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Fort Lauderdale (Florida) to Colon

12 days with Silversea   Rating: Deluxe

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Day 1 Fort Lauderdale (Florida), United States
Miles of sandy beaches, lively outdoor events, and a charming web of waterways help to make Fort Lauderdale a relaxed, vacation capital of Florida. The excitement is palpable, as cruise ships and gleaming yachts gather in the harbour ahead of adventures and luxury journeys across the waves. Soak up the relaxed atmosphere in the canal-laced 'Venice of America,' as you enjoy big label shopping on Las Olas Boulevard - or visit fancy restaurants and bustling art galleries. For a wilder experience, the swampy wetlands of the Everglades sprawl away nearby. Fort Lauderdale Beach is a lively stretch of sand, bordered by palm trees, and sprinkled with crowds enjoying the Sunshine State's generous weather. The charming promenade of red-brick tiles extends right along the beach's length and rumbles with passing rollerbladers and cyclists. Flick across the waves while paragliding, or relax with a coffee or a margarita in a beachfront bar, as volleyball games play out in front of you. For a quieter beach option, Olas Beach lies a little down the coast towards Port Everglades, and has extra space to spread out and tan on acres of smooth white sand. Spot the backs of alligators waiting patiently, and the toothy grins of crocodiles patrolling the murky waters of the Everglades – the USA's biggest tropical wetlands. A haven of extraordinary wildlife, birds wade through its swamps, and black bears and panthers roam its wilds. Take to a plane to appreciate the full scale of the national park or purr along exploring its waterways in a fan powered boat.
Day 2 Harbour Island, Bahamas
Harbour Island is a small slip of island, extending three miles from north to south and less than half a mile wide. The island at the northern tip of the much larger Eleuthera Island. Despite its small size it has about 1,700 residents and one incorporated town, Dunmore Town, named after the governor of the Bahamas John Murray, the 4th Earl of Dunmore (1785 to 1798 governorship). The island is known for its pink sand beaches – the pink comes from a microscopic organism (foraminifera) with a reddish-pink shell. Harbour Island charms every visitor, with its colorful Colonial houses and wild horses occasionally spotted running along the serene beaches.
Day 3 Exuma Island, Bahamas
Stretching over some 200 miles southeast of Nassau, the Exuma archipelago consists of 365 cays and islands. Next to Great Exuma and Little Exuma Moriah Harbour Cay National Park protects a wide array of habitats, including mangrove creeks, beautiful beaches, sand dunes, and sea grass beds. Birds found in the area include Ospreys, Gull-billed and Least Terns, plovers, oystercatchers, and the nocturnal nighthawks. But perhaps Exuma’s most famous non-human residents are Big Major Cay’s swimming pigs at Pig Beach.
Day 4 At Sea
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.
Day 5 Port Antonio, Jamaica
Port Antonio, on the Northeast coast of Jamaica, is the islands third largest port, mainly for bananas and coconuts. It is also an important tourist destination. In fact, it has been featured as a model of paradise in several famous Hollywood films such as Club Paradise and Cocktail. Port Antonio was a sleepy coastal town until the 1880s, when Lorenzo Dow Baker, an American businessman, started the banana trade in Jamaica and promoted Port Antonio as a vacation spot for wealthy Americans. "Portie", as it is nicknamed, became a boom town. Even the movie star Errol Flynn was enamoured and ended up buying property here after his yacht washed ashore in 1946. Today it is still a major destination with plenty to do and see, from stunning scenery, creative arts and crafts, and cultural and historical sites.
Day 6 Cayman Brac (Cayman Islands), Cayman Islands
First spotted on his fourth and final trans-Atlantic crossing in 1503 and originally named Las Tortugas by Christopher Columbus because of the many turtles he spotted on the island, Cayman Brac rears up out of the water as if surrounded by a fort. Think craggy limestone shores (although archetypal sandy beaches and blue lapping seas are assured on the north of the island), which have kept this Cayman relatively free from mass tourism. Because of her geographical location (145km from Grand Cayman) and her challenging coastal approach, life has remained very laid back here, with local enterprises being stonemasonry and fishing, although some mass tourism is being developed thanks mostly due to its pristine underwater eco-system ensuring divers and snorkellers some very special sights. The Brac, or “Bluff” has however been a magnetic pull to climbers in recent years, with over 100 sport climbs mapped out on the easterly cliff face. Read more
Day 7 At Sea
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.
