An Exploration in Nature in Costa Rica & the Panama Canal
* Subject to availability.
- Hosted by Edie Rodriguez, Americas Brand Chairman, PONANT.
- Lectures and discussions with ecologist Paul Donahue
- Outings and shore visits in Zodiac® inflatables with a team of experienced naturalist guides.
- Lectures and information sessions hosted by our naturalist-guides, covering wildlife, history, climate, environmental protection.
- Hiking and snorkeling opportunities
- Landscapes: pristine beaches, mangroves, rainforests
- Wildlife: Howler monkeys, white collared monkeys, coatimundis, sloths, agoutis, and the tiny Squirrel Monkey; hundreds of species of birds and butterflies, including toucans and the Scarlet Macaw
- Meetings with local peoples, including the Kuna of San Blas Islands
- Staterooms & Suites
- LE DUMONT-D'URVILLE
- Port of call & excursions
- Guest(s) Lecturer(s)
- Important information
- Pre/Post & Overlands
Staterooms & Suites
Deluxe Stateroom $6,760 Not Available Prestige Deck 4 $5,540 Available Prestige Deck 5 $5,690 Available Prestige Deck 6 $5,850 Available Deluxe Suite Deck 5 $10,010 Not Available Deluxe Suite Deck 3 $7,700 Available Deluxe Suite Deck 4 $10,010 Not Available Deluxe Suite Deck 6 $10,010 Not Available Prestige Deck 5 Suite $10,840 Available Prestige Deck 6 Suite $11,150 Available Privilege Suite Deck 6 $15,030 Not Available Privilege Suite Deck 5 $11,470 Available Grand Deluxe Suite Deck 6 $15,470 Not Available Grand Deluxe Suite Deck 5 $11,800 Available Owner's Suite $15,910 Available
Featuring innovative and environmentally-friendly equipment, elegantly designed staterooms, spacious suites with large windows, and lounge areas that open onto the outside, this new limited-capacity yacht boasting just 92 staterooms and suites will offer you a truly unique cruising experience.
As the fourth ship in a new series that remains true to the Ponant spirit, Le Dumont d'Urville will embody the unique atmosphere that is the cruise line’s hallmark: a subtle blend of refinement, intimacy and comfort.
Aboard this ship that flies the French flag, you will experience the incomparable pleasure of an intimate cruise, with the possibility of exploring an ever-increasing range of destinations in an ethnic-chic ambiance with luxury service.
Experience a luxurious setting where the accent is on authenticity and passion for travel.
Port of call & excursions
Puerto CalderaEmbarkation 06/01/2020 from 16H00 to 17H00 . Departure 06/01/2020 at 18H00 .
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.
7 January 2020 – Curú Wildlife RefugeArrival 07/01/2020. Departure 07/01/2020.
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.
8 January 2020 – Manuel Antonio National ParkArrival 08/01/2020. Departure 08/01/2020.
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.
9 January 2020 – Drake BayArrival 09/01/2020. Departure 09/01/2020.
9 January 2020 – Marenco / CorcovadoArrival 09/01/2020. Departure 09/01/2020.
10 January 2020 – GolfitoArrival 10/01/2020. Departure 10/01/2020.
The town of Golfito lies on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, in the province of Puntarenas, one of the most humid regions in the world. It was occupied by the indigenous Bruncas tribe during the Pre-Columbian era. Once specialised in the export of bananas, Golfito has today become the starting point for walkers who want to reach the Corcovado National Park, one of the largest primary tropical rainforests in Central America. Meanwhile, the beaches of Golfo Dulce are some of the most beautiful in Costa Rica, with the Piedras Blancas National Park as their backdrop, along with the Vida Silvestre refuge, home to many tropical birds and monkeys as well as a variety of rare species of plants.
11 January 2020 – Cébaco IslandArrival 11/01/2020. Departure 11/01/2020.
Off the Pacific coast of Panama, at the entrance to the Gulf of Montijo, Cebaco Island conjures visions of paradise lost. Covered in tropical rainforest, edged by white sandy beaches, home to exceptionally rich plant and wildlife, the island offers a number of hiking routes along which to discover its pristine natural environment. Its magnificent coral reefs, located in the outlying regions of the Coiba National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, are the refuge for many marine species and offer stunning underwater landscapes.
12 January 2020 – Playa Muerto, Darien National ParkArrival 12/01/2020. Departure 12/01/2020.
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.
