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Horseback riding through Playa Caletas.

Costa Rica & the Panama Canal

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Sea Bird
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Join this 8-day voyage through the Panama Canal, a marvel of historical engineering, and gain special access to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in the Canal Zone. Discover pure wildness as you snorkel in an undersea paradise and spot monkeys and sloths in the rainforests of Costa Rica and Panama on this coastal expedition aboard the Sea Lion.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Arrive in Panama City | Embark in Colon, Panama
Day 2 : Gatún Lake | Panama Canal Transit
Day 3 : Gulf of Panama Islets
Day 4 : Isla Coiba National Park
Day 5 : Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica
Day 6 : Osa Peninsula
Day 7 : Manuel Antonio National Park
Day 8 : Disembark in Herradura | Transfer to San Jose

Highlights

  • Hike into remote wilderness: see monkeys, sloths, and tropical birds
  • Transit the Panama Canal—a historical marvel of engineering
  • Kayak cool azure waters where the rain forest meets the sea
  • Explore idyllic islands and snorkel over a vibrant coral reef

Ship

Sea Bird & Sea Lion

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Horseback riding through Playa Caletas. Trekking through Corcovado National Park in Costa Rica. Making your way through the Panama Canal. The Golden-Mantled Howler Monkey stares down at the camera. Kayaking through the waters of Costa Rica.

Day 1 Arrive in Panama City | Embark in Colon, Panama

Upon arrival in Panama City, transfer to Colon to embark your home for the next week. Set sail for the first part of your Panama Canal transit, anchoring in Gatun Lake for the night.

Day 2 Gatún Lake | Panama Canal Transit

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the morning, board an expedition landing craft for Barro Colorado Nature Monument in Gatún Lake. This island has been the primary Smithsonian Center for tropical rainforest study since 1923, and for this trip you have special permission to visit the facilities at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Meet some of the scientists and learn about their work before reboarding to continue your crossing. Often travelers have the opportunity to cross part of the Canal during the day, and another when it is dramatically lit at night.

Day 3 Gulf of Panama Islets

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This archipelago of islands due south of Panama City has a storied past — pearls, conquistadors, buccaneers, and so much more. Explore the turquoise waters via expedition landing craft or kayak, where you might spot frigatebirds, brown pelicans or brown boobies. Observe roosting and nesting magnificent frigatebirds and blue-footed boobies on an otherwise empty stretch of white sand.

Day 4 Isla Coiba National Park

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Isla Coiba is one of Panama’s most remote national parks, where you may hike the tropical, moist forest trails. The area is also perfect for swimming and snorkeling amid tropical fish. The ship's staff assists both novice and expert snorkelers alike. For those preferring a drier clime, naturalists take underwater footage, which animates your evening gathering in the lounge.

Day 5 Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today make your first landfall in Costa Rica. At Casa Orquídeas, a privately owned garden accessible only by boat and special invitation, see a profusion of orchids, and look for tanagers, parrots, and gaudy toucans. Later, explore the forested bay of Golfo Dulce, ideal for kayaking, expedition landing craft cruises, or swimming.

Day 6 Osa Peninsula

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Sea Lion anchors off the remote Osa Peninsula and the environs of Corcovado National Park. Your exact landing spot for the day depends on sea conditions. You may swim in waterfall pools, horseback ride, or join a expedition landing craft cruise. Trek through the rainforest for a chance to see three species of monkey in one day: howler, spider, and squirrel!

Day 7 Manuel Antonio National Park

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The abundant wildlife here is most active in the early morning, so be sure to get an early start. Lethargic three-toed sloths can be easy to spot, but it often takes the expert eye of a naturalist to point out monkeys or vividly colored birds as they zip through the forest. In the afternoon, explore Costa Rica’s beautiful coast where you can find a great spot for a final hike or swim.

Day 8 Disembark in Herradura | Transfer to San Jose

  • 1 Breakfast
Disembark your ship this morning in Herradura and drive to the airport for flights home, or on to other adventures.

Sea Bird & Sea Lion

Per person starting at
$6,190
Sea Bird & Sea Lion's Category 1 and Category 1 Single Cabin.
Select a Date
Cat 1
Main Deck Cabins #300-305. Conveniently positioned between the dining room and lounge, these cabins feature two lower single beds, a writing desk and a large window.
Sea Bird & Sea Lion's Category 1 and Category 1 Single Cabin.
Select a Date
Cat 1 Single
Main Deck Cabins #300-305. Conveniently positioned between the dining room and lounge, these cabins feature two lower single beds, a writing desk and a large window.
Sea Bird & Sea Lion's Category 2 and Category 2 Single Cabins.
Select a Date
Cat 2
Bridge Deck cabins #100-104 and Upper Deck cabins #200-212, 215. These well-located cabins include two lower single beds, outside access and a window.
Sea Bird & Sea Lion's Category 2 and Category 2 Single Cabin.
Select a Date
Cat 2 Single
Bridge Deck cabins #100-104 and Upper Deck cabins #200-212, 215. These well-located cabins include two lower single beds, outside access and a window.
Sea Bird & Sea Lion's Category 3 Cabins.
Select a Date
Cat 3
Bridge Deck cabins #105, 106 and Upper Deck cabins #214, 216, 217, 219. These cabins feature a seating unit with table, outside access and two large windows. Upper Deck cabins include two lower single beds which can convert to a double bed and a pull-out

Notes

Single supplement varies by itinerary. A solo traveler matching program may be available, but is subject to availability.
Kids under age 18 save $500 per person

Costs Include:
All accommodations aboard ships or in hotels per itinerary or similar, all meals and nonalcoholic beverages aboard ship, meals on land as indicated, air transportation where indicated as included, shore excursions, sightseeing and entrance fees, special access permits, transfers to and from group flights, use of snorkeling equipment and wet suits, use of kayaks (where available), gratuities (except to ship’s crew), taxes and service charges, services of a ship physician on most voyages, and services of our expedition staff.

Not Included:
Air transportation (except where shown as included), extensions, passport, visa, immigration fees, scuba diving (where available), meals not indicated, baggage/accident/travel protection plan, items of a personal nature, such as alcoholic beverages, e-mail, and laundry. Gratuities to ship's crew at your discretion.

Included

  • 7 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 7 Dinners
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Mary Curry
Mary C

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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

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