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Sophia

Sophia VI

SAILBOAT TO PANAMA, COLOMBIA & SAN BLAS

Vagabundn Ketch

47FT | 14.3 METRES

GUESTS

11

CREW LANGUAGES

ENGLISH | ESPAÑOL

PRICE PER PERSON

$550.00 | $600.00

PANAMA DEPARTURE/ARRIVAL

ISLA CHICHIME

COLOMBIA DEPARTURE/ARRIVAL

CARTAGENA

Overview

Sophia is a 1985 47ft Vagabond Ketch, with capacity for up to eleven guests.

The trip follows a fairly standard itinerary, and as with most boats of this size its ideal for guests looking to have fun and meet new people without a ‘full-on’ party trip.

The boat previously operated sailing trips between Cartagena, Panama and San Blas under the name Koala 3, however the boat transferred to a new owner and captain in April 2017.

Features

  • Competitive all-inclusive price
  • Snorkel equipment

  • Kayak
  • Experienced captain

  • Charging available for devices
  • Fan ventilation

Captain

Colombian Andre is a graduate of the Colombian naval cadet academy in Cartagena de Indias. He holds a professional captains license, speaks fluent English and is a popular and easy going character.

In 2009 he spent time sailing in the Pacific ocean before returning to the Caribbean.

He was employed for several years as a professional contract captain on various sailboats and catamarans, making over 100 crossing during that time sailing between Panama to Cartagena.

Andre purchased Sophia VI in early 2017.

Andre LeroyCaptain

Design

The 47ft Vagabond ketch is a popular offshore cruising sailboat. It was built in 1985 with an attractive classic exterior design, and a fully wood finished interior.

A refit in 2014 included new rigging and in early 2017 a new engine was installed.

Accommodation

There are a total of eleven passenger berths available.

– Two doubles in shared cabins $550.00 USD Per Person

– Five singles in shared cabins $550.00 USD Per Person

– Private double cabin $600.00 USD Per Person

If you want to be sure of getting a certain berth please let us know in advance so we can be sure there is availability for you.

Sophia VI Panama To Colombia

San Blas To Cartagena

Please note that the information provided below is to be used as a general example itinerary only.

Your trip, and the islands you visit may be different depending on climate and on anchoring conditions.

Day 1

You will need to leave Panama City at around 05:30am with an independent local ground transport provider. The journey to the coastal area of Guna Yala takes around 2 hours, 30 minutes.

Upon arrival at the coast, a locally operated boat service will be available to transfer you to Isla Chichime, where Sophia VI will be anchored to start the trip.

The island of El Porvenir will also be visited on this first day.

Day 2

On the second day of your San Blas voyage Andre will take you Cayos Limones, an area west of El Porvenir popular with many visitors to Guna Yala.

Day 3

Cayos Coco Bandero awaits for your final day in San Blas. The majority of Panama to Colombia sailboats anchor in this area on their final day before sailing to Cartagena. These islands are some of the furthest from the mainland so relatively few visitors.

You will set sail in the afternoon spending the night on the open ocean offshore.

Day 4

A whole day at sea. You will awake far offshore with nothing but ocean on the horizon.

You will have plenty of time to catch up with a good book. Your captain will put out some fishing lines, if your lucky you might catch a Yellowfin tuna, Sailfish or Wahoo. Keep your camera nearby as dolphins might join you alongside the boat.

Day 5

You will be due to arrive into Cartagena early in the morning. Immigration normally takes around one hour to complete by the Captains agent while all passengers stay on-board.

Everyone will disembark near Club Nautico Marina, around 5 minutes by taxi to Getsemani, a popular area with plenty of guest houses, hotels and hostels.

What is Included?

  Four nights aboard the boat

  Three main meals per day.

   Tea, coffee, water

  All standard immigration agent and port authority fees

What isn’t Included?

  Transport costs to Isla Chichime

  Guna Yala entry taxes $20pp, cash USD only

  Entry fee or visa to Colombia if required

  Alcoholic drinks, sodas and snacks

Frequently Asked Questions

If you are still unsure about something fell free to contact us

ARE THERE ANY HIDDEN COSTS?

No. You will need to budget for your own transport to start the trip at Isla Chichime, and the ‘Guna Yala Congresso’ fee.

We advise you to you to take some extra cash in USD in case you want to buy souvenirs, additional snacks, beers and coconuts

HOW CAN I PAY THE FINAL BALANCE?

The final balance must be paid in cash, USD only.

You should be sure to have this ready in advance of leaving Panama City.

Please remember your bank may restrict the amount you can withdraw when abroad in any 24 hour period. Please prepare accordingly.

HOW DO I GET TO ISLA CHICHIME?

