Explore the wild coastal rain forests of Costa Rica and Panama by expedition ship, sail through the fascinating Panama Canal, and then venture inland to walk the suspended tree canopy bridges and explore the Monteverde cloud forest reserve.

Add an inland exploration to your coastal expedition
There is a soothing aura about Monteverde’s cloud forest. Mist drifting past silhouettes of majestic trees, the cool quiet, and the haunting music of a bird called “solitaire.” Trees draped in a profusion of bromeliads and orchids display an abundance of life. The lacy-fronded tree fern, unchanged since early ecological times, stands out as a signature cloud forest specimen. Those lucky enough to glimpse the elusive resplendent quetzal, one of the world’s most beautiful birds, will see clearly how color and grace could inspire the reverence of Mayan civilizations.

Escape into wildness in Costa Rica & Panama
The perfect winter escape. Dense, lush rain forests. Pristine, deserted beaches. Monkeys galore. Coatimundis and dozing sloths, plus toucans, macaws, and hummingbirds. Walk deep into the rain forest; the only sounds you’ll hear are the birds and monkeys in the trees and your own footfalls. And slowly, everyday life dissipates as revitalization takes over. Each day reveals distinct facets of the region: forest trails for hiking, a cool swim in a waterfall pool, and a coral reef to snorkel. Opportunities abound to see creatures in their natural environs—both on land and in the sea.

Exhilarating adventures daily
In Monteverde you’ll walk bridges suspended in the rain forest canopy that offer a rare bird’s eye view of the jungle, plus hike the extensive network of jungle trails with your naturalist. On the coast, you’ll kayak stretches of shore where the rain forest meets the sea, search for wildlife in an expedition landing craft, and transit the Panama Canal—a modern wonder of the world. Snorkel at Isla Coiba, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with some of the best reefs in the Eastern Pacific.

Naturalists help you see and learn more
The cloud forest is a secretive place, revealing its magic to the trained eye of our naturalists, who help you observe all facets of this marvelous habitat. On our Costa Rica expedition, you experience the forest trail at ground level. In Monteverde, you explore the upper forest canopy on an exhilarating Sky Walk—a series of suspension bridges—for a bird’s-eye view. Spend two nights at a charming, family-owned lodge.
Upon arrival, a short drive brings us to the Doubletree Cariari. (D)
A scenic drive, approximately five hours over some bumpy roads for the last half, up the mountain takes us to Monteverde Cloud Forest, an acclaimed private reserve. Bathed in cool, year-round moisture, the forest is covered with mosses and 300 species of orchids. Walk trails rich with butterflies, insects and birds and watch for the rare resplendent quetzal. We ascend the Skywalk, a series of suspension bridges, for a bird's-eye view of the rain forest canopy. Later, learn about life in the early Monteverde community, which was established by the Quakers in the 1970s. Eleven families left Alabama and came to Costa Rica in search of peaceful living. Among the original homesteaders is Marvin Rockwell who documented the emigration. He will give us a talk on the trials and triumphs of rural life in the tropics. We spend the night at a charming, family-owned lodge. (B,L,D)
Continue our exploration of Monteverde and travel to Herradura to embark our ship. (B,L,D)
The abundant wildlife here is most active in the early morning, so we are sure to get an early start. Lethargic three-toed sloths can be easy to spot, but it often takes the expert eye of a naturalist to point out monkeys or vividly colored birds as they zip through the forest. In the afternoon, we explore Costa Rica’s beautiful coast where we’ll find a great spot for a hike or swim. (B,L,D)
The National Geographic Sea Lion anchors off the remote Osa Peninsula and the environs of Corcovado National Park. Our exact landing spot for the day will depend on sea conditions. You may swim in waterfall pools, horseback ride on the beach or kayak. Trek through the rain forest for a chance to see three species of monkey in one day: howler, spider and squirrel! (B,L,D)
Today we visit Casa Orquideas, a privately owned garden accessible only by boat and special invitation, where we see a profusion of orchids; and look for tanagers, parrots and gaudy toucans. Later, explore the forested bay of Golfo Dulce, ideal for kayaking or swimming. (B,L,D)
Isla Coiba is one of Panama’s most remote national parks, where you may hike the tropical, moist forest trails. The area is also perfect for swimming and snorkeling amid tropical fish. Our staff will assist both novice and expert snorkelers alike. For those preferring a drier clime, our Naturalists take underwater footage, which animates our evening gathering in the lounge. (B,L,D)
Explore a cluster of islands in the Gulf of Panama via Zodiac or kayak. It’s a wonderful introduction to the region’s varied bird life. Observe large numbers of roosting and nesting seabirds: magnificent frigate birds, brown pelicans and blue-footed boobies of Galápagos fame. (B,L,D)
After breakfast, board Zodiacs for Barro Colorado Nature Monument in Lake Gatun. The island is inaccessible to most travelers and, by special arrangement, guides from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute accompany us through the tropical forest that so challenged the builders of the Canal. Reboard National Geographic Sea Lionto continue our crossing. A daylight transit cannot be guaranteed since cargo ships have priority over passenger ships. The Canal, however, is dramatically lit at night. (B,L,D)
Disembark after breakfast in Colon. Drive to the airport in Panama City for flights home. (B)
All day-by-day breakdowns are a sampling of the places we intend to visit, conditions permitting.

