Experience South America's rich culture, nature and history in one trip

Modern wonders and diverse cultures
Cruise from Colón through the locks of the impressive Panama Canal. In the jungle of Darien National Park, a rare invite to meet the indigenous Embera is waiting for you. After, we'll visit the Afro Colombian community in Bahía Solano.

Colourful wildlife and Inca treasures
Discover the natural beauty and incredible wildlife of Isla de la Plata and Puerto Bolivar. From Ecuador, we cruise south to Peru, where you'll learn about the ancient Inca and Chimu empires as you explore the ruins of Chan Chan, Ollytambo and Machu Picchu.

Highlights


• 14-day expedition cruise through the Panama Canal and onto Machu Picchu, exploring the charming communities of the South American Pacific coast.

• Enjoy the best time to visit the Sacred Valley and discover the secrets of the Inca Empire in Machu Picchu and the fortresses of Ollantaytambo and Sacsayhuamán.

• Experience the verdant national parks of Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, teeming with wildlife, as you travel to Lima and its UNESCO-listed historic centre.

Explore Colón and Panama's rainforests Your Pacific Coast expedition cruise to Machu Picchu begins in the vibrant city of Colón, at the entrance to the Panama Canal on the Atlantic Coast. You may want to arrive a few days early to explore more before your expedition. We offer two fantastic Pre-Programmes where you can unwind in a beautiful jungle lodge by the Chagres River, see more of Colón or visit a sloth sanctuary and working farm dedicated to reforestation. Then you'll board MS Fram, one of our smaller expedition ships, perfect for taking you to out-of-the-way places to visit remote coastal communities. Take time to settle into your cabin, explore the ship and meet the Expedition Team.
Navigate one of the world's greatest engineering feats Early in the morning, we'll enter the Panama Canal, a complex network of huge, ingenious locks stretching 80 km through natural and man-made waterways. If weather allows, our Expedition Team will invite you on deck and tell the story of this ambitious project. Halfway through our transit of the canal, we'll enter the Gatun Lake section, one of the world's largest artificial lakes. The surrounding verdant rainforest flourishes here undisturbed. Keep an eye out for crocodiles, alligators, monkeys and even sloths. After 12 hours, we'll emerge into the Pacific, passing from one great ocean to another in just a day.
Encounter an indigenous way of life, deep in the jungle A special opportunity awaits you today, as we head to the middle of the jungle in Darien National Park. Here, you'll meet members of the indigenous Embera tribe, who have lived in the area for centuries. It's a privilege not afforded to many – one we value and are very respectful of. Anchoring up in La Chunga Bay, you'll board our small expedition boats and head up the Sambu River, where you might see herons, egrets, ospreys and Harpy Eagles. Arriving at the Embera settlement, you'll be invited to meet the people, explore the village, get a temporary tattoo and try on their traditional dress.
Music, dancing and traditional life at Bahía Solano From Panama, our cruise continues to Colombia's Chocó coast. The day begins on a hosted town walk with the local Afro Colombian community of Bahía Solano. You'll be greeted by school students with a traditional song, learn more about the town's fishing co-operative down at the port, and end with a performance of unique Afro Pacific Colombian music and dance. You can also enjoy optional excursions to the Botanic Gardens, a jungle reserve with nature trails and reforestation projects. Or visit a fishing village at Playa Huina – where a jungle walk brings you to stunning waterfalls and crystal clear swimming holes.
Learning, relaxing and stargazing at sea You'll be spoilt for choice when spending a day on board MS Fram as our expedition cruise continues to Ecuador. Take a soak in the outdoor hot tubs, and scan the incredible seascapes for marine wildlife like whales, dolphins and sea birds. The Expedition Team will be on hand in the Science Center to share their deep knowledge of the region. You can also support global research and conservation by getting involved in one of our Citizen Science projects. End the day stargazing out on deck with the Expedition Team, or settle comfortably in the Explorer Lounge & Bar and enjoy a drink with newfound friends.
Discover the birthplace of Panama hats... in Ecuador It's not every day you get the chance to seek King Neptune's blessing, yet that's what we'll do in a traditional ceremony as we cross the Equator early in the morning. Later, you'll dock in the tuna fishing port of Manta. From here, we'll visit the handicrafts town of Montecristi on an included tour, which is perhaps surprisingly given the name, where traditional Panama hats are made. Expertly handwoven from jipijapa leaves, you'll be able to buy the genuine article here from local artisans and see their workshops. You'll also get to browse the stalls in the pretty plaza, admire the architecture, or take in the colourful street art. We might also visit the local museum and mausoleum of Alfaro.
