Explore Lush Rain Forests, Snorkel from Pristine Beaches & Cruise the Legendary Canal
There are few places in the world where nature is as exuberant, colorful and diverse as in the tropics of Costa Rica, home to an amazing array of flora and fauna. But this adventure cruise takes our Central American nature immersion a step beyond, to the intriguing land of Panama as well. To many, the country of Panama is synonymous with its famous canal, one of the most celebrated human achievements on the planet. What many people don’t know, however, is that Panama offers natural beauty and biological diversity that’s equal to Costa Rica’s. That means you'll get double the rewards on this special itinerary that includes both of these spectacular nature destinations!
- Transit the Panama Canal with a stop midway at Barro Colorado Island where we're accompanied on forest walks by guides from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
- Discover an astonishing variety of rain forest wildlife—monkeys, sloths and more than 300 species of birds, including brilliant toucans and scarlet macaws
- Explore less-traveled beaches and coastal rain forest on Costa Rica's Pacific side with stops at Golfo Dulce, the Osa Peninsula and Corcovado National Park
Sail with the World Leader in Conservation-Focused Small Ship Cruising
We’re proud to offer a worldwide slate of Adventure Cruises through our partner Lindblad Expeditions. Nat Hab joined forces with Lindblad in 2016 to expand our mutual collection of nature adventures. Founded in 1958 by Lars-Eric Lindblad, the company pioneered eco-conscious expeditions for “citizen explorers" and today is the world leader in conservation-focused small-ship cruises. Our Adventure Specialists are intimately familiar with the ships and itineraries and are on call to answer any questions you might have.
- Enjoy an Extraordinary Transit of the Panama Canal
Few have the opportunity to experience the Panamal Canal this way. Our transit elapses over 48 hours, enabling you to see the Canal and learn about its mechanisms by day, and sometimes see it dramatically lit at night. This is in-depth experience of this historically significant and remarkable achievement of human engineering, with a nod to its natural surroundings. Within the Canal Zone, we have special permission to overnight at Barro Colorado Island in Gatún Lake, serenaded by the thrilling sounds of the rain forest. Barro Colorado Island has been the site of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute since 1923, and is where we’ll meet Smithsonian scientists and enjoy a guided forest walk.
- Experience matters
Lindblad’s 20+ years exploring Costa Rica and Panama allow for an unmatched sea-based experience of this fascinating geography. Since Lindblad owns and operates the National Geographic Sea Lion and National Geographic Quest, we have all the advantages of oversight and attention to detail that many other operators in the region simply don’t.
- Diversify Your Wildlife Experience with Plentiful Local Naturalists
Every trip sails with a veteran Expedition Leader and a hand-picked team of Costa Rican and Panamanian naturalists. With one naturalist for every 12 guests and a wealth of daily activities to choose from, the small, intimate scale of the group and the ship means we can easily reach places inaccessible to larger vessels—more access with varied points of view. Our naturalists know these trails and coastlines well, adding insight, depth, and clarity to each landing. They are adept at spotting wildlife and their enthusiasm for the region and its biodiversity is contagious.
- Gear up to Encounter Biodiversity at its Best
The ship is a base camp for exploring this remarkable land bridge between North and South America, and we’ve got the tools to help you be an engaged, active explorer. Our ship is equipped with five expedition landing crafts, plus eight single and 12 double kayaks at the ready to cruise shorelines, follow beckoning rivers and make landfall on gorgeous beaches with no tourist infrastructure. Complete snorkel gear is on board for everyone, so you’ll never miss a chance to swim with brilliant schools of fish. Video microscopes, high-definition screens, hydrophones and other tools give us added opportunities for an unmatched, in-depth understanding and authentic exploration.
- Prepare for Well-Timed Wildlife Sightings
Traveling with our own personal expedition team gives us all the advantages of their deep knowledge of Costa Rican and Panamanian habitat. They know when the inhabitants of the rain forest are most active, and forays are scheduled accordingly. As a result, there may be some early morning expedition landing craft cruises or walks in the forest. You will be amply rewarded for your early rising with freshly roasted Costa Rican coffee, followed by time among blue-footed boobies, noisy parrots and delicate butterflies.
- Take the Finest Possible Photos
Fascinating wildlife, dramatic untouched beaches and Costa Rica's and Panama's beautiful rain forest growth afford terrific opportunities for photographers. Juxtapose this with the massive concrete and steel of the Panama Canal and the photo ops are literally one-of-a-kind. A Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic certified photo instructor is on board to provide assistance with your camera and instruction in elements of composition to help you take your best photos ever.
- We’re Committed to the Planet
Natural Habitat Adventure is a standard-setter in eco-conscious travel. We were the world’s first 100-percent carbon-neutral travel company. And we continue to break innovative ground in adopting practices that help to protect our global environment. Because of our concern for the environment, we are pleased to partner with Lindblad Expeditions for our Adventure Cruises, a company that share our values and commitment to the planet.
- NHA is WWF’s Travel Partner
Because of our environmental commitment and the outstanding quality of our adventures, World Wildlife Fund has chosen Natural Habitat Adventures as its worldwide travel partner, a designation we’re very proud of!
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