In alliance with Smithsonian Journeys.
This cruise is part of a collection of PONANT voyages that are specially-tailored for English-speaking travelers who want to engage with the world. In addition to the usual elements of the PONANT experience, the listed price for these voyages includes transfers to and from the ship, talks and discussions aboard ship by world class experts, and a shore excursion or activity in each port of call that encourages guests to embrace the sights, sounds, tastes, and smells of the local environment and culture.
Discover Panama and Costa Rica with PONANT on this splendid 8-day cruise aboard Le Champlain, which explores the region’s abundant natural splendours, local indigenous communities, and the modern marvel of the Panama Canal.
Your journey in Central America will start along the white sands and translucent waters of Holandes Cayes, one of the coral islets of Panama’s San Blas Islands. Spend a day in this tropical paradise and enjoy the opportunity to swim and snorkel. Members of the Kuna community call these islands home, and you may encounter them along the beach.
After a daytime sailing from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean through the world-famous Panama Canal, Le Champlain calls at Fuerte Amador for an exploration of Panama City’s Old Quarter and of the region’s fantastic biodiversity at the superb Frank Gehry-designed Biomuseo.
Here, you will also visit the Punta Culebra Nature Center at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), a fascinating, open-air museum dedicated to marine science and conservation. On a specially arranged tour guided by Smithsonian scientists, hear about the latest studies, observe marine species up close, and explore the unique flora and fauna of the tropical dry forest.
You sail next to the remote and magnificent Darién National Park. This little corner of paradise is a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to a remarkably diverse range of plants and wildlife. Rocky coastlines, mangroves, swamps, and tropical rainforests abound and offer a feast for photographers. Here, meet members of the local Emberá community.
Your final call will be in Herradura, Costa Rica, gateway to the spectacular Carara National Park, where you will encounter myriad tropical flora and fauna, including over ten thousand species of plants, three hundred species of birds, and some two hundred species of butterflies. In the park, watch for scarlet macaws, toucans, howler monkeys, and crocodiles.
The encounters with the wildlife described above illustrate possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed.