From Panama to Barbados – 13 Day Expedition Cruise to the Southern Caribbean

From Panama to Barbados – 13 Day Expedition Cruise to the Southern Caribbean

From AUD $6,960


Panama and Colombia’s coastal gems
Setting sail from Colón at the gateway to the Panama Canal, you’ll explore the San Blas archipelago and remote Capuerganá. Unearth colonial heritage in Cartagena de Indias and Santa Marta, one of South America’s oldest towns. A striking change of scenery awaits in the desert landscape of Colombia’s Guajira Peninsula.

Discover paradise islands
From the Dutch island of Bonaire, your cruise continues across the Caribbean Sea to the Lesser Antilles. Here you’ll explore the dazzling biodiversity and unique cultures of Dominica, St Lucia and Mayreau before ending your cruise in Barbados.

Trip Name
From Panama to Barbados - 13 Day Expedition Cruise to the Southern Caribbean
Vessel Type: Expedition Length: 114m Passenger Capacity: 276 Built: 2007 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.


Day 1 - DAY 1 Setting sail from Colón
Bright city lights amid lush rainforest Your tropical expedition cruise to Barbados begins in vibrant Colón, the Caribbean gateway to the Panama Canal. It's a bustling cosmopolitan centre with hot springs, a thriving handicraft scene and wonderful cuisine. Want to see more of Panama before you set sail? Join our optional Pre-Programme to a beautiful jungle lodge by the Chagres River – or head to Panama City and visit UNESCO-listed Casco Viejo. However you choose to spend your time, your expedition ship MS Fram will be ready and waiting. Take time to settle into your cabin and meet your expert Expedition Team before your adventure at sea begins.
Day 2 - DAY 2 The people of Guna Yala
Discover ancestral traditions on San Blas islands Barely sixty miles from Colón, we enter a different world. The Guna people of the San Blas islands live much as their ancestors did. We're honoured to be their guests, as visiting here is not compatible with large tour groups. You’ll learn how these matriarchal communities live alongside nature, preserving the delicate coral and mangrove ecosystems of these hidden islands. We'll also see local artisans at work, making the famous Guna scarves. Life here moves at its own pace. Take time to swim in the tranquil, crystal waters and enjoy birdsong in the shady palm groves.
Day 3 - DAY 3 Remote Capurganá
Explore an isolated stretch of Colombia’s wild coast Capurganá and the neighbouring settlement of Sapzurro are two idyllic villages as remote and isolated as you can get in the Caribbean. No roads and only a short runaway for small planes mean that travelling by boat is the only practical option for locals and visitors. Fringed by the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean and backed by dense rainforest, the area around Capurganá offers excellent hiking opportunities, exotic tropical wildlife, and ideal conditions for swimming, snorkelling and kayaking. Capurganá has no port facilities, so we’ll drop anchor and use our small expedition boats to land.
Day 4 - DAY 4 The mangroves of San Antero
Discover pristine mangroves and tucked-away villages San Antero is a small community of scattered villages seldom visited by cruise ships. Located at the mouth of the Sinú River, the wetlands of San Antero are a marine protected area and are home to five different species of mangrove trees. We’ll anchor at Cispatá Bay and use our expedition boats to sail into the mangrove forests, observe birdlife, and go ashore. Besides seeing mangrove forests, you can look forward to water activities on Cispatá Bay, meeting the Zenú communities of the Córdoba region, and learning about the Middle Eastern influences in some of the major villages.
Day 5 - DAY 5 Historical gem of the Caribbean
See one of Colombia's best-preserved colonial towns. Travel back to the 16th century in Cartagena de Indias; a port city tucked in a sheltered bay on Colombia’s Caribbean coast. Its impressive fortifications are a reminder of its former status as the Spanish crown's chief port and link to the West Indies. The walled old town of Cartagena de Indias offers a deep dive into colonial buildings for the architecture enthusiast. Take it easy and take in the colourful plazas, beautiful mansions and impeccably preserved churches and monasteries of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll also have a wide choice of culinary delights and handicrafts to tempt you as you stroll around.
Day 6 - DAY 6 Historical Santa Marta
Explore Spanish colonial heritage and tropical jungles Your southern Caribbean expedition cruise reaches one of South America's oldest towns, Santa Marta, founded in 1525. It's also one of the most attractive, surrounded by idyllic beaches and mountains. You'll see evidence of the former Spanish outpost's history all around, from colonial architecture to the impressive statue of libertador Simón Bolívar. Head to the fantastic Tairona Gold Museum to learn more. For those seeking quiet contemplation or something more active, you'll find both in the nearby Sierra Nevada mountain range and magnificent Tayrona National Natural Park.
