17 Days

Panama Canal Cruise

Enjoy the wonderful experience of cruising to multiple destinations onboard the luxurious Norwegian Cruise ship, with ample time to relax and enjoy those warm days at sea. Embark in Miami and cruise to Los Angeles with a full transit of the Panama Canal. The 48-mile long Canal, one of the Seven Modern Wonders of the World, took ten years to build and was one of the most difficult engineering projects ever undertaken. 2016  was the inauguration of the new expansion project, allowing the new larger Neopanamax ships to traverse the canal. This year we will be transiting these new locks! Get more out of your vacation with our included shore excursions – visit farms growing coffee, coconuts, agave, and sugarcane, as well as city tours and more! This is the relaxing getaway you deserve!

Dates Available
  • January 26 - February 11, 2024 SOLD OUT


Day 1: January 26     Omaha, NE (or your home airport) / Miami
Welcome to Miami, the starting point for your amazing Panama Canal Cruise! A shuttle will provide you a quick ride to your hotel. Here you will check-in to your hotel room and meet your Rupiper Tour Manager. Overnight in Miami.

Day 2: January 27     Miami / Board Ship Sail at 5:30PM
This morning prepare to board the NCL Bliss. Enjoy a late checkout, as boarding the ship begins at noon. Get acquainted with the ship and all its luxurious amenities, as this will be your home for the next two weeks. Every evening you may enjoy a professional show, be it a Broadway production, musical talent, comedian, trapeze or juggling act. With NCL entertainment, you’ll think you’re in Vegas! Visit several ports and have unique opportunities to immerse yourself in the local cultures and view many incredible sights. (B, L, D)

Day 3: January 28     At Sea
Sleep in and treat yourself to a day of relaxation. Forget the cold of winter – read a book from the ship’s library, take in a lecture, catch a movie onboard in the ship’s theater or make new friends over your favorite card game. (B, L, D)

Day 4: January 29     At Sea
Today you may choose to relax by the pool or get involved in one of the many activities offered. It’s all about doing what makes you feel special and expanding your horizons. There are so many things to do on board, like wine tasting, karaoke, ballroom dance lessons, or attend an interesting talk given by one of the guest speakers. It encourages you to go beyond the usual and create an experience that’s uniquely your own. (B, L, D)

Day 5: January 30     Cartagena, Columbia     Rupiper Tour Included
Today on our included tour we experience a spectacular panoramic view of the city from the literal high point of the city located on the summit of the sole sentinel-like hill that exists in Cartagena, known as La Popa. La Popa is the site of a convent built of stone in the early 1700s which is still occupied to this day by the Augustinian order. From La Popa on a clear day you can distinguish the Rosario Islands far offshore, while at the same time it offers a bird’s eye view of the labyrinthine Fortress of San Felipe, which lies not far away from the foot of the hill. From there it’s just a few minutes to the Old Walled City, where we head for a stroll through the narrow streets and open fortress walls. Quaint, narrow streets and balconied houses are all vivid reminders of the former colonialists. The city’s numerous monasteries, plazas and noble mansions are significant links to this region’s grand past. Upon returning to the port, you will have time to take pictures of exotic birds and monkeys that welcome you back to the ship. (B, L, D)

Day 6: January 31     Panama Canal (Full Transit) / Panama City
This is what you have been looking forward to... THE PANAMA CANAL! Although built more than 100 years ago (1904 - 1914), it offers up-to-date movement through three monstrous locks as you cross the Continental Divide. Since the Panama Canal expansion project was finished in 2016, the canal can now accommodate larger Neopanamax ships and twice the amount of traffic. See these new and larger locks up close as our ship transits all three stages of the canal. The amount of concrete and material that went into constructing this modern marvel is simply astonishing. You will want to be on deck for this unforgettable experience. Overnight in the port of Panama City. (B, L, D)

Day 7: February 1     Panama City, Panama     Rupiper Tour Included
Get a different perspective of the Panama Canal with a visit to the Miraflores Visitor Center. From the center’s terrace, observe the Canal’s operation, the passage of ships through the locks, and how they move. It is the ideal place to take pictures and provide insight into its process. Get an in-depth look at the development of the Panama Canal with a video narrated by Morgan Freeman displayed on the world’s second largest 3D-IMAX screen. See one of Panama City’s most fun-filled green spaces – the Amador Causeway. The rock extracted when the Panama Canal was being built between 1904 to 1914 was used to build the causeway. The road extends 3.7 miles out into the Pacific Ocean, linking the mainland with the islands of Naos, Perico, and Flamenco. From 1920 to 1980, fortifications were erected here to protect the southern entrance to the Panama Canal. It was part of a military base first called Fort Grant and later named Fort Amador. Discover Panama City’s Old Town on a short walking tour and also see former US military areas and housing areas for the canal workers on a panoramic tour. (B, L, D)

