Admire the magnificent Panama Canal

31st August 2017

With September marking the beginning of a change in temperatures across the Europe, you may need to start looking outside the continent for your fix of warmer weather. Star Clippers are able to offer a range of sailings throughout the winter months, with opportunities to travel to Far East Asia, Cuba, and the Caribbean. One of the most intriguing itineraries available is along the Panama Canal, providing a unique opportunity to traverse one of the greatest man-made structures of all time. This week, we take a closer look at some of the highlights of these spectacular sailings and why you will want to ensure you don’t miss out this November.

Caribbean

Bridgetown, Barbados

Bridgetown, capital of Barbados, may be the largest city you visit throughout the duration of the itinerary and it is also your starting point. It is the perfect place to get a flavour for the Caribbean, with charming architecture, inviting beaches and a truly relaxing atmosphere that will get you in the mood in no time at all.

Visiting smaller islands and hidden destinations is what the Star Clippers experience is all about. Day two of the itinerary is listed as ‘Captain’s Best’ in the Grenadines, which means that the captain of your ship will select a hidden paradise based on their own personal experience. This is likely to be one of the highlights of your cruise as you will get to visit an island that very few tourists get to experience.

A visit to the Grenada capital of St Georges is followed by calls into smaller Venezuelan islands that are not frequented by tourists as much as other islands in the Caribbean. 25 miles off the Venezuelan coast is Isla Margarita, which is home to more than 100 types of resident bird species – many of which relax on the inviting beaches. La Blanquilla has developed a name for itself for diving, which can be enjoyed as little as 65 yards away from the beautiful white-sand shore and provides an excellent opportunity to admire rare black corals.

Visits to these Venezuelan islands are followed by calls into the Dutch Caribbean islands of Bonaire, Curacao, and Aruba – each of which offers a relaxing atmosphere with the Dutch influence of brightly-coloured houses.

South America and the Panama Canal

Cartagena, Colombia

A journey around the Caribbean sets the tone for the epic finale of this majestic sailing, as you head towards the entrance to the Panama Canal. Before beginning the transit of the Panama Canal, you will be able to enjoy a visit the wonderfully charming Colombian city of Cartagena. This UNESCO World Heritage site, situated in the north of the country, is home to what was the first Spanish colony on the American continent and there are many echoes of this era remaining today. A colourful walled city offers much to see and explore including clock towers, 500-year-old coral stone forts and much more.

Prior to completing the Panama Canal transit, you will have the chance to visit the vibrant and colourful San Blas Islands. Much of the culture can be discovered in the form of moias – which are works of art that depict birds, fish, animals and much more. It is definitely worth purchasing one as a souvenir of your travels.

The Panama Canal has been in operation for over 100 years and it remains one of the most impressive man-made wonders of all time. Before the canal was built, sailings vessels would be required to sail around the tip of Cape Horn – which was widely considered to be one of the most treacherous journeys a sailor could attempt. The Panama Canal connects the Atlantic with the Pacific and those that complete the journey are rewarded with exceptional views of the Panama jungles, forests, and swamplands that pirates once used to flock to.

Panama Canal

The cruise comes to an end upon arrival to Isle Flamenco, with the lush-green city of Balboa awaiting your arrival. This island marks the Pacific terminus of the canal and was once home to the canal’s American administrative headquarters. As a result, many of the buildings in the city of Balboa offer a unique insight into American colonial style architecture – which was reminiscent of the early 1900’s.


To find out more about the range of Panama Canal sailings or for a full list of Star Clippers sailings departing over the winter period, contact our friendly team today via the freephone number above. Alternatively, you can chat to an advisor online.