Category 1

$ 10180 AUD pp
Category 1
Main Deck #300-305 - Conveniently positioned between the Dining room and Lounge, these cabins feature two lower single beds, a writing desk and a view window.

Category 2

$ 11300 AUD pp
Category 2
Bridge Deck #100-104; Upper Deck #200-212, 215 - These well-located cabins include two lower single beds and a view window.

Category 3

$ 12550 AUD pp
Category 3
Bridge Deck #105, 106; Upper Deck #214, 216, 217, 219 - These cabins feature a seating unit with table and two large view windows. Upper Deck cabins include two lower single beds which can convert to a double bed and a pull-out single bed for a third person; Bridge Deck cabins include two lower single beds only.

Category 1 single

$ 14460 AUD pp
Category 1 single
Main Deck #300-305 - Conveniently positioned between the Dining room and Lounge, these cabins feature two lower single beds, a writing desk and a view window.

Category 2 single

$ 16340 AUD pp
Category 2 single
Bridge Deck #100-104; Upper Deck #200-212, 215 - These well-located cabins include two lower single beds and a view window.

National Geographic SeaBird & SeaLion

Vessel Type: Comfortable Expedition

Length: 52 metres

Passenger Capacity: 62 (in twin cabins)

Built: 1982 / Refurbished 2015

Twin Expedition ships, National Geographic Sea Bird & Sea Lion, can reach places inaccessible to larger ships due to their small size, yet each can comfortably accommodate 62 guests. The feeling, is often compared to that of a large private yacht, with everyone integral to the adventure. Accessibility means freedom. Our captains have decades of sailing experience in the regions we explore. They know when and where to navigate so that you feel the places we visit are all ours.

Full interior renovations have been completed on these twin 62-guest ships, National Geographic Sea Lion and National Geographic Sea Bird. The extensive renovation to guest cabins, the lounge and bar, dining room, public areas and spa has transformed the ships to provide the ultimate in expedition hospitality and comfort. Nothing has been left untouched, from the sleekly framed wall photos, to the fresh paint, and new carpets throughout the ships.

  • The lounge and bar have been completely redesigned and reconfigured to provide an open, enhanced environment with additional seating and better flow. The modern design features new tables and chairs, upholstery of settees, overhead ceiling panels, and LED dimmable lighting. The lounge also hosts a new food & beverage area, library, and Global Market. 
  • The dining room’s upgrade features all new tables, chairs, ceiling panels, and LED dimmable lighting. The wine bar has been replaced and features a display showcasing selections from the regions explored.
  • Every cabin has been completely redone and all furnishings have been replaced. Modern aged cherry bed boxes, faux leather headboards, Lindblad signature bed linens, new windows, lighting, and additional USB outlets provide a dramatic makeover for a relaxing guest experience. Bathrooms now feature new shower doors and all new hardware.
  • Exterior renovations include new deck furniture and outdoor awning.
  

  


Cabin layout for National Geographic SeaBird & SeaLion
National Geographic SeaBird & SeaLion

National Geographic SeaBird & SeaLionNational Geographic SeaBird & SeaLion

Expedition Expedition

11 Days from
$ 10180 AUD pp

Highlights

• See monkeys, sloths, rare birds, and venture deep into the rain forest

• Transit the Panama Canal, with an exclusive stop to visit the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

• Kayak, hike, swim, and snorkel; actively explore these idyllic islands and hidden waterways, getting the same enriching experience offered on our eight-day Costa Rica and Panama expedition

• Venture inland for an exploration of the picturesque Monteverde cloud forest

or call us on

NZ Freephone
0800 945 3327

AUS Freephone
1800 107 715

to help you make your reservation

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