Southbound Voyage Via Panama Canal Cruise
- Duration: 53 days
- Board Basis: Full Board
- Tour Ref: D2TNEW99604
- Travel Type: Make your own way to port
52 nights. October 2020. From £7779.00.
Half a world away
Casablanca and the volcanic Cape Verde Isles... the sun-kissed Caribbean... the colourful streets of Colombian Cartagena with their flower-filled balconies... the paradise islands of French Polynesia... the great cities of Lisbon and Auckland... Each new destination on this two-month autumn cruise to Sydney offers the chance to see new, unique sights, to make new memories and to enjoy new experiences far removed from the day-to-day of home. Cross the Atlantic, the Equator, the South Pacific and the International Date Line, and cruise through the Panama Canal, as Vasco da Gama cruises south and west from London Tilbury.
What's Included52 nights' accommodation in your choice of cabin
Delicious full board cuisine
Afternoon teas and late night snacks
Captain’s Cocktail Party (cruises of 6 nights or more)
Self service tea & coffee (6am to midnight)
Big show entertainment, cabarets and classical interludes
Daytime activities and leisure facilities
Guest speaker and arts & crafts (cruises of 5 nights or more)
Porterage of luggage, port to cabin
Holiday HighlightsCall at 14 wonderful ports
Sail through the Panama Canal into the Pacific
Colombia’s stunning, fortified Cartagena
Historic Lisbon, the starting point for earlier Voyages of Discovery
Colourful Casablanca, gateway to Marrakesh
The Cape Verde islands – mid-Atlantic stopping-off point
Vibrant Bridgetown, Barbados
The Spice Island, Grenada
Visit Panama City from Colon
A quartet of French Polynesian isles – Nuka Hiva, Tahiti, Huanhine and Bora Bora
Visit the rugby-loving Cook Islands
Visit ancient Maori settlement Rotorua from Tauranga
Auckland, New Zealand’s glittering City of Sails
Sail into Sydney’s famous harbour, past the Opera House
PLEASE NOTE: Price is per person and based on two people sharing a twin/double room. Single room supplements and upgrades are not included.
Day 1Depart from London Tilbury
Depart: 2000hrs Board Vasco da Gama in Tilbury, today, settle in to your cabin and relax as your cruise begins.
Day 5Lisbon, Portugal
Arrive: 0800hrsDepart: 2400hrs Today Vasco da Gama calls in Portuguese capital Lisbon, from where the great explorers sailed to the New World. Enjoy an optional shore excursion through the maze of narrow, hilly streets of the historic Alfamar district, a striking contrast to the modern city’s glass and steel.
Day 7Casablanca, Morocco
Arrive: 0700hrsDepart: 2100hrs This morning Vasco da Gama docks in Casablanca, renowned for its connections with the celebrated movie, but today a world away from Humphrey Bogart’s sleepy town. Startlingly modern, but retaining a sense of the past in its ancient medina, the city offers wonderful beaches, some designer shopping and the fascination of the gigantic Hassan II Mosque. Today also offers up the chance to join an unforgettable shore excursion to Marrakech to explore the tiny stores, alleys and hidden courtyards of the souks, and its vast, bustling square, the Djemaa El Fna.
Day 11Mindelo, Sao Vicente, Cape Verde Islands
Arrive: 0900hrsDepart: 1800hrs The 10 volcanic isles that make up the Cape Verde archipelago are fast becoming a popular holiday haven, despite (or perhaps because of) their remote position. Spend the day in Mindelo, the pretty capital of Sao Vicente, admiring the attractive houses of this colonial outpost, or perhaps joining an optional shore excursion inland.
Days 16-17Bridgetown, Barbados
Arrive: 2000hrs (Day 16)Depart: 2000hrs (Day 17) Vasco da Gama spends the night in the bustling, colourful capital of Barbados, Bridgetown, giving you time to head ashore in search of exquisite beaches, swanky resort-hotels and exclusive shore-side restaurants.
Day 18St George's, Grenada
Arrive: 0800hrsDepart: 1800hrs The gorgeous Spice Island of Grenada - famed for its nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger - welcomes you this afternoon. Wander the maze-like streets and visit the horseshoe harbour of the island's British Colonial capital, St George's.
