Panama Canal & Southern Caribbean Cruise

Cruising with Holland America Line

  • Date

    November 9-20, 2019 | Sat / Wed – 12 Days

  • Location

    Fort Lauderdale | Half Moon Cay | Aruba | Curacao | Panama Canal | Lake Gatun | Panama | Costa Rica


Embark on what savvy world travelers consider the thrill of a lifetime — cruising the Panama Canal. Board Holland America Line’s ms Zuiderdam, recently refurbished and one of the first ships to feature BBC Earth natural history content through onboard activities, concerts and films. Watch from the deck as you gently float through a portion of the locks that changed the course of history with a marvel of modern engineering.

The unforgettable canal cruising is only part of this ten-night cruise! Delve into the richness of Central America, from the historic canal to the lush ecosystems and quaint village life in Panama and Costa Rica. The canal leads the way to Gatun Lake, a scenic panorama of wildlife-rich islands and sun-dappled jungles. A day in Puerto Limon, Costa Rica leaves plenty of time for a rainforest canopy tour or visiting a pineapple plantation.

You’ll also have the pleasure of stopping at three sun-warmed islands. First visit Half Moon Cay, Holland America’s private island in the Bahamas, where you can bask on the powder-soft beaches or indulge by renting your own cabana with butler service. Then visit a pair of Southern Caribbean gems: Aruba and Curacao, charming islands with boutiques in pastel colored Dutch-style buildings and world-renowned for diving.

Hear what past guests have to say about traveling with Ambassadair

“A very relaxing and interesting trip. The Panama Canal locks experience was the highlight of the cruise.”

“Excellent tour of several islands and the Panama Canal. The crew on the ship was great.”


  • Transit through locks of the Panama Canal
  • Eco-attractions in Costa Rica
  • Bahamas beach day
  • Charming Dutch architecture in Curacao and Aruba
  • New onboard experiences; BBC Earth and America’s Test Kitchen
  • World-class nightly entertainment


  • Roundtrip commercial air from Indianapolis to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
  • 1 night hotel accommodation
  • 10 nights shipboard accommodations on Holland America Line’s ms Zuiderdam
  • All meals on ship
  • Transfers, taxes, port charges

Ship’s Registry: The Netherlands



A passport is required to travel to this destination and must be valid for at least six months after your return.


Sat, Nov 9: Fly to Fort Lauderdale, Florida and transfer to your hotel.

Sun, Nov 10: Spend the morning relaxing at the hotel before transferring to your home for the next 10 nights, the intriguing ms Zuiderdam, full of notable artwork including a painting of Queen Beatrix by pop culture icon, Andy Warhol, medallions by Frank Lloyd Wright, a massive floral painting by Charles Ben, and suspended in the three-story atrium – a Waterford Crystal Seahorse. The ship sets sail this evening. (Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Mon, Nov 11: Relax ashore at Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line’s private island in the Bahamas. This is the day to partake in beach activities or aquatic sports; there are even options to rent your own beach cabana for the day. Sample optional shore excursions: Glass Bottom Boat Adventure, Eco Cruise or kayaking, Calypso Island Tram, Beach Villa or Cabana rental. (B,L,D)

Tue, Nov 12: Take advantage of onboard activities, top-rated entertainment, gracious onboard service, spacious staterooms, and excellent award-winning cuisine. (B,L,D)

Wed, Nov 13: Explore and shop the outdoor malls in Oranjestad, Aruba or take one of many shore excursions offered to see more of the island. Like the Netherlands, of which Aruba is a part, small portions of the city have been reclaimed from the sea. Sample optional shore excursions: Aruba Beginning Scuba; Aruba Sea & See Island tour; Atlantis Submarine Underwater Adventure & Shipwreck Exploration; Best of Aruba & Countryside; Natural Wonders of Aruba. (B,L,D)

Thu, Nov 14: Willemstad, Curacao is one of the best walking cities in the world and eight of the centuries old Dutch forts on Curacao have survived time, wholly or partially. Walk along the waterfront with its colorful Dutch-inspired architecture or scuba in the waters among the coral reefs. Sample optional shore excursions: Curacao Beach Express; Curacao Country Drive; Curacao Dolphin Encounter; Curacao See & Sea Island Tour; Ostrich Farm & Aloe Plantation; Caves and City Highlights. (B,L,D)

Fri, Nov 15: Indulge in another day at sea to relax or explore the ship. (B,L,D)

Sat, Nov 16: Enter the Panama Canal at Cristobal, Panama early in the morning. Watch the precise process of raising waters in the locks as you transit to the huge manmade Lake Gatun. The massive concrete locks were considered one of the greatest engineering works ever to be taken at the time of construction (1909-1913). A canal commentator will be on board to answer questions and offer insights on the history and construction of this engineering marvel. Cruise spectacular Lake Gatun before returning through the lock to Cristobal. Later in the afternoon, the ship docks at Colon, Panama for optional excursions to enhance the already exhilarating experience, such as guided kayaking though parts of the lake. (B,L,D)

Sun, Nov 17: From Puerto Limon, Costa Rica there are national parks, refuges and reserves in all directions, from the coast to the jungled mountains to the volcanic parks on the road to San Jose. Closer to town, highlights include Playa Bonita beach, a couple miles from downtown, and the Tortuguero Canal, which encompasses more than 100 miles of waterways along the coast. Sample optional shore excursions: Caribbean Train, Countryside & Tortuguero Canals, Rain Forest Aerial Tram, Panoramic Puerto Limon & Folkloric Performance. (B,L,D)

Mon, Nov 18: Looking for something different to do on board? Pick up a few cooking skills in the Holland America Line’s Culinary Arts Center, where state-of-the-art demonstrations and tasting events are held; some intimate hands-on cooking classes are offered, too. Check out the new “Music Walk” experience featuring the popular B.B. King’s Blues Club, which brings the best of Memphis out to sea. (B,L,D)

Tue, Nov 19: As you cruise towards Florida, relax and recharge on your last full day at sea – perhaps a massage in the tranquil Greenhouse Spa and Salon or a yoga or pilates class? On deck enjoy two outdoor pools, along with basketball and volleyball courts. (B,L,D)
Wed, Nov 20: Arrive in Fort Lauderdale, disembark, and fly home. (B)


ms Zuiderdam

ms Zuiderdam

Holland America’s five-star ship boasts a collection of artwork and antiques with emphasis on Dutch heritage in the New World; onboard cooking shows and hands-on workshops in partnership with America’s Test Kitchen. Explorations Café, a coffeehouse with Internet access, BBC Earth natural history activities, concerts and films. Highlights: spacious staterooms with luxurious Sealy® Premium Euro-Top mattresses • Elemis Aromapure bath products • 24-hour room service • six restaurants • three bars • wireless Internet access • Internet center • Greenhouse Spa and Salon • two outdoor swimming pools (one with retractable roof) • hydro pool • fitness center • basketball court • volleyball court • nightclub • casino • Live musical entertainment and Broadway-style shows • library • screening room • library • free sessions of Digital Workshop powered by Microsoft Windows® • Club HAL® kids facility • teen-only Loft and Oasis area • duty-free shops • escorted shore excursions.


  • Inside Stateroom
  • Double P/P – $2,149
  • Single – $2,839
  • Oceanview Stateroom
  • Double P/P – $2,439
  • Single – $3,339
  • Veranda Stateroom
  • Double P/P – $2,699
  • Single – $4,109

Documents Required: Valid Passport

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