Day 8 Providencia Island, Colombia
Providencia, also known as Old Providencia or Providence, is the smaller of the two principal islands that form the Colombian Archipelago of San Andres, Providencia and Santa Catalina. The island sits 80km to the north-northeast of San Andres and is more mountainous than its bigger neighbour rising to 360 meters above sea level. Due to the island’s volcanic origin, with waterfalls and steep drops into the crystal blue sea, the vegetation is lush. Providencia is inhabited by fewer than 6000 people and is striving to retain its cultural history. Providencia’s towns are definitively Afro-Caribbean in style. The island has a wealth of pristine beaches and beautifully preserved reefs and has good snorkelling and diving sites. Its northeastern part has been declared a national park in order to protect its natural beauty. The sea surrounding Providencia is part of the UNESCO Seaflower Marine Protected Area and is on the tentative World Heritage list.
Day 9 San Andres Island, Colombia
The San Andres and Providencia archipelago comprises Colombia's Caribbean islands, lying some 290 miles north of the South American coast. Palm-dotted San Andres is only eight miles long and two miles wide. It is noted for beautiful sand beaches, crystal-clear waters and good diving sites. At one time the island belonged to Britain and, according to local lore; it was a favorite hideout for the legendary pirate Henry Morgan. In 1822, San Andres came under the control of Colombia. In recent years the original population has greatly increased due to unrestricted immigration from the mainland. There are also Chinese and Middle Eastern communities. The official language is Spanish but English is widely spoken, especially in shops and hotels. The island is best seen via the scenic ring road that offers views of coves, beaches and palm groves. In the interior stands a Baptist church dating from 1847, and the attraction at the southern end is the Hoyo Soplador, a geyser-like hole where the sea shoots jets of water intermittently into the air during the right wind and sea conditions. On the island's northern tip lies the main town and commercial center, known by the same name as the island. San Andres Town is surrounded by beaches, with small hotels lining the waterfront. Being a duty-free zone, the town often gets crowded with Colombian shoppers who come from the mainland looking for foreign-made goods at duty-free prices. To reach the town from the tender landing requires an approximate 20-minute taxi ride. However, it is not uncommon for drivers to choose the longer way around the island for a higher fare. From the downtown waterfront, boats offer trips to Johnny Cay, a tiny island just a stone's throw across from town and known for its powdery white sand beach and rustic, laid-back atmosphere. San Andres Island’s main attraction is its location off the beaten track, as well as pretty scenery, sandy beaches and clear, warm waters. Tourism infrastructure is limited. Pier Information The ship is scheduled to anchor off El Cove. Guests will be taken ashore via the ship's tenders. The landing site is about a 20-minute drive from San Andres Town. There are plenty of taxi drivers offering their services. Please be sure to agree on the fare before setting out (the one-way fare should be around $30). Keep in mind that not all taxi drivers speak English. Shuttle buses are not available. Shopping Most shops in town carry duty-free imports. At New Point Plaza you will find shops selling local souvenir items and jewelry including emeralds. Some stores close between 12:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. The local currency is the peso. Many shops will accept U.S. dollars and major credit cards. Cuisine Outdoor cafés are available in town if you fancy a cold drink or a quick snack. Other Sites All of the island’s sights are covered on the San Andres Island Drive. Beaches Swimmers, snorkelers and sun seekers will find beach facilities right in town. One of the hotels also features water sport rentals. Johnny Cay can be reached via local boats departing from the waterfront. However, be aware that winds are fairly strong between November and January, which may cause delays for your return boat ride. There are no tourist facilities on Johnny Cay. Private cars/vans are not available in this port, except for taxis.
