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Journey Between the Seas: Panama

7 Days
Prices From:
US$ 3,978

Journey between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans on this voyage along the Panama Canal. Travelling aboard the M/V Discovery, you’ll head into the Panama jungle to meet indigenous tribes, search for monkeys and sloths, and cruise along the canal itself to witness its marvels of engineering.

This 7-day Panama vacation takes you along the Panama Canal to witness one of humanity’s greatest engineering achievements and explore the verdant rainforest that surrounds it.

Your trip to Panama begins in Panama City, where you’ll board the M/V Discovery for your journey up the Panama Canal. The M/V Discovery is the only vessel that’s authorized to overnight in the Panama Canal and Chagres River. This means that as one of the only 24 passengers aboard the Discovery, you’ll gain unrivalled access to the world of the Panama Canal. As well, you’ll be in the charge of 10 dedicated crewmembers and have the freedom of the vessel’s on-board lounge, bar, and dining area.

Your trip to Panama begins with a journey into the Darien Jungle on the Pacific side of the Panama Canal. As you motor up the river and pass through the rainforest, you’ll discover an ecosystem that transports you 600 years back in time to pre-Columbian Central America where you’ll meet the indigenous Embera people, who have retained their traditions and are still master wood carvers and basket-weavers. The next day you’ll visit the Pearl Islands, where pearl farms have sustained the local economy for over 100 years, as well as the islands of San Telmo and MogoMogo, which are known for their pristine beaches and fishing grounds.

The next stop on Panama vacations is the canal itself. This incredible engineering feat bisects the continents and connects the Pacific to the Atlantic Oceans. The M/V Discovery will head northbound through the Miraflores and Pedro Miguel Locks and rise 85 feet above sea level as you head to Gatun Lake. Along this journey, you’ll pass through the Gaillard Cut, which is the narrowest section of the canal and very susceptible to landslides.

Once you’re on Gatun Lake, you’ll head on excursions into the rainforest to see the exotic birds, monkeys, and sloths that live in the jungle. When the area was flooded to accommodate the construction of the canal, the animals that lived here fled up the mountainsides, making these areas burst with animal diversity. In addition to your wildlife excursions, you’ll have the opportunity to kayak on the lake and canal waters—just watch out for the crocodiles that share the waters.

For the final stretch of your Panama vacation, you’ll head up the Chagres River, which used to be the main trade route for gold shipments prior to the canal’s construction. You’ll reach Fort San Lorenzo, where the Spanish used to defend the gold trail at the mouth of the river before heading to Portobelo the next day to explore a colonial town founded by Christopher Columbus on his fourth voyage to the Americas. You’ll visit the Church of San Felipe and learn about the town’s history of piracy and war before riding the Panama Canal Railway through the jungle back to Panama City.

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7 Days
Prices From:
US$ 3,978

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Portobelo - Chagres River

Start your itinerary aboard the Panama Canal Railway train to Colon City. This one-hour railroad trip will allow you to traverse the picturesque trans-isthmian route from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean. The line flanks the Panama Canal passing through lush rainforests, cruising alongside the Canal's locks, and gliding over slender causeways in Gatun Lake. Arrive Colon City where your motor coach will be waiting to take you to Portobelo. Enjoy this town located on Caribbean waters which was discovered by Christopher Columbus on his fourth voyage to the new continent in 1502. Explore the fortifications built by the Spaniards to protect their treasures and visit the Church of San Felipe, the sanctuary of the Black Christ. At noon time you will board the MV Discovery and set sail in the tropical waters of the Atlantic Ocean towards the Chagres River where you will stay the first night. Take this opportunity to meet your expedition leaders, the crew and your fellow travelers while you savor our tempting native cuisine. Once you arrive to the Chagres River, you will get off to explore Fort San Lorenzo. This fort is located on a cliff at the mouth of the Chagres on the Atlantic side where your leader will offer details of the immense amount of history found on this area. The fort was built by the Spaniards in the 16th century to defend their well known gold trail.

Meal Plan Lunch and Dinner
Duration6 Nights

M/V Discovery

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Location View map
  • starstarstarstar

    M/V Discovery

    As the only vessel authorized to overnight in Panama Canal waters and the Chagres River, your itinerary is guaranteed to be a unique experience. Uncover the fascinating history of the Panama Canal, venture through the Darien jungle, and so much more on a remarkable journey ...

