Small ship cruising with Tauck is a wonderful way to explore the Central American countries of Panama and Costa Rica. We spent time on land – including two nights each in Panama City and San Jose – but most exciting was our six-night voyage aboard the recently renovated m/v Tere Moana. Carrying a maximum of 90 passengers and a crew of 60, the ship sometimes felt as if it felt as if we were on our very own yacht. The crew was extremely attentive, and we loved the elegant ambiance, roomy accommodations and gourmet dining.
The crossing of the Panama Canal was simply spectacular. It took a full 10 hours to make the passage by boat. Watching the intricate locks open and close by night, and the boat rise a full 85 feet, was fascinating – especially when you realize this architectural wonder was conceived more than a century ago. In two years, the crossing will be even speedier, since there is currently an expansion construction project in the works, doubling the capacity to allow more traffic through this engineering marvel.
We were also fascinated by the communities we had the opportunity to visit: the Kuna and the Embera Indians. These are isolated tribes, whose members speak their own native tongue and keep their colorful and traditional outfits. It was very interesting to learn about their customs, their dances and how they live in these remote areas.
We explored a variety of landscapes on this trip. Swimming and snorkeling on the clear waters of secluded islands on the Atlantic and Pacific gave us a unique opportunity to experience wild and untouched beaches. The lush rainforest in both countries was so rich in vegetation. In contrast, Panama City and San Jose offered us the opportunity to visit historic colonial cities that are now bustling urban centers. Expert naturalists and informative tour guides only enhanced our understanding of all the landmarks and sights we visited.
I highly recommend this Panama Canal & Costa Rica small cruise ship itinerary with Tauck. Cruising combined with touring on land offers visitors a wonderful way to see so much of the area on just one vacation. This trip is of special interest to anyone who loves learning more about foreign cultures, history, natural wonders and one very special engineering feat, the Panama Canal.
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Tauck not only offers a small-ship cruising itinerary to Panama and Costa Rica, but also to the Galapagos, Italy, Greece, Southeast Asia and Antarctica! For more information, call your AffordableTours.com travel consultant.
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