolphins, green turtles and more than 30 species of birds (both
migratory and native species). Including box lunch.
The trip takes around 1,5 hours each way
Duration total approx.: 8 hours
DAY 13 : EXTRA TIME IN
MANTA WITH PANAMA HATS AND JUNGLE WILDLIFE
Today we have more time in lovely Manta, but also more time to get to
know the area and crafts.
We set off directly from the dock in Manta and go to Montecristi, a
place known for the quality of handicrafts made with wicker, wood, and
ancestral fibers like piquigua and toquilla palm. It is with the latter
that the famous Panama Hats are made, and Montecristi is recognized
worldwide for its very high quality. These hats are hand-woven by
following a process that can take from 4 to 6 months, depending on the
fineness and complexity of the materials and weave. A visit that will
change our views of the famous hat for sure!
Following our visit in Montecristi, we will head to Pacoche, a private
reserve of 10 hectares that is part of the Pacoche Wildlife
Refuge, just 20 minutes away from the city of Manta. It is a
unique and special place surrounded by the jungle, home to many endemic
bird species and mammals such as the howler monkeys.
The reserve has two trails that will allow you to get into the jungle
and feel part of the nature of the place. Pacoche is famous for the
presence of families of howler monkeys that wander freely through the
forest. Additionally, there are capuchin monkeys and over 250 species
of birds, of which 50 are endemic to the place.
DAY 14 : AT SEA, CROSSING
GULF OF PANAMA
This day allows us to relax and let some of our recent explorations
sink in. Our onboard team will offer lectures and activities. The route
takes us over the Gulf of Panama during the end of the dry season that
runs from January to April. From May the area experiences downfall and
undergoes its wet season until December. We continue towards Coiba
Island off the Pacific coast of Panama.
DAY 15 : THE NATURAL
WONDER OF COIBA NATIONAL PARK AND GRANITO DE ORO – ZODIAC
LANDING AT WHITE BEACHES AND DENSE JUNGLE
It’s time for a tropical visit in Panama, as we lay anchor
near Coiba island. We sail to land by Zodiacs and visit the Coiba
National Park. The Park was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in
2005, because of the multitude of endemic mammals, plants and birds
found here. The Park area encompasses 38 islands of the coast of Panama.
We go for a walk along the beach and enjoy the natural beauty of the
DAY 16 : GOLFITO BAY AND
VISIT OF RESEARCH STATION AND RAINFOREST
Golfito of today is a sleepy fishing village, whereas in the
1960’s a booming banana export told a very different story.
In 1985 the banana adventure on the west coast grinded to a halt, as
declining foreign markets, rising export taxes and banana disease
forced the closing of the local United Fruit Company. Costa Rica still
exports a lot of the yellow skinned fruits, but now mostly from the
Now Golfito Bay is known for its beaches and sport fishing, giving the
village some tourism income. The opening of a duty-free shopping center
has also generated some domestic visitors.
Morning tour visiting Tropenstation La Gamba before going on a tour of
the Piedras Blancas National Park.
As we arrive in Golfito, we are picked up and go directly towards the
La Gamba research and teaching field station. The field station plays a
significant role in research into tropical rainforests and rainforest
conservation awareness. Many students from all over the world come to
spend some time here to do field research. We have the chance to hear
about the research stations work as well as having a short tour of the
premises. After the visit we are ready for our own stint into the local
The National park has a great diversity of plants, animals and species
of insects. It is considered one of the best places in Costa Rica for
bird watching, since it is one of the main meeting point for birds from
North and South America. The National park is also home to some endemic
species of both flora and fauna.
Duration total approx.: 5 hours
DAY 17 : ARRIVAL IN
PUNTARENAS, COSTA RICA - DISEMBARKATION
The captain has led the ship northwards along the Humboldt Current and
the Latin American coasts of Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Panama and Costa
Rica. Today we’ll arrive in Puntarenas, one of the larger
cruise ports on Costa Rica’s western coast. Today
we’ll say farewell to the ship and its crew before most
depart for the airport in the nearby capital San Jose and begin their
return journey (transfer not incl.).
(Click image to view Ship details)
- 17-days´ cruise with accommodation in a shared
outside double stateroom with private facilities – 90% with
- All Zodiac landings and excursions as per itinerary
- Guiding and lectures by our expedition leader and team
- Near-shore guided walks in towns and settlements
- English-speaking expedition team
- Full board on the ship - breakfast, lunch, dinner and
- Free tea and coffee 24 hours’ daily
- Taxes and portfees
- Guiding and lectures by our experienced expedition leader
- Special photo workshop
- Welcome and farewell cocktails
- Digital visual journal link after voyage, including voyage
log, gallery, species list and more!
The opportunity to simply set foot on the Polar regions is a great
experience, but to walk amid its white emptiness on a mini expedition
is truly an unbeatable adventure. Few people venture onto the ice
sheet, yet so much more awaits only a little deeper within, where a
great ice landscape unfolds! On this excursion, you can wander among
the hills and valleys, and eventually find yourself surrounded by
crystal blue streams, rivers, waterfalls and lakes - all formed by melt
water from the ice.
We always have a dedicated expedition photographer onboard to document
the voyage and share their passion for photography through lectures and
during landings and zodiac cruises. The Polar Regions are filled with
mesmerizing landscapes and amazing wildlife; and the expedition
photographer is available to help elevate your photographic
capabilities to beautifully capture the magical moments of your voyage.
One of the greatest pleasures of our expeditions, is being able to
experience the Polar regions' wildlife from a safe distance,
respectfully enjoying their beauty in their natural habitat. Depending
on which voyage you've chosen to embark on, there's certainty you will
have the opportunity to spot a great variety of species, from seabirds
to mammals distinctive of the Polar regions, and other more exotic