Discover the natural treasures of Isla de la Plata Spectacular wildlife awaits on Isla de la Plata, part of Parque National Machalilla, Ecuador’s only coastal national park. The variety of wildlife here rivals that of the Galápagos Islands, with 32 species of birds including Blue-footed Boobies, nesting Waved Albatrosses, pelicans, gannets, and frigatebirds. The waters around the island are equally abundant. You might spot whales, manta rays, green turtles, and dolphins. Large waves can make landing here a challenge, but we'll do all we can to take you ashore on a hike to discover the natural wonders all around.
A bustling port with a charming atmosphere We have a colourful day ahead, exploring Puerto Bolivar, a port in the city of Machala that exports coffee, cocoa, shrimp and bountiful bananas. Feast on delicious fresh seafood at a harbour restaurant, taking in views of the mangrove swamps of Isla Jambeli – and discover Machala's markets, plazas and Casa de la Cultura Museum on our included tour. As an optional excursion, you can visit a banana plantation and try to spot hummingbirds, parakeets and howler monkeys in Buenaventura Nature Reserve. Nearby Puyango Petrified Forest is one of the largest areas of fossilised trees in the world.
Relaxation, research – or a bit of both Enjoy the serenity of a day at sea as we cruise towards Peru. You can relax and admire the scenery from the outdoor hot tubs or the comfort of the lounge. Dine on delicious, locally-sourced food in one of our restaurants. Throughout your journey, the Expedition Team will run lectures in the Science Center and share fascinating regional insights with you. Topics might include pre-Columbian history, local geology, and the folklore of native communities. Sometimes we attract friendly seabirds. If we do, the Expedition Team will help you identify them. Our onboard photographer will also be on hand to give pointers.
Discover Trujillo's ancient kingdoms Salaverry is the gateway port to discover Peru’s third largest city, Trujillo, and some fascinating archaeological sites. If the weather conditions allow, you'll be in for some fantastic experiences today. Colourful Trujillo boasts a Baroque cathedral, Colonial churches and Neoclassical mansions, as well as one of the longest mosaic murals in the world. Nearby are the vast ancient ruins of the Chimu city of Chan Chan, dating back to 900 CE. On the other side of Trujillo, you'll find the Mochican pyramids of the Sun and the Moon, that pre-date Chan Chan.
Inland towards Cusco and the Sacred Valley After more than a week cruising the Pacific Coast, we arrive in Callao around noon. Here you'll say goodbye to your expedition ship and embark on the next exciting stage of your South American adventure – Machu Picchu. A transfer will take us to Lima airport where we'll fly inland to Cusco – the old capital of the Inca Empire, which sits 3,400 metres above sea level. Once we've arrived, we'll head to the Tambo del Inka Resort in the Sacred Valley. Here we'll enjoy a relaxing dinner and stay the night, ready for our journey to Machu Picchu tomorrow.
Discover the Lost City of the Incas Our day begins in historic Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley, where we'll visit the rose-coloured fortress built by Emperor Pachacuti and Inca ruins. Then we’ll board the deluxe Hiram Bingham train to Machu Picchu, enjoying brunch while the breathtaking Andean scenery passes by. Built around 1450, Machu Picchu was abandoned during the Spanish conquest. It was hidden by jungle for centuries, and only rediscovered in 1911. The Incas left no written records, so mystery surrounds this magnificent stronghold. You’ll enjoy the trails around the city, admire the precision Incan stonework and maybe meet friendly local llamas. After a truly special day, you'll return to the comfort of the Tambo del Inka Resort for the night.
Heart of the Incan empire After breakfast, we head back to Cusco to visit Sacsayhuamán, a fortress and temple complex overlooking the city. From here, the views of Cusco and the sacred Inca summits of Ausangate, Pachatusán and Cinca are glorious. The enormous stones used to build Sacsayhuamán fit together entirely without mortar. Remnants of Inca civilisation and culture are all around, including their Sun temple Koricancha – Cusco’s spiritual heart – forming the foundations of the impressive Santa Domingo Church. After taking in the splendid Baroque style Cusco Cathedral and lunch, we'll fly to Lima, where you can enjoy Peru's capital at your leisure. We recommend heading to the lively neighbourhood of Barranco for bars and restaurants.
Your expedition ends in Peru's historic capital Our expedition ends in Lima, once known as 'The City of Kings'. It's well worth taking a day or two to explore this fascinating city. Lima's historical centre is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. It's a jewel of Spanish architecture, from colonial churches and monasteries to elegant mansions. You can also see Lima's Incan heritage in the ruins of ceremonial pyramids Huaca Pucllana and Huaca Huallamarca. Known as the food capital of South America, choose from gourmet restaurants to unmissable street food. We recommend trying Peru's national dish ceviche, fish marinated in lime juice, onion and chilli, before you leave.
Itineraries are subject to change.

