Meals as indicated: (B) Breakfast, (L) Lunch, (D) Dinner.
Day 01, Friday, January 17th. CANADA to San Diego CALIFORNIA USA (D). Depart Canada on your flight to San Diego. Transfer from airport to your hotel. Welcoming Dinner.
Day 02, Saturday, January 18th. San Diego & EMBARKATION (B/L/D). SHIP DEPARTS PORT 1700 (5:00) PM. Transfer to the port and embarkation. Holland America Line’s first Vista-class cruise ship, MS Oosterdam (1964 Guests, 936 ft. Length & 105.8 ft. Width) recently emerged from dry dock with exciting updates - including completely refreshed suites and new lounge, dining and entertainment venues, such as Music Walk™, with Lincoln Center State, B.B. Kings’ Blues Club and Billboard Onboard. Guests can choose from among delectable specialty restaurants, hone culinary skills with America’s Test Kitchen and thrill to BBC Earth Experiences.
Day 03 - 04, Sunday to Monday, January 19th - 20th. Days at Sea (B/L/D BOTH DAYS). Enjoy all that your ship has to offer.
Day 05, Tuesday, January 21st. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (B/L/D). ARRIVES 0800 AM, DEPARTS 2100 (9:00) PM. Unique compared to Acapulco, Cancun, Zihuatanejo and several other coastal resort towns in Mexico - many of which were created by the government as planned communities - Puerto Vallarta (“PV” to locals), on the Pacific Ocean, retains quite a bit of its colonial-era charm. Its town square, Plaza de Armas, and the gorgeous parish church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, topped with an ornate crown and overlooking the port, serve as the loveliest representations of bygone ages. Alongside these echoes of the past are more modern attractions, including an ambitious public art project along the seaside walkway (the malecon) and trendy restaurants such as La Leche, serving contemporary Mexican cuisine. Round these out with plenty of fun-in-the-sun outdoor activities on and along Banderas Bay (whale watching, snorkeling, jet-skiing), excursions that reveal the best of Puerto Vallarta’s flora and fauna, and a side trip to one of Mexico’s pueblos magicos (magical towns, a designation conferred by the government to recognize smaller towns that possess historical and cultural value), and you’d be hard-pressed to find a more pleasant place to spend part of your cruising vacation.
Day 06, Wednesday, January 22nd. Manzanillo, Mexico (B/L/D). ARRIVES 0800 AM, DEPARTS 1700 (5:00) PM. A glance at Manzanillo’s coat of arms tells you most of what you need to know bout one of Mexico’s most significant port cities. Divided into four quadrants, the shield features a multi-masted sailing vessel, a ship’s wheel and anchor, a coconut palm rooted in golden sand against an ocean backdrop and a sailfish arcing out of the water. The only item missing, perhaps, is a plate of freshly caught seafood. Manzanillo is one of Mexico’s busiest, most important ports (some say the busiest and most important). Located on the Pacific, it’s nicknamed the Sailfish Capital of the World. It’s little wonder, then, that most of the activities in Manzanillo are centered on or near the water, and most of the city’s culinary specialties are inspired by the fruits of the sea. Don’t have high hopes if you plan to shop for authentic souvenirs here; many of the options are chain stores that may be familiar to you and which offer the same goods you could buy at home. No worries, though: Your money is best spent on Manzanillo’s experiences.
Day 07, Thursday, January 23rd. Days at Sea (B/L/D). Enjoy all that your ship has to offer.
