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In alliance with Smithsonian Journeys.
This cruise is part of a collection of PONANT voyages that are specially-tailored for English-speaking travelers who want to engage with the world. In addition to the usual elements of the PONANT experience, the listed price for these voyages includes transfers to and from the ship, talks and discussions aboard ship by world class experts, and a shore excursion or activity in each port of call that encourages guests to embrace the sights, sounds, tastes, and smells of the local environment and culture.
Discover Panama and Costa Rica with PONANT on this splendid 8-day cruise aboard Le Dumont-d'Urville, which explores the region's abundant natural splendours, local indigenous communities, and the modern marvel of the Panama Canal.
Your journey in Central America will start along the white sands and translucent waters of Holandes Cayes, one of the coral islets of Panama's San Blas Islands. Spend a day in this tropical paradise and enjoy the opportunity to swim and snorkel. Members of the Guna community call these islands home, and you may encounter them along the beach.
After a daytime sailing from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean through the world-famous Panama Canal, your ship calls next in the remote and magnificent Darién National Park. This little corner of paradise is a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to a remarkably diverse range of plants and wildlife. Rocky coastlines, mangroves, swamps, and tropical rainforests abound and offer a feast for photographers. Here, meet members of the local Emberá community.
Le Dumont-d'Urville then continues to Fuerte Amador for an exploration of Panama City's Old Quarter and of the region's fantastic biodiversity at the superb Frank Gehry-designed Biomuseo.
Here, you will also visit the Punta?Culebra Nature Center at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), a fascinating, open-air museum dedicated to marine science?and conservation. On a specially arranged tour guided by Smithsonian staff, hear about the latest studies, observe marine species up close, and explore the unique flora and fauna of the tropical dry forest.
Your final call will be in Quepos, Costa Rica, gateway to the spectacular Manuel Antonio National Park, where you will encounter myriad tropical flora and fantastic fauna, including sloths, the noisy howler monkey, the white-faced capuchin, and the tiny squirrel monkey. The combination of forest and ocean also provides a special opportunity to observe both terrestrial and sea birds-toucans, pelicans, hummingbirds, terns, and more.
The encounters with the wildlife described above illustrate possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed.