Thursday, November 17, 2011

2 days until I leave on cruise to South & Central America

It is only two days until I leave Victoria to fly to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida where I board the ms Rotterdam bound for South and Central America on a 30 day cruise. The highlight of this cruise is our trip ashore to Cuzco and Machu Picchu, however there are so many ports-of-call to see along the way!

We spend 10 days at sea, and 20 days in ports. We will transit the Panama Canal, visit the nearby San Blas Islands, and hit three South American countries, as well as five Central American countries.  All promise to offer us some interesting adventures despite our brief stops at most ports.

I can't wait to get away from our cold weather for the next month! For those who want to follow along day by day, here are my itineraries for the cruise and excursion to Machu Picchu:

Incan Empire Cruise - Holland America

Day Date Port Arrive Depart
0 21 Nov 2011 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US 05:00 PM
1 22 Nov 2011 Half Moon Cay, Bahamas TR 08:00 AM 04:00 PM
2 23 Nov 2011 At Sea
3 24 Nov 2011 At Sea
4 25 Nov 2011 Santa Marta, Colombia 08:00 AM 05:00 PM
5 26 Nov 2011 San Blas Islands, Panama TR 11:00 AM 05:00 PM
6 27 Nov 2011 Puerto Limon, Costa Rica 07:00 AM 04:00 PM
7 28 Nov 2011 Enter Panama Canal Cristobal CO 05:00 AM 05:00 AM
7 28 Nov 2011 Exit Panama Canal Balboa CO 07:00 PM 07:00 PM
7 28 Nov 2011 Fuerte Amador, Panama ON TR 08:00 PM
8 29 Nov 2011 Fuerte Amador, Panama TR 05:00 PM
9 30 Nov 2011 At Sea
10 01 Dec 2011 At Sea
11 02 Dec 2011 Salaverry (Trujillo), Peru 07:00 AM 05:00 PM
12 03 Dec 2011 Callao (Lima), Peru ON 10:00 AM
13 04 Dec 2011 Callao (Lima), Peru ON
14 05 Dec 2011 Callao (Lima), Peru 06:00 PM
15 06 Dec 2011 General San Martin (Pisco), Peru 07:00 AM 06:00 PM
16 07 Dec 2011 At Sea
17 08 Dec 2011 At Sea
18 09 Dec 2011 Guayaquil, Ecuador 08:00 AM 05:00 PM
19 10 Dec 2011 Manta, Ecuador 08:00 AM 06:00 PM
20 11 Dec 2011 At Sea
21 12 Dec 2011 Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica 08:00 AM 05:00 PM
22 13 Dec 2011 Corinto, Nicaragua 10:00 AM 06:00 PM
23 14 Dec 2011 Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala 08:00 AM 06:00 PM
24 15 Dec 2011 At Sea
25 16 Dec 2011 Huatulco, Mexico 08:00 AM 05:00 PM
26 17 Dec 2011 At Sea
27 18 Dec 2011 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico 08:00 AM 03:00 PM
28 19 Dec 2011 Cabo San Lucas, Mexico TR 08:00 AM 03:00 PM
29 20 Dec 2011 At Sea
30 21 Dec 2011 San Diego, California, US 07:00 AM

Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley - Bestway

This morning your group is scheduled to arrive Lima’s port via M/S Rotterdam by Holland America. Once clearing through Customs & Immigration, you will be met at the exit gate for a transfer to the airport for flight to Cusco. Your group will be met & the airport in Cusco for a transfer to the hotel.

This morning we head out to the valley of Urubamba’s River (also called River Wilcamayu or Vilcanota) or “Sacred Valley” because grain and maize were cultivated for the Inka, his family and the upper class. Visit includes the Indian Market of Pisac, which is famous for its peasant farms, native handicrafts and interesting Indian market that takes place three times a week (Sun, Tue & Thu). Our next stop is the fortress of Ollantaytambo, one of the most important examples of Inca military architecture. The complex has temples, palaces and a lot more to discover.

Our day starts with the incredible 3-hour scenic train ride to Aguas Calientes from where we take a coach transfer to South America’s most famous World Heritage Site, Machu Picchu. Our tour of the majestic Machu Picchu begins with the citadel, by far the most important attraction in the area. Discovered in 1911 by the American explorer Hiram Bingham, the citadel is one of the most extraordinary examples of landscape architecture in the world. We walk through the many stairways and canals carved out of stone that are recurrent throughout this remarkable archaeological site. Lunch at the Sanctuary Lodge. In the afternoon return to Cusco.

December 06 CUSCO / LIMA / PISCO  
Early morning transfer to the airport for a return flight to Lima. Upon arrival back in Lima Airport, your group will be met and transfer to the port in Pisco to board M/S Rotterdam by Holland America.

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