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 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. 


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.

Resources:

Aventuras 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.


Here's the original press release in Spanish:

Panamá (EFE). Las ciudades caribeñas de Colón, en Panamá, y Cartagena de Indias, en Colombia, serán conectadas a partir del 10 de mayo próximo a través de un ferry, que cubrirá la ruta marítima en aproximadamente en siete horas, informó hoy el gerente general de la empresa Aventuras 2000, Augusto Terracina.

“La intención es la de poder conectar estos dos países que siempre han tenido una muy buena relación tanto turísticas como comerciales”, señaló Terracina a Efe, en el marco de una conferencia de prensa para anunciar el lanzamiento.

Terracina indicó que el ferry “Nissos Rodos”, de la línea naviera Panamerican Seaways, tiene una capacidad aproximada para 1.500 personas, pero se empezará con la mitad de ellos, además de llevar cargas de contenedores y automóviles.

Señaló que la intención de Aventura 2000, que administra el puerto Colón 2000 en la ciudad caribeña del mismo nombre, es abrir hacia Panamá el panorama turístico y comercial del segundo país que registra anualmente el mayor número de turistas.

“Vamos a poder traer muchos más turistas colombianos de otras regiones, esperando que esto se convierta en un producto masivo donde se atraigan grupos para realizar convenciones, excursiones escolares y otros tipos de actividades en Panamá”, destacó.

Precisó que la inversión es superior a los 15 millones de dólares, que incluye la adecuación del puerto Colón 2000, de la misma embarcación, así como el aspecto promocional que se desarrollará tanto en Panamá como en Colombia.

La salida inaugural será el próximo 10 de mayo desde la ciudad de Colón, y al día siguiente se hará una ceremonia similar en el puerto de Cartagena.

Los viajes están programados para partir desde cualquiera de los dos puertos a las 18.00 horas locales (23.00 GMT) y llegada a las 07.00 horas locales (12.00 GMT del día siguiente).

SEIS VIAJES POR SEMANA Se registrarán seis viajes, tres desde la ciudad de Colón y otros tres desde Cartagena. Los días lunes, jueves y sábado desde el puerto panameño, y los días domingo, martes y viernes desde la ciudad colombiana.

La travesía por el buque griego “Nissos Rodos” tendrá costos que van desde los 99 dólares (asiento de lujo) hasta los 508 dólares (suite presidencial), así como la capacidad para 500 automóviles y 2.000 metros cuadrados para carga.

Terracina señaló que la tripulación contará con personal griego, quienes serán los encargados de manejar la embarcación, así como colombiano y panameño, quienes tendrán la responsabilidad de los aspectos relacionados con el restaurante, las tiendas y los espectáculos.

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