10-night Classic Panama Canal Passage Cruise
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For many years this small island, accessible from the mainland by a causeway, was off-limits. A former headquarters of the U.S. Army and Naval Forces, this island is now developing into an upscale destination. Today visitors can enjoy the first class amenities ashore, go shopping in a luxurious new shopping plaza or tour colonial Old Panama.
Linking the Atlantic to the Pacific, the Panama Canal provides one of cruising's most unforgettable experiences. Over 10 years were needed to complete the canal's 51 miles in 1914 - so avoiding the lengthy and often dangerous voyage around Cape Horn. 'The Big Ditch' lifts vessels by a fascinating feat of mechanics aided by on-shore 'mule' locomotives through three great locks, traversing man-made lakes, channels blasted through rock, and the dense jungle. Two other special highlights of the canal are Gatun Lake and the Gaillard cut. Gatun Lake is one of the world's largest man-made lakes covering 163 square miles. Gaillard Cut is an 8 mile channel built through solid rock which was the most difficult excavation in the canal construction.
There’s more to Panama than the canal. Panama’s ethnic mix is reflected in its arts. This is a proud nation that honors its many Indian tribes and its rich Spanish legacy. And with some of the finest deep-sea fishing, snorkeling and birding, once you embrace Panama, you’ll find it hard to leave.
Suggested Private Excursion
Puerto Límon, on a palm-fringed shore backed by mountains, is the country's most important port. It was built on the site of an ancient Indian village, Cariari, where Columbus landed on his fourth and last voyage. Though he felt this was potentially a very rich land and named it Costa Rica, it never quite lived up to his expectations. However the spot where he anchored has proved to be the best port of the Caribbean coast. It was from here that the first shipments of bananas headed to North America in the late 19th century.
Suggested Private Excursions
Explore the splendid nature of Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast on an aerial tram high in the forest canopy, on board a whitewater raft, threading through the mangrove forests of Tortuguero in a boat or in the virgin forest in an off-road vehicle.
The small village of Tortuguero (translated as "Region of Turtles") lies on the northeastern Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, approximately 50 miles north of the principal Port of Limon. The village is comprised of a variety of cultures: Hispanic, Miskito Indian (Nicaragua), and Afro-Caribbean. Both Spanish and Creole English are spoken. The region surrounding Tortuguero is called the Tortuguero Plain, which is a vast low lying area of little topographic relief still covered by a large expanse of tropical rainforest.
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Coxen Hole (also called Roatan) is the capital of the Bay Islands that lie 30 miles off the Caribbean coast of Honduras, an archipelago patchwork that is the remains of an ancient submerged volcanic mountain range. It is located on the largest island, lush Roatan and offers a friendly and laid-back setting. Here you can enjoy the superb beach at West Bay, 'Dolphin Encounters' at Anthony's Key Resort and snorkelling and diving amid the Western Hemisphere's most spectacular underwater reefs. You can also take an excursion to visit Tikal, the ceremonial centre of the ancient Maya civilization, lying in a tropical rainforest 19 miles north of Lake Petén Itzá in Guatemala. The underwater environment is rich and extensive; reefs surround the islands, often within swimming distance of the shore. Caves and caverns are a common feature, with a wide variety of sponge and the best collection of pillar coral in the Caribbean.
Belize City is the largest city in Belize. It offers the visitor an unusual combination of rustic, old-fashioned Caribbean charm and bustling modernity. The Belize River meanders through the middle of the city; and twice a day, the city's swing bridge closes to allow sail boats to pass. There are many traditional street vendors selling fruits, vegetables, arts and crafts in the city's public squares, especially in the colonial marketplace on Saturday mornings. Visitors can purchase handmade wood furniture made by the Mennonite community and many kinds of craft items from the National Handicraft center, as well as from vendors who congregate near the Belize Commercial Center. Belize City is an excellent starting off point for visitors wishing to explore the country by car (or 4-wheel drive). There are several major tourist attractions an hour's drive or less from Belize City, such as the Belize Zoo, Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, the Bermudian Landing Community Baboon Sanctuary, and the Mayan ruin site at Altun Ha.
The island of Cozumel lies
just twelve miles off the Yucatan Coast, a 45 minute ferry ride from the famed
Riviera Maya. Dive into the crystal blue waters of Cozumel and discover why
Jacques Cousteau called it the "best diving area in the world." Palancar Reef,
the second largest in the world, provides an incredible diversity of species,
stunning sites and visibility of at least 150 feet. Whether you're a first time
snorkeler or an experienced diver, the intricate coral reefs and teems of painted
fish will amaze you!
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Key West is the southernmost point in the Continental United States and has tropical climate, tantalizing blue water, and laid-back island ambiance. Capture Key West and let Key West capture you-with beautiful beaches, delicious dining, fantastic fishing. Breath-taking dives are offered just miles off shore, or immerse yourself in the attractions and historical sites. A visit to Key West will grab the interest of both the young and old, the energetic and laid-back, the water lovers and land loungers. Ride the Conch Train's wheels or walk the streets to see all Key West has to offer. Experience Ripley's Believe It or Not, pages of history in the Key West Lighthouse, and the way life was for famous former Key West residents Ernest Hemmingway and John James Audubon in their historical island homes. Old Town is the location of many popular Key West sites and attractions. Duval Street is in the heart of Old Town and home of some favorite Key West drinking establishments like Sloppy Joes, Hog's Breath Saloon and Jimmy Buffetts Margaritiville Cafe.
Originally a fort built by the U.S. Army in 1838, during the Second Seminole War, Ft. Lauderdale has little left of its warlike past. Instead the city welcomes visitors with broad beaches and an easy pace of life, plus convenient air and water connections that make the city a perfect place to visit.
Itinerary subject to change without notice. Please confirm itinerary at time of booking.
- One complimentary shore excursion in every port of call
- Free Wi-Fi (connection speed may vary)
- Alternative restaurant dining at no extra charge
- 24-hour room service
- Beer, wine & soft drinks with onboard lunch & dinner
- 24-hour specialty coffees, teas & bottled water
- Access to top-rated spa & state-of-the-art fitness center
- Self-service launderettes
- Port taxes & fees
- Ground transfers with Viking Air purchase
YOUR STATEROOM INCLUDES:
- Private veranda
- King-size Viking Explorer Bed with luxury linens & pillows
- Separate seating area
- 42" flat-screen LCD TV with intuitive remote & complimentary Movies On Demand
- 110/220 volt outlets & USB ports
- Spacious closet & drawers
- Mini-bar; security safe; hair dryer
- Spacious glass-enclosed shower
- Heated bathroom floor & anti-fog mirror
- Premium Freyja® toiletries; plush robes & slippers
- Stateroom steward & twice-daily housekeeping
- Optional air add-ons are available from Viking Cruises' designated gateway cities in the U.S. and Canada, and include all government fees and taxes.
- Pre- or Post- cruise hotel stay
- Optional shore excursions
All fares and offers are for new bookings only, as of May 1, 2014, are subject to availability, may not be combinable with other offers except Viking Explorer Society Travel Credit and Referral Rewards Credit, are capacity-controlled and may be withdra
All prices per person and in USD unless otherwise stated.
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Information and pricing is subject to change without notice. While we do our very best to ensure that information and pricing appearing in this website is complete and accurate, we cannot be responsible for incomplete and inaccurate representations, which may or may not be under our control. In the event of a pricing error, misrepresentation or omission, we reserve the right to adjust the pricing or make any other corrections.
Kathleen Stahl Travel Services
529 36th Street
Des Moines, IA 50312