Locals looking to get a South Beach sun tan minus round-trip airfare have a unique, economical option that departs from Vancouver this fall.
While it does involve a one-way flight from Miami on the return trip home, a Holland America sailing that departs this October offers a chance for cruisers to visit several bucket-list cities on a journey down the Pacific Coast and Central America through the Panama Canal.
The cruise departs from Canada Place cruise terminal in Vancouver on Oct. 1 and sails down the coast to Monterey and San Diego in California. The voyage also makes several stops in Mexico, including popular cities like Huatulco, Puerto Chipas, Puerto Quetzel, and Corinto.
The 20-day voyage stops in Costa Rica's Puerto Caldera, a residential area surrounded by lush tropical forests. After making this stop, the ship will make a full transit through the awe-inspiring Panama Canal — a marvel of engineering and a favourite voyage of cruise enthusiasts.
The canal allows ships to pass through Central America rather than sailing around the horn of South America, which saves about 8,000 nautical miles (15,000 km) on journeys between the west and east coasts of the United States, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica.
Due to its narrow size, however, not all cruise ships — particularly some of the massive "mega-ships" of today's modern vessels — can sail through the canal.
After sailing through the Panama Canal, the ship makes a stop in Fort Lauderdale before heading to the Caribbean. Cruisers will have a chance to explore Grand Turk in the Turks and Caicos Islands, San Juan in Puerto Rico, St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Half Moon Key in the Bahamas.
|Sunday, October 1||Vancouver, B.C., Canada||3:00 p.m.|
|Monday, October 2||At Sea|
|Tuesday, October 3||At Sea|
|Wednesday, October 4||Monterey, CA||8:00 a.m.||8:00 p.m.|
|Thursday, October 5||At Sea|
|Friday, October 6||San Diego, CA||7:00 a.m.||4:00 p.m.|
|Saturday, October 7||At Sea|
|Sunday, October 8||At Sea|
|Monday, October 9||Puerto Vallarta, Mexico||8:00 a.m.||4:00 p.m.|
|Tuesday, October 10||At Sea|
|Wednesday, October 11||Huatulco, Mexico||10:00 a.m.||6:00 p.m.|
|Thursday, October 12||Puerto Chiapas, Mexico||8:00 a.m.||5:00 p.m.|
|Friday, October 13||Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala||8:00 a.m.||5:00 p.m.|
|Saturday, October 14||Corinto, Nicaragua||8:00 a.m.||4:00 p.m.|
|Sunday, October 15||Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica||8:00 a.m.||5:00 p.m.|
|Monday, October 16||At Sea|
|Tuesday, October 17||Panama Canal (Full Transit) (Cruising)|
|Wednesday, October 18||At Sea|
|Thursday, October 19||At Sea|
|Friday, October 20||Half Moon Cay, Bahamas||8:00 a.m.||3:00 p.m.|
|Saturday, October 21||Fort Lauderdale, FL||7:00 a.m.||3:00 p.m.|
|Sunday, October 22||At Sea|
|Monday, October 23||Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands||7:00 a.m.||3:00 p.m.|
|Tuesday, October 24||San Juan, Puerto Rico||1:00 p.m.||10:00 p.m.|
|Wednesday, October 25||St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands||7:00 a.m.||4:00 p.m.|
|Thursday, October 26||At Sea|
|Friday, October 27||Half Moon Cay, Bahamas||8:00 a.m.||2:00 p.m.|
|Saturday, October 28||Fort Lauderdale, FL||7:00 a.m.|
Vancouver cruise with Holland America Line through the Panama Canal
Holland America Line is known for its mid-size vessels that can navigate this trim terrain. Fans of the cruise line typically enjoy sailing on ships they can become well-acquainted with during the voyage and relish opportunities to speak with the captain and cruise director.
The total cost for the lead-in stateroom, which is an interior cabin, is $5,509.42, or a per person cost of $2,754.71.
This price breaks down to roughly $137.74 per day. Not only does that cost include your transportation on a beautiful five-star vessel, but it also includes meals, entertainment, snacks, and lodging. The only thing it doesn’t factor in is alcohol, but you may opt to purchase a drink package that can reduce the cost of your spending.
The ship is the five-star Nieuw Amsterdam, which offers 11 bars and lounges, three swimming pools, a basketball court, a tennis court, hot tubs, a movie theatre, renowned spa treatments, a showroom, a jogging track, and much more.
Book your cruise with Holland America Line online.