An Exploration in Nature in Costa Rica & the Panama Canal

Overview

  • ECPPN
  • 11 Days
  • Le Dumont d'Urville

Cruise Itinerary

  • Puerto Caldera
  • Colon
  • Central America

Overview

Created specially for like-minded travelers. This voyage is about nature – its abundance and variety – and about the challenges facing species of all shapes and sizes as they cope with a rapidly changing environment. In Costa Rica, which has done more than any other Central American country to preserve and protect its natural treasures, we explore three of its world famous nature reserves: the luxuriant tropical vegetation and fascinating fauna of Curù and Manuel Antonio National Parks, as well as the marvels of Corcovado National Park, once described by National Geographic as “the most biologically intense place on Earth in terms of biodiversity.” In these parks, we will find a variety of ecosystems – ranging from rainforest to mangroves and beaches – that provide habitat for a mind-boggling variety of wildlife: monkeys, coatimundis, peccaries, toucans, macaws, and literally hundreds of species of birds. In Panama, we extend our encounter with the rich biodiversity of Central America as we visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Darien Jungle. After transiting the Panama Canal and admiring its design and construction, we spend two days in the fascinating marine world of the San Blas Islands, where we snorkel at Holandes Cayes and visit with the Kuna Indians, who govern the islands as an autonomous province with minimal interference from the national government.

Departures


8620

Area : 19 m² Capacity :up to 2 passengers per cabin 4m² Private balcony Individually-controlled air-conditioning King-size bed or twin beds Shower Minibar Flat screen Satellite TV Desk with stationery Ipod(TM) players Video on demand Safe Hairdryer Bath robes Satellite direct line telephone 110/220 volts outlet French bath products 24hr room service Internet acces wifi.


9120

Area : 19 m² Capacity :up to 2 passengers per cabin 4m² private balcony Individually-controlled air-conditioning King-size bed or twin beds Shower Minibar Flat screen Satellite TV Desk with stationery Ipod(TM) players Video on demand Safe Hairdryer Bath robes Satellite direct line telephone 110/220 volts outlet French bath products 24hr room service Internet acces wifi 2 staterooms of 27 5 m² with a private balcony of 6 m² for people with reduced mobility.


9400

Area : 19 m² Capacity :up to 2 passengers per cabin 4m² private balcony Individually-controlled air-conditioning King-size bed or twin beds Shower Minibar Flat screen Satellite TV Desk with stationery Ipod(TM) players Video on demand Safe Hairdryer Bath robes Satellite direct line telephone 110/220 volts outlet French bath products 24hr room service Internet acces wifi 2 staterooms of 27 5 m² with a private balcony of 6 m² for people with reduced mobility.


9690

Area : 19 m² Capacity :up to 2 passengers per cabin 4m² private balcony Individually-controlled air-conditioning King-size bed or twin beds Shower Minibar Flat screen Satellite TV Desk with stationery Ipod(TM) players Video on demand Safe Hairdryer Bath robes Satellite direct line telephone 110/220 volts outlet French bath products 24hr room service Internet acces wifi 2 staterooms of 27 5 m² with a private balcony of 6 m² for people with reduced mobility.


13060

Area : 27 m² Capacity :up to 3 passengers per cabin 6m² private balcony Individually-controlled air-conditioning King-size bed or twin beds Shower Minibar Flat screen Satellite TV Desk with stationery Ipod(TM) players Video on demand Safe Hairdryer Bath robes Satellite direct line telephone 110/220 volts outlet French bath products 24hr room service Internet acces wifi.


18790

Area : 38 m² Capacity :up to 2 passengers per cabin 8m² private balcony Individually-controlled air-conditioning King-size bed or twin beds Shower Minibar Flat screen Satellite TV Desk with stationery Ipod(TM) players Video on demand Safe Hairdryer Bath robes Satellite direct line telephone 110/220 volts outlet French bath products 24hr room service Internet access wifi.


19340

Area : 38 m² Capacity :up to 2 passengers per cabin 8m² private balcony Individually-controlled air-conditioning King-size bed or twin beds Shower Minibar Flat screen Satellite TV Desk with stationery Ipod(TM) players Video on demand Safe Hairdryer Bath robes Satellite direct line telephone 110/220 volts outlet French bath products 24hr room service Internet access wifi.


19920

Area : 32 m² Capacity :up to 3 passengers per cabin 8m² private balcony Individually-controlled air-conditioning King-size bed or twin beds Bathtub Minibar Flat screen Satellite TV Desk with stationery Ipod(TM) players Video on demand Safe Hairdryer Bath robes Satellite direct line telephone 110/220 volts outlet French bath products 24hr room service Internet access wifi.


20520

Area : 45 m² Capacity :up to 2 passengers per cabin 30m² private balcony Individually-controlled air-conditioning King-size bed or twin beds Bathtub Minibar Flat screen Satellite TV Desk with stationery Ipod(TM) players Video on demand Safe Hairdryer Bath robes Satellite direct line telephone 110/220 volts outlet French bath products 24hr room service Internet acces wifi.


21150

Area : 45 m² Capacity :up to 2 passengers per cabin 30m2 private balcony Individually-controlled air-conditioning King-size bed or twin beds Shower Minibar Flat screen satellite TV Desk with stationery Ipod(TM) players Video on demand safe Hairdryer Bath robes Satellite direct line telephone 110/220 volts outlet French bath products 24hr room service Internet acces wifi.

Cruise Itinerary

You will be met at the airport in San Jose, Costa Rica and transferred to Puerto Caldera to embark Dumont-D’Urville. 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.


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.


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.



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.


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.


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.


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.



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.


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.


Itineraries are subject to change.


Le Dumont d'Urville

Vessel Type: Luxury Passenger Capacity: 92 cabins Built: 2017/2018 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 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. RESTAURANTS As it is an essential part of French culture, gastronomy will naturally have pride of place aboard this new ship. Through its two restaurants, Le Dumont d'Urville will invite you on a journey to elegance and epicureanism. In a relaxed atmosphere, a first dining area located on Deck 3 and able to seat 70 will serve grilled meats daily, along with a variety of salads and desserts. To the back of Deck 4, you will find a 260 m² panoramic restaurant which can accommodate all of our passengers in a single sitting. Designed differently to that on our other ships, this dining area, which opens onto the outside, will have a buffet of salads, desserts and cheeses at your disposal. Our discreet and attentive crew will provide table service for hot meals. PUBLIC AREAS Like Le Boréal and its sisterships, Le Dumont d'Urville has many common areas that are designed and equipped to meet all of your needs while preserving the intimacy of each passenger. A 140 m² reception area includes: A reception/concierge desk, An excursions desk, The ship’s administrative services, The sales office, manned by our Guest Relations Officer, Our 50 m² boutique which sells clothing, jewellery, beauty products, postcards and various accessories, Toilets accessible to passengers with reduced mobility. A new hydraulic platform with adjustable height provides: Easier boarding than on any other cruise ship, Easier Zodiac embarkation and disembarkation for expeditions, Easier access to the sea for swimming and practising various water sports such as kayaking or paddle-boarding. A pool deck offering: A pool with a panoramic view, equipped with a counter-current swimming system, A pleasant solarium, An outdoor bar and lounge with armchairs and sofas. A 200 m² main lounge which can accommodate all of our passengers to share convivial moments and to host activities organised during the day or evening. Lastly, a theatre that seats 188, equipped with: The latest sound and lighting technology, A LED wall as the stage backdrop, for the projection of high-resolution images and videos.

Highlights

• 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

Specials

Ponant Bonus - Save up to 30% on Ponant Small Ship Cruises


2019-10-11

2023-01-01