The Inca Empire was the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. We will sail along the coastline of this ancient empire from Chile to Colombia via Peru and Ecuador. Starting inValparaíso, Chile, we sail north and visit the stunning Luaca National Park, home to some breathtaking scenery with snow-sprinkled volcanoes, sparkling lakes and isolated hot springs.
Mysterious Carvings, Lost Cities and a Huge Mudbrick Citadel
Next, you have a chance to discover the mysterious Nazca lines. They are among archaeology's greatest enigmas because of their quantity, nature, size and continuity.
We will also visit the ancient Chimu kingdom, the largest mudbrick citadel of the Americas in pre-Columbian times. Then, we sail through the Panama Canal and end this expedition in beautiful Costa Rica. The mixture of extreme nature, visits to several fascinating cities, South American culture and captivating lectures makes this expedition a one-of-a-kind experience.
Optional tours and activities are available, please contact us for details.
• Learn more about the Incas and hear the mysteries of lost cultures
• Visit several exciting cities in Chile, Peru and Ecuador
• See the most important archaeological sites in South America
• Travel through the Panama Canal
This expedition starts in the wonderfully, colourful and poetic city of Valparaíso. Before embarking MS Fram, we recommend a visit to the UNESCO-listed Historic Quarter of Valparaíso.
La Serena is a seaside town and the capital of Coquimbo Region in Elqui Province. It is one of the oldest cities in the area and it has a marked neo-colonial architectural style and its own undeniable image. It abounds with multi-coloured gardens and many beautiful churches with bells that trace the passage of time. In the Archaeological museum, learn about the ancient Diaguita culture that originated in this province before being conquered by the Incas. You should also visit La Recova, a popular market where you can buy handicrafts and typical products from the region, such as pisco and papaws in all their varieties.
2 days at sea mean you can join the Expedition Team for lectures or spend these days on deck.
Arica is blessed with a warm and sunny climate all year round. While we are here, you can either spend a day at the beach or join the Expedition Team and visit the nearby Lauca National Park. This amazing national park is home to some breathtaking scenery: snow-sprinkled volcanoes, sparkling lakes and isolated hot springs. It also shelters pretty highland villages and a huge variety of wildlife. Numerous sites and paths found in this region are associated with the Chilean Inca trail.
Join the Expedition Team for more fascinating lectures or relax on deck.
Puerto General San Martin is the gateway to the famous and mysterious Nazca lines and geoglyphs. These lines were scratched on the surface of the ground between 500 B.C. and 500 A.D. They are among archaeology's greatest enigmas because of their quantity, nature, size and continuity. The geoglyphs are several miles long and illustrate living creatures, stylised plants and imaginary beings, as well as geometric figures. Join the excursion to see just how impressive and mysterious these lines actually are.
Callao is situated just outside Lima and is a vital route for trade both into and out of Peru. It is home to charming mansions with pretty balconies, museums, churches and the fortress of King Felipe.
The small port of Salaverry is the starting point for the excursion to the ancient Chimu kingdom (700–1400 A.D.). They founded their capital by the banks of the Moche River and called it Chan Chan ("sun-sun"). Chan Chan covers an area of eight square miles. It was built using clay, mud, pebbles, straw and cane, which makes it the largest mudbrick citadel of the Americas in pre-Hispanic times. It is a remarkable place that was listed by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1986.
Enjoy another relaxing but exciting day at sea.
Manta is a bustling and prosperous port town, graced with high-rises and a few beaches. We recommend the trip to Montecristi, where the real Panama hats are made. These traditional brimmed straw hats are hand woven, and it can take several months to make the finest ones. A "superfino" Panama hat can, according to popular rumour, hold water, and when rolled for storage, pass through a wedding ring.
Spend another relaxing and interesting day at sea.
Fuerte Amador is located right at the Pacific entrance of the Panama Canal. The port is only 20 miles away from Panama City, one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Central America and home to incredible architectural and ethnic diversity. Join tours in the city, enjoy a day at the beach or come with us to explore the lush rainforest.
We enter the Panama Canal close to Balboa. Experience the thrill of canal transit and the intricacy of the lock's system first-hand, as MS Fram is lifted over 85 feet above sea level from one body of water to the next.
The Panama Canal is one of the largest and most difficult engineering projects ever undertaken. It had an enormous impact on shipping between the two oceans, replacing the long and treacherous route via the Drake Passage and Cape Horn.
Puerto Limón on Costa Rica is a compelling destination for adventurous explorers.
After disembarking, we transfer you to your hotel in San José, the capital of Costa Rica.
After breakfast in your hotel, your South American expedition comes to an end.
These prices are indicative, check for details
Our Polar Outside cabins are situated on lower deck and they all have bathrooms with shower/wc. Most of them offer separate beds where one can be turned into a sofa, and others offer upper and lower berths. Some of the cabins have more facilities than others.
Our Arctic Superior cabins are comfortable cabins situated on both upper and middle deck, where you can enjoy a relaxing atmosphere. All the cabins have bathrooms with shower/wc. You will also find coffee and tea facilities in these cabins. Most of them have separate beds, where one can be turned into a sofa and some have double beds. Some of the cabins have more facilities than others.
Our Expeditions Suites are the most exquisite cabins on the ship. Situated on upper deck, you can enjoy the most comfortable suites on board. Inside you will find seating areas with TV, bathrooms with shower/wc and most of them have double beds. All of the suites offer cabin kits, which contains bathrobe, slippers and other beauty articles. Some of the suites do have more facilities than others.
Our Polar Inside cabins are situated on lower deck and offer a cosy atmosphere. All cabins include bathrooms with shower/wc. Most of the cabins have separate beds where one can be turned into a sofa, and others offer upper and lower berths. Some of the cabins have more facilities than others.
Vessel Type: Expedition
Passenger Capacity: 276
MS Fram is designed for sailing in polar waters, holds the highest safety standards and is the perfect size for optimum nautical manoeuverability and guests' comfort. With space for only 276 guests, you are sure to get to know many of your fellow travellers. You will share stunning sights and memories of a lifetime long after returning home. The Norwegian word Fram means ‘forward’ – lifting expectations of the voyage at hand.
MS Fram was built in 2007 with one mission in mind - to bring her guests closer to nature, wildlife and unforgettable experiences. As well as offering numerous lounges in which to relax, our more active guests can use our well-equipped gym. Meanwhile, on deck, our Jacuzzis guarantee you surreal memories when passing the towering icebergs of Antarctica or Greenland.