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15 nights
from £6695

Secret World of Two Oceans

A voyage of natural world discovery between Colombia & Costa Rica including a transit of the Panama Canal aboard the MS Serenissima

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  • Wildlife Tours/ Natural World
  • Utria National Park

If you have been contemplating a visit to Central America, then this fascinating voyage could offer the perfect opportunity with its mix of cultural and natural wonders. During our voyage you will enjoy swimming, snorkelling and nature walks all overseen by our expert onboard team. Some days you will be venturing into national parks and conservation areas teeming with wildlife or visiting remote communities where locals live following ancient ways of life. We have the added benefit of spending time in the captivating cities of Cartagena and Panama.

Our voyage offers an easy and comfortable way to explore the region rather than arduous, lengthy land travel. You can relax on board as we sail between beautiful islands and interesting ports of call, and as much of the itinerary is far from the ‘big ship’ routes it includes little known but fascinating ports of call. One of the highlights for many will be the transit of the Panama Canal which makes an itinerary such as this possible as we cross from the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific, and as we do so will we toast the engineering marvel during our daylight transit.

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Please find a selection of useful websites to refer to for information from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, on visa requirements, NHS travel health advice and other useful travel tips.  


Serenissima

Serenissima

The charming MS Serenissima began her career as the Harald Jarl, cruising the Norwegian coastline and fjords. Since 2003, when she was extensively renovated, she has been operating as a classic cruise ship. Previously known as the MS Andrea, she was upgraded again in 2013 and started her new life as the MS Serenissima. With her small size she can navigate into small, remote ports inaccessible to the big cruise ships and appears an impressive sight when moored. With her fleet of Zodiacs, she is capable of both destination and expedition cruising. In December 2018, the vessel will once again undergo a significant refurbishment and after a re-configuration of the deck plan will accommodate a maximum of just 95 guests.

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Itinerary

Day 1 - London to Cartagena, Colombia.

Fly by scheduled indirect flight.

Day 2 - Cartagena.

Arrive into Cartagena today and transfer to the MS Serenissima. The remainder of the day is at leisure to relax before we meet this evening for the Welcome Drinks and Dinner on board.

Day 3 - Cartagena.

Cartagena is one of the most fascinating cities in South America and this morning we enjoy a walking tour of the colonial walled-city which is virtually surrounded by water and steeped in history, with a wealth of 16th and 17th century buildings and churches. Our guides will bring the history of the city to life as we walk its streets and ramparts. We will visit the 16th century Fort of San Felipe, Monastery of San Pedro Claver, the Plaza de la Aduana and Iglesia de Santo Domingo. Return to the ship for lunch and spend the afternoon at leisure to explore further independently before we set sail this evening.

Day 4 - San Blas Islands, Panama.

Spend a relaxing morning at sea before we arrive at the stunning San Blas Archipelago during lunch. The archipelago is made up of over 400 islands which line the north coast of Panama with white sandy beaches set in a turquoise sea. The islands are home to the indigenous Kuna Indians who gained self-rule from the government of Panama in the 1920s and maintain their traditional way of life including the production of colourful fabric art known as ‘molas’. This afternoon choose to explore the market, local museum or maybe enjoy a swim from the beach.

Day 5 - Panama Canal Transit.

An undisputed destination on the travel bucket list has to be the Panama Canal. The first attempt to build the canal was made by a French company, but ended in failure in 1889. The American government eventually bought out the French for 40 million dollars, and their attempt to build the Canal started in 1904. Through the efforts of over 80,000 workers and the loss of more than 30,000 lives, the greatest single construction project ever undertaken was completed. The project ended in triumph, with the Canal opening in 1914, and it is now a vital artery of international trade, with nearly 14,000 ships travelling through it every year. The canal is around 50 miles long and takes between eight to ten hours to cross.

Day 6 - Panama City.