Day 8: February 2     At Sea (B, L, D)

Day 9: February 3     Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala     Rupiper Tour Included
Drive on an expressway enjoying the farms and landscape of the countryside. Stop at a sugarcane plantation and learn how to make sugar. Stop for a photo opportunity and to see a volcano (sometimes in action!), visit a local school to donate supplies and interact with the children, and continue to Colonial Antigua, the capital of the Captaincy-General of Guatemala. Founded in the early 16th century and built almost 5,000 feet above sea level in an earthquake-prone region, it was largely destroyed by an earthquake in 1773 - but its principal monuments are still preserved as ruins. The city was built on a grid pattern inspired by the Italian Renaissance, and it acquired a number of superb monuments. “La Azotea” is a coffee plantation and a cultural center and museum complex, located in the township and municipality of Jocotenango, on the grounds of a coffee-growing estate. The center contains a coffee museum, which illustrates the history of processing and marketing coffee production in Guatemala (B, L, D)

Day 10: February 4     At Sea
Wake up early and watch the sunrise or enjoy sleeping in and catch a late breakfast. Later you can try a dance class or explore your culinary side with a tour of the main galley. It’s never too late to learn something new or visit with your new friends! (B, L, D)

Day 11: February 5     Acapulco, Mexico     Rupiper Tour Included
As one of Mexico’s oldest coastal tourist destinations, Acapulco has much to offer both tourists and travelers. Shop, swim or simply take a siesta on the beach. Our included shore excursion will take you to an authentic bakery, a local farm growing coconuts and other produce, as well as show you around this famous resort town. Later in the morning, join us to see the legendary La Quebrada cliff divers. This has long been a popular tradition in Acapulco, and it is included! Take in views of the Fuerte de San Diego “Fort San Diego,” which looks back to Acapulco’s past as an important trading center and a target for pirates and rival foreign powers. (B, L, D)

Day 12: February 6     At Sea (B, L, D)

Day 13: February 7     Puerto Vallarta     Rupiper Tour Included
Nearly a quarter-mile high in the glorious Sierra Madre mountain range, about 12 Miles south of Puerto Vallarta, lies the beautiful Puerto Vallarta Botanical Gardens, where you’ll find over 3,000 different species of plants native to Southwestern Mexico. You’ll witness such exciting features as the Carnivorous Plant Collection, the beauty of the Rose Garden, the fragile Orchid House, the lush Palm Garden and Tree Fern Grotto, and the prized Mexican Agave Gardens, as you walk the Jungle Trails, watching for tropical birds that inhabit the gardens year round. You’ll likely even spot the resident parrots that make their home here. (B, L, D)

Day 14: February 8     Mazatlan, Mexico     Rupiper Tour Included
Tequila is Mexico’s national drink, hugely popular with locals and tourists alike. It is the only place in the world where Tequila is grown, harvested, and distilled, and now you can be part of the process! You’ll visit the blue agave plantations where the tequila plants are grown, and see La Vinata, the oldest tequila distillery in Sinaloa state. After sampling their tequila, you’ll agree this is the ultimate Tequila tour in Mazatlan. Visit the colonial town of La Noria, where natives make pottery, leather saddles, leather sandals, belts, machetes, etc. La Noria is a taste of real Mexico, with it’s local cowboys, rodeos, antique church, and adobe houses. Visit El Mesón de la Abuela Tina, where lunch is served in a very authentic and traditional way. (B, L, D)

Day 15: February 9     Cabo San Lucas, Mexico     Free Day
Cabo’s signature landmark is El Arco (The Arch,) a rock formation at the tip of “Land’s End.” The jewel of the Baja Peninsula is famous for its world-class sportfishing, as well as its high-end resorts and exclusive gated communities that line an area simply called “the Corridor.” Enjoy your day relaxing in the beautiful sunshine. This is a great opportunity to enjoy whale watching, ride a pedi-cab, or take a glass bottom water taxi to Playa del Amor “Lovers’ Beach.” Or maybe walking to Medano Beach is just right for you. Many bars and restaurants near the port make this town best absorbed on foot. (B, L, D)

