New ferry colon/panama - cartagena/colombia

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#1 Tue, 04/10/2012 - 20:16

New ferry colon/panama - cartagena/colombia


We have just received the FULL CONDITIONS AND COSTS from' Panamerican Ferrys'
Since the document is only in Spanish, these are the basic on documents needed in Panama.(nothing about Colombia procedure)
The doc talk about 'fumigation' and some 'custom charges' but they are still in negotiation between countries on how they are going to perform that task and how much.
Prices given in Balboas / it should be 1B /US$1

Bicycles B/20 B/40 R/T
Motorbikes B/85 B/170 R/T
Small Cars B/175 B/350 R/T (how small ?)
Long-Low Veh. B/185 B/370 R/T (???)
Long-High Veh. B/225 B/450 R/T (???)
Vans B/260 B/520 R/T
Buses B/450 B/900 R/T

Docs req'd. for Tourists:
(Nationals have a long list of requirements)

1. Passport
2. Entry tourist Visa (Panama)
3. Bill of Lading (sound weird) they talk about Bill of Landing . It could be the plane ticket when you entered Panama, those coming by airplane.
4. Title or registration
5. Driver License
6. Passport stamps at Panama entry (yours and vehicle)
7. International Insurance (will be sold on board too)
Registraition certificate (also sold at the port) (????)

They don't talk about # of copies but.....

Check in start at 9am and you will need US$200 approx, . Also you must get a circulation permit at the port and before entering for about 250 balboas (not so clear about this)
The also mention an insurance for being with the vehicle inside the port that should be purchased before entering.

Apparently for Panama nationals the return trip documentation could be done at the same time but nothing else is mentioned and nothing from Colombia too.

The document is really confusing and not clear on a few items but at least those are the requirements. Expect big time waiting time under the sun and begging for a beer.

See this link to read conditions and cost from PANAMERICAN FERRYS (in Spanish)


Tue, 04/10/2012 - 20:35

The end of the sail

The end of the sail crossings?

New Ferry Service Between Colon and Cartagena to Begin on 10 May 2012

Tuesday, April 10 2012 @ 01:34 PM COT
Contributed by: Don Winner
Views: 233

Nissos Rodos - New Ferry Service Between Colon in Panama and Cartagena in Colombia

The Caribbean cities of Colon in Panama and Cartagena de Indias in Colombia will be connected as of 10 May 2012 by a new ferry service, which will cover the shipping route in about seven hours, said the general manager of the company Aventuras 2000, Augusto Terracina. "The intention is to be able to connect these two countries which have always had a good relationship in both the tourist and commercial sectors," said Terracina, as part of a press conference to announce the launch. Terracina said the ferry "Nissos Rodos" of the cruise line Panamerican Seaways has a capacity to carry approximately 1,500 people, but they will start running at about half capacity, and they will also be carrying shipping containers and automobiles. He said the intention of Adventura 2000, which manages the Colon 2000 port in the Caribbean city of the same name, is to open Panama to the tourism and commercial landscape of the second country with the highest number of annual tourists. "We will be able to bring many more Colombian tourists from other regions, hoping this will become a mass product which attract groups for conventions, trips and other activities in Panama," he said. He said the investment is more than $15 million dollars, including making necessary improvements to the Colon 2000 port, improvements to the ferry ship itself, as well as the promotional aspect to be held in Panama and in Colombia. (more - prices and schedules)
The inaugural departure is on 10 May 2012 from the city of Colon, and the next day there will be a similar ceremony at the port of Cartagena. Trips are scheduled to depart from either of the two ports at 6:00 pm local (23.00 GMT) and will arrive at 7:00 am local time (12.00 GMT) the following day. The ferry will make six trips each week, with three departing from Colon and three from Cartagena. The ferry will depart on Monday, Thursday and Saturday from the Panamanian port, and on Sundays, Tuesdays and Fridays from the Colombian city.
The trip on the Greek ship "Nissos Rodos" will have a cost ranging from $99 dollars for a "delux seat" to $508 dollars for a "presidential suite." The ship will also have the capacity for 500 cars and 2,000 square feet for cargo.
Terracina said the ferry will be manned by a Greek crew, who will be responsible to manage the boat, as well as Colombians and Panamanians who will be responsible for the restaurant, shopping and entertainment.
The first ferry crossings between the ports of Colon and Cartagena to promote trade and tourism in both countries were recorded between 1994 and 1997, but did not have the desired success due to several factors. In that sense, Terracina said tourism in Panama at that time was still emerging, and in Colombian there was the latent political problem between the government of that country and the guerrillas. But now the conditions of both countries are different, especially in Panama, where the tourist and commercial activity is in one of his best. (Panama America)
Editor's Comment: Excellent news! A lot of people fly between Panama and Colombia every day, and this will open up a new and much more economical option for those travelers. Hopefully the governments of both Panama and Colombia will make it easy for people to bring their cars with them if they want to - so you can go to Colombian and drive around for a week or whatever, without having to rent a car. I really hope these guys are successful. Another upgrade, great.

