Ferry to Colombia!!!

Discussion in 'Latin America' started by Chiriqui Charlie, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. markharf

    markharf Been here awhile

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    "Holy crap!" and "Wow!" are more printable versions of my initial response. I asked what boat he'd been planning to take because there've been turf wars before on that run, and all is not necessarily what it seems. I'd add that there are other possible ports of call, depending.

    But still....
    #21
  2. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    What about the Pacific side and the route Cruthas took?
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  3. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    Over on the List of Sailboats and Captains thread, while a few idiots thought I was trying to sell real estate, what I was trying to say was that the face of tourism in Panama is changing. I knew that Cocuye wouldn't be friendly to smelly bikers and budget backpackers. I knew that companies like Colon 2000 wanted to expand towards San Blas. I didn't know Colombia would actually ban motorcycle transport by private sailboat.

    Now a few things are looking more clear. For example:

    Most tourism in Panama is not US based. Colombia and Venezuela supply more tourists than the US. The two biggest tourism companies are Colon 2000 and Decameron. Colon 2000 operates out of Colon, and primarily caters to cruise ships. Decameron is a Club Med style of resort, with main facilities near Coronado, on the Pacific. The guys who run both companies are SHREWD. Their stated business plan is to capture every possible $ from their guests; apparently, one way they plan to guarantee success is to block everyone else from being able to do business, even just transport a motorcycle on a sailboat.

    Decameron already bought a big chunk of Cocuye. The new resort is supposed to be opening in a year. Probably in 2 years, not one, though.

    It looks, to me, like the ferry will be more tourism-based than immigration-based, and the primary beneficiaries will be the luxury resorts and the adventure travel companies, primarily Colon 2000, with support from the bug Panama hotels and casinos. The Free Zone in Colon will also benefit. They are betting on demand from Colombians- they have to be, because Panama has less than 3 million people, certainly not enough to support a ferry.

    By the way, I'm just saying what I'm guessing, and I'm not selling anything. I'm not affiliated with Decameron or Colon 2000. Although my uncles own Cocuye, I'm not in any way connected to the sale, and I've actually tried to persuade them to keep it private and wild.
    #23
  4. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Adios Mexico

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    Just a small correction, but I believe this has always technically been against the law, but just tolerated as it hasn't caused many problems and it filled a necessary gap in transportation options. One of the boat captains explained it to me, but I can't remember exactly what the issue with the law is. It was something to do with being licensed to carry cargo and if you are a cargo ship licensed to operate in Colombia you cannot carry passengers and cargo at the same time. This is the reason some of the people piecing small coastal freighter runs together to get from panama to colombia have had to put their bike in one outboard and themselves in another outboard for the last leg from Capurgana to Turbo.
    #24
  5. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    Well, I actually didn't know this. It does make sense that licenses should be required. I always thought that the small, private sailboats weren't licensed though- that they were like those illegal taxicabs.
    #25
  6. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

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    The way the SteelRat got around this problem when they last left for Cuba in early April when all this talk was going on after visiting with Lulu was saying that each person coming aboard was just going to be part of the organization, a card carrying crew member, and taking along their "personal effects" aka motorbikes.
    Every ship needs their crew and I can't believe the transport of motorbikes on private vessels is coming to a complete stop. I just bet more captains will be "hiring" more crew who just happen to have motorbikes as personal baggage.

    The other option will always be just be leaving out of another port all together and avoid Cartagena with it's new ferry or make the short run to Sapzurro and the launcha ride over to Turbo. I think it will be very hard to stop the loading and leaving out of Kuna Yaula unless the Panama immigration/aduana enforce it as well. Both aduanas will have to be the primary stopping point of the private boat motorbike shipping.

    Will be more than interesting to see how this new ferry turns out.

    John still in nice and sunny Medellin, Colombia at Mike's awesome new place up on the hill relaxing and riding a bit more before my Visa is ready.
    #26
  7. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Adios Mexico

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    Again, I'm a bit fuzzy on the details, but it wasn't so much the licenses, but more to do with mixing cargo and passengers on the same boat. Obviously, I never got a full understanding of it as I rode from Capurgana to Turbo in the same outboard as my bike. ???
    #27
  8. luciosiq

    luciosiq Been here awhile

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    What a shame !!!
    Such a nice way to cross the Darien, visiting the San Blas Islands while crossing the Darien and taking your moto with you.
    I guess if you analize the issue without emotions, this ban does make sense. This type of transportation (Cargo and Passengers) using small sailing boats are not ideal as far as security goes.
    Well, lucky those (including me) who have experienced it.

