30-Day Incan Empires Journey

February 21 - March 22, 2020

 

Itinerary      Pricing      Inclusions

 

Round Trip San Diego, California, US - Volendam

 

  

 

Day 1: San Diego, California, US - Embark

Easygoing San Diego embodies the Southern California surfer town fantasy, with its more than 300 days of sun, mild year-round temperatures and accessible, sporty pastimes and tourist attractions. You can hike the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve to get a glimpse of whale migrations, go sailing in the bay and, of course, surf the famous swells of Del Mar, Oceanside and La Jolla (among many other superb spots). But the sixth-largest city in the United States is surprisingly nuanced, with distinctive neighborhoods: Old Town, North Park, Point Loma and Coronado are all within a few miles of the port, while the bustling Gaslamp Quarter and Little Italy are within walking distance.  
And while there are lots of things to do for everyone—from visiting the country’s largest urban park to taking in the famous horse-racing season in Del Mar to riding the charming Old Town Trolley—definitely don’t pass up the chance to investigate San Diego’s quickly growing reputation as a culinary destination. Its inventive new restaurants and huge craft-brewing industry are something to be explored.

Day 2: Sea Day

Day 3: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Los Cabos doesn't exude the same kind of charm as many other areas of inland Mexico do, but its twin towns—San José del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas—don't seem to mind, and neither do visitors, who are drawn here less for traditional Mexican culture than for the sun, the sand and the opportunity to just slow down and relax. Los Cabos—or the Capes—sits at the southernmost tip of the Baja California Peninsula, a narrow strip of land whose varied geography, both above and underwater, makes for plenty of interesting activities and some unusual ones, too. Did you ever think you'd ride a camel in Mexico? You can do that here, or enjoy more predictable pursuits including fishing, golfing and whale-watching. Want something still more laid-back? Visit picture-perfect El Arco, an arch that may look familiar thanks to its cameo on postcards and tourism advertisements. North of the capes, you can drop by the famed Hotel California. And if you've worked up an appetite, you won't be disappointed: Los Cabos offers plenty to enjoy at the table as well, with farm-fresh fruits and vegetables and, of course, seafood being the mainstays here.

Days 4 - 5: Days at Sea

Day 6: Huatulco, Mexico

Huatulco, situated on Mexico's Pacific Coast in the state of Oaxaca, has nine bays and 36 beaches, offering more than enough opportunities for fun in the sun. The most popular beach is La Entrega, with clean white sand and calm waters, perfect for snorkeling and swimming . . . or just relaxing. But Huatulco's attractions aren't limited to sand and surf; there are also archaeological sites to explore, rivers to raft, and waterfalls whose pools invite childlike splashing. Bird lovers, in particular, will find Huatulco to be especially captivating. The region is home to more than 225 bird species, including many rare ones and a number that are endemic to Mexico, like the Colima pygmy owl and the wildly colorful orange-breasted bunting and citreoline trogon. Bring your bird list, because you're sure to add new species to your "sighted" column. And the food in Huatulco! The food will give you plenty to write home about. The state of Oaxaca has some of the most iconic dishes in Mexico's culinary repertoire. You won't go home hungry. 

Day 7: Puerto Chiapas, Mexico

The southernmost port on Mexico’s Pacific coast, Puerto Chiapas is named for the state in which it is located. It is relatively new, built in 1975, and is the primary hub from which the region’s agricultural goods, including coffee, are sent abroad. For travelers arriving by cruise ship, the town of Puerto Chiapas is a jumping-off point to explore surrounding areas, including Tapachula, the second-largest city in the state of Chiapas. In addition to visiting the coffee estates and banana and cacao plantations of the area, day trips include excursions to Maya sites such as Izapa. Although not as well known as some of the Maya sites of southern and eastern Mexico, such as the UNESCO World Heritage Site Chichén Itzá, Izapa is impressive nonetheless. In addition to its interesting location—it sits along a river and is aligned with a volcano (the sixth-tallest mountain in Mexico)—archaeologists have found numerous stelae and evidence that it was the largest Maya site in Chiapas. While in the area, don’t miss the opportunity to sample the cuisine of Chiapas, which is influenced heavily by the Maya. One typical dish is tasajo, a thinly sliced beef steak marinated in a sauce made with achiote (also known as annatto) and chili.

