Costa Rica and the Panama Canal

Program Overview

Begin your 7-night expedition in the Colón, Panama, to immerse yourself in local culture and learn about the traditional way of life. Spend 2 days exploring Panama City and experience a daylight passage through the awe-inspiring Panama Canal—an experience unmatched for sheer drama and engineering prowess. Explore the wonders of Costa Rica’s seldom-visited Cébaco Island; diverse Manuel Antonio National Park; and colorful Curú National Wildlife Refuge. Enhance your experience with the Panama and/or Arenal and San José Optional Extensions.

*This program also runs in the reverse direction for the March 1 to 9, 2024 travel dates.

Program Details

February 24 to March 3, 2024 (Le Dumont d'Urville) March 1 to 9, 2024* (Le Dumont d'Urville)
From $4,945 plus air View Terms & Conditions
  • Nine-day, 7-night cruise from Colón, Panama, to Puntarenas, Costa Rica, featuring a daytime passage through the Panama Canal.
  • Exclusively chartered cruise aboard the 5-star expedition ship Le Dumont d'Urville, featuring 92 suites and staterooms—each with a private balcony.
  • Cruise from the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea through the Panama Canal.
  • Visit the UNESCO World Heritage-designated historic district of Casco Antiguo, a charming neighborhood with cobblestone streets and architecturally significant edifices.
  • Snorkel in the emerald waters of the seldom-visited Cébaco Island, where schools of brilliantly colored fish, giant manta rays, and 4 different species of turtles swim amid spectacular rock reefs.
  • Watch for colorful toucans, screeching howler monkeys, camouflaged iguanas, arboreal squirrel monkeys, and rambunctious capuchin monkeys under the guidance of expert naturalists on a tour of Manuel Antonio National Park.
  • Panama and Arenal & San José Optional Extensions.

*This tour also runs in the reverse direction for the March 1 to 9, 2024 travel dates.

Day 1 - Depart home city/Colón, Panama/Embark Le Dumont d’Urville

Day 2 - Colón/Panama Canal

Day 3 - Panama City

Day 4 - Cébaco Island

Day 5 - Rio Seco Rainforest

Day 6 - Quepos for Manuel Antonio National Park

Day 7 - Curú National Wildlife Refuge/Playa Muertos

Day 8 - Puntarenas/San José

Day 9 - San José/Return to home city

Itinerary will also operate in the reverse direction for the March 1 to 9, 2024 travel dates.

View detailed program itinerary >

Le Dumont d'Urville

Exclusively Chartered, Five-Star Luxury Small Ship

Le Dumont d'Urville, launched in 2019, ushers in a new generation of 5-star small ships, combining revolutionary design and a new standard of luxury for unparalleled cruising. Dock in smaller ports inaccessible to larger ships, where authentic cultural experiences and majestic scenery await you.

Learn more about the Le Dumon d'Urville >

Panama Optional Extension

Experience Panama City’s rich indigenous culture, compelling colonial history, and contemporary élan on a 3-day tour that includes visits to Panama La Vieja, the Agua Clara Visitor Center, and a cruise along the Gatún River to meet indigenous Emberá people. Spend 2 nights in an ideally located, luxury hotel.

Arenal and San José Optional Extension

Explore Costa Rica’s diverse biospheres, from steamy hot springs to misty cloud forests, on this dynamic 4-day program. Accommodations for 4 nights in ideally located, luxury hotels.

Depending on your chosen departure date, optional extensions may be a Pre-Program or Post-Program.

Optional Extensions are available at an additional cost. Details will be provided with your reservation confirmation.

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Program Itinerary

Day 1 Home City / Colón, Panama / Embark Le Dumont d'Urville

Depart home city for Panama City, Panama. Upon arrival, transfer to Colón and embark the ship.

Day 2 Cólon/Panama Canal

Day 3 Panama City

Cruise from the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean through the mighty locks of the Panama Canal and enjoy a lecture on its history. When completed in 1914, this historic engineering marvel opened new channels of international trade by allowing ships to travel between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans in a fraction of the time required to circumnavigate South America.

Day 4 Cébaco Island

Tour the Miraflores Locks Visitor Center, which elaborates on the canal’s intricate lock system, and the BioMeuso (Biodiversity Museum). Visit the UNESCO World Heritage-designated Historic District of Casco Antiguo, a charming neighborhood replete with architecturally significant historical edifices, including a 16th-century cathedral.

Day 5 Rio Seco Rainforest

In the sparkling Gulf of Montijo, snorkel in the emerald waters of seldom-visited Cébaco Island, where schools of brilliantly colored fish, giant manta rays, and four different species of turtles swim amid spectacular rock reefs.

Day 6 Quepos for Manuel Antonio National Park

Experience an unparalleled diversity of wildlife in this lush tropical haven—a captivating combination of rainforest, beach and coral reef, home to more than 100 species of mammals, almost 200 species of birds, and various reptiles and amphibians.

Explore this protected biodiverse paradise where expert naturalists will help you spot colorful toucans, screeching howler monkeys, camouflaged iguanas, arboreal squirrel monkeys, two and three toed sloths, and rambunctious capuchin monkeys.

Day 7 Curú National Wildlife Refuge / Playa Muertos

Curú National Wildlife Refuge is a unique blend of sustainable agriculture, forest management, and wildlife protection—reestablishing species like the scarlet macaw and spider monkey. Encompassing five distinctive habitats, it is the ideal place to see the intricacies of interdependent ecosystems. Enjoy a guided walk in the morning, the best time of day to observe an abundance of wildlife.

Nestled in a private reserve near the stunning Nicoya Peninsula, idyllic Tortuga Island is named for its tortoise-like volcanic rock formations. Against a backdrop of white sand beaches, enjoy opportunities to swim and snorkel in this protected island’s clear waters—home to fascinating marine life such as angelfish, spotted eagle rays, and seahorses.

Enjoy the Captain’s Farewell Reception on board.

Day 8 Puntarenas / San José

Disembark in Puntarenas and enjoy a scenic drive to San José, or continue to the Costa Rica Post-Program Option.

Costa Rica’s dynamic capital city possesses an eclectic mix of museums, landscaped parks, lively cafés, art galleries, and an interesting fusion of architectural styles, including Spanish Colonial, Moorish, and Modernist. On the city tour, visit the National Theater, a regal Baroque edifice modeled on Milan’s La Scala, and the National Museum.

Check into the Costa Rica Marriott Hotel Hacienda Belén this evening.

Day 9 San José / Return to home city

After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the airport for your return flight home.