Even though our ships are off to the Mediterranean for the summer season, we are still dreaming of the sun and sand of Costa Rica and Panama. We had an incredible season in the region in 2015/16 and wanted to share some exciting news! We are always tailoring itineraries based on guest feedback and we heard your comments regarding the night transit of the Panama Canal. In 2016/17 all of our Costa Rica and Panama sailings will include a daylight transit of the Panama Canal, as opposed to the night transit we featured this season. This daylight experience will allow guests to see the Canal from start to finish during daylight hours. In addition, we are launching a new Private Event entitled Panama Canal: Daylight Transit Celebration, which will include a Captain’s toast, live narration throughout the journey, local music, and a mobile drink cart with local beverages. More details to come, so stay tuned!
The sure highlight of any of Windstar’s Central American voyages is the incredible nature and wildlife that can be seen during the voyage. Guests are able to see animals such as howler monkeys, Scarlet Macaws, sloths, and more in their natural environment, a treat for any nature enthusiast! The whole experience is enhanced tenfold thanks to Windstar’s onboard naturalist program. On the Costa Rica & Panama Canal itinerary on March 5, 2016, guests who came on board were treated to a week-long experience with a very special naturalist: TV personality and conservationist Jeff Corwin, Windstar’s first Private Event host of 2016. Corwin is best known as host of the multi-Emmy award-winning TV series Ocean Mysteries on ABC and Animal Planet’s Jeff Corwin Experience, as well as for his years of wildlife and conservation work.
Corwin hosted the Isla de Coiba: Island Experience Private Event on the Isla de Coiba, Panama. Corwin set up a table under the palm trees where he gave mini lectures for guests and crew on Panama’s different animal species and animal/environmental conservation. He also led a group of guests hiking to the scenic island overlook, and mingled with everyone while enjoying the on shore beach barbecue.
During the voyage Corwin also presented a new Crocodile Encounter tour for guests in Puerto Jimenez, where, from a safe distance, guests were able to watch as Corwin handled a hatchling American Crocodile (Acutus Crocodile), chatting about the lifecycle of the creature. Guests also got to experience other creatures in the mangroves, including Scarlett Macaws. Corwin also gave a series of nightly onboard lectures, which Windstar offers to enhance guests’ knowledge of the next day’s port of call.
Other popular highlights from Windstar’s Costa Rica & Panama Canal sailings include:
- Daylight transit of the historic Panama Canal while enjoying a festive Canal Crossing Private Event
- Discovery of the remote and pristine coastlines of Panama and Costa Rica
- Exploration of Manuel Antonio’s lovely beaches and abundant animal life
- Golfo Dulce’s mangroves, estuaries, and rainforest teeming with flora and fauna
- The amazing variety of marine life surrounding Isla de Coiba
- Cultural performances on board from Costa Rican groups
- Optional land extension packages featuring the Arenal Volcano, the Monteverde Cloud forest or Tortuguero National Park
For a more in-depth look into Jeff Corwin’s Private Event experience, check out photos here: