Christopher Columbus is widely known for discovering the “New World.” What is not known by most, or glossed over, is that he never actually stepped foot on the mainland of Central or South America! It was in fact Vasco Núñez de Balboa who was the first Spaniard to establish a permanent foot hold on the continent proper when he founded the settlement of Santa María la Antigua del Darién in present-day Panama in 1510. Soon thereafter, inspired by the rumors of a kingdom rich in silver and gold, Balboa, in the company of Pizzaro – the future conqueror of the Incas – became the first European to lay eyes on and name the Pacific Ocean when he crossed the Isthmus in 1513. From that day until the early 1800’s the thought of creating a water way dissecting the continent and connecting the two oceans played on the mind of explorers, governments, and investors!
The canal’s history has been one of political turmoil as well as personal challenges. These have involved everyone from the politicians who conceived the idea, to the engineers and laborers who constructed the canal, many of whom lost their lives in the process. The result? One of modern man’s most amazing achievements that not only cut a continent in two but opened a door for expanded world trade, travel, and commerce.
Retracing this path of discovery, Goway has introduced the Journey Between the Seas exploration cruise. Travelling onboard the M/V Discovery, the only vessel authorized to overnight in Panama Canal waters and the Chagres River, your itinerary is guaranteed to be a unique experience. Uncover the fascinating history of the Panama Canal, venture through the Darien jungle, and see so much more on a remarkable journey of discovery. A crew of ten has been carefully selected and trained to ensure a perfect journey for the 24 exclusive passengers of the Discovery.
The Discovery is equipped with a unique platform that lowers kayakers gently into the water and also retrieves them in perfect safety and comfort. For those with an adventurous spirit, there is much to see.
Inside the cozy, spacious cabins and lounges, the magic of night melts imperceptibly with the fabulous sunrises at amazing places that offer their purest charms at dawn ready for a day of excursion. The dining area, bar and lounge are located on the mid-deck which is fitted with floor to ceiling ‘glass walls’ providing a spectacular dining experience and plenty of space to unwind. A sun deck is located on the topmost observation deck, an ideal spot for early morning coffee or afternoon reading, or indeed a barbeque lunch as you transit the Panama Canal in style. You can even be part of the Panama Canal operations as the Discovery has a daylight transit guaranteed!
If Balboa was to stand today, knee deep in the newly discovered Pacific Ocean as he did in 1513, and look back to see what had come to pass with the construction of the canal, not only would he think “Now, that would have made that trek of discovery allot easier” but he would also marvel at how far his trek led the modern world on its own quest for discovery of new worlds and new frontiers!