Shared Transfer

We can book this for you at your request. Transport is available from any downtown hotel or hostel location. Pick-up times are normally between 05:00 and 06:00. From the city you will be taken to the mainland coastal area of the Guna Yala (San Blas) region.

From here a boat transfer will take you to the boat anchored at Isla Chchime.

In all you should budget for the following;

– $25 ground transport

– $20 boat transfer

– $2 dock fee in Carti

Prices may vary. This service is provided by a non-affiliated local operator. We do not receive any commission from them and cannot take responsibility any lost or damaged items or other issues. You are free to book your transfer with your hotel or a local agency. 

WHAT SHOULD I PACK?

Before boarding you should separate all your belongings into two separate bags. One small/medium for anything you might need for the five day tour. You will keep this with you on the boat by your berth

– High factor UVA skin protection
– Book
– Ipod/Phone
– Swim wear
– Light clothing, T-Shirts & shorts, sandals
– Camera
– Snacks, juices/soda, alcohol
– Towel
– Light jacket/sweater
– Flashlight

You main larger luggage will be stowed and difficult to reach, make sure no essential items are packed. We strongly advise you to protect this larger luggage with large plastic trash bags. Use one to line the outside and more for the belonging inside, just in case.

CAN I CHARGE MY PHONE/CAMERA?

Yes, at certain times. The captain will let you know when it is possible. We recommend switching it off to conserve battery when you are not taking photos.

DOES THE BOAT HAVING SNORKEL AND FISHING EQUIPMENT?

Snorkel gear is available to use

Your captain will likely fish with lines while sailing in certain locations. Using rods from the boat while anchored in the islands will probably not be possible.

The local indigenous population heavily rely on selling fish themselves. To ensure sustainable and responsible tourism the captain will abide by the locals wishes not to fish in certain locations.

WHAT WILL WE DO EACH DAY ?

When you are in the San Blas islands the captain will likely leave you to make your own decisions what to do.

The captain and crew can help you organize beach parties, bonfires and visits to local villages, however they are not tour guides and cannot babysit guests. Their main responsibilities are on board the boat.

You can of course enjoy snorkelling, swimming or just relaxing on the beach or boat.

DO I NEED AN ONWARD TICKET WHEN WE ARRIVE IN COLOMBIA ?

No. At this moment in time it is not required when you arrive with a sailboat.

You should however check if the passport you are travelling on has any special conditions upon entering Colombia (ie Canadian reciprocal fee, please check your status)

WILL WE ACTUALLY BE SAILING?

It won’t be possible to sail at all times. Navigating through the islands can be dangerous with many reefs.

Away from the islands the captain will sail whenever practical. Sometimes there may not be enough wind or too strong.

Preparation Checklist

  • Pre-book transport from your hostel/hotel to Isla Chchime
  • Withdraw all the cash you need to pay the final trip balance, Guna Yala fee and anything additional BEFORE you leave Panama City. There are no banks or ATM’s after you have left the city
  • Anything additional you may want to bring along for the trip such as alcohol, sodas, snacks etc should also be bought in advance. In some locations within the islands you can make purchases however choices are limited.
  • Before leaving the city please also be sure to make a photocopy of your passport photo page and the page containing the entry stamp issued to you on arrival in Panama. This may be needed for immigration
  • Separate your luggage into two bags. One small ‘day pack’ for what you will need for the time on the boat and your main bag/backpack which will be stowed away. It is also advisable to protect luggage with large plastic trash bags.
  • Dramamine is recommended for seasickness. Be sure to buy before leaving Panama City. You may want to consider taking early on your final day in the islands them to start working in advance before you set sail towards Cartagena. You captain will advise.

Sophia VI Colombia To Panama

Cartagena To San Blas

Please note that the information provided below is to be used as a general example itinerary only.

Your trip, and the islands you visit may be different depending on climate and on anchoring conditions.

Pre-Departure Meeting

A meeting with your captain often takes place the day before departure at a local hostel or restaurant in the Getsemani area of Cartagena. The captain will give a briefing and confirm final arrangements for departure day.

Day 1

Sophia will be anchored near Club Nautico Marina, in Manga. This is around five minutes in a taxi from the Getsemani area.

You will meet at the marina or nearby supermarket at specified time given by the captain at the pre-departure meeting.

This first evening will be spent sailing offshore.

Day 2

All day and night sailing to the San Blas Islands and Panama. You won’t have much to do except catch up on some reading. Keep you eyes out for Dolphins who might give you an escort along the way.

Day 3

You will arrive at some point early in the morning to the first location of your San Blas tour.

You will be in a remote area of the outer islands of San Blas, far from the mainland. Cayos Coco Bandero is a popular area.

Day 4

The boat will make its way in a westerly direction. Along with the popular Western Holandes you may also visit Cayos Limones.

