Caribbean Sea – Hidden Highlights & the Panama Canal (Fridtjof Nansen)

Caribbean Sea – Hidden Highlights & the Panama Canal (Fridtjof Nansen)

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This exploration cruise takes you island hopping in the Caribbean, ending the journey with a transit through the Panama Canal. From Nassau, we visit a treasure trove of tropical islands in the Bahamas, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Nicaragua and Panama. Along the way, you’ll see the best beaches, lagoons, and coral reefs the Caribbean has to offer.

Trip Name
Caribbean Sea - Hidden Highlights & the Panama Canal (Fridtjof Nansen)
Vessel Type: Expedition Length: 140 m Passenger Capacity: 530 Built: 2020 MS Fridtjof Nansen is the latest addition to Hurtigruten’s fleet of custom built ships – and the next generation expedition ship. She will explore some of the most spectacular corners of the globe. Featuring Hurtigruten's revolutionary battery hybrid powered propulsion system, MS Fridtjof Nansen will be a near identical twin to her sister ship MS Roald Amundsen. Combining state of the art technology and premium on board experience with Hurtigruten’s 125 years of experience and unparalleled destinations, the two Norwegian built ships introduces the next generation of adventure travel. Cabins and public areas The stunning scenery will be reflected in a rich and comfortable interior design. Scandinavian materials from nature, such as granite, oak, birch and wool will be used to create relaxed and stylish cabins and public areas. All cabins are outside, 50 % will have private balconies, aft suites will feature private outdoor hot tubs with spectacular views. Science Center The core of the onboard experience is the Nansen Science Center, an edutainment venue to guests and crew meet to create a deeper understanding of the areas we explore. Nansen Science Center will also be the on board HQ for the Expedition Team. Restaurants MS Fridtjof Nansen's three restaurants will host a variety of dining options, with menus drawn from our rich Norwegian and Nordic tradition, as well as international cuisine and local inspiration. Whether enjoying your meal at Aune Main Dining, Fredheim – the informal international meeting place, or the specialty restaurant Lindstrøm, you will indulge in low key yet refined, modern Norwegian Nordic cooking – where our honest and delicious cuisine reflects our destinations. After a day of exploring new destinations, guests can relax and rejuvenate in the elegant Explorer Lounge, a large gym and Wellness center, or enjoy the scenery and sunsets on the massive in- and outdoor Observation Decks with the aft infinity pool and hot tubs as one of the highlights. Everything you need for an expedition cruise Each expedition voyage is accompanied by a hand-picked team of specialists and modern-day explorers. Highly experienced, passionate and knowledgeable, the Expedition Team will be your guides and guardians on your voyage of exploration, instructing you on safety, sustainability and science. MS Fridtjof Nansen will feature a variety of custom built expedition equipment, including kayaks, a fleet of Blueye underwater drones and Expedition Boats for safe landings in remote areas. In the footsteps of a great explorer The newest addition to our fleet will honor the heritage of her namesake – the Norwegian explorer, scientist, humanitarian and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Fridtjof Nansen. Known for his innovations in Arctic expeditions, Nansen led the first crossing of Greenland on cross-country skis. He is perhaps most famous for his attempt to reach the geographical North Pole during the Fram Expedition (1893-1896). Interestingly, after Nansen's Fram expedition, the ship was passed on to another great explorer who secretly planned an expedition to the South Pole - Roald Amundsen.


