Canal to Cuba with Panama, Costa Rica & Colombia

Hear It From the Experts - Our Field Staff Love Central America

Zegrahm Contributor|July 21, 2017|Blog Post

We’ve been traveling to Central America—including Panama, Costa Rica, and Cuba—for nearly two decades; in that time, we’ve honed an incredible itinerary, filled with stunning sights both above and below the waterline. Even our expedition staff is eager to return! Find out why, below:


Susan Langley, Maritime Archaeologist

Susan Langley

Wow, trying to choose my favorite aspect of this trip is like being asked to name my favorite child! The people are amazing; from the charming Emberà Indians with their exquisite baskets and the friendly Kuna with their colorful textiles, to the delightful Cubans with their vibrant musical heritage. Mother Nature contributes more than her share with walks and canals thrumming with life—beautiful birds, mournful sloths that seem to need a hug (please resist the temptation), bats, flowers, capuchin monkeys capering through the treetops accompanied by the howlers announcing our arrival, and occasional sightings of flame-red macaws and jewel-toned frogs. One is definitely spoiled for choice on this expedition!



Brad Climpson, Marine Biologist

Brad Climpson

This trip has me salivating on many accounts! To keep this short, I'll start by saying just the transit through the Panama Canal is a huge tick for anyone who loves to travel. Closer to my heart will be our stop in Isla Coiba, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2005. It is one of the world's largest marine parks and much of its natural resources have been protected due to the fact that the area was used as a penal colony by Panama for many years. This enforced limited contact from humans means we get to enjoy the untouched natural beauty of the area, as well as its wildlife. I can’t wait!




Nadia Eckhardt, Cuba Operations Agent

Nadia Eckhardt

I can’t wait to explore some of the amazing sites of Cuba—Cienfuegos with its magnificent architecture, snorkeling in a cenote near the Bay of Pigs, and cruising around in classic cars around vibrant and beautiful Old Havana!





Brent Stephenson, Ornithologist

Brent Stephenson

Two words—bee hummingbird! The world’s smallest bird, and endemic to Cuba, there’s a chance we’ll spy one or two as we enjoy a walk in the UNESCO-designated Zapata Wetland region.





Rich Cahill, Panamanian & Naturalist

Rich Cahill

What am I most looking forward to on this expedition from the Panama Canal to Cuba? The underwater world of not one, but two seas; shockingly beautiful handicrafts created by the Emberá Indians; seeing the new, expanded Panama Canal; and learning about the unmatched history of pirates, treasure, sugar, and rum. This is the year to be on this voyage to Cuba, don't miss it!




Lynne Greig, Cruise Director

Lynne Greig

Cuba has always been on my bucket list, and I got to go for the first time this year; I only managed to scratch the surface of this wonderful country, and am so excited I have the opportunity to return next year! I could spend days exploring just Havana, wandering its alleyways, finding the hidden paladars, or private restaurants, and discovering the unique shops.





Ingrid Nixon, Naturalist

Ingrid Nixon

What am I excited about? To transit the canal is always a fascinating experience, especially knowing the blood, sweat, and political intrigue behind its construction. It's a great story that I hope to share with you!





Jack Grove, Zegrahm Cofounder & Marine Biologist

Jack Grove

A unique itinerary through the fabled Panama Canal; there are many reasons to be excited about an expedition of this nature, but as a marine biologist, it is the opportunity to experience and share the diversity of both the eastern tropical Pacific and the western tropical Atlantic. Having made the transit of the Panama Canal more than a dozen times over the past two decades, I am always exhilarated to return. This itinerary includes impressive natural history and numerous snorkeling sites on both sides of Central America, and I can’t wait!




For more information, visit Canal to Cuba with Panama, Costa Rica & Colombia


Related Blog Posts

  • Mountain Gorilla, Rwanda
    Blog Post

    The 10 Best Places to See Animals in the Wild

    October 4, 2017 | Blog Post

    I’ve been a nature-lover my whole life, but I began traveling specifically to see animals in the wild back in the early ’90s. Still in my early 20s then, I was fascinated by watching wildlife. My passion grew exponentially as I took up photography and became more adept at spotting hidden animals.

