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SAILING WITH QUEST

60ft | 19.5m

MONO HULL

11

GUESTS

5

NIGHTS

$600.00

PER PERSON

OVERVIEW

Quest is arguably the most popular of all boats sailing from Panama to Colombia at the moment.

Operating in San Blas since 2012 this sailboat quickly became popular with adventure travellers and backpackers attracted by the large size, combined with a relatively small amount of guests on board. While it is still very much a backpacker orientated sailing trip, it is definitely not party cruise and suits couples and small groups looking for a more chilled experience.

Quest has an overall length of 64ft/19.5 metres and a wide beam of 16.7ft/5.1 metres. This makes the boat one of the largest sailboats operating shared Panama Colombia sailings. A large outside cockpit area can comfortably accommodate all passengers while the interior is spacious and modern.

She was built with a strong steel hull and designed specifically for sail and dive charters. Scuba diving in the San Blas Islands is strictly prohibited however guests will still benefit from the large platform and spacious aft area. As an added bonus, Quest can offer guests daily showers thanks to her water maker system.

If you want to book a Panama to Colombia sailing trip aboard Quest then you will need to reserve your places well in advance. Most departures are fully booked several weeks and sometimes months in advance.

BERTHS

$600.00 USD per person*

* Standard trip price. Subject to seasonal changes. Does not include Guna Yala tourist fee of $20 USD

 Private cabin with small double bed
 Private twin cabins
 Standard double bed in open saloon area

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 before booking.

CAPTAIN

Swedish skipper Goeran started his life on the ocean at a very young age. At just 16 years old he started working on a fishing trawler in Sweden. In 1979 he graduated from the Merchant Marine Academy and has spent most his life at sea since, working for commercial shipping companies across the world as captain and chief officer. He spent 11 years on an expedition cruise ship covering Indonesia, The South Pacific, and later Antarctica and the Arctic. He has also captained mega-yachts and even tug boats.

When he wasn’t working he would sail his own private vessels before eventually deciding to both design and build SY Quest, his own custom live-aboard and dive charter sailboat .

He has made six trans-Atlantic crossings, the last being in 2011 after Quest was finally complete. He first sailed to the Arctic for an expedition trip to Svalbard before heading south to the Caribbean. He and Quest are now sailing between Panama, Colombia and the San Blas Islands along with occasional scuba diving charter trips in Cuba.

Goeran Persson

CAPTAIN

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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

ARE THERE ANY HIDDEN COSTS?

There are no hidden costs, however you should budget for the following:

$20USD per person to pay the ‘Guna Yala’ tourist fee when you arrive in the San Blas islands
Transport to or from Portobelo if you are traveling from, or onward to Panama City
Entry fee to Panama/Colombia if required. For most nationalities this is not applicable
Alcoholic drinks, sodas and snacks

HOW CAN I PAY THE FINAL BALANCE?

The final balance must be paid in cash, USD only. Remember that your bank may restrict daily transaction amounts from your card when you are in another country. Please plan accordingly as you might need to make more than one cash withdrawal over a few days before your trip starts.

From Panama

You should be sure to have this ready in advance of leaving Panama City. There are no cash facilities in or anywhere near Puerto Lindo

The official currency of Panama is the $USD, although it is generally referred to as the ‘Balboa’. You will not need to exchange any currency.

From Colombia

US Dollars are easy to get in Cartagena from local ‘Casa de Cambios’ We recommend visiting Calle San Andreas, Getsemani. This is the hostel district and they have experience changing money for boat passengers all the time.

Remember to take additional USD for your arrival in Panama, $20USD Guna Yala Fee and in case you want to buy souvenirs in the islands.

HOW DO I GET TO OR FROM PUERTO LINDO?

Option 1 – Shuttle Service

$25.00 USD
2 Hours 30 Minutes

We can arrange a shared group shuttle for you from any centrally located hotel/hostel in Panama City to Puerto Lindo on the morning/afternoon of your departure.

If you are arriving from Colombia, the captain will check with all passengers and can make arrangements for a shuttle to collect you on arrival in Puerto Lindo.

