Port of call & excursions

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    1. Cacao plantation & chocolate factory

      • Port of call : Dos Bocas
      • Length : 4h15

      Welcome to the heart of the cocoa bean region, where the bean originated and began its journey to popularity all over the world. Chocolate was the sacred drink of the Maya, and an important currency for trade. Its growth in this region made the surrounding cities invaluable and powerful. When the Spaniards arrived, they quickly saw cocoa’s potential and took the seeds over to Africa to find a different way to process the beans. In this way, they discovered a way to manufacture the chocolate that we know today.

      From the pier, board your coach for the 45-minute drive to the historical plantation. On arrival, you will be greeted by the manager for a tour of the grounds. This is a working cocoa hacienda. Walk through the plantation and see the different varieties of cocoa trees, see the cocoa beans and follow the process from harvest to the production of chocolate. See how the cocoa beans were traditionally ground, roasted and processed, but also discover the modern methods.

      Learn about some of the old customs of the region and listen to live music and entertainment while enjoying refreshments. You will have the opportunity to purchase chocolate bars.

      • This tour involves approximately 1 km (0.6 mile) of easy walking. Wear comfortable walking shoes, protect yourself from the sun and insects. Bring along a light sweater for the coach as the air-conditioning can be strong. Only US dollars and Pesos are accepted for purchases.

      90.00 €
    2. Comalcalco archaeological site

      • Port of call : Dos Bocas
      • Length : 4h00

      From the pier, board your coach for the 30-minute drive to the archaeological site of Comalcalco.

      This site has the particularity to be the only known Mayan site where the buildings are made out of bricks. These bricks are unique and pose a great mystery to historians and Mayan culture enthusiasts since many of them have drawings on them. These figures range from simple to very sophisticated patterns. Despite their time-consuming artwork, these bricks weren’t made to be displayed since the patterned sections were cemented together and used for the construction of the site. Only after these bricks fell apart one by one from the buildings were archaeologists able to see the work that went into decorating them. You will also learn how the burials differed at this site from those of other Mayan towns, since here the remains were placed inside big clay pots.

      Walk among the artefacts and learn all about the history of the site at the Comalcalco Museum. Then, walk through the actual site to see the pyramid and other main buildings where some of the front decorations still remain. After your site visit, you will have the opportunity to sample the typical drink of the region, pozol, a drink made of cocoa beans and corn. You will also have the opportunity to buy some of the local products and handicrafts that this region has to offer.

      • This tour involves approximately 1.5 km (1 mile) of walking. The walk starts flat following a 500 metre tree-shaded lane to the main square of the site. Thereafter the terrain remains flat but hilly to reach the temples. Wear comfortable walking shoes, protect yourself from the sun and insects. Bring along a light sweater for the coach as the air-conditioning can be strong. There is an additional 3 USD fee for video camera usage to be paid directly on site. Only US dollars and Pesos are accepted for purchases.

      80.00 €
    3. Hike Palenque, museum & waterfall

      • Port of call : Dos Bocas
      • Length : 11h00

      From the pier, board your air-conditioned coaster for the three-hour drive to Palenque. The scenic drive will take you through wetlands, forested areas, large farm and grazing lands.

      Located in the lush tropical jungle of Chiapas, on the edge of the San Juan foothills, the ancient city of Palenque provides a spectacular backdrop to the extraordinary achievements of Mayan architecture and is considered by many to be Mexico’s most beautiful site. This Mayan City came into existence around 100 BC and grew steadily from 200 to 900 AD when it was believed to be one of the most important cities of its day because of its immense agricultural production and trade. Palenque has been the subject of much study and even more speculation as archaeologists continue working to uncover the mysteries of the enigmatic Mayan story. You will see Palenque’s most famous temples, palaces, tombs and extraordinary artwork as you journey through this long-lost world that somehow never ceases to amaze its visitors.

      See the Temple of the Inscriptions with the tomb of the Red Queen, the main square buildings with its complex corridors and underpasses and the Temple of the Sun to name a few.

      Continue downhill through the forest and the still-to-be-excavated archaeological area, following a dirt trail with many steps until reaching a waterfall. Stop to take a few pictures. The waterfall will be more or less impressive depending on the rainfall from the previous days. However, the purpose of this off-the-beaten-track trail is to realise the extent of the site of Palenque and the number of ruins still to be uncovered.

