Hampshire Hikes & Historical Sites
Bring intriguing coastal trails and history alive in South Hampshire
These cruises venture into the cultural cornucopia of Central America. We are able to include many highlights in our 2 week cruises, from Mayan ruins in Mexico to the native wildlife of Belize and Costa Rica’s rainforests, national parks and gardens.
Venturing into the cultural cornucopia of Central America as well as dropping anchor at Caribbean Island ports. We pack many highlights in our two week cruises, from Mayan ruins in Mexico to the native wildlife of Belize and Costa Rica’s rainforests, national parks and gardens. Palm-lined bays, lush tropical rain forest and sandy beaches. Colonial cities, tales of pirates and buried treasure. Nature and history have combined to make the Caribbean a holiday destination full of exotic contrasts.
We fly out to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. We spend a night at the Hodelpa Nicolas De Ovando Hotel, dating from the sixteenth century, which has beautiful interiors and is listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The next day we take a safari trip to the National Park of the East before boarding Braemar in La Romana. We then cruise overnight to Santo Domingo and spend the morning in the island’s capital, strolling through the historic streets and narrow lanes of the fifteenth century city. What should be two sunny and relaxing days at sea bring us to Cozumel Island off the coast of Mexico, the largest inhabited island in Mexico. The seas around the island are home to the largest reef system in the Americas, but on the island itself, where every day is a beach day, there are pelicans, frigate birds, tree frogs, iguanas and crocodiles. The next port of call is Belize, our first stop on the mainland, with one foot in the jungles of Central America and the other in the Caribbean.
From here we head south to Costa Rica, exploring more of the natural wonders of the Americas from Puerto Limón. Overnight we cruise to Colón in Panama, famous for the northern side of the Panama Canal and also close to the San Lorenzo National Park. This wildlife paradise has nearly 10,000 hectares of forests, mangroves and pastureland. 357 species of bird have been spotted here in one day, a record for the western hemisphere, and there are jaguars and tapirs in the park. We have a nature walk in this rich and healthy ecosystem and visit the famous canal as well.
Now heading east along the north coast of South America we come to Cartagena in Colombia. This is a beautiful city. The late Nobel Laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez only spent a year or so here yet was so inspired by its vibrancy and air of magic that he set many of his novels in Colombia’s second city. On taking a Spanish friend around the city, the visitor remarked that Marquez was in fact just a ‘notary’; what the world had taken for magical realism, the visitor saw as fact. On our way to Barbados we call in to Curaçao in the Lesser Antilles. It has a wild side beyond the beaches which few people get to see. Finally, we arrive in Barbados, a British colony for over 300 years and a very popular winter sun destination.
It’s likely to be hot throughout our cruise – there is little difference between day and night temperatures. Accordingly, our walks will be taken at a slower pace, and there should be time for swimming and wildlife spotting. We’re using the services of several expert bush and sightseeing guides to get us nearer to the historical and natural heart of the Caribbean.And at the end of each day we’ll return to the comfort of Braemar for a very good dinner and a Caribbean sunset.
Please note that our brochure itinerary for this cruise mentions a stop in Ocho Rios in Jamaica. Fred Olsen have now removed this from the cruise.
Please note, ports of call may change between different departure dates. It is important to check the individual tour date proposed itinerary for details of your cruise.
Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.
NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen
Itinerary & Travel
Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we may unfortunately need to withdraw a tour that is currently confirmed to operate and we therefore reserve the right to cancel your booking. We would always do our utmost to give you plenty of notice should we have to do this. Selected elements of this tour, including local attractions and restaurants, may change at late notice. Please ensure you have valid insurance cover before you travel.
Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each night's accommodation for each departure date.