Highlights of South America – Land and Sea Expedition

Highlights of South America – Land and Sea Expedition

Highlights of South America – Land and Sea Expedition

Highlights of South America – Land and Sea Expedition

Travel information 14 days MS Fram
6 October 2024
Price from
6990 €
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

14-day expedition cruise through the Panama Canal and down South America's Pacific coast to Lima with crossing of the Andean Plateau 

The legendary Panama Canal 

Sail through the legendary Panama Canal as we head off on a South American adventure.   

From the jungles of Central America to the high-altitude Andean Plateau of the Altiplano, you’ll visit the community where Panama hats are made, as well as the intriguing ruins of ancient Chan Chan. After a week at sea exploring the highlights of the Pacific coast, your adventure turns inland, and discover Lima on a panoramic bus tour. 

Mysteries of the Andes 

Flying to the ancient Inca capital of Cusco, you’ll discover the region’s enigmatic treasures including Machu Picchu before continuing to high altitude Lake Titicaca. Here, you’ll be welcomed by the Uru people who live upon floating islands, and visit the tombs of Sillustani. You’ll return to Lima on your final stop, giving you the chance to find out all about South America’s hottest culinary destination.   

Highlights of South America – Land and Sea Expedition Highlights of South America – Land and Sea Expedition
  • Day 1
    Colón, Panama

    Embarking at Colón  

    6 October 2024

    Get ready to start your adventure 

    Your South American expedition cruise begins in Colón, which stands at the entrance to the Panama Canal on the Atlantic coast. It's a bustling cosmopolitan centre with hot springs, a thriving handicraft scene and wonderful local restaurants.  

    If you’d like to explore more of Panama you can join one of our optional Pre-Programmes.

    However you choose to spend your time in Panama, your expedition ship will be ready and waiting. Once boarded, locate your cabin, explore the ship and get to meet your Expedition Team. 

    Day 1
    Colón, Panama

    Embarking at Colón  

  • Day 2
    Panama Canal, Panama 

    Through the Panama Canal

    7 October 2024

    Navigate one of the world's greatest engineering marvels  

    Early in the morning, we'll enter the Panama Canal, a complex network of huge, ingenious locks stretching 50 miles through natural and man-made waterways. If weather allows, our Expedition Team will invite you on deck and tell the story of this ambitious project. 

    Halfway through our transit, we'll enter the Gatun Lake section, which is one of the world's largest artificial lakes and is surrounded by verdant rainforest. Keep an eye out for crocodiles, alligators, monkeys and even sloths. 

    After around twelve hours, we'll emerge into the Pacific, passing from one great ocean to another. 

    Day 2
    Panama Canal, Panama 

    Through the Panama Canal

  • Day 3
    At sea 

    On the way to Ecuador 

    8 October 2024

    Enjoy a day at sea   

    As we sail towards Ecuador take time to relax and get to know the ship better. Go out on deck and look out for wildlife – whales can often be seen in these waters. Your Expedition Team can be found in the Science Center, and they’ll be giving some interesting talks on a range of topics. 

    While you’re there, why not find out about the Citizen Science projects we’re running. Or if you’d simply like to relax and enjoy the journey, try out a hot tub or settle into the comfort of the Explorer Lounge & Bar and watch the world pass by. Later, a spot of stargazing from the deck is a lovely way to wind up your day. 

    Day 3
    At sea 

    On the way to Ecuador 

  • Day 4
    Manta, Ecuador 

    Made in Montecristi  

    9 October 2024

    Discover the birthplace of Panama hats ... in Ecuador    

    It's not every day that you get the opportunity to seek Neptune's blessing. We'll do just that in a traditional – and somewhat fun – ceremony as we cross the Equator in the early morning. 

    Later, we'll dock at the port of Manta and set foot on South American soil as we visit the town of Montecristi. Known for its handicrafts, you can buy a stylish genuine Panama hat here, expertly handwoven from the leaves of the jipijapa tree.  

    Wander around this smart town and take a look at the imposing white church, or take in the colourful street art and murals. Returning to Manta, we’ll pay a visit to the archaeological museum. 

    Day 4
    Manta, Ecuador 

    Made in Montecristi  

  • Day 5
    Puerto Bolívar, Ecuador 

    Bountiful Puerto Bolívar 

    10 October 2024

    Explore a bustling port with a charming atmosphere 

    We have a fruitful day ahead exploring Puerto Bolívar, a port in the city of Machala that exports coffee, cocoa, shrimp and masses of bananas. Shipping more of Ecuador’s ‘green gold’ than anywhere else in the country, Puerto Bolívar is dubbed ‘Banana Capital of the World.’ 

    Machala itself has all the charm you’d expect from a small coastal city, including friendly locals, cosy plazas and striking monuments. You can try delicious fresh seafood at the harbour restaurants, taking in views of the mangrove swamps of Isla Jambeli. Then explore on foot the local markets, plazas and the Casa de la Cultura museum.  