      Your downhill hike will end at the museum.

      At the on-site museum, see the replica tomb of Pakal and other impressive artefacts from the archaeological zone.

      After lunch at a local restaurant, re-board your coaster for the drive back to the pier.

      • The drive time to/from Palenque takes approximately 3 hours (includes a comfort stop) in each direction. Vehicles used are 16 passenger air-conditioned coasters. The tour involves 3.5 km (2 mile) of walking over uneven grounds and many steps. This tour is only appropriate for guests in very good physical condition. Wear comfortable walking shoes, protect yourself from the sun and insects. In case the trail to the waterfall is wet, this portion of the tour will be cancelled as the path is too slippery and dangerous. Bring along a light sweater for the coach as the air-conditioning can be strong. There is an additional 3 USD fee for video camera usage to be paid directly on site. Lunch includes bottled water, soda or beer as well as coffee or tea. Only US dollars are accepted for purchases.

      160.00 €
    4. Palenque archaeological site & museum

      • Port of call : Dos Bocas
      • Length : 11h00

      From the pier, board your air-conditioned van for the three-hour drive to Palenque. The scenic drive will take you through wetlands, forested areas, large farm and grazing lands.

      Located in the lush tropical jungle of Chiapas, on the edge of the San Juan foothills, the ancient city of Palenque provides a spectacular backdrop to the extraordinary achievements of Mayan architecture and is considered by many to be Mexico’s most beautiful site. This Mayan City came into existence around 100 BC and grew steadily from 200 to 900 AD when it was believed to be one of the most important cities of its day because of its immense agricultural production and trade. Palenque has been the subject of much study and even more speculation as archaeologists continue working to uncover the mysteries of the enigmatic Mayan story. You will see Palenque’s most famous temples, palaces, tombs and extraordinary artwork as you journey through this long-lost world that somehow never ceases to amaze its visitors.

      See the Temple of the Inscriptions with the tomb of the Red Queen, the main square buildings with their complex corridors and underpasses and the Temple of the Sun to name a few.

      At the on-site museum, see the replica tomb of Pakal and other impressive artefacts from the archaeological zone.

      After lunch at a local restaurant, re-board your mini-coach for the drive back to the pier.

      • The drive time to/from Palenque takes approximately 3 hours (includes a comfort stop) in each direction. Vehicles used are 16 -passenger air-conditioned coasters. The tour involves 2.5 km (1.5 mile) of walking over uneven grounds. From the parking lot to the main square of the site there are about 50 steps, after that they are optional. Wear comfortable walking shoes, protect yourself from the sun and insects. Bring along a light sweater for the coach as the air-conditioning can be strong. There is an additional 3 USD fee for video camera usage to be paid directly on site. Lunch includes bottled water, soda or beer as well as coffee or tea. Only US dollars are accepted for purchases.

      150.00 €
    5. Colonial Campeche walking tour

      • Port of call : Seybaplaya
      • Length : 5h00

      From the pier, board your air-conditioned coach for a 45-minute drive to the historical city of Campeche.

      Coaches are not allowed within the city, so your walking tour will start at one of the main entrance gates to the city. Follow your guide and discover one of the country’s best kept colonial secrets for many years. Campeche is the only fortified city in Mexico and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is one of the most picturesque colonial centres in Mexico, but it still remains largely undiscovered by foreign tourists.

      An old Mayan trading port, Campeche is the capital city of the state which bears its name. Although the Spaniards first discovered this place in 1517, the opposition they were greeted with kept them from settling here until 1540, when Francisco de Montejo (who founded nearby Merida) gained sufficient control to establish a settlement in the area. With its exports to Europe of local timber, silver, and gold, the port prospered and became the primary trading port of the Yucatan.

      You will first visit the El Palacio Museum, the old customs building that has been renovated, and the most complete museum to learn about the exciting history of this old port, visit its trade and navigation exhibitions.

      Continue with a visit to Campeche’s 16th century cathedral: its facade consists of a carved stone doorway with two bodies framed by two fluted pilasters on pedestals and a simple curved top. What stands out of the architecture are the slender towers, each consisting of three square bodies and smooth walls.

      Enjoy some free time for shopping at the Tukulna art centre, where you will find all kinds of crafts typical of the region: hammocks known worldwide, huipiles traditional costumes, jipi (fiber) hats, and accessories made of bull horn and bone, among many others. In addition, it is located in a building dating from the 18th century. Here you will have the opportunity to have a drink while enjoying your visit.