    Let's see if they are able to control the maritime borders between Panama and Colombia.


    #28
  9. tedder

    tedder irregular

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    :rofl
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  10. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    Your Mileage May Vary is, here, an understatement!

    Somehow, by luck, experience, and design, you and Paula had an almost perfect attitude to go with your great experience. Others... not so much!

    Did you know that the road you took- that horrible "road" from El Llano to Carti- has been paved, and there are bridges over the rivers? You can now drive a sedan to Carti. This is what I lament, for us "adventure riders," but the reality is that "progress" is helping the people who live there.

    Whether or not non-Indians should be living in the jungle is an argument I'll take up over a beer some time.
    #30
  11. nightflyer

    nightflyer Hors contrôle

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    Am I the only one thinking it is the end of an era?
    It is like if ruta 40 was paved all the way from La Quiaca hasta Patagonia (which is bound to happen one day, isn't it?).

    I am just glad I was able to do the crossing when it was still a rip off on a rotten beat up sail boat with a crazy lunatic of a captain at the helm, where you'd spend 7 days throwing up overboard while being hit by 3 consecutive storms... Good times!

    Less and less adventures left... I gotta stop lurking and find myself a new place to go to before it disapears :deal
    #31
  12. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Adios Mexico

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    I got all of that PLUS we ran aground on a reef. Ha! Then again, you did more time in Rio Gallegos than I did, so I guess we're even. Plenty of adventure still to be had around Almaty last I was there, especially if you go south into Kyrgyzstan. If you actually are there now, I'm jealous. Go say hi to my big green ural that I abandoned over at Club Sport. They were talking of hanging it over the bar when I left.
    #32
  13. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    It's true.
    From cromag man going forward...thru all time...never stopping...:D
    Define prgress...
    #33
  14. nightflyer

    nightflyer Hors contrôle

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    Yep, just moved into my appartment on Furmanova last friday after a month in a hotel on Dostyk. you can come and crash on my sofa anytime, we'll talk about good ole Rio Gallegos til we puke. :freaky
    I'll send pics of your Ural if I find it, no worries:lol3
    #34
  15. luciosiq

    luciosiq Been here awhile

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    Yeap. I've read the El Llano - Carti road is now all paved.
    As you said, it is progress reach the Kuna People.
    I don't know if they are happy with such a "progress". They probably are, as there will be more tourists crossing their land and paying the toll, which they used to charge right in the middle of the jungle.
    I wonder what the sailing boat captains' will do for living, with the start of this new Ferry Service between Panama and Colombia.
    It might be the beginning of a new lifecycle across the Darien.
    Let's see.
    Maybe, it's time to explore new routes to cross the Darien........Cruthas ???

    Next week we are off to Uruguay for a 7 day ride.......very straightforward paved trip........nice country though.......nice parilla and beer.
    Take care.

    #35
  16. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    Cruthas's route was the most fantastic.
    #36
  17. trailtrick

    trailtrick goat trail rider

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    I just got back from uruguay(rocha),I be back in 5 weeks .weather was beatifull.Iff you need a place to stay in la paloma I have apartments with space for park you bike inside at good rates for inmates .
    #37
  18. yellowbirdrs

    yellowbirdrs Been here awhile

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    :clap:clap:clap it's official!!! :clap:clap:clap





