Celebrity Infinity (Panama Cnl) - March 8-25, 07

14 Night South American
Panama Canal Repositioning
Celebrity Infinity
March 8th-25th, 2007
  • Valparaisco, Chile; Arica, Chile; Lima, Peru; Manta, Ecuador; cruising the Panama Canal; Aruba; ending in Fort Lauderdale, FL
On March 8th, 07 we left St. Louis on a new adventure. Territory we had not been to but was excited to take on the challenge. That area would be South America. Our trip would begin in Santiago, Chile before heading to Valparaisco to board the Celebrity Infinity three days later. But the cruise is just port after port of fascinating things to see on our venture through the Panama Canal as the Infinity heads to the Caribbean seas for her summer cruises. From Valparaisco, Chile, we continue in South America hitting Arica, Chile. From there stops go to Lima, Peru; Manta, Ecuador; then through the locks of the Panama Canal heading into Caribbean waters and stopping at our favorite place - Aruba. From there we finish at Fort Lauderdale FL and head home. So join us as our journey begins on this fascinating experience.

First stop on this adventure - Santiago, Chile. The first photo, far left - is the view from our hotel. Next to it is the view from the sky lift that we took. We took a tour that took us to the old and new, business and residential sides of Santiago, Chile.

Not only did we enjoy the views from the sky lift, we also got to enjoy riding in an elevator train. (left photo) The tour also included the President Palace, Navy housing, churches, inca indian statue (photo below), Simon Bolivar Statue, Cathedral in the main square, Virgin Mary Statue (photo below), and American Embassy, before eatting lunch at the Cafeteria Antulican.

Inca statue to the far left. Virgin Mary statue on the right.

The following day it was time to be picked up and head to our port to catch the ship. We chose a tour that took us to the port which included this Vina Indomita vineyard while in route. From there it was on to Valparaisco, Chile and Vina Del Mar, Chile, neighboring cities.

In Vina Del Mar we saw the Easter Island replica (photo to left), Casino Vina Del Mar, hotels, & the residential and business sections. After lunch at the Club, we headed to Valpariso to see the homes, hillside streets that were so steep, several street elevators, among many other things. What a beautiful day as we boarded our cruiseship to continue the adventure.

First stop while cruising - Arica, Chile. What a unique place. After using the internet we headed to the tourism place. From there we got a taxi and headed to the El Morro which is on a big hill where a museum from the Chile/Peru/Bolvia war is. Also there is a Christ Statue. This area is very brown and like a desert. The taxi also drove us through the Arapa Valley to a museum that houses unearthed mummies. Arica is known for their many Alpacas and sold clothes made from their fur. They also have rows and rows of Olive Trees.

First photo, Bob and I up on El Morro at the museum from the war. The other photo on the far right shows us standing at the base of the Christ Statue that stands on the El Morro hill.

On the left you can see the small town of Arica while on the right is a great shot from town looking up into El Morro (the hill)

A highlight at this stop where the geoglyphs on the hillsides. These were made 500 years ago from very large rocks. The far left photo shows Bob and I with the geoglyphs behind us. This entire tour ( 2 1/2 hours) cost $20 and was well worth every penny we paid for it. My only regret was not buying some of the Alpaca clothing made in Arica. Back home they sale for a huge price.

Next stop, Lima, Peru. We decided on a ship tour called Lima highlights for $30 pp. Very boring. The port area was very poor. We did see the Palace and some pyramids that were very old. Also went to an Indian market which was fairly cheap.

We had a snack at Tony Roma's (in Mira Flores) overlooking the ocean cliffside which was beautiful. Lima definitely has a nice side but you have to find it. As we prepared to leave the port - we got a view of a beautiful sunset with all the birds flying around.

Next stop, Manta Ecuador. We went on another ship tour called Manta Highlights/Monte Cristi tour. First stop, Panama Hat place. They were making the hats and selling them. Poor kids begged for money while we were there even going into the church in Monte Cristi.

Also on the tour we visited a ceramics factory (photo on left). Next was a button factory. The buttons were made from a Tagua Nut and was very interesting. Back in Manta we visited a Kids Museum were we saw displays of the Indians from the past. Very good tour.

Finally a full day of cruising through the Panama Canal. Here you can see the locks we went through. Also one of the two bridges you go under. This is the Bridge of Americas. It takes about 12 hours to go through the entire 50 miles.

Last stop before heading to Florida to fly home is one of our favorite places - Aruba. Here is a photo of me with the waves crashing in the background. Also a photo of baby beach. Great snorkeling and beautiful water.

Here are some random pictures of the ship, things that go on while on the ship, dolphins swimming, etc.. Enjoy.

What a journey. This was by far, one of our very favorite vacations ever. The weather was absolutely beautiful with lots of relaxing time during the trip. The Cruise ship was so wonderful and our tablemates were fun. (A doctor, his girlfriend and his three kids) We did some wonderful tours, saw some unique things, and every day was a great day. I hope you have enjoyed the photos and got to feel a little bit of heaven as we did on this trip.

The End

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