NATURAL & CULTURAL HISTORY OF CENTRAL AMERICA – Costa Rica & the Panama Canal

from $4,260

DATES: 2021: JAN 5-12

DURATION: 8 DAYS/7 NIGHTS

EMBARK:  PUERTO CALDERA, COSTA RICA

DISEMBARK:  COLON, PANAMA

SHIPS:  LE CHAMPLAIN

FROM: $4,260  –  ALL INCLUSIVE

 Plus $300 per person savings for first time Ponant Cruisers

Image result for download brochure button

 

All about the NATURAL & CULTURAL HISTORY OF CENTRAL AMERICA – Costa Rica & the Panama Canal.

Created specially for like-minded travelers. 

PONANT takes you to discover Costa Rica and Panama with an 8-day expedition cruise. A truly beautiful journey between nature reserves, encounters with local communities and sailing through the Panama Canal.

Your journey in Central America will start with a visit to the Manuel Antonio National Park and the Curú Wildlife Refuge. Deep inside the tropical rainforest you may be lucky enough to see multicolored birds, monkeys, and iguanas.

Your ship will then sail on to the magnificent Darien National Park in Panama. This little corner of paradise is a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to remarkable plants and wildlife. Sandy beaches, rocky coastlines, mangroves, swamps and tropical rainforests vie with each other for beauty and offer a feast for photographers. This will also be the occasion for meeting the astonishing semi-nomadic Emberas community.

After sailing through the world-famous Panama Canal, which connects the Pacific to the Atlantic, you will be able to enjoy the discovery of the golden sand and crystal-clear waters of the coral islets of the San Blas islands.

HIGHLIGHTS

·        Discover the fabulous National Parks of Central America, biodiversity and tribes.

·        Outings and shore visits in Zodiac® inflatables with a team of experienced naturalist guides.

·        UNESCO site: the Darien National Park from Playa Muerto, and its magnificent jungle.

·        In Costa Rica, outings in the Manuel Antonio National Park and the Curú Wildlife Refuge, sanctuaries of unspoiled nature.

·        Discovering the magnificent islets of the San Blas Islands.

·        Sailing through the Panama Canal, truly a masterpiece of civil engineering.

·        Encounters with the indigenous Emberas tribe in the Darien National Park and with the Kuna Indians of the San Blas archipelago.

 

 

Image result for download brochure button

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
  • All accommodations, meals, and excursions described in itinerary
  • Transfers and luggage handling from the airport to the hotel and from hotel to the ship
  • Gratuities to guides and drivers on included excursions
  • Comprehensive 8-night cruise aboard the deluxe Le Dumont D’Urville, with all the amenities for which Ponant ships are famous.
  • Transfer from the pier to the airport at the end of the cruise.
  • All meals while on board ship (from dinner on embarkation day to breakfast on disembarkation day)
  • Captain’s welcome and farewell cocktail parties
  • One gala dinner
  • Open bar: select wines by the glass, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands (list available upon request). (Please note: Availability and brands vary according to ship.)
  • 24-hour room service (special selection)
  • Evening entertainment and events
  • On selected cruises: lecturers, guides, naturalists, expedition leaders, special themes
  • Baggage handling from pier to the ship and vice versa
  • Gratuities to on board crew, local guides, and drivers
  • Port and safety charges
  • Park entry fees into protected areas

Whats not included in this tour.Items that are not included in the cost of tour price.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Airfare
  • Items of personal nature, gift shop purchases
  • Pre and post cruise extensions and hotels
  • Optional Excursions, if any

  1. Day 1 PUERTO CALDERA

    The port of Puerto Caldera lies on the Pacific coast, in the Puntarenas region, at the mouth of the Gulf of Nicoya. Areas of wilderness stretch along the coast. Further inland, among the countless natural wonders to be found in the generous rainforest of the Costa Rica’s national parks, Poas and Arena volcanoes towers up in all their majestic glory. In this luxuriant natural setting, Costa Rica protects one of the planet’s richest biodiversity: monkeys, sloths, tropical birds, iguanas, crocodiles, waterfalls, canyons, and more than ten thousand species of tropical plants.