Days 8 - 9: Days at Sea

Day 10: Fuerte Amador, Panama

Located west of Panama City at the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal, Fuerte Amador is a gateway to exploring the many faces of this unique Central American country. The impressive engineering of the canal itself is a wonder to behold; a quick trip to the Miraflores Locks' visitor center with its panoramic observation decks offers the chance to watch behemoth barges thread their way through the legendary manmade waterway. Just minutes from the cruise port, the recently opened Biomuseo is a Frank Gehry–designed natural-history museum dedicated to Panama's ecological marvels. And Fuerte Amador sits within easy taxi distance of Panama City, the bustling, multicultural capital metropolis where visitors can wander a conquistador-era UNESCO World Heritage Site, sip coffee in street cafés and peruse modern malls. For a rural escape, it only takes an hour or two by car to trade the city for the tropical rain forests of Soberanía National Park, where an aerial tram carries passengers through treetops, or to meet Emberá tribespeople in their traditional village along the Chagres River.

Day 11: Day at Sea

Day 12: Manta, Ecuador

Located on the Pacific coast, Manta is one of Ecuador’s most important ports. The mainstay of the economy of this city with some 200,000 residents is tuna—both fishing and the processing and canning of the catch. In other words, unless you have a keen interest in the tuna industry, Manta will, most likely, simply be a stopping point to other destinations in the country like Quito, the Galápagos and the haciendas in the foothills of the Andes. Even so, Manta is a pleasant port town with some contemporary buildings and a few historic sights, interesting museums and natural beauty in the form of parks and nearby beaches.

Neither the Galápagos nor the country’s capital, Quito, can be visited as a day trip from Manta. If you have extra time before or after you reach Manta, however, it's a short flight to both. Still not enough time? Isla Corazón, to the north, and Machalilla National Park, to the south, provide introductions to the flora and fauna of equatorial rain forests. If even those destinations are too far, the city’s archaeological museum is highly recommended, and a walk along the Malecón pairs ocean views with cooling breezes.

Day 13: Days at Sea

Day 14: Salaverry (Trujillo), Peru

The port of Salaverry is essentially a ticket to a best-of-Peru buffet. Half an hour away is Peru’s northern capital, Trujillo, home to one of the most iconic squares in the country: the city's Plaza de Armas. The bright blue, yellow and red buildings date back to the 16th century, and—traffic aside—transport you back to the days of the conquistadores. For time travel to a more distant past—a past that predates even the Inca—visit the profusion of ruins around the city. There’s the Chimu capital Chan Chan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Mochica sites of Huaca del Sol and Huaca de la Luna, to name just a few. And for time travel with a twist—or more accurately, with an arc—there are the caballitos de totora, curvilinear fishing boats made from reed and used by ancient Peruvians, that continue to ply the waters (and serve as the calling card) of the nearby village of Huanchaco. Watching these graceful arched vessels "surf" the waves is totally enchanting—especially if you’re seated at a beach-view table with some ceviche and a cerveza.

Days 15 - 17: Callao (Lima), Peru

Peru's bone-dry capital (only Cairo is drier as far as national capitals go), Lima is a booming energetic metropolis built on ancient foundations millennia in the making. At first she is no looker, but scratch that parched surface below the high-rise offices and dust-settled dwellings and Lima's charms begin to shine: Strikingly preserved pre-Columbian ruins sit defiantly among modern skyscrapers, a cultural potpourri of world-class museums, sun-toasted beaches beautifully illuminated by nightly sunsets and one of the most exciting and dynamic culinary landscapes in the world.

Lima is a tale of two cities. Colonial charms abound in the city's historic center, where impressive plazas—including the cinematic 16th-century Plaza de Armas, the handiwork of Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro—are overseen by Baroque and neoclassical cathedrals, palaces, monasteries and remnants of ancient city walls. But a different Lima emerges in the cliff-hugging seaside barrios of Miraflores and Barranco. Miraflores, Lima's modern face, is a bustling enclave of chic restaurants, bars and nightlife, and Barranco is a bohemian resort commune flush with grand casonas converted into atmospheric hotels and eateries. One of the city's allures is navigating between the old and the new.