This service is provided by non-affiliated local operators. We do not take any commission from them and cannot accept responsibility any lost or damaged items or other issues. You are free to book your transfer with your hostel or a local agency. Prices are subject to change.

 

Option 2 – Public Transport

$8.00 USD – $10.00 USD + Taxi to/from hostel
3 To 6 Hours

 

Panama To Colombia

Take the express bus from ALBROOK TERMINAL in Panama City to the city of COLON. You will need to buy a pre-loaded transport card at one of the kiosks in the departure hall. They depart every 30 minutes or when full. On arrival in the bus station in Colon you must ask for the next departure Puerto Lindo. There are normally only 4 or 5 each day so its best to travel early. On Sundays you may find even more limited, or with no connections none at all.

It is also possible to connect in the town of ‘Sabanitas’ a small town before Colon, however this is not recommended when travelling with large luggage. The busses here often arrive already full with many locals struggling to board.

NOTE: If your departure is scheduled for the morning you may need to travel by bus the day before and stay locally. There are no early connections to Puerto Lindo and services on Sundays are restricted all day. Accommodation options are also limited and very basic.

 

Colombia To Panama

On arrival you will need to wait for the next bus heading towards COLON for a connection to PANAMA CITY, there are around 4 – 5 each day. You can connect in the town ‘Sabanitas’ to save some time, however you will almost certainly have to stand for the duration of the journey.

CAN YOU ACCOMMODATE MY DIETARY REQUIREMENT?

Vegetarian, Pescatarian or Vegan meals can be prepared only if we are informed with enough notice before the trip.

Gluten free meals are also possible however options are extremely limited, so you should consider taking some snacks for yourself.

Unfortunately it is simply not possible to prepare separate meals for you if you have a dislike for certain foods. You should also think about taking some snacks in case you do not like what is on offer.

If you have a genuine allergy, such as nuts, lactose products, shellfish or anything else then you should take appropriate measures, we can not guarantee that meals will be free from ingredients or products that may cause a reaction.

DOES THE BOAT HAVE SHOWERS?

Yes!

Quest has a watermaker that can produce fresh water at a good rate, meaning all guests can take a daily shower on board the boat.

WHAT SHOULD I PACK?

Before boarding the boat you should separate all your belongings into two separate bags. One small/medium ‘day bag’ for anything you might need for the five day tour. You will keep this with you on the boat by your berth. Your main larger luggage will likely be stored away in a separate area and inaccessible.

We strongly advise you to protect this larger luggage with large plastic trash bags, just in case of water damage. Use one to line the outside of the bag and others to protect the items inside.

Day bag packing suggestions

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
Wet wipes for face and body wash
 Insect repellant
Dramamine seasickness medication

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.

WILL I GET PHONE OR WIFI SIGNAL?

Don’t count on it at all. If you have a phone with roaming enabled, you might get some signal in certain locations in the San Blas islands when in range of a local operator tower, its not common though. We suggest you just disconnect and enjoy yourself for a few days.

DOES THE BOAT HAVING SNORKEL AND FISHING EQUIPMENT?

Good quality snorkel gear is available for all passengers

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, nobody is forced to take part or organize activities. You can of course enjoy snorkelling, swimming or just relaxing on the beach or boat.

The captain and crew can help organize beach parties, bonfires, volleyball and visits to local villages, however they are not tour guides and cannot ‘babysit’ guests. Their main responsibilities are on board the boat and might not always be able to join in.

DO I NEED AN ONWARD TICKET FOR IMMIGRATION ON ARRIVAL ?

Entering Colombia

At this moment in time it is not required when you arrive with a sailboat to Cartagena. This might change in the future.

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)

Entering Panama

You should have a printed reservation document showing onward travel within 3 months of arrival in Panama. If you don’t already have a ticket booked please let us know.

WILL WE ACTUALLY BE SAILING?

It isn’t realistic to complete the trip without motoring, especially inside the islands.

The boat will only sail at certain times when there is sufficient wind and if it is safe to do so. 

