Costa Rica and the Panama Canal

8 days
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4.7/5 Excellent
42 reviews  
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Cancellation Policy
Small Ship Cruise
Joining an expedition to Costa Rica and the Panama Canal is a singular experience of diverse nature and jungle wildlife coupled with an in-depth crossing of the Panama Canal, a marvel of engineering. A knowledgeable, engaging staff caters to your daily interests and provides insight, all while traveling in comfort.
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Trip type
Small Ship Cruise
Lodging level
Premium - 4 star
Physical level
Trip pace
Flexible schedule


    • Venture into remote wilderness: hike among monkeys, sloths, and tropical birds, and explore far from any inhabited places
    • Transit the Panama Canal—a historical marvel of engineering
    • Kayak cool azure waters where the rain forest meets the sea
    • Explore idyllic islands; snorkel over a vibrant coral reef and take an expedition landing craft cruise through mangroves.

What's this trip about?

    Joining an expedition to Costa Rica and the Panama Canal is a singular experience of diverse nature and jungle wildlife coupled with an in-depth crossing of the Panama Canal, a marvel of engineering. A knowledgeable, engaging staff caters to your daily interests and provides insight, all while traveling in comfort.

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Itinerary focusClassic Highlights
Group sizeStandard Group - 25 + people
Age range6 years and up
Flights and transportAll internal ground transport included
Start CityPanama City
End CitySan Jose

Travel Themes

  • Cultural
  • National Parks
  • Nature & Wildlife
  • Small Ship Cruise


  • Central America
  • Costa Rica
  • Panama


  • Coiba National Park
  • Manuel Antonio National Park
  • Panama City


  • Bird watching
  • Historic sightseeing
  • Nature
  • Snorkeling
  • Wildlife viewing

Trip includes

    • Accommodations aboard ship
    • Meals indicated
    • Non-alcoholic beverages aboard
    • Ship
    • Excursions
    • Services of Lindblad expedition leader, naturalist staff, expert guides and a ship’s doctor
    • Park fees
    • Use of kayaks and snorkelling equipment
    • All port charges and service taxes

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Travel Map

Day 1: U.S./Panama City, Panama/Colón/Embark Ship

Meals: Dinner

Depart U.S. late morning via American Airlines on a non-stop flight to Panama City. On arrival, drive to Colón to board National Geographic Sea Lion and set sail for the first part of our Panama Canal transit, anchoring in Gatún Lake for the night.

Day 2: Barro Colorado Nature Monument/ Gatún Lake/Panama Canal Transit

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Board an expedition landing craft this morning to visit Barro Colorado Nature Monument in Gatún Lake by special arrangement. Scientists have worked at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute on Barro Colorado Island since ...

Day 3: Gulf Of Panama Islets

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Our nimble motorized landing crafts allow us to navigate the tiny islets of the Gulf of Panama today, stopping to explore hidden coves and beaches. Here, we might spot magnificent frigate birds, brown pelicans, neotropic cormorants, and brown boobies.

Day 4: Isla Coiba National Park

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

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, snorkeling amid tropical fish and stand up paddle boarding. Our staff will ...

Day 5: Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Today we make our first landfall in Costa Rica. At Casa Orquídeas, a privately owned garden accessible only by boat and special invitation, see a profusion of orchids; and look for tanagers, parrots and gaudy toucans. Later, e...

Day 6: Osa Peninsula

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

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 ri...

Day 7: Golfo Dulce/Osa Peninsula

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Go ashore in the pristine waters of Playa Blanca. Head inland to meet and share with inspiring local families living in remote communities and working with cocoa, heart of palm, and sugar cane. Hike mature rain forest or kayak...

Day 8: Herradura/Disembark/San José/U.S.

Meals: Breakfast

Disembark National Geographic Sea Lion this morning in Herradura and drive to the airport for flights home, or on to other adventures. The U.S. bound flight departs in late morning, arriving in the late afternoon.