13 January 2020 – Crossing the Panama CanalArrival 13/01/2020. Departure 13/01/2020.
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.
14 January 2020 – Acuatupo, San BlasArrival 14/01/2020. Departure 14/01/2020.
14 January 2020 – Dog Island, San BlasArrival 14/01/2020. Departure 14/01/2020.
15 January 2020 – Holandes CayesArrival 15/01/2020. Departure 15/01/2020.
Holandes Cayes is among the islands of the San Blas archipelago, a string of coral islands that graces the heart of the Caribbean Sea. Some 378 islands and cays covering an area of 260 square kilometres offer travellers a multitude of natural and cultural treasures. Holandes Cayes, which is nicknamed "the swimming pool", is popular with the cruise-yachting community for its white sand beaches and diving and snorkelling opportunities.
ColónDisembarkation 16/01/2020 at 07H00 .
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.
The information below is current but subject to change at any time without advance notice from government authorities. Please consult your respective government agencies for visa and health information.
Passport valid for at least six (6) months beyond the completion of your trip. Passport must contain at least two completely clear, blank, unused visa pages for each visa required, not including any amendment pages. Visa pages with stains or ink from other pages in the passport are not usable. Guests who deviate from the scheduled embarkation or disembarkation port should research the foreign entry requirements for the port country. Due to government regulations, regrettably, Ponant will have to deny boarding to any guest who fails to obtain the appropriate travel documentation for this trip.
Warning about the use of drones: the use of drones aboard PONANT ships, whether they are sailing at sea, at a port of call or anchored, is strictly forbidden. The use of drones on land in the Arctic and Antarctic regions is also strictly forbidden by international polar regulations. In other regions, it may be possible to use drones on land if permission has been obtained from the relevant authorities of each country and each region travelled through, as well as a pilot’s licence that should be obtained from your home country. Passengers are responsible for obtaining these permits; they should be able to present them at all times. Passengers who do not obtain these authorisations expose themselves to the risk of legal proceedings.
PONANT Quintessential Collection voyages are designed for travelers who want to engage with the world in order to understand it.
In addition to the usual elements of the PONANT experience, these voyages include lectures and performances aboard ship by world class experts and musicians and one or two exceptional activities ashore that encourage guests to embrace the sights and sounds, tastes and smells of the local culture. They also offer pre- or post-cruise stay with excursions relevant to the theme. We believe that travel approached in this way has the power ato transform us and to make us better citizens of the world.
Discover the unique concept of PONANT tropical expedition cruises: explore the world’s extreme regions while enjoying luxurious comfort and service.
A luxury expedition voyage
Choosing a PONANT expedition cruise means choosing a state of mind: the alliance of elegance and authenticity, of exploration and comfort, of adventure and refinement… The comfort of your ship and your stateroom, personalised and attentive service, refined gastronomy: a very special atmosphere that we take great care to maintain. In the heart of the archipelagos of Oceania or the atolls of the Indian Ocean, along the wild coastlines of Central America or Australia, our luxurious services will ensure that your expedition cruise is an unforgettable experience.
PONANT, expedition cruise specialists
With almost 20 years of experience in the extreme regions, PONANT, the world’s number 1 polar cruise company, is also a real specialist in the planet’s most remote tropical regions. Our latest-generation fleet has the most modern technology to guarantee both your safety and respect for the regions visited. The size of our ships means we can get as close as possible to areas that are difficult to reach, offering a privileged access to preserved sites. Our flexibility enables us to adapt to the surprises inherent to these expedition itineraries.
Professional expedition teams, varied activities
After scouting missions in the field, our Expedition Leaders and their teams of naturalist guides design exceptional itineraries in the tropical regions. During the cruise, they organise daily outings and shore visits in Zodiac® dinghies so as to get as close to nature as possible. They can reserve local means of transport (dugout canoes, bush taxis, local buses, etc.) in order to reach essential sites for hiking (volcanoes, nature reserves, etc.) or for visiting isolated villages. Indeed, the close relationships that our teams have been able to build with the local communities will enable you to share the life and ancestral customs of these peoples for a few hours. The naturalist guides also supervise snorkelling tours to discover the coral reef fauna. On board, the naturalist guides will share their knowledge during various conferences on fauna, the history of the great explorations, geology and climatology…
Paul Donahue has been working with birds and mammals in nature reserves in Central and South America since 1972, splitting his time between research and ecotourism. In Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil, he has been surveying, guiding, teaching training workshops for other guides, and lecturing at the eco-lodges SouthWild Pantanal and SouthWild Jaguar. With his wife Teresa Wood, who served in the Peace Corps in Paraguay, he has constructed rain forest canopy walkways in Peru and Costa Rica. From 1991-94 they were the co-directors of the Amazon Center for Environmental Education and Research in northeastern Peru, where they built a canopy walkway. Both Paul and Teresa speak Spanish. Paul has led birding and natural history tours all over Central and South America and has explored virtually all of the sites on our itinerary. He will lecture on the ecology and evolution of the tropical rain forest and of the mangroves, on bird communities and migration, and on the mammals of Central America, with special reference to jaguars.