Panama City is a combination of the historic old town, declared a UNESCO Historical Monument, and the ultra-modern new town. We will offer a choice of activities today. Join an excursion to the Panama Canal Observation Centre and learn about the expansion of the canal before visiting the Miraflores Locks Visitor Centre where we see the history of the canal and watch the ships as they pass through. Alternatively for those interested in meeting the Embera Indians, a tour to the Chagres National Park has been arranged where we can take a dug out canoe to the village in the jungle, meet the local tribe and learn about their history. We return to the ship this afternoon and sail this evening.

Days 7 & 8 - Bahia Solano & Utria National Park, Colombia.

This morning we return to Colombia on the Pacific coast and have a day and a half to explore this beautiful area which is well off the traditional cruise routes. Here we find the Utria National Park, a tropical forest which reaches down to the sandy beaches. Using our Zodiacs to get ashore we will enjoy walks along the nature trails and observe the flora and fauna with our local guides. In Bahia Solano we will visit the small town whilst the more active may wish to join a walk to a private rainforest reserve which runs alongside the Rio Mecana and is part of a 170 hectare nature reserve. Made up of mangroves, tropical forest, native plants and trees of the Choco region, our local guides will point out the indigenous plants and birdlife and highlight the ongoing reforestation programmes. We also hope to offer an opportunity to swim from the beaches.

Day 9 - At Sea.

After a busy few days of exploration we have a day at sea to relax, take in a lecture or find a spot on deck.

Day 10 - Isla Coiba, Panama.

This once infamous prison island, now a National Park, has reverted to an island paradise. We will anchor off the ranger station and use our Zodiacs to land on the island. Here our onboard naturalists will lead some guided walks as we explore the main island, which boasts some 147 species of birds, and walk up to the observation tower. This afternoon we will use our Zodiacs to find a suitable spot to land on one of the beautiful beaches.

Day 11 - Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica.

After clearing immigration formalities into Costa Rica we make our way to Casa Orquideas (Orchid House), a five hectare private botanical garden cut out of the rainforest by Ron and Trudy MacAllister who now cultivate over 100 species of orchids which attracts many different bird species. Plants of the tropics burst with colour and the air here is heady with the fragrance of flowers and humid soil. Due to the open space, it is often easy to spot a number of tropical birds here including toucans.

Day 12 - Corcovado National Park.

Resting on the northern side of the Osa Peninsula, Drake Bay (Bahía Drake) is our gateway to the Corcovado National Park. We will use the Zodiacs to land on one of the beaches before enjoying a walk through the primary and secondary forest with our naturalist guides. The rich biological diversity of the biological corridor of Corcovado National Park is astounding and bird lovers will be enchanted by a wide variety of birds, including tanagers, flycatchers, kingfishers, manakins, trogons, crested guans, and spectacular scarlet macaws and toucans. We return to the ship for lunch and this afternoon hope to find a local beach.

Day 13 - Manuel Antonio National Park.

From our anchorage at Quepos we travel to Manuel Antonio National Park which is one of the most stunning and biodiverse areas of the world. Spread out over 683 hectares it is filled with diverse wildlife, has both primary and secondary forests, boasts a stunning shoreline ideal for bird watching or swimming and is home to a number of endemic species of plants and animals. We will make an early start this morning allowing for the best viewing of monkeys, vividly coloured birds and the lethargic three-toed sloth. This afternoon we will have time at leisure in Quepos as we sail later tonight.

Day 14 - Curu National Park & Isla Tortuga.

We spend our last morning exploring the Curu National Wildlife refuge which boasts a rich and diverse wildlife in five different habitats ranging from marine zones, including a wide beach area, mangrove swamps and tropical forests. Here on a range of walks we hope to see some of the 200 species of birds, howler and capuchin monkeys, mammals such as otters, ocelots, pumas and turtles. Over lunch we sail the short distance to Tortuga Island where we have the chance to snorkel over the volcanic reef which is home to angelfish, morays and needlefish. Alternatively spend the afternoon relaxing on the white sand beaches.

Day 15 - Puerto Caldera to London.

