WINTER Caribbean Cruises 2013 – 2014
Schooner Alliance will be heading south again next winter offering exciting opportunities for island hopping or offshore sailing experiences!
We will be departing the Chesapeake Bay in early December and sailing to the Spanish Virgin Island of Puerto Rico for the Christmas holiday season. Then we sail south across the Caribbean to the San Blas Islands of Panama. Alliance will offer weekly charters in the San Blas for January and February. In March we start heading north with a stopover in Portobelo Panama, Isla Providencia Colombia (off the coast of Nicaragua), and Key West Florida. Alliance will be back in the Chesapeake Bay by the first of April.
Contact us to make arrangements for Cruising in the Caribbean: Phone: (757) 639-1233 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
PANAMA Charter Information
If you are the more adventurous traveler and prefer to get away from it all then you should join us in the San Blas Islands of Panama. The San Blas Islands are located at the base of the rainforest in the Kuna Yala territory of Panama and are inhabited by the Kuna Indians. Kuna Yala consists of 365 tiny palm covered islands that are mostly uninhabited. The Kunas live in grass thatch huts many of which do not have running water or electricity.
Kuna women are known for the beautiful Mola tapestries that they hand stitch into intricate tapestries.
The men spend their days fishing from the cayuco or log canoe. The local catch is the delicious spiny lobster, spider crab, conch, and octopus, plus a variety of different fish.
While on board the Alliance you will experience their traditional way of life as they paddle up to the ship in their dug-out log canoes to sell us their fresh caught seafood, as well as the local fruits and vegetables that are in season. You may even have the opportunity to sail in a dugout canoe with a local Kuna guide.
In Kuna Yala there are no large resorts crowded with tourists. What you will find is peace and quiet in undisturbed anchorages. You can make your own entertainment on board the ship with board games and cards, a guitar if you would like to play a tune, or choose from the selection of books to read. Most likely though you will retire early after a sun-soaked day of sailing and snorkeling in the tropical blue waters of San Blas. The local Kuna Indians follow the sun with their daily routine – early to bed and early to rise – as most of the islands do not have electricity.
You may have the opportunity to take a dugout canoe excursion up a river on the mainland into the rainforest of Kuna Yala. Here you experience a virgin rainforest up close as you glide up the river on a handmade log canoe.
To get to the San Blas Islands you will fly in to Panama City, Panama (PTY airport code). There are daily nonstop flights from many major US cities.
Depending on your travel arrangements, you will probably want to stay one night at a hotel in Panama City. We recommend the Country Inns and Suites Amador hotel which is located at the entrance of the Panama Canal. You can watch ships coming and going into the canal from your balcony. It is a spectacular sight and worth a stay! Panama City is located on the Pacific side of the Canal, and you will be joining the Alliance on the Atlantic side of Panama.
The Isthmus of Panama connects North and South America and is only 40 miles wide at the narrowest point.
From Panama City there are 2 options for getting to the ship. You can fly from the regional airport, which is downtown, to El Porvenir – one of the San Blas Islands. Air Panama has daily flights to San Blas. It is about a 30 minute flight and the price is approximately $95 round trip including tax. The Alliance wil be near the runway and we will pick you up from the airport in El Porvenir. The other option is to take a 4 wheel drive vehicle ride from the city through the rainforest and to the Kuna Yala territory. This option is about $30 per person each way. It is approximately a 2.5 hour trip, one hour of which is on the paved Panamerica Highway, and the rest of the trip is through the rainforest on a rough dirt road where 4 wheel drive is a must. We can arrange to have you picked up at your hotel for the rainforest drive. Please note this route is not for the weak back or bladder – it is a bumpy rough ride!
All meals are included in your charter. We also have kayaks, snorkel gear, a sailing dingy, and all of the comforts of home – except for the tv and telephone!
The staterooms on Alliance are very comfortable with plenty of headroom, opening ports or skylights, a double bunk, sink, hanging locker, and private head with shower. We have plenty of hot water, so you will not be roughing it aboard Alliance! Of course we do like to be as ecologically responsible as possible, so nothing is wasted. We conserve water and electricity, and garbage is separated and disposed of properly. We eat all of the fish that we catch, and buy as much local food as possible to support the local economy.
Come Escape to the Islands this winter!
Please call 757-639-1233 for more information.