SY QUEST SAILING VIDEOS

QUEST – PUERTO LINDO TO CARTAGENA

DEPARTURE PORT

Puerto Lindo, Panama

ARRIVAL PORT

Cartagena de Indias, Colombia

INCLUDED

Five nights
Immigration agent and port fees
All meals

Tea, coffee, water
Snorkel equipment

NOT INCLUDED

 Guna Yala fee $20 USD
Transport to Puerto Lindo

Entry visa/fee to Colombia if required
Alcoholic drinks & sodas

ITINERARY

Please be aware that the information provided is only an example itinerary.

Your trip and the islands you visit may be different depending on climate and on anchoring conditions. Adverse weather conditions may also result in delays or changes to the departure and arrival locations.

Day 1: Departure

Captain Goeran will need to meet you in Puerto Lindo in the morning, in advance of departure. This is normally at 10:00am. He will give a general trip briefing and collect your passports at this time.

A time for departure will be confirmed for later in the day which will likely be in the afternoon. You will then set sail towards the San Blas Islands, arriving at night or early the following morning

 

Day 2: San Blas Islands

You will likely awake within the San Blas Islands in preparation to anchor at your first island location. Isla Chichime, Cayos Limones and the island of El Porvenir are some of the possible locations on this first day in San Blas.

 

Day 3: San Blas Islands

On the second day of your San Blas tour you will sail towards the Western Hollandes group of islands, a popular anchorage in outer eastern section of the archipelago. You will have time for more snorkelling on the reef and time on the beach.

Goeran will invite you to visit the small village on the island here where you share some customary rum and coconut, ‘coco locos’.

 

Day 4: San Blas Islands

After Breakfast and a morning swim it will be time to pull anchor and take another cruise through the San Blas Islands, eventually arriving to Coco Bandero.

Many boats sailing to Colombia stop here on the final day in the islands, however they are relatively uncrowded and tranquil because they are so far from the mainland.

You will stay anchored here for the rest of the day until you start your set sail to Cartagena in the afternoon.

 

Day 5: Sea Day

This whole day and night will be spent sailing to Cartagena. You will have plenty of time to catch up with a good book.

The 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 6: Arrival

Quest should arrive into Cartagena in the morning or early afternoon. You will anchor in the bay offshore from Club Nautico Marina while the captain will speak with his agent who will complete the immigration process.

You will likely meet up later in the afternoon or evening to meet the captain with your stamped passports.

QUEST – CARTAGENA TO PUERTO LINDO

DEPARTURE PORT

Cartagena de Indias, Colombia

ARRIVAL PORT

Puerto Lindo, Panama

INCLUDED

Five nights
Immigration agent and port fees
All meals

Tea, coffee, water
Snorkel equipment

NOT INCLUDED

 Guna Yala fee $20 USD
Onward transport from Puerto Lindo

Entry visa/fee to Panama if required
Alcoholic drinks & sodas

ITINERARY

Please be aware that the information provided is only an example itinerary.

Your trip and the islands you visit may be different depending on climate and on anchoring conditions. Adverse weather conditions may also result in delays or changes to the departure and arrival locations.

Pre-Departure Meeting

A meeting with your captain will take place the day before departure in Cartagena. A time and location will be confirmed after your booking is complete. The captain will give a briefing and collect your passports at this time.

Day 1: Departure

On the day of departure you will meet at Club Nautico, Manga at 18:00. This is around five minutes in a taxi from the Getsemani area.

You will have dinner aboard before setting sail to Panama.

 

Day 2: Sea Day

This whole day and night will be spent sailing west towards 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: San Blas Islands

You will likely arrive early morning to anchor in your first San Blas location. This first day is normally spent in one of the outer island groups, often Cayos Coco Bandero. You will stay here for the full day night.

 

Day 4: San Blas Islands

You will have breakfast and a morning swim before leaving Coco Bandero. Your next stop after a cruise through the islands will be the Cayos Hollandes or Cayos Limones arriving before lunchtime.

Coco locos on the island, a visit to a village and evening bonfire may be available this day.

 

Day 5: San Blas Islands

Your final day will see you sail east towards Chichime and El Porvenir, your final island locations.

Before sunset Quest will set sail to the Panama mainland. Your final night will be sailing the coast to Puerto Lindo.

 

Day 6: Arrival

Arrival in Puerto Lindo. You will likely be off the boat by midday leaving you free to make your way to Panama City by public bus or pre-arranged group transfer.

