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Old 14 Apr 2012
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New Ferry CROSSING from Panama to Colombia

This is life-changing! Who of us will be the first to try it?! And will they accept dogs? Costs? Stay tuned it says...

Crossing the Darien Gap: Ferry Service to Start Between Panama and Colombia

With each day that passes, it really seems like the world is becoming more and more interconnected; starting May 10th, Panama and Colombia will also be making that step as Aventura 2000 will be starting a ferry service between the ports of Colon, Panama, and Cartagena, Colombia. Yes, that ferry service includes vehicles. For the longest time the biggest hurdle for overlanders wishing to drive the PanAmerican highway has been the Darien Gap. Many have tried to penetrate the jungle between Panama and Colombia, and with the exception of explorers such as John Blashford Snell, many have failed. It's natural that this ferry will quickly become the transport of choice for Overlanders; replacing the container, or RO-RO (Roll-On, Roll-Off) methods of shipping.

Traveller's will initially have the choice of three departures from each port. The ship will leave Colon on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday, and from Cartagena on Sunday, Tuesday and Friday.
Prices for the overnight journey will range from $99, to $508 for a presidential sleeper cabin. There's no word yet on what it will cost to transport your vehicle, or if motorcycles will be allowed.

The Greek-manned ship, Nissos Rodos, has the capacity to carry 750 vehicles in it's garage, with an additional 1600 passengers.
Information is limited, but we will bring you updates as soon as we get them.
Aventura 2000 [link]
Here's a Google Translation of the original Spanish press release below:
Panama (EFE). Caribbean cities of Colon, Panama, and Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, will be connected from May 10 through the next ferry, which will cover the shipping route in about seven hours, said the general manager Adventure Company 2000, Augusto Terracina.
"The intention is to connect these two countries have always had a good relationship both tourist and commercial," said Terracina Efe, as part of a press conference to announce the launch.
Terracina said the ferry "Nissos Rodos", the Panamerican Seaways cruise line has a capacity for approximately 1,500 people, but start with half of them also carry loads of containers and automobiles.
He noted that the intention of Adventure 2000, which manages the Colon 2000 port in the Caribbean city of the same name, is open to Panama tourism and commercial landscape of the second country with the highest number of annual tourists.
"We will be able to bring many more tourists from other regions of Colombia, hoping this will become a mass product which attract groups for conventions, trips and other activities in Panama," he said.
He said that the investment is more than $ 15 million, including the adequacy of the Colon 2000 port, in the same boat as well as the promotional aspect to be held in Panama and in Colombia.
The inaugural departure is on 10 May from the city of Columbus, and the next day there will be a similar ceremony at the port of Cartagena.
Trips are scheduled to depart from any of the two ports at 18.00 local (23.00 GMT) and arrive at 07.00 local (12.00 GMT the following day).
SIX WEEK TRAVEL six trips were recorded, three from the city of Columbus and three from Cartagena. On Monday, Thursday and Saturday from the Panamanian port, and on Sundays, Tuesdays and Fridays from the Colombian city.
The journey through the Greek ship "Nissos Rodos" will have costs ranging from $ 99 (deluxe seat) to $ 508 (presidential suite), and the capacity for 500 cars and 2,000 square feet for cargo.
Terracina said that the crew will be staffed Greek, who will be responsible to manage the boat as well as Colombian and Panamanian, who will be responsible for aspects of the restaurant, shopping and entertainment.
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Old 14 Apr 2012
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At this rate, by early May the entire forum will consist of nothing but redundant posts about the purported ferry.

I was prepared to stay baffled by the apparent financial folly inherent in running 6 weekly trips by a gargantuan ferry for which no one can even find a price list or a ticket office. Hey, I made fun of the whole cellular telephone phenomenon at first. What do I know about financial viability?

But the fact that all my favorite travel forums are suddenly crammed full of almost identical re-postings of the almost-identical press releases, absent any added value or fresh details...... What am I missing here?

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Old 14 Apr 2012
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You're missing the 'potential'. When I was in Panama in my ex-police surveillance Chevy van waiting to head south, I hoped daily that this service would resume. There will be others in the same boat (pun intended) right now hanging around Panama and Colombia who will hopefully add to the info.

This is potentially the start of something huge that could really change how overlanders and locals travel. Is there anyone down there right now?? As you say Mark, more information is king!
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Old 15 Apr 2012
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I am in Panama City this weekend on business, and I was speaking with Panamanians abut this ferry service. It is scheduled to begin again around the middle of May. May 15 or so. They all said it will be a good thing for travel and the mutual economies of both Columbia and Panama - and that is the reason it is being restarted. (It was active last in 1997, but politics and violence stopped it)

Now Columbia and Panama are both expanding economies, and Columbia's violence has dramatically decreased.

This will make a huge change for overlanders, and I myself hope to travel this way by bike in a year on my way to Argentina.

It will also be a huge cost savings over the current option of air freight.
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Old 16 Apr 2012
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Contributing to Redundancy

I'm sorry, I did post this elsewhere too... but...

Hey, if something sounds too good to be true, and this is Latin America, then it probably is.

The fact it has taken this long to supply what has to be a huge demand for it, with huge profit potential (one would think, I mean how many Princess Royal Cruise Ships could be wrong) is somewhat frightening in itself.