Day 16: February 10     At Sea
Your friends and neighbors are home surviving the cold! Too bad all good things must come to an end. (B, L, D)

Day 17: February 11     Los Angeles, CA / Omaha, NE (or home airport) 
Today you disembark the NCL Bliss with fond memories and a world of new experiences. Transfer to the airport for your flight home. (B)

Rupiper Tours reserves the right to make minor adjustments to the itinerary if necessary.

What's Included

What’s Included
Round-trip Airfare from Omaha, NE
Airfare available from other airports - slight price adjustment possible
Miami Pre-Cruise Hotel and Transfers
Norwegian Cruise Fare including Port Charges and Taxes
All Meals Included (B-Breakfast, L-Lunch, D-Dinner)
Full Transit of the Panama Canal
Gratuities for Local Tour Guides and Motorcoach Drivers
Mandatory Gratuities to Ship Staff ($248 per person included)


Included Shore Excursions

Cartagena, Columbia
San Felipe • “Old Walled City” • Exotic Bird & Monkey Sanctuary

Panama City, Panama
Canal Visitor Center • Viewing Platform • City Tour • IMAX Video

Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala
Coffee Plantation • Sugarcane Farm • School Visit • Antigua

Acapulco, Mexico
Bakery • Coconut Farm • Cliff Divers • Panoramic Tour

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Botanical Gardens with Native Fruits & Vegetables

Mazatlan, Mexico
Blue Agave Farm • Tequila Distillery • La Noria Crafts


Special Events and Sights

Included Shore Excursions

Cartagena, Columbia
San Felipe • “Old Walled City” • Exotic Bird & Monkey Sanctuary

Panama City, Panama
Canal Visitor Center • Viewing Platform • City Tour • IMAX Video

Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala
Coffee Plantation • Sugarcane Farm • School Visit • Antigua

Acapulco, Mexico
Bakery • Coconut Farm • Cliff Divers • Panoramic Tour

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Botanical Gardens with Native Fruits & Vegetables

Mazatlan, Mexico
Blue Agave Farm • Tequila Distillery • La Noria Crafts



Testimonials from Panama Canal Cruise Tour Participants

“Wonderful trip! I think it was planned perfectly, and it met and exceeded our expectations!! Thank you!
- Kathy & Patrick N. (South Dakota) 

"The tour manager was very pleasant and went out of her way to make our trip flow smoothly and be interesting. She made the trip more relaxing because all the details were taken care of for us. We enjoyed it all and would go again! We thoroughly enjoyed the experience. We made new friends and had a great time with them. It was a great experience. Looking forward to our trip to Alaska with you in August!”
 – Ron & Marlene E. (South Dakota) 

“Excellent guides – good English! Great tour and good sized group. A+ really enjoyed the school.”
- Anonymous 

“The service was great – they always tried to answer questions, if they didn’t know they would find out. It was nice to meet new people and make new friends in the tour group. I liked seeing how other countries lived. The farms were the best visits!”
- Ellen W. (South Dakota) 

“Rupiper Tours is Top Notch!! We were very pleased with the quality of our trip. We enjoyed the people on our tour and made many new friends. All the guides had a good sense of humor and were highly motivated to please us.  We will travel with Rupiper again!!”
– Bob & Barb H. (Iowa) 

“The tour guides were all excellent! Their English was good, they were very knowledgeable, organized, and they answered questions! The drivers were great also, they were careful and kept us safe. We enjoyed all our stops and the Panama Canal! Timing was great for us!”
– Mark & Pat R. (Michigan) 

“We enjoyed the entire trip and don’t think we would change anything.”
– Dave & Jo N. (South Dakota) 

“All was great!! We couldn’t have been treated any better. The Panama Canal was very interesting, and visiting the schools and villages mad it more personal. This was our first cruise. We had a great experience and would definitely go again.”
– Colleen S. (North Dakota) 

“I will highly recommend this tour! I only wish I would have taken part in more of the ship’s activities, because there was so much going on. It was nice to have things to do, even if I was happy relaxing.”
 – Larry & Cheryl B. (Illinois) 