      Before returning to your ship continue your walking tour towards one of the old remaining walls of what used to be the fortress that protected the city from pirates and foreign invasions.

      • This tour involves approximately 2 km (1.3 mile) of walking over even and well-paved streets. Wear comfortable walking shoes and protect yourself from the sun. Conservative dress is requested to enter the Cathedral (shoulders and knees covered). Bring along a light sweater for the coach as the air-conditioning can be strong. Only local currency, USD and credit cards are accepted for purchases.

      75.00 €
    6. Edzna site & Hacienda Huayamon

      • Port of call : Seybaplaya
      • Length : 4h45

      From the pier, board your air-conditioned coach for the 45-minute drive to the archaeological site of Edzná.

      Edzná was occupied very early, from around 600 BC, but it took until 200 AD before it developed into a major city. It reached its peak influence in the late Classic period, between 600 and 900, and gradually waned in importance until being all but abandoned in the early 15th century. The decline and eventual abandonment of Edzná still remains a mystery today. Edzná is a fascinating Mayan city that has a unique combination of styles and features, reflecting its position at a crossroad of trade and cultural influences. Its roof combs and corbelled arches are reminiscent of those at Yaxchilán and Palenque, several buildings are in the Puuc style and the giant stone masks are characteristic of the Petén-style architecture of southern Campeche and northern Guatemala. Located in a very dry area, Edzná also has one of the most sophisticated Mayan systems for channelling and retaining water.

      Follow your guide and start your visit with the small museum displaying original Mayan stone carvings found at the site, representing deities, warriors and Mayan lords.

      Then walk to the main square, step up a wall and find yourself right in front of the main building “Edificio de cinco pisos” or the 5-storey building. Continue to the Ball game court and the Temple of the Mascarones (temple of the masks).

      Re-board your coach for the short drive to the Old Uayamon Hacienda, founded in the late 16th century; its main occupation was bovine and porcine breeding. Along the years Uayamon diversified its production and commercialisation. By the 18th century it was considered one of the most important haciendas in the region, due to its varied production; besides cattle and corn, henequen, sugar cane were also cultivated. Nowadays, Uayamon is a romantic hideaway amidst overgrown ruins and dense jungle. Where former workers quarters once were, are now luxurious rooms. Refreshments will be served here before your transfer back to the ship.

      • This tour involves approximately 2 km (1.3 mile) of walking over uneven ground and steps. The site is in a forest-like setting with many exposed roots and rocks. You are allowed to climb some of the buildings but the steps are very high. This tour is not recommended for guests with mobility challenges. Wear comfortable walking shoes, protect yourself from the sun and insects. Bring along a light sweater for the coach as the air-conditioning can be strong. Only local currency and USD are accepted for purchases. There is a 3 USD fee for use of video camera to be paid directly at the site.

      110.00 €
    7. Chaak Tun caves

      • Port of call : Puerto Morelos
      • Length : 3h45

      Explore the cool waters of an ancient Mayan cavern during an amazing and unique underground snorkelling experience.

      Board your coach for a 50-minute ride to the historic "Chaac Tun" cenote, a sacred site of the ancient Maya. This natural wonder was created by the filtration of water through the limestone terrain, which produced stunning stalactites, columns and formations over the course of thousands of years.

      Follow your guide towards a fresh water underground river, where you’ll have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit the underground caverns and take a refreshing swim. Everything you need to safely enjoy this unusual ecosystem is provided, including snorkel gear, water shoes, a helmet, a life vest, torch and wetsuit.

      In order to preserve the ecological integrity of the area, sunscreen is not permitted until after the swimming portion of the tour.

      • This moderate tour involves steps and 750 m (0.8 mile) of walking on uneven ground. We recommend your wear your swimsuit under your clothes and bring a towel from the ship. Biodegradable bug spray and a bottle of water are included. Restrooms, changing facilities and lockers are available on site. Participants should be in excellent physical conditions. This tour is not recommended for pregnant women neither for persons suffering from heart and respiratory problems. It is limited to 60 participants and is only conducted in English.