Edie Rodriguez is Americas Brand Chairman and Special Corporate Advisor for PONANT. Rodriguez has over 30 years of experience in executive roles in the cruise and travel industry and previously served as the CEO and President of Crystal Cruises, where she led the brand’s transformation during her tenure. She has also held leadership positions with brands from Carnival Corporation and RCCL Corporation.
Rodriguez is actively involved in the travel industry. She serves on Robb Report’s Private Aviation Board and Atout-France’s Advisory Board for French Tourism, and was previously on the Board of Directors for Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) and is a past member of Promotion Marketing Association. She and PONANT are also strong supporters of Tourism Cares. Rodriguez is a strong voice and advocate in the luxury travel space, and has harnessed the power of social media and digital platforms to reach a global audience.
In recognition of her business leadership, she was named Ernst & Young’s “Entrepreneur of The Year” in May 2017, and was selected as Luxury Daily’s “25 Luxury Women to Watch for 2017.” Rodriguez was also named a “Wave Maker” by Afar, as one of ten visionaries making travel better in 2016, and was selected as one of the ten most influential people in travel by the editors of Travelpulse.com. She was also named a “Woman of Note” by The Wall Street Journal in 2014.
Language spoken: English
Photo credit: All rights reserved
Possibility of withdrawal in case of force majeure.
Expedition programmes include activities such as Zodiac® outings and landings (sometimes with "wet landings"), moderate walks to more active hikes, all accompanied by your expedition team of naturalist guides.
Ports of call, visited sites, outings and landings will depend on weather conditions, winds and the state of the sea. These can force a change of plans at any time. The Captain and the Expedition Leader may at any time cancel or stop any activity, or even modify the itinerary. The final itinerary will be confirmed by the Captain, who will take into account the touristic quality of the sites and above all, the safety of the passengers. His decision will be based on advice from experts and authorities.
Travelling to isolated regions is an exhilarating experience. In remote areas, please remember that you are far from modern hospitals with full medical facilities, thus evacuation is extremely expensive. Without adequate medical coverage, all expenses will have to be immediately paid with your personal funds. We urge you to subscribe to full coverage insurance, choose your insurance company very carefully, be extremely vigilant and ensure your insurance is fully comprehensive, especially if you are insured by your credit card. PONANT offers an insurance contract with extensive guarantees, please contact us for more information.
- Cotton comfortable and light-weight shorts/bermuda shorts
- Light weight long trousers
- Long-sleeved breathable SPF50+ shirts
- Cotton short sleeved T-shirt
- Aquatic UV long-sleeved T-shirt for sun protection during snorkeling or swimming
- Aquatic non-slip sandals
- Windproof, waterproof and breathable outer layer
- Broad brimmed anti-UV hat with strap and veil to protect the neck
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Highly protective sunglasses.
- Sunscreen and after-sun with high SPF index & insect repellent
- Binoculars (strongly recommended for wildlife viewing).
- Small waterproof backpack (to protect your camera from water).
- Camelbak (backpack with water pockets)
- Walking poles (highly recommended).
During your visits to some local communities, all guests will be required to dress respectfully. Ladies must have their shoulders and thighs covered. Gentlemen should have their shoulders covered also.
Do not hesitate to visit the online PONANT store which offers a selection of equipment and accessories adapted to our destinations, at the following address: https://boutique.ponant.com
Benefits of the PONANT store:
- Advice on equipment from our experts to help you prepare for your polar expedition
- A wide range of technical equipment for polar expeditions, approved by our experts
- Two delivery options: delivery to your home or directly to your cabin on board the ship
- Duty Free shopping for cabin delivered items
Pre/Post & Overlands
Before your cruise
** Prices per person, based on double occupancy