Day 10 Puerto Limón, Costa Rica
Christopher Columbus became Costa Rica's first tourist when he landed on this stretch of coast in 1502 during his fourth and final voyage to the New World. Expecting to find vast mineral wealth, he named the region Costa Rica ("rich coast"). Imagine the Spaniards' surprise eventually to find there was none. Save for a brief skirmish some six decades ago, the country did prove itself rich in a long tradition of peace and democracy. No other country in Latin America can make that claim. Costa Rica is also abundantly rich in natural beauty, managing to pack beaches, volcanoes, rain forests, and diverse animal life into an area the size of Vermont and New Hampshire combined. It has successfully parlayed those qualities into its role as one the world's great ecotourism destinations. A day visit is short, but time enough for a quick sample.
Day 11 Bocas Del Toro, Panama
Translated as Mouths of the Bull, Bocas del Toro is both a province and an archipelago in the northwest Caribbean Sea in Panama. The archipelago contains 10 larger islands (including the main Isla Colon, where the town of Bocas del Toro is situated), 50 cays and 200 tiny islets. The region contains Isla Bastimentos National Marine Park, Panama’s first national marine park that covers over 32,000 acres and protects forests, mangroves, monkeys, sloths, caiman, crocodile and 28 species of amphibians and reptiles. The park also contains Playa Larga, an important nesting site for sea turtles. With all there is to see in this region, visitors should also pause to enjoy the pristine white beaches lined with palm trees that lie all along the surrounding clear waters of the Chiriqui Lagoon
Day 12 Colon, Panama
Colon welcomes you to one of humanity's most extraordinary engineering endeavours, the Panama Canal. This extraordinary waterway connects two of the world’s great oceans and, on opening, saved ships from an epic and treacherous 8,000 mile voyage around Cape Horn. While the Atlantic Entrance is Colon's main raison d’etre, there is much more to this city on the canal’s grand gateway than first meets the eye. Take an old world voyage on the regally romantic Panama Railway Canal, which preceded the canal and was constructed at extraordinary human cost to traverse Panama’s narrow land. The tracks have been rolling since the 19th century and cosying up inside the historic carriages, with their gleaming glass ceilings and polished woods, is an elegant journey back through time to the period when this was the quickest route from the east coast of the USA to California’s gold rush dreams. A side trip to the UNESCO World Heritage Site Portobelo is also a must. With its reef rock fortifications built by the Spanish in the 17th century, these jagged jaws of coral were carved to cut approaching pirates and conquistadors to shreds. It shares its World Heritage Site designation with nearby Fort San Lorenzo, which perches on an emerald-green cliff, casting its gaze over the harbour below. Back in Colon, after staring in awe at the grand, clanging Gatun Locks, and splurging on a case of duty-free rum and trinkets from the Colon Free Trade Zone - a trip to the beach will soothe city-worn souls. Playa La Angosta is a rabble of raucous beach-going fun, where the blue waters swirl with bright banana boats and fleeting canoes. Relax on the sand among sizzling yuca fritters, and families clamouring in the shade of cabanas. On the Caribbean side, Playa Chiquita is accessible only by boat, but rewards with warm gin-clear waters backed by thick rainforest.
All This Included
A voyage of blues seas and green islands, this journey is far more than mere tropical paradises. Of course expect long ribbons of sand and balmy temperatures, but it is the crystal clear waters that provide the most startling kaleidoscopic universe. Travel through The Bahamas to Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Columbia, Costa Rica and Panama and dip into some of the Caribbean’s lesser known destinations.
  • 1 night hotel
  • Guided Zodiac, land and sea tours, and shoreside activities led by the Expeditions Team
  • Enrichment lectures by a highly qualified Expeditions Team
  • Spacious suites
  • Butler service in every suite
  • Unlimited Free Wifi
  • Personalised service – nearly one crew member for every guest
  • Choice of restaurants, diverse cuisine, open-seating dining
  • Beverages in-suite and throughout the ship, including champagne, select wines and spirits
  • In-suite dining and room service
  • Onboard entertainment
  • Onboard gratuities
Cruising: Cabin onboard Silver Explorer
  • Cabin upgrades are available.
  • Expedition highlights and wildlife listed here are possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed. Your Expedition Leader and Captain will work together to ensure opportunities for adventure and exploration are the best possible, taking into account the prevailing weather, wildlife activity and ice conditions. Expedition Team members scheduled for this voyage are subject to change or cancellation. 
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
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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.