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Passage Through the Panama Canal and Costa Rica

Program Overview

Begin your nine-day expedition with one night in San José, Costa Rica, then cruise for seven nights from the Costa Rican rainforest through the mighty locks of the Panama Canal—an experience unmatched for sheer drama and engineering prowess. Explore the wonders of Costa Rica’s Curú National Wildlife Refuge and Manuel Antonio National Park and explore the seldom-visited Cébaco Island. Tour Panama City and experience a daylight passage through the awe-inspiring Panama Canal. Enhance your experience with the Landscapes of Costa Rica Pre-Program and/or Panama's Renaissance Post-Program Options. 

Program Details

January 20 to 28, 2023 (Le Bellot) February 3 to 11, 2023 (Le Bellot)
From $4,995 plus air View Terms & Conditions
  • Exclusively chartered cruise aboard the five-star expedition ship Le Bellot.
  • Only 92 suites and staterooms—each with a private balcony.
  • Introducing the extraordinary Blue Eye, the world’s first multisensory, underwater Observation Lounge.
  • Once-in-a-lifetime daytime passage through the Panama Canal, considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
  • Guided tour through rainforests, including Curú National Wildlife Refuge and Manuel Antonio National Park.
  • Tour of Panama City, including visits to UNESCO-designated Casco Viejo, the new Frank Gehry‑designed Biodiversity Museum, and the Panama Canal’s informative Miraflores Visitor Center. 
  • Landscapes of Costa Rica Pre-Program and Panama’s Renaissance Post-Program Options.

Day 1 - Depart home city / Arrive San José, Costa Rica

Day 2 - San José / Puntarenas / Embark  Le Bellot

Day 3 - Curú National Wildlife Refuge / Tortuga Island

Day 4 - Quepos for Manuel Antonio National Park

Day 5 - Rio Seco Rainforest

Day 6 - Cébaco Island, Panama

Day 7 - Panama City

Day 8 - Panama Canal Transit / Colón

Day 9 - Colón / Disembark ship / Panama City / Return to home city

View detailed program itinerary >

Le Bellot

Exclusively Chartered, Five-Star Luxury Small Ship

Le Bellot, launched in 2020, ushers in a new generation of five-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 Bellot >

Landscapes of Costa Rica Pre-Program Option

Explore Costa Rica’s diverse biospheres, from steamy hot springs to misty cloud forests. In view of towering Arenal Volcano, walk in the lush rainforest along a series of suspended and fixed bridges. Visit an organic chocolate workshop, an award-winning coffee estate, and a traditional artisan town known for intricately hand-painted woodcrafts. Accommodations are for two nights in the deluxe Costa Rica Marriott Hotel Hacienda Belén and two nights in the ideally located Hotel Arenal Kioro.

Panama’s Renaissance Post-Program Option

Experience Panama City’s rich indigenous culture, compelling colonial history and contemporary élan on a three-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 two nights in the ideally located, deluxe Bristol Panama Hotel.

The Pre- and Post-Program Options are available at additional cost. Details will be provided with your reservation confirmation.

Gohagan & Company reserves the right to correct errors or omissions and to change any and all fares, fees, promotions and surcharges at any time.

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Program Itinerary

Day 1 Home City / San José, Costa Rica

Depart home city for San José. Upon arrival, check into the Costa Rica Marriott Hotel Hacienda Belén. Enjoy an evening at leisure.

Day 2 San José / Puntarenas

In the heart of the fertile Valle Central, Costa Rica’s dynamic capital city of San José 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.

After lunch, enjoy a scenic transfer to Puntarenas to embark Le Bellot. 

Day 3 Curú National Wildlife Refuge / Tortuga Island

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.

Attend the Captain’s Welcome Reception on board this evening. 

Day 4 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 5 Rio Seco Rainforest

Part of the Piedras Blancas National Park, this perfect off-the-beaten-path destination is 400 acres of private property. The park is home to toucans, tapirs, pumas, jaguars, and four species of monkeys. In Rio Seco Rainforest you can enjoy a picture-perfect secluded beach along the waters of the gorgeous Golfo Dulce. There is a tropical fruit orchard and colorful garden for you to discover. Explore a network of hiking trails, where naturalist tour guides will search for wildlife and share the secrets of this incredible ecosystem. 

Day 6 Cébaco Island, Panama

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 7 Panama City

Tour the Miraflores Locks Visitor Center and learn about the canal’s lock system. The Biodiversity Museum, designed by architect Frank Gehry, showcases the ecological significance of Panama’s exotic flora and fauna species. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage designated historic district of Casco Antiguo, a charming neighborhood replete with cobblestone streets and architecturally significant historical edifices, including a 16th century cathedral.  

Day 8 Panama Canal Transit / Colón

Cruise from the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea 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 9 Colón / Disembark ship / Panama City / Return to the U.S. or Canada

Disembark in Colón and visit the Panama Canal Expansion Agua Clara Visitor Center to enjoy panoramic views of the canal’s new longer, wider locks and impressive, 166-square-mile Gatún Lake. Transfer to Panama City the Panama's Renaissance Post-Program Option or for your return flight home. (Agua Clara visit is departure flight time permitting.)