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Dates & Availability

Price From $5,990
Price per day$749
Last Updated: 5/15/2023

Check Current Availability, prices, specials with Lindblad Expeditions.

The total tour cost includes the tour price (regular or promotional) and the compulsory local payment. The promotional price is subject to change. Check directly with the operator for the latest price offer. The tour operator requires you to pay only the tour price to purchase your travel. The compulsory local payment will be paid when you join the trip. All prices are based on double, twin or triple share occupancy. Solo passengers will be accommodated in a double, twin or triple room according to availability with a passenger(s) of the same gender. Single supplement only needs to be paid if the passenger does not want to share and requests their own room. Discounts can only be applied at the time of booking and cannot be added at a later date, regardless of any changes made to the original booking.

Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.

Lindblad Expeditions Reviews & Ratings

4.7/5  Excellent
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Other Lindblad Expeditions Reviews



Aug 2020

Lindblad Expeditions Company Reviewsby Lindblad Expeditions

UnCruise is an amazing dream!!

UnCruise is an amazing dream!! The crew, the sales team, the office team, all go out of their way to make sure your experience is unforgettable. We were on the Augus...



Aug 2020

Lindblad Expeditions Company Reviewsby Lindblad Expeditions

UnCruise is an amazing dream!!

UnCruise is an amazing dream!! The crew, the sales team, the office team, all go out of their way to make sure your experience is unforgettable. We were on the Augus...



May 2020

Lindblad Expeditions Company Reviewsby Lindblad Expeditions

Several trips made and will do more

Great small ships with knowledge filled historians ans naturalists ...

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Travelers also viewed

Tour Operator

Lindblad Expeditions

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A Lindblad-National Geographic expedition is arguably the most exhilarating overseas adventure travel  experience a person can have. Nothing else comes close to approximating its authenticity and all-five-senses engagement. We offer you the world’s ultimate, authentic expedition experience: Discover the planet’s most remarkable places, accompanied by experts able to illuminate all you see, and with cool tools  to use to explore up close and personally.

Embark on an in-depth exploration of some of the most beautiful and fascinating places on Earth. They’re places we’ve been going to for decades, and our experience and renowned staff ensure the adventure of a lifetime. These are active adventures, engaging the mind and body. Explore by Zodiac, kayak, or on foot, venture to remote beaches and hidden coves, go farther and get closer to nature, wildlife, and intriguing cultures.

In 1979, Sven Lindblad founded Special Expeditions as a division of Lindblad Travel, enabling the company to further its mission of offering innovative and educational travel expeditions that were primarily marine focused. Offerings expanded to Costa Rica, Baja California, and Alaska providing travelers with opportunities to explore, on small ship cruises, the islands, coves, and open spaces of the sea that reminded Lindblad of the remote and vast expanse of the Serengeti plains. The company’s name was later changed to Lindblad Expeditions.

The National Geographic alliance

In 2004, Lindblad Expeditions embarked on one of the travel industry’s most important partnerships when it joined forces with National Geographic to further inspire the world through expedition travel.

Today with offices in New York City and Seattle, Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic operates its own fleet of 10 ship, six owned and four leased, offering life-changing adventures on all seven continents. Sven Lindblad and his team continue to pioneer innovative ways to connect with the places already “discovered”— the first to introduce kayaking to the Arctic, Antarctica, and Galápagos; the only one to offer kayaking on the Upper Amazon; the first to reveal the wonders below the ocean with an unmatched undersea program; the first to offer an unparalleled photography initiative with a Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor on each expedition and a National Geographic photographer aboard every departure of National Geographic Explorer and National Geographic Orion.

Twentieth and twenty-first century explorers respectively, Lars-Eric and Sven Lindblad have exposed countless people to the wonders of the world, fostering generations of committed citizens who care about the future of our planet. It’s in the genes.