Day 08, Friday, January 24th. Huatulco, Mexico (B/L/D). ARRIVES 0800 AM, DEPARTS 1700 (5:00) PM. Huatulco, situated on Mexico’s Pacific Coast in the state of Oaxaca, has 9 bays and 36 beaches, offering more than enough opportunities for fun in the sun. The most popular beach is La Entrega, with clean white sand and calm waters, perfect for snorkeling and swimming… or just relaxing. But Huatulco’s attractions aren’t limited to sand and surf; there are also archaeological sites to explore, rivers to raft, and waterfalls whose pools invite childlike splashing. Bird lovers, in particular, will find Huatulco to be especially captivating. The region is home to more than 225 bird species, including many rare ones and a number that are endemic to Mexico, like the Colima pygmy owl and the wildly colourful orange-breasted bunting and citreoline trogon. Bring your bird list, because you’re sure to add new species to your “sighted” column. And the food in Huatulco! The food will give you plenty to write home about. The state of Oaxaca has some of the most iconic dishes in Mexico’s culinary repertoire. You won’t go home hungry.
Day 09, Saturday, January 25th. Puerto Chiapas, Mexico (B/L/D). ARRIVES 0800 AM, DEPARTS 1700 (5:00) PM. The southernmost port on Mexico’s Pacific coast, Puerto Chiapas is named for the state in which it is located. It is relatively new, built in 1975, and is the primary hub from which the region’s agricultural goods including coffee, are sent abroad. For travelers arriving by cruise ship, the town of Puerto Chiapas is a jumping-off point to explore surrounding areas, including Tapachula, the second-largest city in the state of Chiapas. In addition to visiting the coffee estates and banana and cacao plantations of the area, day trips include excursions to Maya sites such as Izapa. Although not as well known as some of the Maya sites of southern and eastern Mexico, such as the UNESCO World Heritage Site Chichen Itza, Izapa is impressive, nonetheless. In addition to its interesting location - it sits along a river and is aligned with a volcano (the sixth-tallest mountain in Mexico) - archaeologists have found numerous stelae and evidence that it was the largest Maya site in Chiapas. While in the area, don’t miss the opportunity to sample the cuisine of Chiapas, which is influenced heavily by the Maya. One typical dish is tasajo, a thinly sliced beef steak marinated in a sauce made with achiote (also known as annatto) and chili.
Day 10, Sunday, January 26th. Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala (B/L/D). ARRIVES 0800 AM, DEPARTS 1800 (6:00) PM. Puerto Quetzal is Guatemala’s largest port on the Pacific Ocean side of this Central American country, important for both cargo and cruise ships. There’s not a great deal to see and do in Puerto Quetzal itself, and visitors should adjust their expectations accordingly. Yet you shouldn’t despair, either; Puerto Quetzal is an ideal point of departure for exploring several corners of the country. Choose your mode of transportation - plane, bus, car or boat - and decide whether you want to take in Guatemala’s stunning, volcano-studded landscape, one (or more!) of the country’s Maya sites, the UNESCO-recognized colonial city of Antigua (the former capital), a coffee plantation or one of the many beguiling bodies of water. In addition to the gleaming Pacific, there’s Lake Atitlan, which 19th-century German explorer Alexander von Humboldt described as the most beautiful lake in the world. All of these attractions are accessible as day trips, and getting to them is all part of your Guatemalan adventure.
Day 11, Monday, January 27th. Corinto, Nicaragua (B/L/D). ARRIVES 0800 AM, DEPARTS 1600 (4:00) PM. As a travel destination, Nicaragua still remains below the radar for many, despite a recent surge of media interest in this Central American country. One of the region’s most politically and socially stable nations, Nicaragua has been billed as the next great spot for eco-, cultural and culinary tourism. Adventurous guests keen to experience its charms are rewarded richly for their efforts. The country’s most visited cities are Managua (the capital), Granada and Leon; the latter sits near the Pacific Coast. Corinto is the nearest port town, just northwest of Leon and along the route to the Panama Canal Zone. It offers many of the charms of the larger cities, including their colonial-era architecture, as well as a number of cultural and ecological attractions in surrounding areas. Given the port’s proximity to Leon, it’s easy for cruise passengers to take a day trip to this beautiful city established by Spanish conquistadores in 1524. While there, be sure to sample the traditional dish called vigoron, a hearty plate heaped with pork, boiled yuca and cabbage salad. Though residents of Granada claimed to have invented it, vigoron is popular around the entire country and is a true taste of Nicaragua.