Disembark this morning and transfer to San Jose for our scheduled indirect flight to London.

Day 16 - London.

Arrive this morning.

Dates and Prices

SPECIAL OFFER – SAVE £300 PER PERSON FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY
Prices per person based on double occupancy
5 to 20 January 2019
Category Brochure Price Special Offer Price
2 Standard Stateroom £6995 £6695
3 Classic Stateroom £7295 £6995
4 Superior Stateroom £7595 £7295
5 Deluxe Stateroom £7795 £7495
6 Junior Suite £8295 £7995
7 Owner’s Suite £8995 £8695
8 Serenissima Suite £9395 £9095
10 Standard Single £7295 £6995

Tour Reference Code: SCSE050119

Price Includes: Economy class scheduled air travel, 13 nights aboard the MS Serenissima on a full board basis, house wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner on board, Noble Caledonia onboard team, shore excursions, gratuities, transfers, port taxes.

Not Included: Travel insurance, visas.

  • 2019 Deckplan

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Serenissima

The charming MS Serenissima began her career as the Harald Jarl, cruising the Norwegian coastline and fjords. Since 2003, when she was extensively renovated, she has been operating as a classic cruise ship. Previously known as the MS Andrea, she was upgraded again in 2013 and started her new life as the MS Serenissima. With her small size she can navigate into small, remote ports inaccessible to the big cruise ships and appears an impressive sight when moored. With her fleet of Zodiacs, she is capable of both destination and expedition cruising. In December 2018, the vessel will once again undergo a significant refurbishment and after a re-configuration of the deck plan will accommodate a maximum of just 95 guests.

 
  • Restaurant
    Restaurant
  • Restaurant
    Restaurant
  • On Deck
    On Deck
  • Harald Jarl Lounge
    Harald Jarl Lounge
  • Jacuzzi area
    Jacuzzi area
  • Owners Suite
    Owners Suite
  • Executive Suite
    Executive Suite
  • Executive suite
    Executive suite
  • Junior Suite
    Junior Suite
  • Superior Stateroom
    Superior Stateroom
  • De Luxe Stateroom
    De Luxe Stateroom
  • Standard Plus
    Standard Plus
  • Standard inside
    Standard inside
  • Serenissima
    Serenissima
  • Your Cabin/Suite

    Accommodating no more than 95 passengers, the cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily. From January 2019, there will be eight different grades of cabin arranged over five decks, and all feature either windows or portholes. Because of the very nature of the ship, the cabins do vary in shape and size, adding to the vessel’s overall charm.

  • Your Space

    The facilities on board include two lounges – the larger Andrea Lounge is comfortable and spacious and the smaller Harald Lounge is more intimate. There is also a small library with a computer for internet access and Wi-Fi is available at an extra cost throughout the vessel. The outside areas really are something special. A spacious observation deck allows 360 degree views of the passing scenery. From here, step down to the lido area with Jacuzzi and outside bar. The covered seating area at the back of deck 6 is ideal for relaxing with a drink in hand. Perhaps, one of the best known and loved features of this vessel is its unique style. During the major refit in Sweden the then owners commissioned Swedish interior designers to create a Gustavian style interior. This bright Swedish 18th century influenced, country house style works particularly well on a vessel of this vintage, providing intimacy and classic nautical sensibility often lacking in larger vessels.this

  • Your Dining

    The free seating Venice Restaurant accommodates all guests in one sitting. Being on deck 5, it has great views from all tables. The picture windows mean the restaurant is light and airy. Breakfast is served buffet-style with cooked dishes available and eggs to order by the ship’s accomplished chef. Lunch is also served buffet-style with hot and cold dishes available. Dinner is served a la carte and is four courses, except for at the Captain’s Dinner, which is a six course affair. Where possible, local produce is sourced for an authentic dining experience. A choice of red or white wine, beer, soft drinks, and water are included at lunch and dinner. In good weather there are al fresco dining facilities available and tea and coffee is available around the clock in the Andrea Lounge.