“Truly enjoyed the whole trip. Cindy was very accommodating to assist.”
– Charles R. (North Dakota) 

“The whole trip was excellent. No complaints.”
– Deborah F. (Iowa) 

"The guide was very knowledgeable and always available. The tour guides all seemed very knowledgeable and showed us the true flavor of the area. I loved Columbia and going through the Canal."
- Anonymous 

“Everything was done very professionally.  The tours went smoothly.  There was not a minute wasted – very efficient.  Excellent!!”
- Jim & Marlene E. (Illinois)

"The tour manager did an excellent job on everything. The local tour guides were great! I especially liked the coffee farm - so much more information than we have ever received on other coffee farm visits. Also really enjoyed the bakery in Mexico." - Cliff & Joyce B. (Ohio)

“We feel that activities were well planned and directed. Loved having the reserved evening meal, so we could meet others in our group and get information and schedules for the following day. Brent was an excellent guide for us – We’d probably still be stuck in LAX if it weren’t for his knowledge, patience, and loving guiding. It took a log of these qualities to get us non-fliers to get to where we needed to be. He is a saint! We have highly recommended Rupiper Tours to several of our friends and know they will be as happy as we are if they choose your company. Thanks for the memories!”
- Dennis & Nelann G. (South Dakota) 

“From the get-go Brent told us not to worry about anything. If we had questions to be sure and ask, and we did. He had everything under control. Tour guides were knowledgeable and spoke good English. This was our first cruise but felt your company did a very good job with everything. Brent is a very nice young man and very helpful. Better keep him!!! We would travel with your company again. Thank you.”
- Jerry & Susan W. (South Dakota) 

“The longer we are on this trip the more we are understanding all you and the Rupiper Company have done to make this trip trouble free. We are very glad to have discovered your organization. We have enjoyed you, our fellow members of this group and the outings we have done. The tours have been enjoyable, entertaining, and enlightening. Thank you so much for your knowledge and concern for each of us. We are very glad we have been with you the last two weeks. We appreciate and thank you.”
- Anonymous 

“Very happy with the places we went. The tours were excellent! Ship was very good. Would recommend Rupiper to anyone, and if we go on another tour, you would be my first choice.”
- Jim & Maryann S. (Wisconsin) 

“I wanted to tell you a HUGE THANK YOU for the trip and all the hard work, taking such good care of us and all the things we did not see you do to make this a great trip for us. We will travel with you again someday. Brent, I wanted to tell you how much I appreciated and admired your gentleness with us and some of the others who need some extra help. This aspect did not go unnoticed by me, it is a rare thing in this day and age to see someone younger be so kind and patient with older people… Kudos to you.”
- Allen & Cheryl B. (South Dakota) 

“The tour manager was always there, friendly, and helpful. We really enjoyed visiting the school, and of course the canal. Thanks for the video.”
- Harold & Bonnie D. (Illinois)

"We thoroughly enjoyed Brent! He was very informative and respectful to us, as well as to the people we visited. He listened to peoples' questions and concerns and addressed them quickly and appropriately. Tour guides were great, and they were easy to understand. We enjoyed the ag slant - and definitely would go on another tour with you."
- Ed & Barb T. (New York)

"The tour manager went above and beyond!! Even though the group was scattered on the ship and were not together every day, Cindy had things organized and kept us informed. Our local guides were very accommodating and informative. They made sure to answer the group's questions. All spoke and understood English very well. The narration the day of the canal was VERY Good!!"
- Roy & Trish R. (Nebraska)

"Brent is always very pleasant and available. Enjoyed the whole trip. Any time I called or had a question, everything was handled great."
- John & Nancy E. (Illinois)

"It was a great trip, no problems. We'll enjoy the video and re-live our trip. We thoroughly enjoyed the tour manager, Cindy, she took good care of all of us."
- Linda W. (Oklahoma)

"A great tour all the way! The tour manager is a professional and in any situation she was there to help. This made our tour a success!"
- Dick G. (Minnesota)

"Brent was Spot On!! Very thorough and patient. Knowledgeable and accessible. Everything we need in a guide. Great move to meet daily for dinner. It was so nice to have reservations and not having to wait to be seated. Best thing on the ship was the evening entertainment - thoroughly enjoyed everything in the theater."
- Mike & Linda D. (South Dakota)