Our Fleet

Our fleet consists of nimble, intimately-scaled expedition ships, able to safely venture where larger cruise ships cannot, allowing us to offer authentic, up-close experiences in the planet’s wild, remote places and capitals of culture. More than comfortable as your base for exploring, they are outfitted with cool tools that enable a genuine connection with the places we visit, and offer inviting private accommodations, and gracious public spaces for our expedition community to gather.

Family and Multi-Generational Travel

An expedition is the perfect means to travel and experience the wild world with your family—whether it's nuclear or multi-generational—to share an adventure and create lasting, magical memories. On every expedition we see grandparents, parents, and children connecting—sharing shipboard life, sharing activities, sharing the discoveries, and creating a bright, collective family memory. There is something about being in the wild, miles from the rituals of day-to-day life that brings out the vibrant, youthful side of family members of all ages.

Expedition Photography

There is simply nothing like Expedition Photography anywhere else in travel. Born of our expedition heritage, our exclusive program provides three key benefits:

--National Geographic photographers aboard every departure of National Geographic Explorer and National Geographic Orion, and select departures fleet-wide.

--A Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor aboard every ship in our fleet.

--Plus highly immersive Photo Expeditions, designed by photographers for photographers.


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What's excluded

    • Airfare International and internal airfare Pre- and post-expedition Additional hotel nights
    • Private transfers
    • Travel Protection Plan
    • Passport, visa, and immigration fees
    • Expedition extensions
    • Gratuities Aboard ship Alcoholic beverages (except aboardSea Cloud, National Geographic Orion,&National Geographic Explorer)
    • Spa treatments
    • Gratuities(except aboardSea Cloud, National Geographic Orion,&National Geographic Explorer)
    • Scuba diving
    • Laundry
    • Internet and phone
    • Gift shop items and any other items of personal nature
    • Cappuccinos and lattes are not available on theDelfin II
Ship & cabin information
National Geographic Quest
National Geographic Quest will be the perfect ship to explore the tropical coasts of Costa Rica, Panama,To build her we turned to Nichols Brothers Boat Builders, the company that built the beloved National Geographic Sea Bird and National Geographic Sea Lion—vessels that, with our regular maintenance schedule and recent refurbishment, have been operating successfully for decades. Nichols Brothers has been building boats on beautiful Whidbey Island since 1964 so we entrusted them with the Quest, and we are proud that it will be the first expedition ship of its kind to be made entirely in the U.S.   In addition, Quest cruise ship achieves some other notable firsts. She will be the first ship in our fleet voyaging in these geographies with step-out balconies (available in 22 of the 50 spacious cabins), plus 6 sets of connecting cabins for families and groups; and a designated mudroom for expedition gear.
National Geographic Quest comfortably accommodates 100 guests in 50 outside-facing cabins. Cabins are efficiently designed, with sizes range from the 136-square-foot category 1 to the 185-square-foot category 5 suite. Twenty-two of the 50 cabins will feature small balconies with floor-to-ceiling sliding doors that bring in the spectacular views and ample natural light. Twelve cabins will connect via internal doorway access allowing families to combine their rooms. Plus, all category 5 suite cabins can accommodate a third person on a convertible sofa bed.
Cancellation policy

Number of Days Prior to Expedition Start             Per Person Cancellation Fee

120 or more days                                                             $350*

119–90 days                                                                       Advance payment cost

89–60 days                                                                          25% of trip cost

59-45 days                                                                           50% of trip cost

44-0 days                                                                             No refund

Travel Insurance
We strongly recommend purchasing travel insurance alongside your travel package to safeguard against unforeseen circumstances such as medical expenses, trip cancellations, and other contingencies. It offers you peace of mind and ensures you are prepared for unexpected events that may occur before or during your journey
Visa requirements
Visa requirements vary depending on your country of origin and your country of destination. It is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with the relevant requirements. For a handy tool that can help you quickly find the requirements, please visit this link .
Meals Included

7 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches and 7 Dinners

Age Requirements
6 years and up
Trip ID

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