But the Peruvian capital is at its most extraordinary at mealtimes, where the signature dishes of its world-famous cuisine—ceviche, lomo saltado pisco (beef stir-fried with tomatoes, peppers, onions and fried potatoes), aji de gallina (a pepper-laced chicken stew), causa(avocado and shrimp layered between mashed potato)—are the culinary stuff of legend, further wowing when chased by Peru's extraordinary national cocktail, the highly addictive pisco sour. ¡Salud!

Day 18: General San Martin (Pisco), Peru

While most tourists envision a lush Peru—with mountaintop citadels shrouded in jungle and mist—the Pisco region is a stunningly stark junction of lunar landscape and teeming sea—all earth tones and aquas. For a place whose beauty is so austere, however, the area is shockingly fertile, both agriculturally (the beloved national brandy of the same name hails from here) and culturally (civilizations from the Paracas to the Incas have left a mark—or many—here).

But your visit won't be all about signature cocktails and ancient ruins: The local waters are home to such a mind-blowing menagerie, they're often called the Galápagos of Peru or simply Little Galápagos. You can reach these wildlife hangouts, among other Pisco-area highlights, quite easily from the port of General San Martín. Or you can simply stake out a seaside table and fill up on some of the freshest ceviche of your life—a house pisco sour close at hand for good measure.

Days 19 - 21: Days at Sea

Day 22: Puntarenas (Puerto Caldera), Costa Rica

One of the stops along the Panama Canal Zone route, Puntarenas on Costa Rica's Pacific Coast is nicely positioned within easy day-trip distance of a number of that country's national parks. The town, a busy working port on the surface, makes an ideal base from which travelers can venture out to explore the variety of this Central American country's outdoor attractions, from lush jungle destinations to pristine beaches along the Pacific. Activities include snapping photos of gushing waterfalls (and swimming at the base of one, if you bring your swimsuit!), sightseeing near active volcanoes, bird-watching in nature reserves and sanctuaries and horseback riding on Pacific beaches . . . and that's just for starters. Visitors to this extraordinary region also enjoy shopping for the handicrafts that local artists sell at their cooperatives, as well as sampling traditional Tico cuisine, especially gallo pinto—a combination of rice and beans eaten at any time of the day or night. A trip here serves as the perfect reminder that adventure often awaits just around the bend.

Day 23: Corinto, Nicaragua

As a travel destination, Nicaragua still remains below the radar for many Americans, despite a recent surge of media interest in this Central American country. One of the region’s most politically and socially stable nations, Nicaragua has been billed as the next great spot for eco-, cultural and culinary tourism. Adventurous guests keen to experience its charms are rewarded richly for their efforts. The country’s most visited cities are Managua (the capital), Granada and León; the latter sits near the Pacific Coast. Corinto is the nearest port town, just northwest of León and along the route to the Panama Canal Zone. It offers many of the charms of the larger cities, including their colonial-era architecture, as well as a number of cultural and ecological attractions in surrounding areas. Given the port's proximity to León, it’s easy for cruise passengers to take a day trip to this beautiful city established by Spanish conquistadores in 1524. While there, be sure to sample the traditional dish called vigorón, a hearty plate heaped with pork, boiled yuca and cabbage salad. Though residents of Granada claim to have invented it, vigorón is popular around the entire country and is a true taste of Nicaragua.

Day 24: Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala

Puerto Quetzal is Guatemala's largest port on the Pacific Ocean side of this Central American country, important for both cargo and cruise ships. There's not a great deal to see and do in Puerto Quetzal itself, and visitors should adjust their expectations accordingly. Yet you shouldn't despair, either; Puerto Quetzal is an ideal point of departure for exploring several corners of the country. Choose your mode of transportation—plane, bus, car or boat—and decide whether you want to take in Guatemala's stunning, volcano-studded landscape, one (or more!) of the country's Maya sites, the UNESCO–recognized colonial city of Antigua (the former capital), a coffee plantation or one of the many beguiling bodies of water. In addition to the gleaming Pacific, there's Lake Atitlán, which 19th-century German explorer Alexander von Humboldt described as the most beautiful lake in the world. All of these attractions are accessible as day trips, and getting to them is all part of your Guatemalan adventure. 

