Ferry to Colombia!!!

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

  1. Wump

    Wump aka Mister Wisker

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2013
    Oddometer:
    84
    Location:
    Back in Canada
    Hola amigos,

    Just chatting with the capt of the crazy horse. He´s heading to Cartagena again from Panama just before xmas if anyone is looking for a ride. direct, no san blas stop (thus cheaper), bout 2 days on the water. 650$ all in.
    Good guy.
    his email is svcashhole@gmail.com

    Phil
  2. GSABest

    GSABest El Aventurero

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    347
    Location:
    Calgary, Canada
    Hola Ludwig! I just met 2 Canadian KTM riders who took the San Blas ferry a week ago to cartagena. They were 2 of a total of 4 motorcycle riders aboard and they commented that there was also one backpacker aboard. So 5 total passengers. It sounds like the trip went well for them. The only comment they made was that they were tied up 4 days in cartagena getting their bikes cleared into Colombia. Not sure the reason.

    Thanks for a great trip, great food, great service aboard the Stahlratte!

    Marc Lemieux
  3. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,174
    Location:
    Bassett, NE
    Spent the afternoon with the two guys you are talking about. Chad (left) and Ryan from Calgary Alberta:

    [​IMG]

    They are on KTMs and have been on the road for a few months. Really fun hanging out with them. They came down on the San Blas Ferry and said it was not a bad way to go. I pulled a pic of the ferry off their blog at ridetheride.ca

    [​IMG]

    They said it cost 708.00 each for them and the bikes. The next sailing is from Cartagena, Colombia to Portobello, Panama on January 18th (mas o menos).

    It is theoretically a 30 hour trip but the initial voyage took 3 days since they were refused landing at the first port they tried in Colombia. Finally landed in Cartagena. The ferry is run by Fritz the crazy German of Fritz the Cat fame. He said he wants to lower prices as people find out about the service.

    For more info on the ferry service you can check out sanblasferry.com

    Sounds like a good deal to me. The stubborn German just might pull it off. He is getting a lot of flack from the usual sources. Especially the gringo sailboats that stand to lose business. Although I think this caters to a totally different clientele than the sailboats. Especially the giant Unimogs and Landcruisers with roof tents who could just roll on and roll off. Should be interesting to see how this plays out.

    Just passing along the info.

    Kindest regards,
    John Downs
  4. GSABest

    GSABest El Aventurero

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    347
    Location:
    Calgary, Canada
    Yep that's them. We are staying with them at the black sheep hostel in Medellin. Look forward to meeting you tonight John!
  5. Andrew UK

    Andrew UK over socialised

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    60
    Location:
    South America
    This is going to be a great service for overlanders traveling in both directions.

    Yes he has a few bugs to sort out, but loading of bikes is not an issue.

    Better still, when the sail boat mafia stop fucking with his plans, the 4x4 gang will have a much better shipping method too. :freaky
  6. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,769
    Location:
    Seven Springs NC
    This was posted in a Medellin Gringo group in Facebook and that could be interesting!??

    Por 90 dólares se podrá viajar en ferry entre Panamá y Cartagena

    Spanish:

    A partir del 24 de octubre, empezará a operar esta ruta marítima. Contará con una capacidad de al menos 1,000 pasajeros y 500 vehículos.

    Un ferry, con capacidad para 1.000 pasajeros, 300 tripulantes y con capacidad para transportar 500 autos comenzará a prestar servicios desde el 24 de octubre entre Panamá y Cartagena.

    Así lo reportan medios panameños que indican que tendrá tres destinos: Cartagena Express desde el puerto de Colón 2000, Panamá Express, desde los muelles de Cartagena y Bocas Weekend, desde Colón 2000.

    La empresa operadora será la panameña Tropical Cruises que espera transportar unos 100.000 turistas suramericanos por año.

    “El ferry Adriatico saldrá todos los lunes a las 7:00 pm desde Colón para llegar a Cartagena a las 1:00 pm del día siguiente, regresará el jueves a Colón para salir para Bocas del Toro, para que los interesados se queden viernes, sábado y domingo. El costo del ferry a Cartagena empezará en $90 dólares, dependiendo la cantidad de ocupantes”, se lee en un comunicado.

    Translated to english using online translator:

    As of October 24, will begin operating this sea route. It will have a capacity of at least 1,000 passengers and 500 vehicles.

    A ferry, with capacity for 1,000 passengers, 300 crew members and able to carry 500 cars will begin serving from October 24 between Panama and Cartagena.

    So Panamanian media report that said have three destinations: Cartagena Express from the port of Colón 2000, Panama Express, from the docks of Cartagena and Bocas Weekend, from Colón 2000.

    The operator will be the Panamanian Tropical Cruises to South American expects to transport about 100,000 tourists per year.

