National Parks and Panama Canal

8 days / 7 nights
    Expedition
    National Parks and Panama Canal

    Cruise Latin America

    from 17 February 2019 to 24 February 2019
    8 days / 7 nights

    Departure Port : Puerto Caldera
    Arrival Port : Colón

    Ship : LE CHAMPLAIN

    • Ref : C170219

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

    Your journey in Central America will start with a visit to two superb Costa Rican national parks: the Carara National Park and the Manuel Antonio National Park. Deep inside the tropical rainforest or under the rainforest canopy, you may be lucky enough to see multicoloured birds, monkeys, crocodiles and iguana.  

    Le Champlain 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 Atlantic to the Pacific, you will be able to enjoy the golden sand and translucent water of Holandes Cayes, one of the coral islets of the San Blas islands.

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    Highlights

    • Outings and shore visits in Zodiac®inflatables with a team of experienced naturalist guides.
    • UNESCO site: the Darien National Park from Punta Alegre, and its magnificent jungle.
    • Optional additional cost excursions in the national parks of Costa Rica, sanctuaries of unspoiled nature: the Carara National Park from Herradura, the Manuel Antonio National Park from Quepos.
    • Discover the magnificent islets of the San Blas Islands and the picture-postcard beaches of Quepos.
    • Sailing through the Panama Canal, truly a masterpiece of civil engineering.
    • Encounter with the indigenous Emberas tribe in the Darien National Park.

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    Staterooms & Suites

    • Deluxe Stateroom
      $8,120
      $4,360
      Not Available
    • Prestige stateroom Deck 4
      $8,660
      $4,630
      Not Available
    • Prestige stateroom Deck 5
      $8,900
      $4,750
      Not Available
    • Prestige Deck 6
      $9,180
      $4,890
      Not Available
    • Deluxe Suite Deck 3
      $12,500
      $6,550
      Not Available
    • Deluxe Suite Deck 5
      $12,500
      $6,550
      Not Available
    • Deluxe Suite Deck 4
      $12,500
      $6,550
      Not Available
    • Deluxe Suite Deck 6
      $12,500
      $6,550
      Not Available
    • Prestige Suite Deck 5
      $18,080
      $9,340
      Not Available
    • Prestige Suite Deck 6
      $18,620
      $9,610
      Not Available
    • Privilege Suite Deck 6
      $19,200
      $9,900
      Not Available
    • Privilege Suite Deck 5
      $19,200
      $9,900
      Not Available
    • Grand Deluxe Suite Deck 5
      $19,800
      $10,200
      Not Available
    • Grand Deluxe Suite Deck 6
      $19,800
      $10,200
      Not Available
    • Owner's Suite
      $20,400
      $10,500
      Not Available
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    There are no staterooms available for booking. Please contact our cruise advisors.

    LE CHAMPLAIN

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    LE CHAMPLAIN

    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 first ship in a new series that remains true to the Ponant spirit, Le Champlain 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

    17 February 2019 – Herradura

    Puerto Caldera

    Embarkation 17/02/2019 from 17H00 to 18H00 . Departure 17/02/2019 at 22H00 .

    The port of Puerto Caldera lies on the Pacific coast in the Gulf of Nicoya. Further inland, step into the midst of a luscious tropical forest. Among the countless natural wonders to be found here, the Poas volcano towers up in all its majestic glory. Venture deeper into the luxuriant canopy and enjoy a unique experience as you slide from one tree to the next in total safety. Back on firm ground, an untouched cove offers up glimpses of osprey, tireless fishing birds that circle the surf to catch their next meal.

    18 February 2019 – Herradura

    18 February 2019 – Herradura

    Arrival 18/02/2019. Departure 18/02/2019.

    Herradura takes its name in Spanish from the horseshoe form of its bay, covered in lush tropical vegetation, its beauty enhanced by the hills that loom over it. This small town is surrounded by national parks that are remarkable for the rich variety of fauna and flora they protect. When your ship calls here, it will be the moment to take a journey in small covered boats along the Tarcoles River, whose banks are home to crocodiles and iguanas. This mangrove also hosts the loyal and flamboyant Scarlet Macaw, with its red, blue and yellow plumage, known for mating with the same partner for life.

    19 February 2019 – Quepos

    19 February 2019 – Quepos

    Arrival 19/02/2019. Departure 19/02/2019.

    Quepos makes for a charming stop-off on the Pacific coast, just next-door to the famous Manuel Antonio National Park, an untouched tropical natural reserve lined with white sandy beaches. The town's seafront is an opportunity to stroll through market stalls touting pineapples and bananas in the shade of the manchineel trees. In this coastal town criss-crossed with tree-lined streets in bloom, admire the houses and their incredible sculpted balconies. Enjoy a spot of shopping in the many traditional boutiques: pick up some handmade cotton clothing, ceramics embellished with Costa Rican designs and home décor pieces in hand-painted wood.

    20 February 2019 – At sea

    20 February 2019 – At sea

    Arrival 20/02/2019. Departure 20/02/2019.

    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 PONANT 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 observer marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

    21 February 2019 – Punta Alegre, Darien National Park

    21 February 2019 – Punta Alegre, Darien National Park

    Arrival 21/02/2019. Departure 21/02/2019.

    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. You will love its extraordinary scenery of rocky coastlines, mountain ranges, mangroves, rivers and creeks. If you head for the Afro-Darienite village of Punta Alegre, you will gain a deeper insight into this unexplored area. This tiny coastal village is home to the Emberas Amerindian community. From Punta Alegre, you can head to Darien National Park, listed by UNESCO as World Heritage and considered one of the most diversified parks in the whole of Central America.