Polar Inside. From

$8,679 AUD pp
Polar Inside. From
Our Polar Inside cabins are situated on lower deck and offer a cosy atmosphere. All cabins include bathrooms with shower/wc. Most of the cabins have separate beds where one can be turned into a sofa, and others offer upper and lower berths. Some of the cabins have more facilities than others.

Polar Outside. From

$9,279 AUD pp
Polar Outside. From
Our Polar Outside cabins are situated on lower deck and they all have bathrooms with shower/wc. Most of them offer separate beds where one can be turned into a sofa, and others offer upper and lower berths. Some of the cabins have more facilities than others.

Arctic Superior. From

$9,926 AUD pp
Arctic Superior. From
Our Arctic Superior cabins are comfortable cabins situated on both upper and middle deck, where you can enjoy a relaxing atmosphere. All the cabins have bathrooms with shower/wc. You will also find coffee and tea facilities in these cabins. Most of them have separate beds, where one can be turned into a sofa and some have double beds. Some of the cabins have more facilities than others.

Expedition Suite. From

$11,588 AUD pp
Expedition Suite. From
Our Expeditions Suites are the most exquisite cabins on the ship. Situated on upper deck, you can enjoy the most comfortable suites on board. Inside you will find seating areas with TV, bathrooms with shower/wc and most of them have double beds. All of the suites offer cabin kits, which contains bathrobe, slippers and other beauty articles. Some of the suites do have more facilities than others.

Fram

Vessel Type: Expedition

Length: 114m

Passenger Capacity: 276

Built: 2007

MS Fram is designed for sailing in polar waters, holds the highest safety standards and is the perfect size for optimum nautical manoeuverability and guests' comfort. With space for only 276 guests, you are sure to get to know many of your fellow travellers. You will share stunning sights and memories of a lifetime long after returning home. The Norwegian word Fram means ‘forward’ – lifting expectations of the voyage at hand.

MS Fram was built in 2007 with one mission in mind - to bring her guests closer to nature, wildlife and unforgettable experiences. As well as offering numerous lounges in which to relax, our more active guests can use our well-equipped gym. Meanwhile, on deck, our Jacuzzis guarantee you surreal memories when passing the towering icebergs of Antarctica or Greenland.

Cabin layout for Fram

Inclusions


• Voyage on board in selected cabin category
• All meals while on board
• On board lectures
• Post-Programme Peru/Machu Picchu after the cruise:
• Two nights at Tambo del Inka Resort, including half board
• One night in Lima, including breakfast
• 3-course set lunch on Days 12, 13 and packed lunch on day 11
• Return economy flight Lima-Cusco-Lima
• All transfers and train rides as described, including English-speaking guide
• Entrance fees according to programme

Exclusions


• International and domestic flights unless otherwise stated
• Passport and visa costs where applicable
• Travel insurance
• Transfers unless otherwise stated
• Optional Excursions
• Pre and Post voyage accommodation
• Beverages on board unless otherwise stated
• Meals while ashore
Fram
South America ExpeditionExpedition
14 Days from
$8,679 AUD pp

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