SY QUEST REVIEWS

SY Quest Overall rating: ★★★★★ 4.8 based on 6 reviews
5 1

 

Check out the recent reviews for Quest. We only publish genuine reviews from verified passengers who we know travelled on this boat.

Highly recommended

★★★★★
5 5 1
We enjoyed the sailing trip a lot! Highly recommended to choose this boat! First of all the facilities are great! Because the boat belongs to the captain, everything is very clean and well maintained! It‘s difficult to say what it’s better: to have endless fresh water, which makes it possible to shower after every jump into the ocean, or the food. If we have to choose it‘ll be probably the second! Honestly, we never ever expected that the food will be soo yummy! And there was plenty of it. For sure you will never be hungry! Columbian Izabella is an excellent cook and so lovely! Also the Captain Goeren is great- funny, helpful and competent. We had a lot of fun!

Without quest-ion, an amazing time

★★★★★
5 5 1
So glad we had the privilege of sailing with Goeran, Amanda, and Zuisa on the Quest. Could not fault the experience at all. Never felt crowded even with 11 people on board, we stopped at breathtakingly beautiful paradise islands along the way, ate delicious food, made some great friends and snorkeled for hours! It was hard to leave after 5 days on board. If you're searching for a boat to make the crossing- stop searching, you've found the best one. P.s. don't forget sea sickness medication.

Best choice!

★★★★★
5 5 1
We sailed from Cartagena to Portobelo in February of 2018 and had a wonderful time. The trip: After one day of sailing you'll reach the San Blas Islands, with beautiful palm tree scenaries, picture perfect beaches and amazing snorkel spots. We really enjoyed the riffs and the beautiful creatures which live around there, some of our travel mates even spotted a sting ray. In between we had twice company of a couple of dolphins, which makes you quickly forget about the rocky journey to the islands. It is truly an unforgetable trip passing by paradise on earth! The boat: Goeran, the captain of the Quest, owns the boat so he is really looking after things, which makes the boat and its facilities highly enjoyable (e.g. the included snorkel gear is in a very good condition). He is very experienced and make you feel save on the entire trip, the stories about his past are very entertaining and he loves to make jokes - prepare to laugh a lot. The chef, Amanda, is not only a really lovely and nice person, she also prepares a very delicious and healthy food. She has been working on others sailing boats of the Colombia-Panama-Offer and told us, that the Quest is the best choice by far. There are only 10 passengers on the Quest while other boats take twice the amount of people, even though they are the same size and you'll be able to take fresh water showers on the Quest as much and long as you like, because it has his own fresh water generator which is also a rare luxury on the available sailing boats. You won't regret booking this boat, as long as you don't expect a full on party boat - we highly recommend it!

Top trip - Book early

★★★★☆
4 5 1
Quest is clearly a really well looked after and professional sailing operation. We had been recommended this boat and sailcolombiapanama.com by some people we met in Nicaragua who had previously travelled. Unfortunately we didn't realise just how popular the boat is. Even 3 weeks in advance the only space available was in the lounge area. Its not ideal but we still had a grwat trip and would highly recomend it to anyone. Just try to book early and get a normal cabin

Quest Panama to Colombia

★★★★★
5 5 1
Our trip with quest was the highlight of our backpacking trip through South America. Before we decided on the boat we received lots of information and all my emails were answered very almost immediately. Its clear that Goeran is very experienced. We always felt safe and didn't experience any of the horrors we read about online about some boats.

Incredible boat

★★★★★
5 5 1
Sailed in 2016 with Captain Goeran on his amazing boat Quest and had an amazing time. The boat is really cool with lots of spaces and very modern. Its something we didn't really understand and appreciate until we were in the islands and saw other boats doing the same trip which were were packed with people and much smaller. TIP - If you can't get on Quest with Goeran definitely check out another boat sailing from Portobelo, its much cheaper and you get more time. Sail Colombia Panama were the only ones that explained all this when we were doing our research. The boat we were recommended but didn't take would have been much more expensive because it wasn't in Portobelo. We also met people in Cartagena that came with other boats and also didn't know.

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