Also as noted the inaugural day is a few weeks away and there still is no fares for vehicles posted or its known if motorcycles will be allowed, or if reservations are needed, or if... remember its latin america.

I hope you are correct and your enthusiasm is right on, but I don't see any evidence to suggest that yet...

I close with... a paste from that article...again

Prices for the overnight journey will range from $99 to $508 for a presidential sleeper cabin. There's no word yet on what it will cost to transport your vehicle, or if motorcycles will be allowed.

I know, I'm a party pooper, but come on, you guys know better than anyone what part of the world we're in here....

Don't give up your smuggler's or shady captains boat for transport just yet...
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Old 16 Apr 2012
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As for naysaying and party poopers:

"Hey, if something sounds too good to be true, and this is Latin America, then it probably is."

I couldn't disagree more!

I cruised around Latin America in a Chevy van I bought for $750. Naysayers thought I was crazy.

A year ago I bought a cabin in Chile next to the ocean for less than $60,000. It's now worth double that.

Good things DO happen.
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Old 16 Apr 2012
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Hey! Im going north from Ushuaia currrntly in Brasil and i will be in Colombia near the date may 15th. If this works I will take it and I will inform!
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Old 20 Apr 2012
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new ferry

Well, you should believe that it is going to happen. I have been living in Colombia for over 8 years now and you can also be sure it won´t be the 15th of May, maybe a month later or so. But it is happening. It is already forbidden for the sailing boats between Panama and Colombia (and vice versa) to take on bikes. Coast guard is checking!! All of this is to steer the business towards the new ferry service. I am sooo looking forward to it!! Will be absolutely great for both countries. Both countries deserve it, but especially Colombia!!!
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Old 22 Apr 2012
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Do agree that Colombia deserves it, but it is sad that 'us travellers' cannot choose for the AMAZING sailboat crossing if we want to.
Honestly, if I would have to do it again, I'll take the sailboat again... amazing time!
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Old 22 Apr 2012
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free market economy

i agree with you dstehouwer, I am all for a free market economy!
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Old 6 Jun 2012
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more news?

is there already more news about het ferry? Anybody with a reservation already?

Johan & ils
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Old 1 Jul 2012
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I sent this plus reply below:

Buenas tardes señor Kevin, adjunto información básica del ferry, por el momento no puedo confirmarle una fecha exacta
De salida, pero puedo colocarlo en una lista de espera y llamarlo en cuanto tengamos información exacta.
El costo por la motocicleta es de B/170.00 ida y vuelta.
La cabina en ocupación doble sale por B/ 788.00 ida y vuelta.

El Ferry sale del Puerto de Colón 2000 los lunes, jueves y sábado. Del Puerto de Cartagena de Indias sale los martes, viernes y domingos. Las salidas de ambas ciudades son a las 18:00 hrs. y llegada al siguiente puerto a las 06:00 hrs.
Contamos con tres tipos de ocupaciones, las cuales son: butacas, dormitorio compartido y cabinas privadas. Los precios van desde B/99.00 + imp. B/.95.00. El impuesto es el mismo en todos los precios de ocupación del ferry. Los boletos son ida y vuelta, no vendemos una sola vía. Las reservas se hacen desde el teléfono 3800900. Las reservas y cotizaciones son válidas por 48 horas. Las comidas y bebidas no están incluidas en la tarifa pero puede adquirir servicios de comida desde su reservación por un monto de 40 dólares adicional que le da derecho a cena y desayuno buffet en ambas vías.
Los niños menores de 2 años pagan solo los impuestos y los mayores de 2 pagan tarifa regular.
Documentos Requeridos:
Panameños: Pasaporte vigente por un periodo al menos de 6 meses.
Extranjeros residente: Pasaporte vigente y estatus migratorio (carnet de residente) bajo las normas de migración.
Extranjeros turistas: Pasaporte vigente y estatus migratorio bajo las normas de migración (solvencia económica al momento de ingresar nuevamente al territorio nacional y tiquete de avión de regreso a Colombia)
Equipaje: Dos maletas por persona. Max.50 libras cada una. Si sobrepasa las 50 libras o por maleta extra habrá un cargo de 35 dólares que deberán ser pagados en el puerto.
Para cualquier otra consulta no dude en contactarnos

saludos cordiales!
Betzy Camacho
Agente de Reservaciones
Panamerican Ferry
Tel. 380-0903

Visita virtual del ferry en:


De: Enviado el: jueves, 14 de junio de 2012 04:13 p.m.
Para: reservas5@panaferry.com
Asunto: Reservación (dos personas)


Nos gustaría reservar un ferry para 2 personas y 2 motocicletas para la última semana de julio o la primera semana de agosto. Por favor, háganos saber si esto es posible. Podemos pagar con Visa para garantizar la reserva. Los nombres de las entradas son los siguientes:
Kevin Albertine Beretta y Johannes Joseph Lamers.

La motocicletas BMW son de 2 metros de longitud. Nos gustaría una cabina con ducha, si es posible.

Por favor, háganos saber si podemos hacer la travesía.

Saludos cordiales,

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Old 15 Jul 2012
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And any update on those reservations and trip?
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I inquired again a week or so ago. No dates yet. We're working on a container share. Anyone want to share a container with 2 bikes already in it, first week or so of August?
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Old 16 Jul 2012
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last week in august will be fine - we have two bikes, and waiting for the ferry...


2011 Go East...and beyond
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