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Expedition cruise: The Panama Canal & the forests of the Pacific Coast
Aboard the 175ft Sea Voyager in association with National Geographic, travelling through the Panama Canal and along the nature-rich Pacific coasts of Panama and Costa Rica.
Arrival / Panama City
Day 1 You are met on arrival in Panama City and taken to a lovely hotel overlooking the Panama Canal where you stay overnight. You have the rest of the evening free to relax after the long flight.
Day 2 B After a leisurely start you are driven to Colón on the Caribbean side (1 hour). Here you board Sea Voyager and set sail for the first part of your Panama Canal transit, anchoring in Gatun Lake for the night.
Gatun Lake / Panama Canal transit
Day 3 BLD After breakfast board a Zodiac for a ride to Barro Colorado Nature Monument in Lake Gatun. The island is inaccessible to most travellers and, by special arrangement, guides from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute accompany you through the tropical forest that so challenged the builders of the Canal. Re-embark Sea Voyager to continue your crossing. A daylight transit cannot be guaranteed since cargo ships have priority over passenger ships. The Canal, however, is dramatically lit at night.
Gulf of Panama Islets
Day 4 BLD Explore a cluster of islands in the Gulf of Panama by Zodiac or kayak, a wonderful introduction to the region’s sea birds. Roosting and nesting here are Magnificent Frigate Birds, Brown Pelican and Blue-footed Boobies.
Isla Coiba National Park
Day 5 BLD Isla Coiba is one of Panama’s most remote national parks, located off the Pacific coast and home to pristine forests and waters rich in marine life. Here you can choose to hike the tropical forest trails for the chance of seeing scarlet macaw, or snorkel offshore amid tropical fish (assistance will be given for both novice and expert snorkellers alike).
Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica
Day 6 BLD Today you make your first landing in Costa Rica on the shores of the Golfo Dulce. Visit Casa Orquideas, a privately owned garden only accessible by boat, to wander through the attractive tropical gardens with their many species of orchid. Birds including tanagers, parrots and colourful toucans also make the garden their home. Later, explore the forested bay of the Golfo Dulce with the chance to swim or kayak.
Day 7 BLD Today the Sea Voyager anchors off the remote Osa Peninsula near the environs of the Corcovado National Park. The exact landing spot for the day will depend on sea conditions. You may swim in waterfall pools, horseback ride on the beach or kayak. Alternatively take a walk through the forest for a chance to see three species of monkey in one day: howler, spider and squirrel.
Manuel Antonio National Park
Day 8 BLD The abundant wildlife here is most active in the morning, so there is an early start today for a walk through the national park. Lethargic three-toed sloths can be relatively easy to spot, but it often takes the expert eye of a naturalist to point out monkeys or vividly coloured birds as they zip through the forest. In the afternoon you are free to relax on the pristine sandy beach or take a swim.
Herradura / disembark cruise
Day 9 B This morning you disembark Sea Voyager in Herradura on the Central Pacific coast. From here you can choose to travel to San José for a flight home, or spend some more time in Costa Rica, perhaps at one of the beach destinations on the Nicoya Peninsula.
Sea Voyager accommodates up to 60 passengers in 31 outside facing cabins spread over 3 decks, with a different class of cabin on each deck. All cabins have windows, private facilities and climate control. Most have two lower single beds which can be converted to a queen bed. There is a doctor’s office, fitness centre, library, dining room, lounge with facilities for slide shows and presentations, covered deck with chairs and tables. Meals are served in single sittings with unassigned tables for an informal atmosphere. Adventurous folk can launch the onboard kayaks.
The boat moves in one direction one week, then operates the journey in
reverse the following week.
We can arrange extensions at the start or end of the cruise in Panama or Costa Rica.
Guide price from US$4,730 *
2010 Main deck cabins: US$ 4,660pp
2010 Upper deck cabins: US$ 5,250pp
*What do guide prices cover?
Guide prices are per person based on 2 people travelling together and sharing twin/double accommodation.
Please ask us for prices for families, threesomes, singles, etc.
Guide prices do not include international flights, travel insurance, Panama departure tax (allow £15pp) or items of a personal nature such as drinks, tips, and laundry, or optional excursions taken locally in Panama.
See the current brochure insert for booking conditions.
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