Days 25 - 26: Days at Sea

Day 27: Manzanillo, Mexico

A glance at Manzanillo’s coat of arms tells you most of what you need to know about one of Mexico’s most significant port cities. Divided into four quadrants, the shield features a multi-masted sailing vessel, a ship’s wheel and anchor, a coconut palm rooted in golden sand against an ocean backdrop and a sailfish arcing out of the water. The only item missing, perhaps, is a plate of freshly caught seafood. Manzanillo is one of Mexico’s busiest, most important ports (some say the busiest and most important). Located on the Pacific, it’s nicknamed the Sailfish Capital of the World. It’s little wonder, then, that most of the activities in Manzanillo are centered on or near the water, and most of the city’s culinary specialties are inspired by the fruits of the sea. Don’t have high hopes if you plan to shop for authentic souvenirs here; many of the options are chain stores that may be familiar to you and which offer the same goods you could buy at home. No worries, though: Your money is best spent on Manzanillo’s experiences.

Day 28: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Unique compared to Acapulco, Cancún, Zihuatanejo and several other coastal resort towns in Mexico—many of which were created by the government as planned communities—Puerto Vallarta ("PV" to locals), on the Pacific Ocean, retains quite a bit of its colonial-era charm. Its town square, Plaza de Armas, and the gorgeous parish church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, topped with an ornate crown and overlooking the port, serve as the loveliest representations of bygone ages. Alongside these echoes of the past are more modern attractions, including an ambitious public art project along the seaside walkway (the malecón) and trendy restaurants such as La Leche, serving contemporary Mexican cuisine. Round these out with plenty of fun-in-the-sun outdoor activities on and along Banderas Bay (whale-watching! snorkeling! jet-skiing!), excursions that reveal the best of Puerto Vallarta's flora and fauna, and a side trip to one of Mexico's pueblos mágicos (magical towns, a designation conferred by the government to recognize smaller towns that possess historical and cultural value), and you'd be hard-pressed to find a more pleasant place to spend part of your cruising vacation.

Days 29 - 30: Days at Sea

Day 31: San Diego, California, US - Disembark

Easygoing San Diego embodies the Southern California surfer town fantasy, with its more than 300 days of sun, mild year-round temperatures and accessible, sporty pastimes and tourist attractions. You can hike the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve to get a glimpse of whale migrations, go sailing in the bay and, of course, surf the famous swells of Del Mar, Oceanside and La Jolla (among many other superb spots). But the sixth-largest city in the United States is surprisingly nuanced, with distinctive neighborhoods: Old Town, North Park, Point Loma and Coronado are all within a few miles of the port, while the bustling Gaslamp Quarter and Little Italy are within walking distance.  
And while there are lots of things to do for everyone—from visiting the country’s largest urban park to taking in the famous horse-racing season in Del Mar to riding the charming Old Town Trolley—definitely don’t pass up the chance to investigate San Diego’s quickly growing reputation as a culinary destination. Its inventive new restaurants and huge craft-brewing industry are something to be explored.

 

 

Onboard Activities:

• America's Test Kitchen

• O the Oprah Magazine

• Explorations Central

• Greenhouse Spa & Salon

• Main Stage Show Lounge

• Casino

• Explorer's Lounge

• Club HAL

• Fitness Center

• Onboard Shopping

• Ocean Bar

• Holland America Line Navigator

  

Double Pricing:

Inside - From $2,999pp

Ocean View - From $3,499pp

Lanai - From $4,599pp

Vista Suite - From $6,799pp

 

Single Pricing:

Inside - From $5,248

Ocean View - From $6,123

Lanai - Pricing by Request

Vista Suite - From $13,598

Please contact us for 3rd and 4th rates.

 

Estimated Taxes and Port Fees - $420pp

 

 

 

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