    Day 5
    Puerto Bolívar, Ecuador 

    Bountiful Puerto Bolívar 

  • Day 6
    At sea 

    Science and leisure 

    11 October 2024

    Relaxation, research – or a bit of both   

    Your Pacific coast cruise continues as we head towards Peru. As we sail, you might want to soak up the scenery on deck, dine on delicious food or just enjoy the onboard facilities. 

    The Expedition Team will continue their talks in the Science Center, sharing insights on all kinds of topics. You might learn about Indigenous communities and cultures, local geology and pre-Columbian history, among other things. 

    Out on deck, they’ll help you identify the seabirds that like to follow our ship, as well as other wildlife. Our onboard photographer will be on hand with tips. 

    Day 6
    At sea 

    Science and leisure 

  • Day 7
    Salaverry, Peru 

    Trujillo and Chan Chan 

    12 October 2024

    Discover Trujillo's ancient kingdoms    

    Salaverry is the gateway port to Peru’s third largest city, Trujillo, and some fascinating archaeological sites. Colourful Trujillo boasts a Baroque cathedral, colonial churches and Neoclassical mansions, as well as one of the longest mosaic murals in the world. 

    Nearby, the vast ancient ruins of the Chimú city of Chan Chan date back to at least 900 CE. On the other side of Trujillo, the mysterious Mochican pyramids of the Sun and the Moon pre-date even that. 

    Back on the ship, there will be a performance of traditional Peruvian dances. 

    Day 7
    Salaverry, Peru 

    Trujillo and Chan Chan 

  • Day 8
    Callao, Peru 

    Ancient and modern Lima 

    13 October 2024

    Explore 'The City of Kings'    

    We’ll disembark in Callao and transfer to Lima to discover its extraordinary blend of ancient and modern on today’s guided panoramic bus tour.   

    As well as the colonial architecture of the UNESCO-listed historic centre, we’ll visit the sacred Inca pyramid of Huaca Pucllana in Miraflores and some of Lima’s most beautiful parks, like El Parque del Amor, the Park of Love. We’ll also visit the fascinating Larco museum which holds the best private collection of Pre-Columbian art in the country. 

    You can then spend the rest of the day at your leisure before settling down for a relaxing evening at your hotel.  

    Day 8
    Callao, Peru 

    Ancient and modern Lima 

  • Day 9
    Cusco, Peru

    Imperial Cusco    

    14 October 2024

    Explore the centre of the Inca Empire    

    After breakfast, you’ll transfer to the Lima airport to catch your flight to Cusco – the Imperial City and archaeological capital of South America.    

    Admire some of the finest examples of Inca history and architecture, like the Santo Domingo church, which was built on the Inca temple of Koricancha, and the Sacsayhuamán fortress, a 15th century ceremonial compound that boasts panoramic views of the city. Other tour highlights include a visit to the Sulca Textiles museum and a stop at the main square to admire the stunning cathedral that dates back to Spanish colonial times. 

    You’ll then enjoy a comfortable night’s stay at your hotel in Cusco. 

    Day 9
    Cusco, Peru

    Imperial Cusco    

  • Day 10
    Machu Picchu 

    Mystical Machu Picchu  

    15 October 2024

    Discover the Lost City of the Incas 

    You’ll start your day with a transfer to Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley. Then we’ll board the deluxe Hiram Bingham train to Machu Picchu, enjoying brunch while the breathtaking Andean scenery rolls past. 

    Estimated to have been built around 1450, Machu Picchu was abandoned during the Spanish conquest. It was hidden by jungle for centuries, and only rediscovered in 1911. The Incas left no written records, so mystery surrounds this magnificent stronghold. Enjoy the trails around the ruins, admire the precision Inca stonework and maybe meet some of the friendly resident llamas.  

    After the day’s adventures, we’ll head back to Cusco for another relaxing overnight stay. 

    Day 10
    Machu Picchu 

    Mystical Machu Picchu  

  • Day 11
    The Altiplano Path   

    The Altiplano Path   

    16 October 2024

    Cross the awe-inspiring Andean Plateau   

    Enjoy an unforgettable journey by bus across the Northern Andean Plateau, or the Altiplano as it's known.  

    The Altiplano is one of the world’s largest high plateaus and it sits at over 12,000 ft above sea level. The vast plateau extends into Bolivia, northern Peru and southern Chile. During this full day of adventure, you’ll pass through breathtaking scenery and be awed by the imposing Andes. There will be many opportunities to photograph this remarkable landscape and you’ll enjoy a delicious picnic lunch en route. 

    At the end of your journey, you can rest and get ready for Lake Titicaca with a comfortable overnight stay in Puno.  

