Next January, Ponant will offer a 10-night/11-day cruise of Costa Rica and Panama as part of its Quintessential Collection. An Exploration in Nature in Costa Rica & The Panama Canal, sailing from January 6-16, 2020, will visit three national parks and feature a guest speaker with firsthand experience working at Central American nature reserves.
Passengers make their first major stop at Curù National Park, the home of over 10,000 species of plants, 300 species of birds and 200 species of butterflies. Thanks to the area’s sparse undergrowth, guests will have an increased chance of seeing the howler monkeys, spider monkeys, sloths, toucans and other wildlife that live here. Other highlights include Manuel Antonio National Park, Corcovado National Park, the UNESCO-recognized Darien Jungle, a transit of the Panama Canal, the San Blas Islands and Holandes Cayes.
Paul Donahue, already experienced in conducting birding and natural history tours of the region, will join passengers on the cruise as a guest speaker. Since 1972, Donahue has spent his career working with animals in nature reserves all around Central America, including nearly every stop along this cruise.
Le Dumont-d’Urville will pick up passengers at Puerto Caldera in Puntarenas, Costa Rica and drop them off in Colón, Panama. The ship is the fourth entry in Ponant’s new lineup of Ponant Explorer vessels. Le Dumont-d’Urville offers 92 balcony staterooms and operates with a crew of 110. It will debut in the summer later this year, sailing European cruises before heading to the Caribbean in the fall.
The Costa Rica and Panama sailing marks the latest in Ponant’s new Quintessential Collection. First announced last February, the themed cruise series will launch this May with a nine-day voyage to the British Isles, Belgium and Norway. Other destinations among the Quintessential Collection’s sailings include Italy, Greece, northern Europe, and eastern Asia.