     

  2. Day 2 CURÙ WILDLIFE REFUGE

    On the southern part of the Nicoya Peninsula, the small Curù Wildlife Refuge is the oldest protected park in Costa Rica. This refuge is an exemplary site in terms of ecotourism as well as a research centre for scientists from all over the world. It has been at the heart of an original conservation and sustainable development project since the 1930s. After a short Zodiac® trip, you will discover, via the paths that criss-cross the tropical forest and lead to magnificent beaches, the most emblematic species of Costa Rica: monkeys, iguanas and over 200 bird species. Since their recent reintroduction, the scarlet macaw and the spider monkey have thrived in this preserved environment.

  3. Day 3 MANUEL ANTONIO NATIONAL PARK

    You will land in a Zodiac® on the beaches of the Manuel Antonio National Park, one of the jewels of Costa Rica. Protected since the 1970s, this small park, only 16 km² and bordered by the idyllic beaches of the Pacific Ocean, is home to rich biodiversity. Along peaceful paths or during a break on the beach, you will be welcomed by a tropical forest full of life: from the discreet sloth to the noisy howler monkey and the mischievous white-faced capuchin. On the fine sandy beaches rising to lush hills and coconut trees, you will be amused by the dance of the racoons that race down from the trees to tease visitors.

  4. Day 4 DAY AT SEA

    Enjoy a relaxing day at sea.

  5. Day 5 PLAYA MUERTO, DARIEN NATIONAL PARK

    The most remote and least developed region of Panama, the province of Darien is an unspoilt land with an extremely rich variety of flora and fauna. Listed by UNESCO as World Heritage,Darien National Park offers its extraordinary scenery of rocky coastlines, mountain ranges, mangroves, rivers and creeks. Discover Playa Muerto, a tiny coastal village home to the Emberas Amerindian community. You will visit the village, attend traditional songs and dances of the locals, and admire beautiful local craft.

  6. Day 6 CROSSING THE PANAMA CANAL

    Aboard your ship, experience something unique, that has inspired the imagination of numerous adventurers in the 20th century: sailing the Panama Canal. Its construction started in 1880 under the direction of Ferdinand De Lesseps. Abandoned then resumed, this marvel of engineering was completed by the United States in 1887 and opened in 1914. The canal crosses the Isthmus of Panama and links the Atlantic to the Pacific. Including three levels of locks and by raising ships to the level of Lake Gatun, almost as if the water was a lift, it allows them to avoid having to round Cape Horn.

  7. Day 7 SAN BLAS ISLANDS

    Colón is the second largest city in Panama, at the Caribbean entrance of the Panama Canal. Colón is today an important port, and the free trade zone created in 1953 contributed greatly to the development of the city.  Colón was founded in 1850 by Americans working on the Panama railroad connecting the Atlantic and Pacific coasts through the isthmus of Panama; the city rapidly overshadowed the older Caribbean ports of Panama when the canal opened.

  8. Day 8 COLON, PANAMA

    Colón is the second largest city in Panama, at the Caribbean entrance of the Panama Canal. Colón is today an important port, and the free trade zone created in 1953 contributed greatly to the development of the city.  Colón was founded in 1850 by Americans working on the Panama railroad connecting the Atlantic and Pacific coasts through the isthmus of Panama; the city rapidly overshadowed the older Caribbean ports of Panama when the canal opened.

     

    NOTE- Pre- and post-cruise activities can be added – let us know what you would like to do and see!

     

     

LE CHAMPLAIN

Premiering in June 2018 through Summer 2020, PONANT’s six new luxury expedition ships will set sail to the world’s most inaccessible locations and go further—where others do not go. The PONANT EXPLORER yachts, each measuring 430 feet in length, are designed for just 184 guests and served by 110 crew members. They feature innovative technology, elegantly-designed guest accommodations with private balcony, welcoming lounge areas that open to the outside, and an infinity pool. And, in a world exclusive, the PONANT EXPLORER yachts are the first ships in the world to be equipped with an underwater, multisensory lounge, called Blue Eye, located within the hull eight feet beneath the water line. Two large oculus windows provide views of the underwater marine life, and guests can also hear and sense this life through unique wave technology.