      50.00 €
    8. Great Maya Reef snorkel

      • Port of call : Puerto Morelos
      • Length : 2h30

      Experience snorkelling on the Mesoamerican Reef System, also known as the Great Maya Reef, a marine region that stretches over 1,000 km. This reef system is the largest in the northern hemisphere and is home to more than 65 species of stony coral, 350 species of mollusc and more than 500 species of fish.

      From the pier, you will board your coach for the 30-minute drive to the beach, where the snorkel boat base is located. Then a local boat will take you to the first reef.

      You will have two snorkelling sessions, accompanied by a local guide, and visit two reefs, which are only about 5 meters deep, with temperate waters and very good visibility.

      After this underwater adventure, board your coach again for the return drive to the pier and your ship.

      • This moderate tour involves little walking. Participants should be in excellent physical condition and be able to get on/off the boat without assistance. This tour is not recommended for persons suffering from heart or respiratory problems, diabetes, or for pregnant women. Snorkel gear is included, with fins and life vests. The effective time of snorkelling is 1 ½ hour. We recommend you wear your swimsuit under your clothes, bring a towel from the ship and protect yourself from the sun. Water is available onboard the local boat and included in the tour. Please keep in mind that this is a protected area, so nothing in the reef can be touched or taken. Life jackets are mandatory while in the water. This tour is only conducted in English. It is limited to 60 participants.

      60.00 €
    9. Scenic wildlife river cruise

      • Port of call : Belize City
      • Length : 2h00

      Enjoy a wildlife adventure where you will have a chance to observe manatee dolphin, crocodiles, iguanas and many species of aquatic birds.

      After embarking a local boat, your experienced captain will head out of the harbour and along the Belize City coastline on a short run to the Belize River. Enjoy the scenic ride along the colourful seafront while you enter the mouth of the Belize River after an approximately 15-minute journey.

      During 1 h 15 cruise slowly along the calm waters, along the jungle-covered river bank, in pursuit of the many different species of wildlife that live in and along this winding tropical waterway. Your guide will help you keep a sharp look-out for crocodiles, manatees, and iguanas, numerous species of colourful birds and even, on occasion, a playful dolphin or two that have come up the river in search of a meal.

      Enjoy refreshments during your return journey to the pier and your ship.

      Participants should be able to get on/off the boats without assistance. We recommend you protect yourself from the sun and bring an insect repellent. Wildlife sightings are not guaranteed. A signed waiver is required to participate to this tour. This tour is only conducted in English.  It is limited to 40 participants

      40.00 €
    10. Lamanai Mayan site & New River

      • Port of call : Belize City
      • Length : 7h00

      Board your comfortable, air-conditioned coach for the approximately 1¼ hour drive to the river outpost accompanied by your guide, who will share Belize’s rich cultural and ecological heritage with you.

      Upon arrival, you will have a quick restroom break before boarding a local boat for the 1½-hour ride up the New River towards Lamanai Mayan site. Keep your eyes open and your cameras ready as crocodiles, iguanas, a variety of species of birds and even a troop of howler monkeys are just some of the wildlife that might make an appearance for you.

      On approaching the entrance of the New River Lagoon, the ruins of the high temple rise into view, welcoming you to the ancient Mayan city. Upon arrival, enjoy lunch before visiting the ruins. For 1½ hours, discover this hidden world still surrounded by pristine jungle, and where elite rulers are buried in magnificent temples and sacred deities are immortalised in stone images. Lamanai is a Mesoamerican archaeological site, and was once a major city of the Maya civilisation. It is renowned for its exceptionally long occupation, spanning three millennia beginning in the Early Preclassic Maya period and continuing through the Spanish and British Colonial periods. Unlike most Classic-period sites in the southern Maya lowlands, Lamanai was not abandoned at the end of the 10th century AD.

      After the visit and some time at leisure, board your boat for the 1½-hour ride back to the outpost where your waiting bus which will drive you back to the pier and your ship.

      • This moderate excursion involves approximately 500 metres (0.31 mile) of walking on uneven terrain. Please note that climbing the ruins might be forbidden in case of bad weather conditions. We recommend you wear comfortable clothing and shoes, protect yourself from the sun and bring insect repellent. This tour is not recommended for persons with heart or back problems, nor for pregnant women. Participants should be in good physical conditions. Wildlife sightings are not guaranteed. Only US dollars are accepted on site. A signed waiver is required to participate to this tour. This tour is only conducted in English.  It is limited to 40 participants.

       

      120.00 €
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