    "The ferry will Adriatico every Monday at 7:00 pm from Colón to reach Cartagena at 1:00 pm the next day, return to Columbus on Thursday to go to Bocas del Toro, for stakeholders to stay Friday Saturday and Sunday. The cost of the ferry to Cartagena will start at $ 90 depending on the number of occupants, "it said in a statement.
  7. Chiriqui Charlie

    Chiriqui Charlie Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2011
    Oddometer:
    441
    Location:
    Panama Highlands
    I am dreaming that this will become a reality, but I am not going to hold my breath. The holdup is not from the sailboats, but from both governments.
  8. goodwithafork

    goodwithafork Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Oddometer:
    104
    Does anyone have the current scoop on the cheapest way to cross from Panama to Columbia right now? I'll be down that way in 5 or 6 weeks on my V-Strom - hoping to cross in the most economical fashion that won't leave my bike in the drink :D
  9. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,769
    Location:
    Seven Springs NC
    I'm waiting to hear from Travelbug, a chica who is riding 250cc bike from Chile to Oregon (Probably in Texas or somewhere near that now) to give me the price how much she paid to ship her bike from Medellin to Panama. VivaColombia airline is now providing shuttle plane between Panama and Medellin for $99 one way! If the shipping is ~$600-700 then thats cheap and safe option. Consider how much you will save on fuel/food/lodging from Cartagena to Medellin, too!

    Edit: www.vivacolombia.co Beware there is challenging of purchasing ticket online because the transaction tend to be painful if attempting to purchase ticket outside of Colombia.. but using a reputable credit card such as Barclay or Citibank really help your case. A regular credit card from your local bank probably will not go through unless you are in Colombia. Another head-up is that one carry-on is free so if you want to take your saddlebag, pay $10 per saddlebag for under the plane. In the end, probably be under $150 when all is said and done.

    Had to edit twice because iPhone fail to register my edit properly! sorry!
  10. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,769
    Location:
    Seven Springs NC
    I did a quick test to get a price.. seem less than $99 depending on which day you want to fly to Medellin from Panama.. $61.20 to start with!! (They also offer flying to Bogota but I haven't checked the price yet)

    [​IMG]
  11. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    8,941
    Location:
    Kentucky-Eastern that is!
    A "ferry" with 300 crew members? Hmmmm:D
  12. UKbri

    UKbri Just a Rider

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    249
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
  13. alejandro_gp200

    alejandro_gp200 Two wheeled rocket

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    69
    Location:
    Costa Rica!!!
    Lets hope it gets real.

    I plan to go visit some friend in Chile and Peru!
  14. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,769
    Location:
    Seven Springs NC
    Update: It seems that the ferry might be legitimate?? But as many has said.. not hold your breath until it has really sailed!! Here is the official website: Ferry Express
  15. Solohobo

    Solohobo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    167
    Location:
    Chicago
    There are valid reports on the Lonely Planet Thorntree Forum of this ferry being operational now. Though no reports of anyone actually taking it, the ExPats living in Bocas Del Toro says its up and running and there are ads galore everywhere, it departs from a Colon, a very shitty port and not the safest place for a gringo from what I read and friends in Panama. (I frequent Costa Rica a few times year the last decade)...

    It apparently makes a 12 hour journey every 3 days each way, its not cheap, just a passenger fee is $200 O/W, and that no berth...

    This Hostel in Panama City and now in Colombia always has the best info for off the beaten path and transport.

    http://www.mamallena.com
  16. QCRider

    QCRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2012
    Oddometer:
    105
    Location:
    Costa Rica
    FYI - The folks from "Around South America and beyond" used the new ferry recently and posted some useful info here

    I might be using the new ferry around mid-February for a CR/CO round trip. I'll post here if this ever materializes.
  17. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    7,897
    Bump. Maybe these should get merged or something.
  18. PanamaZook

    PanamaZook The Aliens did IT, that's why

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2014
    Oddometer:
    4
    Location:
    Pedasi, Wi. Fond du Lac, Panama
    I have been hearing this 'ferry' story for years. Does anyone have proof it exists?
  19. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,769
    Location:
    Seven Springs NC
    PanamaZook, can you read? Instead of ask us, why don't you read??? Read QCRider post 2 post above you and visit the link he provided.
  20. QCRider

    QCRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2012
    Oddometer:
    105
    Location:
    Costa Rica
    Someone I know rode his bike from Costa Rica to Panama, and then took the ferry to Colombia (without his bike though). He said the ferry was good.

    So if anyone is still wondering... the new ferry DOES exist.

    The CR BMW Club is planning a ride from CR to CO later this month I beleive. I can't go unfortunately, but I will try to get some feedback and report if it does happen.