  • Life Onboard

    The MS Serenissima is more akin to a countryhotel than one of the large ships trawling the seas today. The European Captain, Officers and crew offer a first class service and have been selected for their professionalism and caring attitudes. The atmosphere onboard is warm and welcoming, and the emphasis is not on around the clock entertainment and dining, but instead on well-thought out itineraries, relaxation, time spent with like-minded passengers and discovery. 

  • For your comfort

    There are so few ships of this generation still cruising and MS Serenissima is a great testament to her present and previous owners that they have seen fit to invest considerable sums over the years to keep her in top form and complying with the stringent health and safety requirements. There is a doctor onboard and during your voyage you will have the opportunity to visit the Captain and Officers on the bridge.

  • Ship Directory
    The booklets below contains some further details pertaining to the vessel.
    Please click on the booklet to view. 

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  • Drone Footage

    Please click below for some great drone footage of Serenissima.

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  • Videos

    Please find a selection of videos of Serenissima.

    Click on any image to play video.

     

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  • Deck plans
    • 2019 Deckplan

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Tour Extensions

    • If you would like to spend some additional time exploring Costa Rica before returning to London we are offering a five night extension which includes the Monteverde Cloud Forest and Arenal Park.

      Arenal Volcano Arenal Volcano

      Day 1 Puerto Caldera to Monteverde. Disembark this morning and transfer to Monteverde enjoying lunch en-route. On arrival we transfer to the El Establo Hotel (or similar) for a two night stay and will have dinner in the hotel this evening.

      Day 2 Monteverde. Today we will experience one of the five hanging bridges of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve which cross the canyons below and bring us face to face with the upper level of the forest canopy. The trails extend for slightly over a mile and a half and we will be accompanied by local guides. Biologists now know that about 90 percent of all organisms in a rainforest are found in the canopy. Among the 400 species of birds, some of the best known species are the quetzal, the bellbird, the black turkey bird, the motmot, the orange-bellied trogon and the bare-necked umbrella bird. After lunch we will enjoy a further exploration of the forest and make our way up to one of the highest mountains in the area by sky tram, whilst also having the opportunity to participate in a sky walk, a more sedate and tranquil way to take in the natural beauty of the forest. Dinner tonight will be served at a local restaurant.

      Day 3 Monteverde to Arenal. This morning we will start our stunning journey to Arenal including a stop for lunch. Check in to the Kioro Hotel (or similar) for our two night stay. Tonight we will enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.

      Day 4 Arenal. After breakfast we depart for a guided visit to Arenal Park. Here, we will take a walk through the area where the Arenal volcanic eruption took place in 1968, learning about the destruction this caused and the subsequent rebirth of life via the rich mineral deposits the eruption provided to the region. There will also be the opportunity to enjoy a treetop cable car ride, and for the more adventurous, to participate in a zip-line adventure, providing an exhilarating bird’s eye view of the park. Following lunch, there will be time to relax and explore Arenal at leisure.

      Day 5 Arenal to San Jose. Today we will make our way to San Jose, visiting the Poas Volcano National Park this morning. After a short walk, we will be treated to spectacular 180 degree views of the volcano’s crater and the picturesque surrounding areas. We will also visit the Doka Estate for an insight into one of Costa Rica’s prime exports, coffee. Here we will learn about the processes involved in the harvesting and manufacturing of this ubiquitous beverage. Upon arrival into San Jose check in to the Real Intercontinental Hotel (or similar) for an overnight stay.

      Day 6 San Jose to London. Check out from the hotel after breakfast and transfer to the airport for our scheduled indirect flight to London.

      Day 7 London. Arrive this morning.

    • Prices per person based on double occupancy
      CategoryPrice
      Twin £2295
      Single £2795

      Price Includes: Two nights hotel accommodation in Arenal and Monteverde, overnight hotel accommodation in San Jose, all meals as mentioned in itinerary, transfers and excursions as described, gratuities, English speaking guides, Tour Manager.

      Not Included: Travel insurance.

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