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Blue water and lush rain forest in Panama

Natural and Cultural History in Central America

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Le Champlain
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Your journey in Central America starts 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 multicoloured birds, monkeys, and iguanas. 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.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Puerto Caldera | Embark
Day 2 : Curù Wildlife Refug
Day 3 : Manuel Antonio National Park
Day 4 : At Sea
Day 5 : Playa Muerto, Darien National Park
Day 6 : Crossing the Panama Canal
Day 7 : San Blas archipelago
Day 8 : Colón, Panama | Disembark

Highlights

  • Explore the Curú Wildlife Refuge a sanctuary of unspoiled nature
  • Discover the magnificent islets of the San Blas Islands
  • Encounters with the indigenous Emberas tribe and Kuna Indians
  • Visit the incredible Darien National Park a UNESCO site

Ship

Le Champlain

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Blue water and lush rain forest in Panama Clear blue water of the Caribbean Darien Jungle of Panama Gatun Lock of the Panama Canal Ruins in Colon, Panama

Day 1 Puerto Caldera | Embark

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 Costa Rica’s national parks, Poas and Arena volcanoes tower 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.

Day 2 Curù Wildlife Refug

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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 center 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.

Day 3 Manuel Antonio National Park

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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 raccoons that race down from the trees to tease visitors.

Day 4 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 5 Playa Muerto, Darien National Park

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The most remote and least developed region of Panama, the province of Darien is an unspoiled 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.

Day 6 Crossing the Panama Canal

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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.

Day 7 San Blas archipelago

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Located on the north-east coast of Panamá, the San Blas archipelago is a string of coral islands that graces the heart of the Caribbean Sea. Over 300 islands and cays covering an area of 300 square kilometers offer travelers a multitude of treasures. Sheltered behind a long coral reef, the San Blas Islands are full of paradisiac anchorages. The long sandy white beaches bounded by crystal clear waters will allow you to relax and enjoy an incredible marine fauna before discovering the Kunas Indian community. Still feeding off hunting and fishing, their villages of bamboo houses are gathered near the beaches.

Day 8 Colón, Panama | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
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.

Disembark after breakfast

Le Champlain

Per person starting at
$4,600
Cabin
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Deluxe Stateroom
Area: 19 m². 4m² private balcony with French window. King-size bed or twin beds, and shower.
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 4
Area: 19 m². 4m² private balcony with sliding bay window. King-size bed or twin beds, and shower.
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 5
Area: 19 m². 4m² private balcony with sliding bay window. King-size bed or twin beds, and shower.
Cabin
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 6
Area: 19 m². 4m² private balcony with sliding bay window. King-size bed or twin beds, and shower.
Cabin
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Deluxe Suite
Area: 27 m². 6m² private balcony with sliding bay window. King-size bed or twin beds, and shower. Up to 3 passengers per cabin.
Cabin
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Prestige Suite Deck 5
Area: 38 m². 8m² private balcony with sliding bay window. King-size bed or twin beds, and shower.
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Prestige Suite Deck 6
Area: 38 m². 8m² private balcony with sliding bay window. King-size bed or twin beds, and shower.
Cabin
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Privilege Suite
Area: 32 m². 8m² private balcony with sliding bay window. King-size bed or twin beds, and shower. Up to 4 passengers per cabin.
Cabin
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Grand Deluxe Suite
Area: 45 m². 30m² private balcony with sliding bay windows. King-size bed or twin beds, and shower + bathtub.
Cabin
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Owner's Suite
Area: 45 m². 30m² private balcony with hot tub and sliding bay windows. King-size or twin beds and shower + bathtub.

Notes

Please Note:
Fares are based on double occupancy and are capacity controlled. Rates may increase at any time as the ship sells out and subject to change without notice.

*Rates are capacity controlled and are subject to change without notice.

Cruise fares are per person and include the following:
  • All meals while on board the ship 
  • Captain’s welcome cocktail and gala dinner
  • “Open Bar” (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands...list available upon request)
  • Evening entertainment and events
  • 24h room service (special selection)
  • English-speaking lecturer 
  • Water sports activities (except scuba diving) using the ship’s equipment, when permitted by local authorities and confirmed by ship Master according to safety and sea conditions onsite
  • Highly experienced bilingual (French-English) Expedition team 
  • Park entry fees into protected areas
  • Complimentary boot rental on select cruises
  • Free and unlimited Wi-Fi (Internet access may be slower or in some situations interrupted, depending on certain geographic locations or other circumstances beyond our control).​​​
  • Gratuities to the onboard crew, local guides, and drivers
Cruise fares do not include:
  • Any ground services before and/or after the cruise other than the ones mentioned 
  • Optional excursions (can be booked onboard at additional cost)
  • Pre or post cruise programs, overland programs or shore excursions mentioned
  • Visa expenses and/or immigration reciprocity taxes if applicable
  • Luggage handling
  • Optional Spa package to be booked prior to your departure
  • Beverages other than the ones mentioned
  • Laundry services, hair salon and à la carte Spa treatments
  • Personal expenses, on board medical consultations and drug prescriptions
  • Cancellation/luggage/assistance/repatriation/medical insurance(s)
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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