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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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