    Read More

    Isla del Caño, Costa Rica
    Blog Post

    After the Storm: How Responsible Tourism Can Help Caribbean Hurricane Recovery Efforts

    October 3, 2017 | Blog Post

    Virtually every explorer dreams of traveling to the Caribbean at least once in their lifetime.

    Read More

    Portobelo, Panama
    Blog Post

    Portobelo - A Tale of Plunder and Privateers

    October 2, 2017 | Blog Post

    Guests joining our Canal to Cuba journey spend a day exploring the colonial town of Portobelo, including its UNESCO-designated San Jerònimo (Geronimo) Fort and Castle of Santiago de la Gloria.

    Read More

  • Isla Coiba, Panama

    Endemic Birds of Cuba [Infographic]

    September 20, 2017 | Infographics

    According to a story in USA Today, some 85 million Americans enjoy watching and/or photographing birds, ranking it 15th on the list of the most popular activities. A 2011 survey by the US Fish and Wildlife Service found that around 18 million people each year take trips exclusively for birdwatching, with many participating in competitions to spot as many species as possible.

    Read More

    Raja Ampat, Indonesia
    Blog Post

    25 Fascinating Facts About Coral Reefs Around the World

    September 15, 2017 | Blog Post

    If you’ve spent any time snorkeling or scuba diving in places like Australia, the Galápagos Islands, or

    Read More

    Who was Ferdinand Magellan?
    Blog Post

    Patagonia Glaciers: An Icy Wonderland at the Edge of the Americas

    September 14, 2017 | Blog Post

    Glaciers account for some of the most jaw-dropping scenery on the planet. There are glaciers on every continent on Earth; but the most impressive are usually found in polar and high alpine regions, where cooler temperatures allow them to grow to colossal sizes. The Patagonia glaciers are among the most iconic scenes of life in southern Argentina and Chile.

    Read More

  • Easter Island
    Blog Post

    Birth of Easter Island's Birdman Cult

    September 6, 2017 | Blog Post

    In 2013, new digital imaging technology allowed scientists from the University of Southampton to more closely study the Hoa Hakana­nai'a statue in London’s British Museum.

    Read More

    Local Boy, Essequibo River, Guyana
    Blog Post

    Carib Indians and Other Indigenous Communities of Guyana

    September 5, 2017 | Blog Post

    They settled in Guyana upward of 3,000 years ago, producing masterful carvings, ceramics, and reed basketwork. They were known as fierce warriors, aggressively protecting their territory in northern South America, as well as the island region that now bears their name, the Caribbean.

    Read More

    San Blas Archipelago, Panama
    Blog Post

    Snorkeling in Cuba & Panama: A Q&A with Marine Biologist, Jack Grove

    September 1, 2017 | Blog Post

    Snorkeling and scuba diving rank among the world’s most popular travel activities, particularly in tropical regions such as Central America and the Caribbean.

    Read More

  • Island Sky
    Blog Post

    The World's Best Small-Ship Cruises

    August 24, 2017 | Blog Post

    The cruise industry tends to favor a “bigger is better” approach, with behemoth 5,000 to 6,000-guest ships becoming the new norm.

    Read More

    Isla Coiba, Panama
    Blog Post

    Endemic Birds of Cuba & Panama: A Birdwatcher's Checklist

    August 21, 2017 | Blog Post

    According to a story in USA Today, some 85 million Americans enjoy watching and/or photographing birds, ranking it 15th on the list of the most popular activities.

    Read More

    Georgetown, Guyana
    Blog Post

    Guyana - From Colonial Roots to Caribbean Republic

    August 18, 2017 | Blog Post

    If the third time’s a charm, then Christopher Columbus’s third voyage to the “New World” definitely delivered one of the Caribbean’s most captivating discoveries: Guyana. Columbus spotted Guyana’s coast during his 1498 journey, although Spanish conquistador Alonso de Ojeda would be the first European to set foot in the country a year later.

    Read More