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Tropical Escape Through the Panama Canal

Tropical Escape Through the Panama Canal

At a glance

Duration: 12/11 Days

Coverage: Oranjestad to Puerto Caldera

From: $2,799

Season: March, December

Activities: Culture, History, Wildlife

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Wind Star Cruises

Experience one of the seven wonders of the modern world and one of the most important accomplishments in human civilization during this memorable, 11-day cruise of Central America featuring a complete transit of the Panama Canal in broad daylight.

As you transit 48 miles of the busiest and most historic waterway in the world, an onboard guide will point out both natural and man-made wonders along the Panama Canal, covering the history of the early overland routes, initial attempts by the French and the eventual success by Americans, and ongoing enhancements and maintenance.

On the Pacific side you’ll learn about unique rainforest wildlife and biodiversity from expert local naturalists in remote, pristine reserves like Isla Parida, Panama and Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica. This cruise through first-world wonders and primeval splendors offers the freedom to see and experience far more under the sun.

Highlights

  • Enjoy a daylight transit of the Panama Canal highlighted by an onboard expert
  • See the famous divi-divi trees in Aruba, all pointing west from the trade winds
  • Visit Colón’s vast Free Trade Zone for tax-free shopping
  • Explore Golfo Dulce, one of Costa Rica’s most biodiverse areas
  • Take a nature walk through Manuel Antonio National Park looking for the many species of wildlife living there
  • Indulge your taste buds at Windstar’s Signature Beach Party on secluded Isla Parida

Day-to-Day Itinerary

Day 1 - Oranjestad, Aruba

Known for having some of the best beaches in the Caribbean, this Dutch port makes it easy to just … take it easy. Walk through town to choose your favorite carved wooden door, or spend the day like the Arubans do playing dominos at a beachside table. .

Day 2 - At Sea

Day 3 - Cartagena, Colombia

Welcome to the sparkling city of Cartagena, where the gold and jewels of the Spanish Main awaited shipment across the Atlantic. No pirate could resist, nor will you be able to when you visit this historic city. The Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is surrounded by 400-year-old walls and contains a plethora of churches, fortresses, and restored colonial mansions. Outside the walls are more treasures: Climb the massive Castillo de San Felipe to investigate its maze of hidden tunnels, or shop for the perfect emerald.

Day 4 - At Sea

Day 5 - Colón, Panama

Explore the inner workings of the Panama Canal, head into the jungle to meet with Embera Indians, or take an aerial tram ride through the rainforest canopy.

Day 6-7 - Panama Canal, Balboa / Fuerte Amador, Panama

At nearly 48 miles long, on your transit through the Panama Canal you will enter three sets of locks that raise and lower the vessel 85 feet between the calm Pacific Ocean and the shimmering waters of the Atlantic. Your voyage features a daylight hours transit with numerous observation vantage points for outside viewing and comfortable indoor air-conditioned lounges. Expert onboard commentary enhances your journey as you watch the day to day workings of this bucket list experience.

One of the entrances to the Panama Canal on the Pacific side, Balboa/Fuerte Amador was founded in 1519 and is a short distance from Panama City. In 2012 Balboa was ranked #1 in Latin America in the category of world's busiest container ports. Sightseeing highlights include the colonial homes, the Administration Building, the Goethals Memorial, the Prado, and the local handicraft markets of traditional Panamanian crafts.

Day 8 - At Sea

Day 9 - Isla Parida, Panama

Located within a Nature Preserve of 50 islands, and part of Chiriqui Marine National Park lovely Isla Parida boasts magnificent beaches, one of which is over 1,300 feet long. The crystal clear waters stay at 82 degrees year round and are filled with marine life. There are numerous hardwood trees like teak, mahogany, and eucalyptus, and fruit trees like mango, banana and coconut trees. Here you will be treated to Windstar's Signature Beach Party on a secluded beach that faces the Pacific Ocean.

Day 10 - Puerto Jimenez (Golfo Dulce), Costa Rica

Picture Jurassic foliage growing down steep hillsides all the way to the waterline, the hoots of monkeys echoing through trees choked by orchids. Golfo Dulce is one of Costa Rica’s most biodiverse areas, where both the jungle and the sea brim with life. Explore the canals by kayak in search of javelinas, butterflies, and more bird species than in all of North America.

Day 11 - Quepos, Costa Rica

The former banana-exporting town of Quepos is your basecamp for a day of rainforest adventure. Take a walk along trails that weave up to waterfalls, or ride horseback to a beautiful jungle pool. A float trip through a mangrove swamp populated by monkeys, crocodiles, egrets, and herons is also available. Or you may choose a nature walk through Manuel Antonio National Park, with its lovely beaches, easy trails, and abundant animal life.

Day 12 - Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica

Absorb Costa Rica’s magnificent biodiversity by adding a land package to your cruise. Venture to the Monteverde Cloud Forest, where 300-year-old trees and orchids form a spectacular backdrop to resplendent quetzals, tapirs, monkeys, sloths, and other rainforest residents. Or head to Tortuguero National Park, one of the most remote places in Costa Rica, known for being a primary nesting site of endangered green turtles.

Caribbean Beaches & Costa Rican Cloudforests itinerary map

Dates & Rates

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Dates Days Ships Direction Ocean View Suite Ocean View Suite 1 Category B Ocean View Suite 2 Category BX Deluxe Ocean View Suite 3 Category A Category AX Deluxe Balcony Suite Balcony Suite 1 Classic Suite Owner's Suite
Dec 11, 2018 12 Wind Star Oranjestad to Puerto Caldera $2,799 $2,999 $3,099 $3,299 Call
Dec 12, 2018 11 Star Breeze Oranjestad to Puerto Caldera $2,599 $2,699 $2,899 $3,099 $3,499 $3,699 $5,099 $6,099
Mar 12, 2019 12 Wind Star Puerto Caldera to Oranjestad $3,999 $4,299 $4,499 $4,799 Call

*Rates shown are per person, based on double occupancy, reflect all discounts and include non-discountable amounts. Taxes, Fees & Port Expenses are additional.

Ships

Star Breeze

Star BreezeA newest addition to Windstar’s fleet, the Star Breeze accommodates just 212 guests each, leaving plenty of room for spacious suites, decadent dining, and all the trappings of Windstar’s private yacht style — from a signature Watersports Platform to the classic Yacht Club observation lounge at the top. Recently renovated, she combines celebrity glamour with the country club-casual atmosphere Windstar guests treasure.View ship details...


Wind Star

Wind StarSailing with a mere 148 guests, the luxurious Wind Star is like being on your own private yacht. The ship was recently updated with contemporary furnishings and enhanced spaces. Gourmet cuisine is served course-by-course nightly in AmphorA, while the Veranda offers breakfast and lunch made to order or in fresh “market-style” buffets. For a special treat, make a reservation to dine under the stars at Candles Grill, our romantic outdoor deck restaurant. Additional Wind Spirit amenities include the luxurious WindSpa, a pool and whirlpool, the Watersports Platform with complimentary water toys, a Casino, and our international crew of 90 on hand for 24-hour pampering. View ship details...