Day 12, Tuesday, January 28th. Puerto Caldera (Puntarenas), Costa Rica (B/L/D). ARRIVES 0800 AM, DEPARTS 1800 (6:00) PM. One of the stops along the Panama Canal Zone route, Puerto Caldera on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast isn’t your ordinary port of call, positioned as it is within easy day-trip distance of the country’s multiple national parks. The town itself is small but makes for an ideal base from which travelers can venture out to explore the variety of this Central American country’s outdoor attractions and activities. These include snapping photos of gushing waterfalls (and swimming at the base of one, if you bring your swimsuit), sightseeing near active volcanoes, birdwatching in nature reserves and sanctuaries and horseback riding on Pacific beaches… and that’s just for starters. Visitors to Puerto Caldera and the surrounding region also enjoy shopping for handicrafts that local artists sell at their cooperatives, as well as sampling traditional Tico cuisine, especially gallo pinto - a combination of rice and beans eaten at any time of the day or night. Puerto Caldera is the perfect reminder that adventure often awaits just around the bend.
Day 13, Wednesday, January 29th. Days at Sea (B/L/D). Enjoy all that your ship has to offer.
Day 14, Thursday, January 30th. Enter Panama Canal Balboa - PART 1 (B/L/D). ARRIVES 0500 AM, DEPARTS 0500 AM. The town of Balboa stands at the Pacific end of one of the world’s great engineering wonders, the Panama Canal. Long the administrative center of the Canal Zone, it was U.S. territory until the last day of the last century, when it was returned to Panama on December 31st, 1999. The 77-kilometer (48-mile) route that begins here and ends at the Caribbean unfolds like an epic tale. Over the course of a decade a little more than a century ago, tens of thousands of workers drilled dynamite holes, drove belching steam shovels and labored with pickaxes, all the while fighting off malaria. While the French builders of the Suez Canal ultimately gave up in Panama, American crews persevered as they hauled away mountains and created a route across the continent. AAs David McCullough recounts in The Path Between the Seas, it was a combination of sheer human might and what was at the time the latest engineering prowess that made this feat possible. It has since saved many sailors from the almost 13,000-kilometer (8,000-mile) journey around the tip of South America. In 2016 an expansion more than doubled the Panama Cana’s capacity, ensuring that it will continue to be central to the world’s maritime traffic.
Day 14, Thursday, January 30th. Cruising Panama Canal - PART 2 (B/L/D). The construction of the Panama Canal is one of those epic tales from the past, an old-school feat of engineering, ambition and courage. A cruise along it today is a journey through the centuries, from the Spanish fortifications near Limon Bay to the glittering skyline of Panama City, not to mention the canal itself. While many think of the Panama Canal only as a remarkable manmade achievement, the area is also of interest to naturalists. Panama’s rain forest suffered great biodiversity loss during the canal’s construction, but today more than 100 species each of mammals and reptiles, as well as some 500 different birds, thrive in the nature reserves along the length of the canal.
Day 14, Thursday, January 30th. Exit Panama Canal Cristobal - PART 3 (B/L/D). ARRIVES 1900 (7:00) PM, DEPARTS 1900 (7:00) PM. Think of the Panama Canal, and the image that may come to mind is of the world’s huge tankers and cruise ships passing through a series of locks. That, however, reflects only one aspect of this part of the world. As ships travel from the Pacific to the Atlantic, they also pass colonial towns, historic fortresses and manmade lakes that are today home to sanctuaries for hundreds of animals and plant species. At the canal’s Pacific entrance, Panama City’s glittering Skyline of office towers and condominiums reflects the country’s dynamic present and future. Some 77 kilometers (48-miles) to the north, at the Caribbean entrance to the Panama Canal, Colon evokes the old Panama of yesteryear, with its historic buildings gradually being restored. Traveling between these two cities, and epic tale unfolds before you - an old-school feat of engineering, ambition and courage.