    Colón to Cartagena by sea for $99

    Ferry to Colombia will begin service May 10

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]A look inside the ‘Nissos Rodos’ at the $99 seats that have aroused great interest.
    On Thursday, May 10, the company Pan American Seaways will begin a game-changing new ferry service that will connect the Caribbean cities of Colón and Cartagena de Indias, in Panama and Colombia, respectively. The ferry, called the ‘Nissos Rodos’ has room for thousands of passengers as well as hundreds of cars and shipping containers aboard.
    An introductory rate has been set at $99 round trip. Travelers will leave the Colón 2000 Port in Panama at 6:00 p.m. and arrive in Cartagena, Colombia 12 hours later at 6:00 a.m. The fare, according to the ferry’s exclusive tour operator Aventuras 2000, has been set to attract travelers en masse.
    Aventuras 2000 reports that the recent announcement of this service, has caused a fervor of interest, principally among Colombian residents in Panama. Colombians rank first in the number of foreigners residing in Panama, and given the $99 rate, the ferry service should do well, competing with the several airlines that offer connections between Panama and its South American neighbor. There is no land route existent between the two countries.
    About Cartagena

    Cartagena de Indias, located on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, is this nation’s fifth largest city with a population of 892,545. It is a popular tourist destination as well as a centre of economic activity in the Caribbean.
    About the service

    The ferry will leave the Colón 2000 Port on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Aboard, travelers can enjoy a theatre, bar, restaurant and shops. The $99 introductory low season rate will afford travelers the most basic seat – in the “deluxe” category. Other options for seat upgrades cost up to $119 for a “coach” seat.
    Cabins are also available, with rates fluctuating between $214 and $294 per person, double occupancy.
    The return trip from Cartagena leaves at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays, arriving in Panama at 6:00 a.m. the following day.
    All fares will incur port taxes, which for the $99 seat are somewhere between $70 and $80, according to Aventuras 2000.
    The ship has a capacity of 1,484 passengers, 500 automobiles and 2,000 meters available for express cargo and capacity for 175 shipping containers.
    [​IMG]
    The ‘Nissos Rodos’ has capacity for nearly 1,500 passengers per voyage.

    Getting to and from Colón

    Aventuras 2000 reports that by Monday, April 17, it will have established a fare for the transfer service to be provided between Panama City and the Colón 2000 Port so that travelers do not have to take their vehicle or a bus to the Caribbean in order to complete the journey.
    Tours options on both sides

    Travelers who arrive in Cartagena de Indias, as well as those from Colombia who arrive to Panama, can count on the support of Aventuras 2000 to arrange tours in both destinations.
    Aventuras 2000 is the exclusive tour operator affiliated with Pan American Seaways and both companies are owned by Colón 2000.
    Contact information

    Reservations and information requests are taken at 209-2000 or 380-0900. Visit PanaFerry.com or write reservas@panaferry.com.



    http://www.focuspublicationsint.com/New_Site/Visitor18-15/second.html
    #38
  19. nomadicbear

    nomadicbear Vagabond

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    I just found more information about the FERRY Service. This is from the website EXPEDITION PORTAL:

    http://www.expeditionportal.com/res...ice-to-start-between-panama-and-columbia.html

    This is a Google Translation from Spanish:

    and it might not be what we are Hopeing for after all so hould your breath a bit longer.

    (( Crossing the Darien Gap: Ferry Service to Start Between Panama and Colombia
    Friday, 13 April 2012 08:48 Matthew Scott

    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 Aventuras 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. Some 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. ***

    More to read on the website...

    I have sent an E-mail to asking for more information, might I suggest that we start an E-Mail campaign! This is the contact site:

    http://www.aventuras2000.com/en_contactenos.php
    #39
  20. GastonUSAChile

    GastonUSAChile Been here awhile

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    Well well, the idea sound good.
    Today is April 19th and we are about 3 weeks when the Titanic suppose to make its maiden voyage. The page that was link above, it is not a page that you could clap on that . I mean! were in the world you buy tickets to get at least one seat?. 500 trucks , containers, etc etc...?.
    Sorry but , this thing smell fishy to me. No transporting company in the world start like that.
    Still I don't even hear from the other side (Cartagena). A clear manual of regulations already should ber published , at least on how Customs issues are going to be resolved when there is a police inspection with you and your vehicle included and by appointment only. When you are required to have insurance in advance to be inside the port with the police ...... mmmmmm!!!, to complicated for people that have no idea how that process work and where to start.

    Listen, whoever have a ticket already, feel lucky and let us know. There is plenty of seats available!

    I don't want to speculate here and I wish to have a Ferry there, but owned by NYK or Wallenius , even by Lan or Lufthansa, but run by a really organized company.
    #40