Day 7 - DAY 7 The Guajira Peninsula
Visit Cabo de la Vela and sail round Colombia’s Cape Horn Arid Puntas Gallinas on the Guajira Peninsula wins the prize for being South America’s northernmost tip. It's also the ancestral home of the proudly independent Wayúu people, who refused to cede to the Spanish conquistadores. Few ships sail these windswept, shallow waters, so you're in for quite an adventure. All our activities here will, of course, depend on the weather. First, we’ll attempt to land at the spectacular Cabo de la Vela. Here, you can find incredible ocean and desert views from the famous Pilón de Azúcar. We’ll then try to round Punta Gallinas, giving you the chance to spot its famous lighthouse.
Day 8 - DAY 8 Eye-catching Kralendijk
A vibrant meeting place of Old and New Worlds The first thing you'll notice about Kralendijk is just how colourful everything is. This charming capital of Bonaire, a Dutch island with Spanish and Portuguese heritage, is an exhilarating mix of cultures. Historical sights are all within strolling distance. Explore Bonaire’s oldest structure Fort Oranje, the bright yellow Bestuurskantoor, and the archaeological treasures of the Terramar Museum. To see more of this beautiful island, why not join a nature walk or go flamingo watching at one of the many Ramsar sites.
Day 9 - DAY 9 Science at Sea
Get involved in the Science Center on this day at sea After a week of adventure, you’ll be grateful for the opportunity to recharge your batteries on your comfortable expedition ship. Sea days are also the perfect time to get up to speed with what’s happening in the Science Center. Our access to some of the world’s most remote areas enables us to provide the scientific community with precious data. We invite you to take part in these Citizen Science projects. Feel free to spend time out on the deck enjoying the fresh sea air as you scout for wildlife. After a sumptuous dinner, relax in the elegant Explorer Lounge & Bar or do some stargazing.
Day 10 - DAY 10 Explore ‘Nature Island’
Witness nature's raw power in Dominica Dubbed ‘Nature Island’, Dominica is a mountain paradise by the sea. There are more mountains, volcanoes, and jungles here than anywhere else in the Lesser Antilles. Portsmouth is the perfect base to explore the natural wonders of Dominica. Nearby are the headland of La Pointe and the historical remains of 18th century Fort Shirley, both part of Cabrits National Park. The tropical forest, swamps and sandy beaches of Cabrits National Park are excellent places for nature walks and birdwatching. Or why not see more of Dominica and learn the traditions and customs of the Indigenous Carib people.
Day 11 - DAY 11 Volcanic St Lucia
Enjoy breathtaking vistas in the 'Land of Iguanas' There are two things you can't miss on St Lucia – the stunning volcanic landscape and its many, many iguanas. You'll see both as you explore the peninsula of Pigeon Island on the isle's northern tip. Take in the idyllic panoramic ocean views and learn about St Lucia's colonial past. Then step back into modern day life in the bustling yachting marina of Rodney Bay – and spend some time enjoying its restaurants and galleries. See more highlights of this beautiful island on nature walks or birdwatching in the rainforest-covered mountains and more.
Day 12 - DAY 12 Tiny Mayreau!
Welcome to the smallest paradise in the Caribbean At barely more than 1 square mile, Mayreau may be the most petite paradise in the Caribbean. The island is only accessible by boat, has only one road, and most of the residents live on a hilltop called Station Hill. However, what Mayreau lacks in size, it more than makes up in beauty. This island gem has some of the most beautiful beaches in the West Indies. The Tobago Cays are just over one mile due east from Mayreau. They’re a cluster of 5 small islands and extensive coral reefs now protected as a Marine Park. Offering some of the best beaches for swimming and snorkelling, you’ll be spoilt for choice in this island paradise.
Day 13 - DAY 13 Beautiful Barbados
Discover UNESCO-listed treasures in Bridgetown Your Southern Caribbean expedition cruise reaches its final stop in beautiful and historic Barbados. But that needn't be the end of your adventure. You'll disembark at the island's capital Bridgetown – home to the UNESCO-listed Parliament Buildings and the Garrison Historic Area, with 70 original buildings and forts from the 18th century.
Day 14 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
13-04-202425-04-2024AUD $6,960Polar Inside. From
13-04-202425-04-2024AUD $8,351Polar Outside. From
13-04-202425-04-2024AUD $8,839Arctic Superior. From
13-04-202425-04-2024AUD $11,344Expedition Suite. From


    • 13-day expedition cruise from Colón to Bridgetown, exploring the Caribbean coast of Panama, Colombia, and the Lesser Antilles islands
    • Explore the extraordinary diversity of landscapes, wildlife, cultures and histories of the Southern Caribbean.
    • Enjoy a range of expedition activities including small boat cruising and landings, kayaking, paddleboarding, snorkelling, birdwatching and hiking.