Day 15, Friday, January 31st. Days at Sea (B/L/D). Enjoy all that your ship has to offer.
Day 16, Saturday, February 1st. Oranjestad, Aruba. ARRIVES 0800 AM, DEPARTS 2300 (11:00) PM. Located off the coasts of Venezuela and Colombia, the windswept Dutch island of Aruba feels like another world. Relax in the shade of a swaying Divi Divi tree on a pristine beach or explore untamed coastal cliffs in an exotic landscape filled with cacti. Just one day in Aruba can lead to a lifetime full of stories.
Day 17 - 18, Sunday to Monday, February 2nd - 3rd. Days at Sea (B/L/D BOTH DAYS). Enjoy all that your ship has to offer.
Day 19, Tuesday, February 4th. Half Moon Cay, Bahamas. ARRIVES 0800 AM, DEPARTS 1600 (4:00) PM. The Caribbean is full of tropical wonders and natural beauty. But there’s nothing like Half Moon Cay, our pristine private island paradise in the Bahamas. The most stunning, highest rated private island experience in the region, Half Moon Cay has won Porthole Cruise Magazine’s Best Private Island award 17 consecutive years and was also named the best in Travel Weekly’s Reader’s Choice Awards. As soon as your toes touch that powdery white sand and your eyes settle on the perfect blue crystal clear water, you’ll understand why.
Day 20, Wednesday, February 5th. Fort Lauderdale, Florida USA & DISEMBARKATION. ARRIVES 0700 AM. After transferring to the airport, enjoy your flight home to Canada while you reflect upon the great memories of your 18 Day Panama Canal Cruise.
ITINERARY IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE.
PRICES: PER PERSON (DOUBLE OCCUPANCY)
$5,807.00 INSIDE STATEROOM | $6,213.00 OUTSIDE STATEROOM | $7,416.00 BALCONY STATEROOM
TIPS, TAXES & FEES INCLUDED IN THESE PRICES.
DEPOSIT: $750.00 PER PERSON TO SECURE SEAT. BALANCE DUE: OCTOBER 24TH, 2019.
PAY BY CASH, CHEQUE OR CREDIT CARD.
Place your deposit before SEPTEMBER 30TH, 2019 and save up to $1,000.00 per person on the above prices. All prices are subject to availability at time of booking.
2020 PANAMA CANAL TOUR INCLUDES:
Return flights between Saskatoon/Regina to San Diego and Miami (Other departure cities by request).
1 night accommodation in San Diego.
18 nights accommodation, meals, entertainment aboard Holland America’s MS Oosterdam cruise ship.
Welcoming Dinner in San Diego and breakfast next morning.
2 Professional Tour Hosts with tips included in the price.
All transfers, ship gratuities, and taxes included in the price.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
Passports/Documents - All passengers require a passport that is valid for 6 months beyond the date of return to Canada.
Insurance/Medical - All passengers MUST have adequate out of country medical insurance to travel on this tour. Passengers have the option to obtain insurance at their discretion.
Medical Issues - Please contact a public health nurse or international travel clinic regarding required booster shots or medications for this tour.
Manulife World Travel Insurance - We offer the personalized coverage that you need, to be financially protected against the cost of unexpected emergencies that may happen prior to or during your trip. For insurance rates contact Dana at Lobstick Travel 1.800.665.0171. Passengers have the right to obtain insurance at their discretion. If you decline or purchase insurance elsewhere, we require our waiver form to be signed and returned.
Cancellation - If you must cancel for any reason, contact Dana at Lobstick Travel 1.800.665.0171 IMMEDIATELY.
Cancellation Policy - Applies the day you notify us.
After deposit - Deposit non-refundable.
November 23rd, 2019 - 50% total price non-refundable.
December 21st, 2019 - 75% total price non-refundable.
January 3rd, 2020 - 100% total price non-refundable.