Press release

Transit the Panama Canal on Saga’s new Pacific Coast Adventure

Monday 28 April 2014

• Explore jungles of Costa Rica during 17-night escorted journey
• Discover the colonial old town of Cartagena in Colombia
• View ancient Mayan ruins in Guatemala
• Hit the beach and boutiques in Mexico

Transit the locks and dams of the Panama Canal during Saga’s exciting new escorted journey, cruising for 14 nights from California to Miami.

Fly to Los Angeles and check-in at the Sheraton Hotel and Marina (3Q) in San Diego. Take a tour of California’s first city and contrast the quaint white-washed houses in the old town with the high-rise buildings of downtown.

Embark MS Veendam, Holland America’s mid-size ship, to cruise along the Pacific Coast of Central America. Make the most of the ship’s luxurious facilities – relax by the pool, join in the many activities and enjoy evening entertainment in the ship’s fabulous theatre.

Arrive in Puerto Vallarta, a lively resort on Mexico’s west coast. Get some retail therapy in the quirky boutiques and busy markets or spend a day on one of the nearby beaches.

The next port of call in Mexico is Santa Cruz Huatulco, set around nine bays with 38 beaches!

The cruise highlight is an eight-hour daytime transit through the Panama Canal, from the Pacific to the Atlantic, passing through the most beautiful natural scenery.

This canal was first conceived 500 years ago to save sailors from the often treacherous waters of Cape Horn.

It took until 1881 before French engineers began work but tropical diseases and the unforgiving jungle landscape forced the project to stop, until 1904, when the US took over and completed the engineering wonder 100 years ago in 1914.

Once in Cartagena, Colombia, passengers will be impressed by the colourful colonial Spanish-influenced city with its concoction of old fortifications, ornate mansions and sturdy stone churches.

In Puerto Queztal, Guatemala, visit nearby San Jose, and call in one of the eclectic bars that overlook the beach or take an adventure inland to discover forests that hide ancient Mayan ruins.

Next stop is Corinto, in Nicaragua. Embrace the vibrant culture of the town with a stroll along the buzzing Costa Azul, with views over the small, uninhabited islands around the bay. Make time to tour the nearby city of Chinandega to discover Mayan rituals at the archaeological museum.

Rich in natural wonders, Costa Rica awaits with wildlife and tropical beauty. From Puerto Caldera, passengers will be perfectly poised to explore the wild and take a journey through the countryside or a leisurely boat ride along the Tarcoles River to go in search of crocodiles.

Return to MS Veendam for the last day at sea before disembarking in Fort Lauderdale for Miami Airport.

17 nights from £2999 departing January 12, February 5 and April 15, 2015.

(Jan 12 departure is aboard MS Statendam, includes one extra night on full board and also visits Puerto Chiapas). For details call free on 0800 414 383 or visit

Price includes VIP door-to-door chauffeur service, Saga tour manager, full board on ship, entertainment, welcome cocktail party, all gratuities, porterage, travel insurance and cancellation cover, tourist visa.


Editors: Saga Holidays is winner of nine British Travel Awards including Best Central and South America and Escorted Journeys.

Cartagena, Colombia