Natural & Cultural History of Central America
* Subject to availability.
- Discover the fabulous National Parks of Central America, biodiversity and tribes.
- Outings and shore visits in Zodiac® inflatables with a team of experienced naturalist guides.
- Spending New Year’s Day onboard.
- UNESCO site: the Darien National Park from Playa Muerto, and its magnificent jungle.
- In Costa Rica, outings in the Manuel Antonio National Park and the Curú Wildlife Refuge, sanctuaries of unspoiled nature.
- Discovering the magnificent islets of the San Blas Islands.
- Sailing through the Panama Canal, truly a masterpiece of civil engineering.
- Encounters with the indigenous Emberas tribe in the Darien National Park and with the Kuna Indians of the San Blas archipelago.
- Staterooms & Suites
- LE CHAMPLAIN
- Port of call & excursions
- Guest(s) Lecturer(s)
- Important information
Staterooms & Suites
Deluxe Stateroom $4,320 Available Prestige stateroom Deck 4 $4,570 Available Prestige stateroom Deck 5 $4,700 Available Prestige Deck 6 $4,830 Available Deluxe Suite Deck 3 $6,430 Available Deluxe Suite Deck 5 $6,430 Available Deluxe Suite Deck 4 $6,430 Available Deluxe Suite Deck 6 $6,430 Available Prestige Suite Deck 5 $6,920 Available Prestige Suite Deck 6 $7,130 Available Privilege Suite Deck 6 $7,320 Available Privilege Suite Deck 5 $7,320 Available Grand Deluxe Suite Deck 5 $7,550 Available Grand Deluxe Suite Deck 6 $7,550 Available Owner's Suite $10,860 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 second 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
ColónEmbarkation 29/12/2020 from 16H00 to 17H00 . Departure 29/12/2020 at 23H00 .
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.
30 December 2020 – San Blas IslandsArrival 30/12/2020. Departure 30/12/2020.
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 kilometres offer travellers 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, they will welcome you in their villages of bamboo houses gathered near the beaches.
31 December 2020 – Crossing the Panama CanalArrival 31/12/2020. Departure 31/12/2020.
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.
1 January 2021 – Playa Muerto, Darien National ParkArrival 01/01/2021. Departure 01/01/2021.
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.
2 January 2021 – At seaArrival 02/01/2021. Departure 02/01/2021.
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 observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.
3 January 2021 – Manuel Antonio National ParkArrival 03/01/2021. Departure 03/01/2021.
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.
4 January 2021 – Curú Wildlife RefugeArrival 04/01/2021. Departure 04/01/2021.
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.
Puerto CalderaDisembarkation 05/01/2021 at 07H00 .
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
Christophe Barbier is a French journalist and editorial writer.
A political reporter with Le Point (1990) and Europe 1 (1995), he headed up the political department at L’Express in 1996 and was made assistant editor in 2001. In August 2006 he was promoted to Managing Editor, a post he held until he left the management team in 2016. However, he remains its editorial writer and editorial advisor.
He has put on several plays and is the principal director at the Théâtre de l’Archicube, the theatrical troupe at the École normale supérieure in Paris.
He also worked for LCI which he left in 2011 and returned to I-Télé to present the editorial content and interview for a programme. Since August 2013, he has been on the morning info slot Team Toussaint, alongside Bruce Toussaint. In September 2016, he joined BFM TV.
Language spoken: French
Photo credit: Eric Garault /L'Express
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