Between Panama and Martinique (Colón - Fort de France)
10 days with Ponant Rating:
DAY 1 – COLÓN
Departure at 18H00.
Colón is the second largest city in Panama, at the Caribbean entrance of the Panama Canal. Colón is today an important port, and the free trade zone created in 1953 contributed greatly to the development of the city. Colón was founded in 1850 by Americans working on the Panama railroad connecting the Atlantic and Pacific coasts through the isthmus of Panama; the city rapidly overshadowed the older Caribbean ports of Panama when the canal opened.
DAY 2 – SAN BLAS ISLANDS
Located on the north-east coast of Panamá, the San Blas archipelago is a string of coral islands that graces the heart of the Caribbean Sea. Over 300 islands and cays covering an area of 300 square kilometres offer travellers a multitude of treasures. Sheltered behind a long coral reef, the San Blas Islands are full of paradisiac anchorages. The long sandy white beaches bounded by crystal clear waters will allow you to relax and enjoy an incredible marine fauna before discovering the Kunas Indian community. Still feeding off hunting and fishing, they will welcome you in their villages of bamboo houses gathered near the beaches.
DAY 3 – CARTAGENA
A splendid harbour city in the north of Columbia, a source of inspiration for the Columbian writer Gabriel García Márquez, Cartagena will win you over with its well-preserved colonial architecture, and warm friendly atmosphere. You can visit the sumptuous UNESCO World Heritage fortified historical centre whose churches and houses have magnificent multi-coloured façades. A witness of Spanish domination, the San Felipe de Barajas fortress stands on top of a hill from where you can admire views over the whole city. The Las Bóvedas neighbourhood will charm you with its arcades, used as prison cells during the 19th century civil wars.
DAY 4 – AT SEA
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.
DAY 5 – BONAIRE
Surrounded by a barrier reef and a marine sanctuary, Bonaire is a true paradise for divers. This peaceful and preserved little island is renowned all over the world for its coral reefs, which are directly accessible from the beach, providing a unique sensation of freedom. Discover magnificent marine fauna and flora while snorkelling or diving in its turquoise waters. The Washington Slagbaai National Park in the north of the island is home to many birds. It is the most important breeding site in the south Caribbean for the pink flamingo, the island’s emblematic animal.
DAY 6 – AT SEA
DAY 7 – SAINT GEORGE'S, GRENADA
Delicately set against the back of a bay on the west coast of Grenada, Saint George’s attracts newcomers by the beauty of its location and its friendly, festive atmosphere. This “spice island” capital is an excellent base for visiting the surrounding natural sites, but you’ll also want to spend some time here moseying around its narrow streets where colonial houses and lush green gardens coexist. Carenage is Saint George’s lively commercial fishing harbour, high in colour, especially when the boats are being loaded with fruit and vegetables destined for neighbouring islands. 5 kilometres south, the Grand Anse beach is one of the most beautiful in the Caribbean islands.
DAY 8 – MAYREAU ISLAND
Among the string of paradisiac islands with their white sandy beaches that form the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines archipelago, Mayreau is the smallest. Its peaceful and idyllic atmosphere, far from the madding crowd, invites you to relax. Onshore, make the most of a shaded and fully equipped beach, from where you’ll be able to set off snorkelling to explore superb coral gardens overflowing with life and colour.
DAY 9 – SOUFRIÈRE
Nestled in the crook of a breath-taking bay, the former capital of St Lucia is brimming with attractions. Soufrière is famous for The Pitons, volcanic spires that tower over the entrance to the town, and you will fall in love with its authentic Creole charm and warm friendly atmosphere. As well as diving and swimming off exquisite beaches, don't miss Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens for the mineral baths, one of the natural wonders of the Caribbean.
DAY 10 – FORT-DE-FRANCE
Disembarkation at 07H00.
Located on the western coast of Martinique, Fort-de-France will amaze you by the splendour of its bay, a magnificent cut-out in the coastline, considered as one of the most beautiful in the world. At the harbour mouth, on its strip of land, fort Saint-Louis overlooks the capital city of Martinique. If you climb up to it, you can see some breath-taking views. Saint Louis Cathedral and the Schoelcher library bear witness to a secular history, intimately linked to the island’s story. Why not try some fresh coconut at the colourful Grand Marché. Two really pleasant places you can take a breather in, right in the heart of the city, are the garden of Balata and the Aimé Césaire park.
All This Included
Join us aboard Le Champlain for an exceptional PONANT cruise sailing from Colón to Fort-de-France. This 10-day itinerary will give you the opportunity to appreciate the richness of Afro-Caribbean cultures, an azure blue sky and white-sand beaches.
First, succumb to the charms of the clear waters of Panama and the San Blas archipelago, composed of more than 300 islands and cays. Here, surrounded by palm trees and dugout canoes, you will discover the island of Holandes Cay, where the Kuna people live.
Then, you will visit the city of Cartagena de Indias in Colombia. Heavily influenced by its colonial past, it offers a number of interesting sights and landmarks.
After calling at the island of Grenada, Le Champlain will then sail to the archipelago of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, renowned for its idyllic beaches and the richness of its underwater world. In a postcard-setting of fine sand, turquoise water and lagoons, you will enjoy some unforgettable bathing.
You will then island hop gently towards Saint Lucia and its two majestic rocky peaks soaring straight from the sea, a unique location listed as UNESCO World Heritage site.
End your trip by visiting Fort-de-France and strolling through its colourful markets and lively streets.
Cruising: Standard cabin onboard Le Champlain
Terms and Conditions
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* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.