    As the only vessel authorized to overnight in Panama Canal waters and the Chagres River, your itinerary is guaranteed to be a unique experience. Uncover the fascinating history of the Panama Canal, venture through the Darien jungle, and so much more on a remarkable journey of discovery. A crew of ten has been carefully selected and trained to ensure a perfect journey for the 24 exclusive passengers of the Discovery.


    • Bar
    • Dining Area
    • Lounge
    • Sundeck

    More Details

Day 2

Chagres River - Gatun Locks

Experience the magnificent Chagres River which was used by the conquistadors to move their gold across the Isthmus of Panama en-route from Peru to Spain and by the gold prospectors who attempted a "short cut" from the US East coast to the gold fields of California. The river was the centerpiece of the colonial inter-oceanic route and is now the lifeline of the Panama Canal full of wildlife and tropical jungle. In the afternoon you will set sail towards the entrance of the Panama Canal. You will start transiting the Gatun Locks, the biggest set of locks, while enjoying the Caribbean sunset and watching the Canal being lit.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 3

Panama Canal - Gatun Lake

Prior to the construction of the Panama Canal, the vast jungle area that is now the Gatun Lake was teeming with an overwhelming abundance of wildlife. As the region was flooded to create the lake, animals took refuge in the mountain peaks, which are now the many islands that dot the renowned lake. Explore Gatun Lake and kayak in Panama Canal waters.

Your expedition leader will take you on board zodiacs past lush rainforests to secluded areas of the lake to witness first-hand the splendor and excitement of the jungle. Exotic birds, monkeys, sloths, iguanas, and crocodiles are just a few of the animals that you can see in their native surroundings. The sights, sounds and scents that make up this beautiful, tropical jungle will engulf you. Cameras are a must as this is considered the world’s premier location for viewing monkeys and other animals in the wild.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 4

Panama Canal Daylight Transit

Wake up in the middle of the Panama Canal and join the morning's ship convoy for our southbound canal passage. The Discovery will complete its full Panama Canal transit on its way to the Pacific Ocean. Navigate the Gaillard Cut, the narrowest section of the Panama Canal, bisecting the Continental Divide. This section of the canal is full of history and geological value and you will be able to appreciate the continuous maintenance that this area requires, because it is very susceptible to landslides. At Pedro Miguel Locks and Miraflores Locks the Discovery will be lowered 85 feet back to sea level in the Pacific. You will have a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience up close the history and operation of this engineering marvel.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 5

Darien Jungle

Step aboard a time machine and travel back more than 600 years to a place that not many have had the privilege of experiencing. More than an excursion, this is a journey into the lives of the Embera Indians. A proud people who have been able to maintain their traditions and lifestyle as they were before the Spaniards colonized the region. These natives are also master crafters of cocobolo wood carvings and basketry. After motoring up river you will see the village emerging from the jungle, as if by magic. Keep your eyes open along the way as the region offers abundant wildlife that is particularly active along the river's edge.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 6

Pearl Islands - San Telmo

Snorkel and swim in the waters of the Pearl Islands. The archipelago owes its name to the abundance of pearl oysters which supported a substantial fishery in the early 1900's. On the outer portion of the archipelago, the islands of San Telmo and Galera are home to some pristine beaches and fertile fishing grounds. View the remains of the submarine Explorer built in 1865 during the Civil War and which sunk off the coast of San Telmo during the oyster fishery of the late 1800's.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 7

Panama City

Wake up to a farewell breakfast before you disembark the Discovery. Our motor coach will take you to the hotel of your choice.

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information


: Mar 30; May 28; Oct 26
2020: Mar 31; May 19; Oct 24; Nov 25

: Apr 30; Jun 4; Nov 27
2020: Apr 29; May 26


  • Transfers of passengers to and from the ship
  • Transportation, shore excursions, and the use of equipment
  • All meals and beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) onboard the ship
  • Taxes and port charges


  • Travel insurance
  • International and domestic airfare and airfare taxes
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Meals and beverages not mentioned
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature


Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please enquire. 

26 May 2020
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