Day 1 - Day 1 Beautiful Bahamanian Resort
Former pirate haven, lively Nassau still trades in rum and cigars, but now sports a bustling central shopping district and endless options to wine and dine. New Providence Island and Paradise Island are also renown for their beaches and splendid coral reefs. Take some time to explore more with a Pre-Programme before your expedition.
Day 2 - Day 2 Serenity at Sea
Enjoy a pleasant day at sea on the way to the Inagua Islands. The Expedition Team will begin their lecture series on the Caribbean. Spend time on deck looking for birds or other marine life following the ship’s wake. Make the most of the perfect climate and join a yoga workshop out on deck.
Day 3 - Day 3 Flamingos, Lighthouses and... Salt
With 140 different species of exotic birds including over 80,000 flamingos, Inagua is a birdwatcher’s dream. The mangroves are also a natural habitat for nesting Hawkbill and Green sea turtles. Visit one of the three remaining kerosene-burning, hand-cranked lighthouses in The Bahamas or learn about the Island’s main industry, salt production, from the friendly locals.
Day 4 - Day 4 Sleepy Capital
As capitals go, few are as calm and quiet as Cockburn. The long, narrow streets are lined with old street lamps and 18th and 19th century British Bermudian architecture. The National Museum houses Taino artifacts and an exhibit of the Molasses Reef Wreck, the oldest known European shipwreck in the Americas, dated 1505.
Day 5 - Day 5 Relax Onboard
Join the Expedition Team for interesting lectures, learn the basics of expedition photography, and spend time out on deck enjoying the fresh sea air as you scout for wildlife. Use the Science Center’s state-of-the-art microscopes to observe the tiniest creatures in samples taken during this voyage. Continue your yoga routine and unwind with guided meditation.
Day 6 - Day 6 Jamaica's Hidden Retreat
Once a beach escape for celebrities in the 1940s, this quiet town is tucked well away from Jamaica’s more touristic areas. With its makeshift markets and chatty street vendors, there is a romantic, slow-paced rhythm here. Trek to the stunning Reach Waterfall and famed Blue Lagoon, or take a bamboo raft to the aptly named Monkey Island.
Day 7 - Day 7 The Melting Pot of ‘Mobay’
Christopher Colombus first anchored here in 1494, calling it the “Gulf of Good Weather”. Today, it buzzes with locals and visitors out enjoying the beaches and exuberant eateries. Visit Rose Hall to learn about ‘Mobay’’s colonial history, explore hidden underground caves, or board a bamboo raft down the glistening Martha Brae River.
Day 8 - Day 8 Cayman’s Cosmopolitan Capital
There is an endless array of activities available in George Town. Go on a submarine tour, board a glass-bottom boat, go snorkelling, scuba-diving, parasailing, visit rum distilleries and art galleries, and of course, enjoy duty-free shopping and restaurants galore. The 19th century National Museum contains over 8,000 exhibits, including a 14-ft traditional handmade catboat.
Day 9 - Day 9 At Your Leisure
As we continue toward Central America, spend this sea day at your leisure. Take advantage of the many onboard facilities, relax and meditate in our yoga workshop, or join in on lectures as we recap our voyage.
Day 10 - Day 10 ‘The Sea of Seven Colours’
This tiny Colombian island in the Spanish Caribbean is a rare and unspoiled find off the grid. Tour the deserted golden beaches by buggy cart or go in search of pirate Henry Morgan’s hidden treasure. The diverse coral reefs are the centre point of UNESCO’s Seaflower Biosphere Reserve, and kaleidoscopic marine life inspires the above nickname.
Day 11 - Day 11 The Caribbean’s Best Kept Secret
Most of the Creole population live in colourful wooden houses on Great Corn, engaging in lobster fishing. Hike up Mount Pleasant Hill for views of the coves and stunning horseshoe bays. Pristine coral reefs surround both islands, tantalising snorkelers with the likes of barracudas, nurse sharks, hammerheads, green sea turtles, and spotted eagle rays.
Day 12 - Day 12 "Galapagos of the Caribbean"
Bocas del Toro is a stunning archipelago brimming with deserted sandy beaches, teeming coral reefs, and lush rainforest. It is home to Panama's first National Marine Park and one of the most biologically diverse places on Earth. This `Galápagos of the Caribbean´ supports wildlife such as manatees, dolphins, turtles, sloths, monkeys, and iguanas.
Day 13 - Day 13 Eco-Conscious Paradise
More than 365 cayes, islands and reefs make up the San Blas Islands. Only 49 are inhabited, exclusively by Guna Yala Indians, who protect their islands by only accepting ecologically friendly tourism and shunning mass market cruise ships. Try fresh red snapper with coconut rice and a Coco-Loco drink, before relaxing in a beach-side hammock.
Day 14 - Day 14 Connecting Two Oceans
We enter the Panama Canal near the city of Colón. Experience the canal transit and the ingenuity of the lock's system firsthand as MS Fridtjof Nansen is lifted over 26 metres above sea level, passing through man-made channels and lakes to eventually emerge in the Caribbean Ocean, effectively crossing from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
Day 15 - Day 15 City on the Canal
Your voyage ends in Panama City, which is much more than just its famous canal. Visit the ruins of Old Panama City which was devastated by notorious pirate Henry Morgan. Hike Ancón Hill and enjoy views of the skyscraper-lined cityscape and of Casco Antiguo district which boasts a real mix of architectural styles.
Day 16 - Please Note:
Hurtigruten offers unique expedition cruises to some of the most remote and pristine waters of the world. As with all expeditions; nature prevails. Weather, and ice and sea conditions, sets the final framework for all Hurtigruten’s operations. Safety and unparalleled guest experiences are at all times our top priorities. All our indicative itineraries are continuously evaluated for adaptions, whether this is due to constraints the elements unexpectedly presents – or exciting possibilities nature and wildlife offer. That is why we call it an expedition.

Trip Dates

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    • See colourful cities and beautiful remote islands around several Caribbean countries
    • Enjoy onboard yoga and meditation classes with a professional instructor
    • Spot wildlife such as whales, turtles, dolphins, sharks, monkeys and iguanas
    • Experience a transit of the Panama Canal aboard your expedition ship