THE PONANT EXPLORERS
Le Lapérouse, Le Champlain, Le Bougainville, Le Dumont-d’Urville, Le Bellot & Le Surville

Ship Specifications

• Length . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .430 ft.
• Beam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .59 ft.
• Draft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 ft.
• Average cruising speed . . . . . . .12.5 knots
• Ice Class . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1C
• Classification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Bureau Veritas
• Flag . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .French
• Guest Decks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
• Crew members . . . . . . . . . . . . . .110
• Guest capacity . . . . . . . . . up to 184 guests (double occupancy)
• Staterooms with balcony . . . . .88
• Suites with bay windows and terrace . . . . . . .4
• Zodiacs  (Mark V HD) . . . . . . . .10 Zodiac craft
• Boston Whaler-type boats . . . .1
• Gross tonnage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9,900 UMS
• Stabilizers (2) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13.1 ft. long x 4.7 ft. wide
• Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . VARD, Norway

Public Areas

LOBBY

1,507 sq. ft.
Concierge lounge including reception and customer relations.

RESTAURANTS

Panoramic Restaurant
2,798 sq. ft.
Inside capacity: 184 Outside capacity: 35
Main dining room for breakfast, lunch, and dinner serving French
and international cuisine. Cold buffet for salad, dessert, and cheese.

Grill Restaurant
2,530 sq. ft.
Capacity: 70 (outside only)
Casual eating venue for lunch and dinner.

LOUNGES

Main Lounge
2,153 sq. ft.
Capacity: 184
Accommodates all guests. Afternoon tea, lounge, live music, dance
floor, and cocktail bar. Access to outside pool area.

Observation Lounge
Smaller lounge surrounded by windows with bar and library.

Blue Eye Underwater Lounge
807 sq. ft.
Capacity: 30
Multi-sensory underwater passenger lounge, a world first.

Pool area
Infinity pool, solarium, lounge chairs, bar.

MODULAR MARINA

Transforms to 3 positions:
1. Sun deck (when sailing).
2. Immersed connector port for disembarkation into Zodiacs,
SCUBA diving, or deep sea fishing.
3. Sea level for water sports including kayaking and stand up
paddle boarding.

RECREATION / RELAXATION

Theater
Inside capacity: 184
Main venue for lectures and entertainment. State-of-the-art audio and video technology. LED wall behind stage for projection.

Fitness & Spa/Beauty Corner
Fitness room with top-of-the-line equipment
Spa/Beauty Corner: hairdresser, massage rooms (3), Finnish sauna, sheltered terrace.

Infinity pool with counter-current swimming.

Internet corner, library, and art gallery.

Infirmary staffed by a doctor.

Stateroom Amenities

• Glass door leading to private balcony
• Queen bed or twin-size beds
• Connecting cabins available
• Individually-controlled air conditioning
• Private bathroom with Hermès bath products, hair dryer, and bathrobes
• 110/220-volt outlets
• Direct-dial satellite telephone
• WiFi access
• Flat-screen satellite TV
• Movies on-demand
• iPod™ player
• Desk with stationery
• Mini-bar
• Safe
• 24-hour room service

OWNER’S SUITE
(484 sq.ft. + 328 sq.ft. private patio + Jacuzzi)

3 GRAND DELUXE SUITES
(484 sq.ft. + 328 sq.ft. private patio)
13 PRESTIGE SUITES
(409 sq.ft. + 86 sq.ft. private balcony)
4 PRIVILEGE SUITES
(344 sq.ft. + 86 sq.ft. private balcony)
5 DELUXE SUITES
(291 sq.ft. + 65 sq.ft. private balcony)
13 DELUXE STATEROOMS
(205 sq.ft. + 43 sq.ft. private balcony)
66 PRESTIGE STATEROOMS
(205 sq.ft. + 43 sq.ft. private balcony)