Wed, 04/11/2012 - 04:41

Will it be able to handle larger vehicles (MOTORHOMES) ?


Wed, 04/11/2012 - 15:10

All we know is, the news came

All we know is, the news came from everywhere , papers and magazines but I couldn't find the company that will be selling shipments or tickets.

All I know is , Pan American Seaways a North American co. are the owners and using a Greek vessels. Other than that I don't know how the first trip start May 10th.

If I find something more concrete, I'll post it here.

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 18:36

more info

were looking to cross in june, just sent these guys an email for car costs


More info: Please Contact Panamerican Ferry.

As of April 17, our Call Center can answer your questions regarding rates and hotel packages in Cartagena the number 380-0900 during business hours Monday through Saturday from 8:00 am - 5:00 pm.
Any other information you need, write to: [email protected]



Fri, 05/04/2012 - 07:55


Any new news on the ferry?


the website is still dead



Fri, 05/04/2012 - 13:05

Ferry info

I visited yesterday and spke with them....

For just a seat, its $99, plus $95 tax, round trip (only selling round trip)....

For large truck, my Xterra, its $225 each way (again, only round trip).....

I could have actually bought a ticket for the maiden voyage May 31st on the spot, but one thing concerns me that they couldn't answer.  If its a "round trip", I kinda wonder if once you are there, Colombia may require you to return because of the "round trip" on the car ticket?  That would defintiely not be a good situation!!

He is supposed to meet with his boss soon to get more info on how a one way would work and if the cost would be different.  Perhaps the "round trip" issue really wouldn't even matter? 

Getting close though, total cost of about $650 really wouldn't be that bad as far as I'm concerned....

When I get more info I'll post more...


Fri, 05/04/2012 - 14:29 (Reply to #7)


good info from the front line, thanks for keeping us informed. $650 would be a hell of a lot cheaper/less of a headache than dealing with shipping via container

Sat, 05/05/2012 - 07:00

That is amazing news!!! We

That is amazing news!!! We paid 850 bucks in a shared 40 foot container and another 300 each for flights to Cartagena for each of us (high season prices and the sailboats were not going due to inclement weather).

I would not worry about the round trip issue in Colombia. People flying in have issues not having a departure flight, but I have never heard of an overlander having any issues. You can very easily leave Colombia into Ecuador, in fact it has been our easiest border crossing to date! 

Good luck and keep posting


Sat, 05/05/2012 - 12:48 (Reply to #9)

Let's hope it comes through!

Good to know about the thoughts about the round trip!  I was just wondering if the ferry company has a set date of return if the Colombian government would hold you to it, but I think you are probably right.  I think it depends on how long the ferry company gives you for the return date on the ticket.  Or what I see happening is if they give you a month, say, Colombia only giving a month because they seee you as leaving...and I want to stay the max 6 months....I'm going to plan to talk to the office again Monday and check it out, as absolutely, it would be so so much easier!!!!


And continued success with your trip as well!!



Wed, 05/09/2012 - 14:07


Paid and reserved my spot May 31 for the first voyage is the beakdown for a 2001 Xterra 9smaller vehicles are cheaper)

Person roundtrip

100 + 100(tax)                                   200


225 + 225(each way                            450

.03 charge for visa                              19.50

deposit for food (refundable) must be paid at departure

there will also be an insurance charge while on the boat.  I took a plunge trusting it should not be that hefty, and at this rate, its already saving a bundle.  I should know the insurance cost soon.

At this time, no one way tickets are sold....maybe if they develop a one way downt he road, the rates could become cheaper.....

I used VISA and paid the ridiculous extra fee solely because I wanted visa on my side if these guys don't come through as promised.  But maybe paying cash you could save 20 bucks...

This is a coach seat only, you pay major upgrade if you want a room.

Wish me luck!


Fri, 05/11/2012 - 16:34 (Reply to #11)

very interested to hear if this happens

We're getting conflicting reports - another person said the ship is still in dry dock in Greece!  We need to hear from you what is the truth on the ground...

Mon, 05/14/2012 - 21:44 (Reply to #12)

The photo that is being

The photo that is being circulating it's a satellite photo, like google map. Of course it is old and outdated.