"Tour manager was engaging, fun, and took good care of us. All the guides were easy to understand. Really enjoyed your planned excursions and the canal crossing (it's what we signed up for)."
- Ken & Jeannie S. (Minnesota)

"The tour guides were easy to understand and able to answer all our questions. Interesting to hear about their lives also. The tour manager was very personable and knowledgeable. Kept track of everybody. Made the trip memorable. Really enjoyed the coffee farm visit."
- Roger & Gloria H. (Illinois)

"Very good experience. Loved that you helped us fly out of our home airport. Brent did an excellent job. He knew his stuff and was very kind, patient, and pleasant to us and everyone on the trip - especially in areas where some of us needed extra help. Very happy and pleased with all."
- Allen & Cheryl B. (South Dakota)

"The Panama Canal cruise was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We learned so much about the workings of the canal and about life in Central America. Seeing the way people live and work in this part of the world really made us appreciate our own country. The wonderful people we met in the Rupiper group were icing on the cake. The tour manager made it a point to connect with everyone regularly. She kept popping up all over! She was very pleasant and informative."
- Gary & Joyce R. (South Dakota)

"Couldn't have been better! We really enjoyed Columbia.  Thanks again for another great trip!"
- Daniel & Zada C. (Texas)

"Guides and motorcoach drivers were all excellent. Brent was always willing to help with any needs and did an excellent job sharing information. Our favorite visits were the farms, schools, and the bakery. The food was beyond excellent!"
- David & Brenda O. (South Dakota)

"The tour manager was wonderful - very attentive to everyone and very helpful. We enjoyed all our tour guides. Everyone was always friendly and helpful. Enjoyed the trip - no suggestions for improvement!"
- Dewayne & Carolyn W. (North Carolina)

"Enjoyed the tour - met a lot of nice people! Enjoyed the coconut farm and plantain farm the most. Good Job!"
- Glenn & Fannie K. (Pennsylvania)

"Tour manager was fun - easy going - helpful - no pressure! All the guides spoke good English and answered questions. The staff was always good - available and helpful."
- Don & Sally A. (Ohio)

"Super job Brent! Thanks for everything!"
- Duane & Jan S. (South Dakota)

"Everything was great! Thanks for the DVD!"
- Ron G. (Pennsylvania)

"We want to thank you for all you did to make the cruise so enjoyable. It was a great trip and we really appreciated all you did. We really enjoyed seeing the DVD. We could relive our favorite port, Cabo San Lucas." - Larry & Maggie C. (Illinois)

"I really liked our stop in Acapulco. All the local guides showed the group interesting locations - we saw the lows of an area and the highs - friendly & considerate. I will continue to travel with Rupipers."
- Don & Jeannette D. (Nebraska)

"Suzanne was very knowledgeable and always available. The tour guides all seemed very knowledgeable and showed us the true flavor of the area. I loved Columbia and going through the Canal."
- Anonymous

"Everything was done very professionally. The tours went smoothly. There was not a minute wasted - very efficient. Excellent!!"
- Jim & Marlene E. (Illinois)

“Loved it, ready to go again!!  Caught the sailing bug – will be looking into cruising with you again!!  Suzanne was SUPER!  Will tour with her again for sure!  Was always there when needed and with answers.  Very organized – made sure everyone knew when and where they had to be.”
- Kevin & Ellen S. (Wisconsin)

“The cruise was total RELAXATION!  We completely lost track of time – thankfully Suzanne kept track for us.  She was very knowledgeable and sought out answers for our questions.  Suzanne was very friendly and welcomed everyone to her cruise ship family.”
- Robert & Phyllis B. (Iowa)

"Received the nice DVD slide show. Enjoyed the Panama Canal Cruise and your tours."
- Anonymous

“The ship was very nice, good food, great entertainment.  Crew was very friendly, helpful and always making sure we were very comfortable and well fed!  Tour group was much fun – great group of individuals!  Suzanne was excellent in every aspect, accessible at all hours, informative, fun and organized.”
- Anonymous

“One of the better cruise lines.  Larry, you and your people do a great job!  Suzanne was excellent for the entire tour.”
- Kermit & Carol A. (Iowa)

Need help? Call us at
1-(888) 414-4177
or (605) 665-1212 for local callers

Request Tour Brochure & Price

Mailing Address *
NOTE: we will not share your information or send any correspondence that you didn't request.