    22 February 2019 – Crossing the Panama Canal

    22 February 2019 – Crossing the Panama Canal

    Arrival 22/02/2019. Departure 22/02/2019.

    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.

    23 February 2019 – Holandes Cayes

    23 February 2019 – Holandes Cayes

    Arrival 23/02/2019. Departure 23/02/2019.

    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 モthe swimming poolヤ, is popular with the cruise-yachting community for its white sand beaches and diving and snorkelling opportunities.

    24 February 2019▸23 February 2019 – Colón

    Colón

    Disembarkation 24/02/2019 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.

    Formalities

    • 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.

    Theme

    TROPICAL EXPEDITION

    TROPICAL EXPEDITION

    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…

    Guest(s) Lecturer(s)

    Patrick de Carolis

    Patrick de Carolis

    Writer and journalist Patrick de Carolis is a member of the Institut de France (Académie des Beaux-Arts) and heads the Marmottan Monet Museum which houses the world’s first collection of works by Claude Monet and Berthe Morisot. Former Chairman of France Télévisions and creator of the French programmes Reporters, Nomades, Zone Interdite, Des Racines et des Ailes and Le Grand Tour, he received a lifetime achievement award for his work in TV at the Lauriers de la Télévision.

    At the same time, Patrick de Carolis had responsibilities in the written media as Managing Director of Figaro Magazine from 2001 to 2004. Indeed, writing has played a key role in his career. After Conversation in 2001, a collection of interviews with Bernadette Chirac, he published Les Demoiselles de Provence in 2005; in 2009 a book of poems Refuge pour temps d’orage, brought to the theatre by Bérengère Dautun; in 2011, La dame du Palatin, a historic novel in which he brings to life the wife of Roman philosopher Seneca; and in November 2014 Letizia R. Bonaparte, la mère de toutes les douleurs in which he explores the extraordinary destiny of Napoleon’s mother. His latest work, Les ailes intérieures, is an essay on the world of television and its cultural role in society.

    Passionate about live performance, Patrick de Carolis was the man behind Les Éclectiques de Rocamadour, a festival which from 2001 to 2010 brought great music, dance and theatre performers together every year.

    Language spoken: French

     

    Photo credit: All rights reserved

    Possibility of withdrawal in case of force majeure.

    Important information

    Expeditions programs include activities such as Zodiac® outings (sometimes with "wet landing"), moderate walks to more active hikes. All this accompanied by your expedition team of naturalist guides. Certain zodiac® outings will not allow for landings just cruising. Landings will depend on weather conditions, position of ice and winds and the state of the sea. These can force a change of plans at any time.

    Travelling to polar/isolated regions is an exhilarating experience. The raw beauty and untouched wilderness offer an unusual chance to experience a place where there is little evidence of human presence. Inevitably, there are some consequences that come with such remoteness: please remember that you are far from modern hospitals with full medical facilities, thus evacuation is highly expensive. Without the necessary medical coverage, all expenses will have to be immediately paid from with your personal funds. We urge you to subscribe a full coverage insurance, choose your insurance company very carefully and be extremely vigilant and ensure your insurance is fully comprehensive.

    Taking into consideration the unusual and exceptional character of expedition itineraries, the calls shown are an indication only. The final route will be confirmed by the Captain and Expedition Leader, who will take into account the touristic quality of the sites and above all, the safety of the passengers. Their decision will be subject to that of local authorities and/or the expert pilots present on board during the navigation in polar and /or isolated zones.

    Dressing tips :

    • Cotton comfrortable and light weight shorts/bermudas
    • Light weight long trousers
    • Long-sleeved breathable UPF50+ shirts
    • Cotton short sleeves T-shirt
    • Aquatic UV long-sleeve T-shirt for sun protection during snorkeling or swimming (except for the Amazon cruises where bathing is not allowed)
    • Aquatic non-slip sandals (except for the Amazon cruises where bathing is not allowed)
    • Windproof, waterproof and breathable outer layer
    • Broad brimmed anti-UV hat with strap
    • Comfortable walking shoes
    • Waterproof backpack for camera
    • Sunscreen and after-sun high index & insect repellent
    • Binoculars
    • Note: 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.

    Feel free to visit the PONANT online shop which offers a selection of equipment and accessories adapted to our destinations at the following address: https://boutique.ponant.com

    Benefits of the PONANT shop:

    • expert advice to gear up
    • a selection of technical equipment and accessories approved by our naturalists
    • Duty Free prices
    • delivery directly on board

    Pre/Post & Overlands

    1. After your cruise

      24/02/2019 – Colonial Panama and Miraflores Locks

      225.00 $ **

      More information

    2. Before your cruise

      16/02/2019 – A glimpse of Costa Rica (1 night)

      525.00 $ **

      More information

      14/02/2019 – Natural wonders of Costa Rica (3 nights)

      1940.01 $ **

      More information

    Attention: the prices listed at the time of your reservation can be different from those listed in the brochure. These prices can evolve based on availability and the real time rates of the airline companies selected.
    Travellers are advised to check all the information with the authorities concerned prior to the departure date. Ponant advises Travellers to consult the country factsheets relating to the chosen destinations. Ponant specifically draws Travellers' attention to the fact that the information provided may change up until the departure date, and they are advised to consult that information up until the time of departure. CDP invites Travellers to adjust their behavior to the visited country, to exercise vigilance and to avoid carrying valuable objects during their travel.

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