Panamerican Ferry is the only one to decide when and which vessel to be used on the maiden voyage. Other than that, everything are speculations.


Wed, 05/09/2012 - 14:37

Thanks for the info mmcelv,

Thanks for the info mmcelv, if you get any pics we would love to post them on the site!  Sounds so much nicer than spending a few weeks arranging shipping like we did.

Wed, 05/09/2012 - 18:29 (Reply to #14)


Most definitely, it would be great to get some pics driving on if I can!!

Wed, 05/09/2012 - 18:13


Thanks for taking the plunge!!


Now we play the waiting game... 31st get here sooner!

Wed, 05/09/2012 - 18:30 (Reply to #16)

You bet!

Tell me about it!  I wish it was leaving tomorrow!  But I suppose there are some good things to do here in Panama City while waiting....I just hope they truly come through on that date!!


Wed, 05/09/2012 - 18:27


THANKS FOR POSTING! We'll be a week or two behind you. Sending all our good travel karma your way. Good luck!

Wed, 05/09/2012 - 18:31

Keep in touch!

No problem!  I will be slowing down considerably in Colombia, so when you get there, send me a message and let me know, we'll meet up!

And good luck with your trip as well!




Thu, 05/10/2012 - 19:37


I have traveled Venezuela many years, up until my last trip in 2010....believe me!  Don't go there with a vehicle!  The fuel is dirt cheap,,,under 10 cents a gallon for diesel !  but the CORRUPTION has surpassed Mexico and Honduras..!!  

The Corruption is from the TOP to the BOTTOM..... where in many countries it is the small fry cop taking an occasional bribe!!  The police stop you anywhere and demand $$$

WE were held a bay, by top customs officials in Puerto Cabello, when we shipped our RVs on the Trek of the Americas Expedition from there to Miami.... cost over $1400 each in bribes.... and this is ashamed, because we had shipped many times before and NO problems...apparently Uncle Chavez didn't give the federal employees a RED t-shirt.... they were getting their increases on their own.!

Venezuela is a GREAT country and the people are also,,,but the change has taken the icing off the cake...I will always remember the Gran Sabana, Angle Falls , Margarita Island, Puerto La Cruz..and much more...Hopefully it will change soon....  Air travelers can still enjoy the country...use public transportation and you should be fine!

Fri, 05/11/2012 - 08:22

I used to live in Venezuela

I used to live in Venezuela for over 14 years. That was about 25 years ago but returning frequently after that because part of my family still live down there.

Venezuela hasn't change too much, when it comes to the soul of the people. It is the same society with some changes here and there, as I suspect becuase of the government, unemployment rate or other matters.

Caracas always was and it is a beauty on its own , regardless of the traffic and high density urban development. Crime have increased over the years, but many cities also offer this kind  of negative part.

Venezuela has a lot to offer, talking overland, motor biking, etc.. We bring a lot of overlanders thorugh Venezuela and being shipped from Colombia to the U.S. or other parts of the continent. One of the reason is , yes, it is burocratic and expensive when it comes to shipping matters.

Mentioning $1400 on bribes for shipping, I have my doubts on that. Most probably the port and local  expenses was $1400 but not entirely bribing, IMHO. Anywhere in Latin America the local cost  on the shipping would be around that or more than that. I have plenty of experience on this.

Yes, I am not recommending to ship to or from Venezuela. It is slow and painfull. Rather do it from Cartagena, Barranquilla or Sta. Marta.

Other than that, I would go to Venezuela in no time, without worries beside having common sense as always. Gas is extremely cheap (cents of a dollar per litre) and these make travelling even more attractive.

As for the country side people, it is tremndously noble, charming and  kind of happy people after all. They always help you to going through.

I am not pro Chavez politics and vision by anymeans. Dictatorial regimes even if Venezuela is democratic in esssence is  always a step back for them. Soon, hopefully  will change. Venezuela cannot offer today top notch services, but ok for a low budget mind. However Vzla. offer wonderful geography and many places to discover.


Thu, 05/17/2012 - 19:38 (Reply to #21)

Good to hear

Thanks for all the thoughts and advice for Venezuela!  It is important to get many different views for sure!

I have heard that the country is excellent and beautiful to drive through.  I admittedly would be a bit more concerned with driving in Caracas, but do agree that many larger cities in the Americas have parts that one must be careful in, inlcuding the US. 

I will be shipping into Cartagena, so I would not have to worry about that aspect.  I was thinking of either going into Venezuela for just a bit, and then returning to Colombia, or going to Brazil and then coming up to Venezuela.  Time will tell as I see how long I can afford the trip even!!!

