Ponant Unveils Costa Rica and Panama Canal Sailing

Ponant has unveiled a new itinerary sailing in Costa Rica and the Panama Canal as the 10-night cruise leaves on the new 180-guest Le Dumont-d’Urville on Jan. 6 2020. Rates start at $5,570 per guest based on double occupancy for the warm-water expedition voyage.

The new itinerary is part of Ponant’s Quintessential Collection, a series of themed immersion cruises designed to inspire travelers to dig deeper into their destinations, according to the company.

The program will feature speaker Paul Donahue who has worked with birds and mammals in nature reserves throughout Central America since 1972 and has explored virtually all of the sites on the itinerary.

The expedition highlights Costa Rica’s efforts to preserve its natural treasures.

It will explore the vegetation and fauna of three national parks, including Corcovado National Park.

Guests will board the ship at Puerto Caldera in Puntarenas, Costa Rica, followed by a visit to Curù National Park where more than ten thousand species of plants, three hundred species of birds and two hundred species of butterflies are present and where the less dense undergrowth makes spotting wildlife easier than in the deeper forest.

Howler monkeys, spider monkeys, sloths, two- and three-finger hooded vultures, brown pelicans, Scarlet Macaw, and toucans call this area their home.

The itinerary continues with visits to Manuel Antonio National Park, before moving on to Osa Peninsula; Cebaco, Panama; and Punta Alegre/Darien Jungle, a UNESCO World Heritage site. On day eight, the ship will transit the Panama Canal for a visit to the San Blas Islands to learn about the culture and craftsmanship of the indigenous Kuna people.

A visit to Holandes Cayes follows before disembarkation in Colon on day eleven.

There will also be talks aboard by Donahue who has extensive experience leading birding and natural history tours all over Central and South America. He has divided his time between research and ecotourism, and with his wife Teresa Wood, has constructed rain forest canopy walkways in Peru and Costa Rica. From 1991 to 1994 they co-directed the Amazon Center for Environmental Education and Research in northeastern Peru.

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