Ponant has announced a new itinerary for 2020. An Exploration In Nature In Costa Rica & The Panama Canal, a 10-night/11-day nature experience, will take place aboard the new explorer ship, Le Dumont-d’Urville. The sailing is scheduled for January 6 -16, 2020. Rates start at $5,570 per guest based on double occupancy.
The new itinerary is part of Ponant’s Quintessential Collection. The program will feature speaker Paul Donahue who has worked with birds and mammals in nature reserves throughout Central America since 1972 and has explored most sites on the itinerary.
The expedition highlights Costa Rica’s efforts to preserve its natural treasures and will explore the vegetation and fauna of three national parks, including Corcovado National Park.
Guests will board the ship at Puerto Caldera in Puntarenas, Costa Rica, followed by a visit to Curù National Park where more than ten thousand species of plants, three hundred species of birds, and two hundred species of butterflies are present. The less dense undergrowth of the area makes spotting wildlife easier than in the deeper forest. Howler monkeys, spider monkeys, sloths, two- and three-finger hooded vultures, brown pelicans, Scarlet Macaw, and toucans call this area their home.
The itinerary continues with visits to Manuel Antonio National Park, before moving on to the Osa Peninsula; Cebaco, Panama; and Punta Alegre/Darien Jungle, a UNESCO World Heritage site. On day eight, the ship will transit the Panama Canal for a visit to the San Blas Islands to learn about the culture and craftsmanship of the indigenous Kuna people. A visit to Holandes Cayes follows before disembarkation in Colon on day eleven.
Adding to the itinerary are talks by Paul Donahue. He has divided his time between research and ecotourism and has constructed rain forest canopy walkways in Peru and Costa Rica with his wife Teresa Wood. From 1991-94 they co-directed the Amazon Center for Environmental Education and Research in northeastern Peru.