Capi is NOT Stranded in Cartagena


FerryXpress has just agreed to take Capi on the March 17th sailing. Thank You.


FerryXpress is in a dispute with Panama over transporting pets.

We had all the paperwork in order, including the approval of the Panamanian Consul General of the document approving the Exportation Certificate for our dog issued by (ICA) that was required for our trip back from Cartagena to Panama on FerryXpress for the sailing on Tuesday, March 10th, 2015. Unfortunately the sailing was cancelled due to bad weather. The next sailing from Cartagena to Colon that takes vehicles will be Tuesday, March 17th, 2015. ICA has told us that they will issue a document to attach to the original Certificate so that the original is still valid. All our papers for the dog will be in order for the March 17th sailing.

Today, a representative of FerryXpress told us that they will no longer transport pets from Cartagena to Colon, due to a dispute with the Panamanian government.

We drove our vehicle from Canada to Argentina with our dog, arriving in Panama on November 28th and departing from Panama to Colombia on FerryXpress on December 4th, 2014 with all the correct documentation for our dog..
We are now in transit back to Canada.

We ask your assistance in resolving the dispute between the Panamanian government and FerryXpress. We understand from FerryXpress that we are not the only people stranded in Colombia because we cannot take our pet on the Ferry. Please write to these email addresses and anyone else you can think of asking for assistance for us and other overlanders with pets planning to travel by Ferry to Panama:
Michele Barria Ruiz, Consul
Embassy of Canada in Panama
Embassy of Canada in Bogota
Consulate of Canada in Cartagena
Panama Consulate Of BC
Republic of Panama Health Ministry

Capi at the southernmost place in Argentina that we could drive to with a dog

Capi at the southernmost place in Argentina that we could drive to with a dog

We are working currently trying to arrange for a flight for Nancy and the dog, Capi to Panama. It will be expensive, and very hard on the dog who has never been crated.
We can be contacted at our email addresses or, or on our cell phone at +1-250-287-6259,
Thank you,
Nancy Marshall and William J. Alder

UPDATE: 10:35 AM March 12. The Canadian Consul in Colombia wrote to say “We really sorry the situation that you are dealing with your pet.We contacted Ferry Express and enquire in reference transport pets and they explained that this is a decision that was taken for the company. It is a decision from the Management of Ferry Express and it is not a Panamanian Government issue.  They took this decision due to all the problems that they are getting thru with customs. Must of  the times pets must stay in quarantine causing dissatisfaction from clients. ”

The regulations for quarantine are that we pay $130 and keep her with us. She is not allowed to mix with native animals and we have to report if she gets sick. No problems there. Bill has talked to MINSA, the Panamanian inspectors, and they say there should be no problem for dogs coming in on FerryXpress.

Dogs are routinely brought into Panama by car, boat and aircraft. we still don’t know why FerryXpress has a problem with customs.

Thanks for your assistance. I keep hearing horror stories about dogs left in a crate on the airport tarmac in the 93 degree F heat and sun. The plane trip is about 5 hours,  the flight is only one hour and baggage handling takes 4 hours. Capi gets hysterical when she is left, and will have to be tranquillized.

We have an option of taking a charter boat trip for 5 days across the Carribean. The weather has been bad and the charter boats have a bad reputation. The charter boats and the airlines have no problem with dogs and customs.


UPDATE: 5:00 PM March 12

We wrote to Dr. Damaris Contreras Saenz at MINSA, the head of the agency that will inspect the dog when she arrives in Panama, saying “We are aware of the requirements to bring our dog into Panama and have all the required documentation completed.

We are aware of the potential quarantine requirements while we are in transit (for two days) through Panama. Is there anything as far as you are concerned that would prevent us bringing our dog into Panama by Ferryxpress?”

Dr Contreras replied:

“ Good morning Mr Alder

If the documents are sealed by the consulate, the rabies vaccine was stamped in the official docs, you will not have any kind of problems. Transit is to be in the boat. You don’t have to come down with your pet anytime, so don’t know why the agency told you that.

Think all is ok”

FerryXpress Customer Service just wrote “We are writing you to make an apology of the troubles that Marshall and Bill are having with the transportation of their dog from Cartagena to Colon, Panama. The administration decided to do not transport in our ferry pets since brought us a lot of trouble with the Colombian Government.
We understand that at the first time we assist time with the dog and we know how important is for them but is something that we can not manage.”

Now it is the Colombian government?


Maybe a prayer would help!

Maybe a prayer would help!

3 thoughts on “Capi is NOT Stranded in Cartagena

  1. I will absolutely contact everyone I can, and tell everyone that will listen to do the same. Sending love and prayers!

  2. There is always a solution for everything in Latin America! But sometimes it takes time and patience 🙂

    You are doing it great in every situation!

    Best of luck, Bill, Nancy and Capi!!

  3. Hello, we are fellow Canadian travelers going south and facing the same problem. I am wondering if you guys reached any resolution to this problem? Happy travels, Barna

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