Day 21Cartagena, Colombia
Arrive: 0800hrsDepart: 1700hrs Cartagena is a Spanish colonial treasure on the Colombian coast. Visit Downtown to discover streets and squares lined by brightly coloured buildings, and bougainvillea-covered mansions, elegant balconies and magnificent churches.
Day 22Colon, Panama
Arrive: 1300hrsDepart: 2300hrs As Vasco da Gama calls at Cristobal in Colon, on the Caribbean side of the Panama Canal, there's a chance to cross by coach to the Pacific and visit Panama City itself. Alternatively, stay aboard as Columbus heads through the first stretch of the canal into Gatan Lake, a vast, man-made stretch of water that's also among the most important ecological zones in the Americas.
Day 23Transit Panama Canal, Panama
One of your cruise's more unusual highlights is today's passage through the remaining stretch of the historic and astounding Panama Canal, the 82-kilometre 'short cut' between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean.
Day 34Nuku Hiva, French Polynesia
Arrive: 0700hrsDepart: 1800hrs After a week of balmy days at sea, the breathtaking islands of French Polynesia are a colourful sight. Taiohae harbour, on tiny Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas Isles, is your first chance to absorb the atmosphere of this languid, tropical world.
Day 36-37Pape'ete, French Polynesia
Arrive: 1900hrs (Day 36)Depart: 2400hrs (Day 37) Tahiti is, perhaps, the most famous South Pacific island. Its capital, Pape'ete, is home to historic Le Marche market, the lush Vaipaha Gardens and a perfect lagoon, and seems to have appeared straight out of a Gauguin painting.
Day 38Huahine, Maroe Bay, French Polynesia
Arrive: 0800hrsDepart: 1800hrs Continuing west across the Pacific, Vasco da Gama cruises to Huahine, whose green-clad mountains rise out of the shallow, blue waters of its surrounding lagoon. Step ashore to explore this land of pastel-painted houses and glorious beaches.
Day 39Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Arrive: 0800hrsDepart: 1800hrs Today, legendary Bora Bora, a quintessential island paradise, with mountains, lagoons and sublime beaches, completes Vasco da Gama's French Polynesian calls.
Day 41Rarotonga, Cook Islands
Arrive: 0800hrsDepart: 1900hrs Rugby Union-loving Rarotonga is the principal port of the Cook Islands. Meet some of the world’s friendliest islanders here, and discover their traditions and musical heritage. It's a memorable conclusion to your journey across the South Pacific.
Day 48Tauranga, New Zealand
Arrive: 0700hrsDepart: 1600hrs Rotorua is one of New Zealand's most popular destinations. Join a shore excursion to discover bubbling hot-springs, gushing geysers and the traditional Maori culture of the Te Arawa people. Visit the fascinating Agrodome for a display of sheep-shearing skills, see the traditional Maori village of Te Puia and the wondrous Thermal Reserve, with its boiling mud pools and geysers.
Day 49Auckland, New Zealand
Arrive: 0700hrsDepart: 2200hrs Early this morning you'll arrive in call in Auckland, the glittering 'City of Sails' on New Zealand's North Island. Step ashore to take in the Auckland Museum's priceless carvings and artefacts, or to enjoy a trip up the 328-metre Sky Tower, the country's tallest structure.
Day 53Arrive at Sydney
Arrive: 0700hrs Vibrant, laid-back Sydney is your final port on this wonderful cruise. Disembark to explore this great city, renowned for its iconic Opera House, Harbour Bridge, famous beaches and stunning Botanic Gardens, to meet friends and relatives, spend time in Sydney or embark on an expedition into the vastness of Australia that lies beyond the wonderful city. Back to top
Passport requirementsBritish Citizens will need a full, 10-year passport to travel on this cruise. Since some countries require visitors to be valid for at least six months after the return date of the cruise we recommend that all customers ensure that this is the case. Holders of non-British passports should check with the relevant embassies to see if any requirements and restrictions exist for any countries visited during the cruise.
Foreign Office travel adviceVisit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice to find out the latest Foreign And Commonwealth Office travel advice for your holiday destination, as well as information about passports and visas. Back to top