Day 5

Your final full day in the islands. You will visit El Porvenir before making way to your final stop at Isla Chichime for the night.

Day 6

After breakfast aboard Sophia, a pre-arranged local boat operator will collect your group from Chichime and to tranferyou to the mainland at Carti.

Shared group transfers will be available here to take you to your hostel/hostel in Panama City. You should arrive by mid-afternoon

What is Included?

  Five nights aboard the boat

  Three main meals per day. Free lobster meal included

  Drinking water, tea and coffee

  All standard immigration agent and port authority fees

What isn’t Included?

 Transport costs from Chichime after your trip.

  Guna Yala entry taxes $20pp, cash USD only

  Visa costs to Panama if required

  Alcoholic drinks, sodas and snacks

Frequently Asked Questions

If you are still unsure about something feel free to contact us.

ARE THERE ANY HIDDEN COSTS?

No. As per the information provided above you will need to budget for your own transport after the trip has ended to get from Chchime to Panama City, and the ‘Guna Yala Congresso’ fee.

We advise you to you to take some extra cash in USD in case you want to buy souvenirs, additional snacks, beers and coconuts

HOW CAN I PAY THE FINAL BALANCE?

The final balance should be paid in cash, $USD or Colombian Pesos to the captain when you board in Cartagena.

If you would like to pay in Colombian Pesos please let us know in advance so we can confirm the rate with the captain for you.

HOW DO I GET TO PANAMA CITY FROM CHICHIME?

This will be arranged by the crew. On your final morning on the boat a locally operated water taxi will arrive to take all passengers from Isla Chichime to the mainland (Carti)

From here shared transfer vehicles will be available to take you to  any downtown hostel or hostel.

In all you should budget form the following;

– $20 boat transfer

– $25 ground transport

– $2 dock fee in Carti

WHAT SHOULD I PACK?

Before arriving at Club Nautico Marina should separate all your belongings into two separate bags. One small/medium for anything you might need for the five day tour. You will keep this with you on the boat by your berth

– High UVA skin protection
– Book
– Ipod/Phone
– Swim wear
– Light clothing, T-Shirts & shorts, sandals
– Camera
– Snacks, juices/soda, alcohol
– Towel
– Light jacket/sweater
– Flashlight

You main larger luggage will be stowed and difficult to reach, make sure no essential items are packed. We strongly advise you to protect this larger luggage with large plastic trash bags. Use one to line the outside and more for the belonging inside, just in case.

CAN I CHARGE MY PHONE/CAMERA?

Yes, at certain times. The captain will let you know when it is possible. We recommend switching it off to conserve battery when you are not taking photos.

DOES THE BOAT HAVE SNORKEL AND FISHING EQUIPMENT?

Snorkel gear is available to use

Your captain will likely fish with lines while sailing in certain locations. Using rods from the boat while anchored in the islands will probably not be possible. The local indigenous population heavily rely on selling fish themselves. To ensure sustainable and responsible tourism the captain will abide by the locals wishes not to fish in certain locations.

WHAT DO WE DO EACH DAY?

When you are in the San Blas islands the captain will likely leave you to make your own decisions what to do.

The captain and crew can help you organize beach parties, bonfires and visits to local villages, however they are not tour guides and cannot babysit guests. Their main responsibilities are on board the boat.

You can of course enjoy snorkelling, swimming or just relaxing on the beach or boat.

DO I NEED AN ONWARD TICKET FOR IMMIGRATION WHEN WE ARRIVE IN PANAMA?

No. At this moment in time passengers travelling aboard Sophia VI will not be required to show proof of onward travel as the boat is registered as a Panamanian commercial vessel.

The immigration services in Panama often change their regulations so we cannot guarantee this won’t change. You will be advised before departure if it does.

WILL WE ACTUALLY BE SAILING?

It won’t be possible to sail at all times. Navigating through the islands can be dangerous with many reefs.

Away from the islands the captain will sail whenever practical. Sometimes there may not be enough wind or too strong.

Preparation Checklist

  • Arrive in plenty of time for you pre-departure meeting. The time and location will be on your final booking confirmation.
  • Withdraw all the cash you need to pay the final cash balanc. You should also be sure to change additional US Dollars to pay the ‘Guna Yala Congresso’ fee of $20 per person and onward transport from Isla Chichime to Panama City  (read FAQ’s)
  • Anything additional you may want to bring along for the trip such as alcohol, sodas, snacks etc should also be bought in advance. In some locations within the islands you can make purchases however choices are limited.
  • Before departure please also be sure to make a photocopy of your passport photo page. This may be needed for immigration on arrival
  • Prepare all luggage before boarding (read FAQ’s)
  • Dramamine is recommended for seasickness. You should take your first dose early on the day of departure for it to start working in advance.

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