    Day 11
    The Altiplano Path   

    The Altiplano Path   

  • Day 12
    Lake Titicaca 

    The Uro people of Lake Titicaca  

    17 October 2024

    See handwoven islands in South America's largest lake 

    The sheer beauty of Lake Titicaca will amaze you. You'll visit the rural community of Llachón, which has spectacular views over the lake. You’ll enjoy a guided kayaking tour on the peaceful, deep blue waters. You’ll also join a guided walk before joining a local family for a typical lunch.  

    Next, we'll go on a boat tour to reach the Uro people on their floating islands, shimmering golden in the sun. These otherworldly islands are woven from the reeds that grow in the lake. 

    At the end of the day, relax and reflect back at your hotel in Puno. 

    Day 12
    Lake Titicaca 

    The Uro people of Lake Titicaca  

  • Day 13
    Sillustani tombs 

    Sillustani tombs    

    18 October 2024

    Visit the Sillustani tombs    

    Before heading to the airport to catch your flight to Lima, there’ll be time to stop at the Sillustani tombs, a pre-Inca burial place that’s surrounded by Lake Umayo.  

    The tombs or chullas are tower-like structures built above ground by the ancient Colla people, some as tall as 39 feet and big enough to hold entire families. Enjoy a picnic lunch by the shores of the lake in this peaceful and enigmatic place. 

    After exploring this archaeological marvel, we’ll continue to the local airport for our flight to Lima. Once we arrive in Lima, your local guide will transfer you to your hotel and you can enjoy the evening at your leisure. 

    Day 13
    Sillustani tombs 

    Sillustani tombs    

  • Day 14
    Lima, departure 

    Lima’s UNESCO treasures 

    19 October 2024

    End your adventure in Peru's gastronomic capital 

    Your expedition ends in Lima, once known as 'The City of Kings'.  

    Why not revisit Lima's historical centre, a jewel of Spanish architecture, from colonial-era churches and monasteries to elegant mansions.  

    Known as the food capital of South America, you can choose from gourmet restaurants to unmissable street food. We recommend trying Peru's national dish ceviche, fish marinated in lime juice, onion and chilli. It’s the perfect note on which to end your adventure. 

    Day 14
    Lima, departure 

    Lima’s UNESCO treasures 



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What's included

Included in your voyage

Land –Programme: Peru/Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca (after the cruise) 

  • Two nights at a hotel in Lima, including breakfast  
  • Two nights at a hotel in Cusco and two nights at a hotel in Puno, including half board 
  • Set lunch on Days 8-10 and 12. Picnic lunch on Days 11 and 13. 
  • Flight in economy class from Lima to Cusco and Juliaca to Lima 
  • All transfers, excursions and train rides as described, including English-speaking guides 
  • Entrance fees according to the programme 

Expedition Cruise 

  • A stay in a cabin of your choice 
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner including beverages* in restaurant Aune  
  • À la carte restaurant Lindstrøm included for suite guests 
  • Complimentary tea and coffee 
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on board† 
  • Complimentary reusable water bottle 
  • English-speaking Expedition Team who organise and accompany activities on board and ashore 
  • Range of included activities 

*House beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water 

†Please note there is very limited Wi-Fi and phone signal in the remote areas we travel to, and streaming is not supported.  

Onboard Activities 

  • In-depth lectures and discussions hosted by experts on the Expedition Team 
  • Full use of our Science Center, small library and advanced biological and geological equipment 
  • Citizen Science Programme where you can assist with ongoing scientific research 
  • Photography tips and techniques for capturing landscape and wildlife from our onboard professional photographer 
  • Use of the ship’s hot tubs, panoramic sauna and indoor gym 
  • Informal gatherings with the crew for daily briefings 


  • Loan of boots, trekking poles and all equipment for activities 
  • Complimentary wind- and water-resistant expedition jacket 
  • Expedition photographers on hand to assist you 


  • All planned activities are subject to weather conditions 
  • Excursions and activities are subject to change 
  • Please make sure you meet all entry and boarding requirements  
  • No gratuities expected 
  • The land programme in Peru takes place at high altitudes. Lake Titicaca´s altitude is approximately 12,500 feet and the city of Cuzco’s altitude is approximately 11,100 feet and may require a certain level of physical fitness. The order of sights may vary. 

Not included in your voyage

  • International flights 
  • Travel insurance 
  • Luggage handling 
  • Optional shore excursions with our local partners 
  • Optional small-group activities with our Expedition Team 
MS Fram in Greenland
Photo: Stian Klo
MS Fram in Antarctica
Photo: Sandra Walser
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MS Fram

Year built 2007
Year of refurbishment 2022
Shipyard Fincantieri, Italy
Passenger capacity 250 (200 in Antarctica)
Beds 276
Gross tonnage 11 647 T
Length 114 m
Beam 20.2 m
Speed 13 knots
MS Fram in Greenland
Photo: Stian Klo

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Icebergs – one of many favorite photo motives when on an expedition with MS Fram
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