But most deifnitely, I know the Venezuelan people are very good folks and hopefully I will be able to get to see some of the country!!  I really appreciate the info as I try to gather more so I can continue to plan the next part of the trip!



Sat, 05/12/2012 - 10:31


Hmmm well I paid for my ticket so I'm hoping it's okay ! Really the only thing to do is wait and see and keep my fingers crossed !! I did see many others in he office buying tickets too though. So they will have quite a few unhappy people I they don't come through. Someone else told me also that they were doing a trial run on the 10th so honestly I'm not sure who's stories are accurate!!

Sun, 05/13/2012 - 13:36

Update response

Sounds mostly what I was told as well for the most part. 

I was shown the same pricing, however, I was advised that 1 way tickets were not being sold.  Even though the pricing on vehicles is "each way", you must buy a round trip ticket. 

A port fee of 250$ was not mentioned, so I will be extremely upset if this is the case.  I will be speaking with my contact tomorrow again and will confirm this. 

I was told about the bill of lading as well.  They let me book and are checking on what exactly they need, worst case just a typed list of whats in the vehicle, no biggie..


Thu, 05/17/2012 - 18:14

Great News

This made my day. Since we will be making the crossing toward the end of the year this could be a HUGE money saver on our BIG pickup.  I hope they figure out a 1-way by then, but I really hope it's legit and will be around when we cross since having to eat the return is still way cheaper and easier than shipping.

Good luck mmcclv and let us know how it goes

Thu, 05/17/2012 - 19:23

Fingers crossed!

No problem guys!  I still have my fingers crossed that all goes smoothly, I'm admittedly a bit worried still, but its paid for, so I would hope they have everything in order by this time, or at least by the 31st, but I'll continue to update how things go!!!


Continued success wth your journey!!!




Tue, 05/22/2012 - 20:02

The ferry has been delayed

The ferry has been delayed again, as of 5/22/2012.  I've added some details to the post here:

Thu, 05/24/2012 - 09:59

Aventura 2000: Latest Offical Date

We called Aventura 2000 on (507) 380 0900 today MAY 24th 2012

"NO FERRY OPPERATIONS for vehicles or people till JULY 2012"

I would like to ad "AT LEAST" to that quote as delay seems to be waiting on government approvals. Governments are not well know for there sense of urgency getting ANYTHING done.

We are currently in Panama City collecting quotes and looking for another vehicle to share a container.

If interested Contact: [email protected]

Sat, 06/09/2012 - 17:27

Approach with caution

As an update to the ferry, I am currently trying to get my refund from them.

I paid for the ferry, and then it was of course delayed.  I was advised that although I paid with VISA, they would ONLY refund with a check.  I advised them I was a foreigner traveling of course,a nd this would be difficult, and it really worried me because once I take the check its out of VISA's control. 

I have tried several times since to still get them to reverse the charge, and they refuse, so I have put it into dispute with VISA.  I can't express the irritation I have had with these guys, and am just hoping I am able to resolve and recover my money even.

So if you decide to use the service when and if it starts, just be cautious with them...


Wed, 09/26/2012 - 07:55

any updates?


   Wondering if there is any new info about this ferry?

   Did you manage to get your money back?


Wed, 09/26/2012 - 11:19


I actually FINALLY got a credit back last week on my visa.  I don't think it was a refun more than it was VISA pushing the credit through....What an ordeal though!!  And I hear they STILL never set sail!!!


Good luck!!!

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 12:16

Thank you for the

Thank you for the update. 

And God bless VISA!!

how did you end up crossing Darian then?

Safe travel.

Fri, 09/28/2012 - 12:46

No problem!

Well, visa pulled through, but they actually gave me a hard time which upset me a bit.  They said that if the company was to offer another date (No matter how far in the future!!!) than they could not have refunded because the company ofered a replacement....I told them, if that would be so, how could you expect me to sit and wait for months for the "alternative" offer....just glad it worked out..they said it is "buyer beware"...I said its the reason I use a credit card, to be protected...but alas, its over now....

I shared a container with drive nacho drive and made it across, what a nightmare that was, but seems its the norm....


Happy travels!!!!

Thu, 09/05/2013 - 23:00

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Mon, 09/16/2013 - 03:20

This is a good news for us

This is a good news for us because we can now choose different ferries to ride.

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Mon, 09/16/2013 - 09:05

The thread is so old as well

The thread is so old as well as the failed Ferry.  It won't happen at least anytime soon.

Go RORO in the mean time , between Cartagena-Panama or viceversa.



Tue, 09/17/2013 - 04:22

This one will be on soon

This one will be on soon normaly but prices are just a joke... too bad...