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And we'll drop by the Smithsonian Biological. Research Institute on ... region and expedition ship ensure we can offer the most holistic way to experience its rain ...
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DEAR TRAVELLER, If the Panama Canal were no more than its series of locks, it would still stand as one of man’s most impressive achievements. On their own the locks—which began operation over 100 years ago and ushered in a new era of global commerce—are well worth the visit. However, the canal is also full of 77 kilometres of incredible wildness. Its riches in biodiversity and rain forests surprises some travellers who expect only to find steel and concrete. Our two-day transit of the canal is unique, and we have made exclusive arrangements that are key to appreciating it fully. We’ll see it by day and dramatically lit by night. And we’ll drop by the Smithsonian Biological Research Institute on Barro Colorado Island for hikes and tours by expedition landing craft. To take full advantage of Panama, we’ve also created a special extension for you—to spend time, and an overnight, in Panama City. We’ll visit the Canal Expansion Observation Centre for a view of the new locks, visit the much-lauded, new Frank Gehry-designed Biodiversity Museum, and see the transformation of Casco Viejo, the city’s Old Quarter and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Then, we’ll leave the man-made behind, to explore spectacularly wild stretches of Costa Rica and Panama. We’ll snorkel, swim, and kayak along the shores of wild islands, venture up rain forest-canopied rivers in expedition landing craft—and paddle our new fleet of stand-up paddleboards in clear, placid waters. Top experts—the naturalists, biologists, photographers aboard—will help you see, do, and learn more along the way. And you’ll benefit from the onboard Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor who’ll help you capture it all in your best photos ever. If you have the luxury of time, I encourage you to extend your time in the region with land extensions to Costa Rica’s cloud forest in Monteverde, or to the Caribbean coast with a stay in Tortuguero, a charming car-less town that radiates canals we explore by small boat or kayak to see camin, monkeys, and a variety of birds. And speaking of choice, we are offering this land-based journey in conjunction with our ship-based expedition or independently (program on page 20). Whichever way you choose to explore with us, you’ll find it satisfyingly comprehensive, and well-curated by our smart, engaging staff. I hope you’re inspired to join us soon.

All the best,

Sven-Olof Lindblad P.S. As an extra incentive to join us in the 2016/17 season, you will receive a special savings offer of $560 per person if you book before 31 August 2016.

Front cover: Capuchin monkeys. ©Gregory Basco/Visuals Unlimited Inc.. This page: Passion flower. © Jeffrey Munoz. Ship’s Registry: United States

Black- mandibled toucan.

Adult and juvenile capuchin monkey.


1300 361 012 (AUSTRALIA)

Scarlet Macaw.

View of National Geographic Sea Lion.

GO BY SHIP TO EXPERIENCE THE BREADTH OF BIODIVERSITY Costa Rica & Panama is a land of beauty and contrasts: the natural splendour of Costa Rica and the tropical wildness of Panama, plus the stark, industrial Panama Canal, a man-made marvel in constant use for 100 years. Our experience in the region and expedition ship ensure we can offer the most holistic way to experience its rain forests, beaches, idyllic isles, as well as the Canal. In 30 years of sharing Costa Rica & Panama, we’ve discovered the best hidden rain forest trails and waterfalls and forged bonds with locals that allow us to offer experiences that would otherwise be impossible. You’ll visit a vast orchid garden that’s been tended by American expats for 30 years. Venture up winding rain forest rivers aboard expedition landing craft. He