EXPLORE THE STUNNING CARIBBEAN COAST OF CENTRAL AMERICA
May 2 - 11, 2019

 
 
 Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena, Colombia

Expedition Highlights...

› Visit six countries in ten days

› Explore the San Blas Islands, and undiscovered archipelago

› Swim and snorkel around the colorful reefs

› Learn about the historic Creole culture

› Enrich the experience with informative talks and presentations from local guides and a stellar expedition team

› Experience this tropical paradise in a zodiac, kayak or on a stand-up paddle board

› Enjoy photographer-in-residence, active cruising and wellness programs

 Costa Rica to Panama route

Costa Rica to Panama route

Day by day itinerary... 

DAY 1 / COLON, PANAMA (THURSDAY, MAY 2, 2019)

We will rendezvous mid-afternoon at a central location in Panama City and transfer by bus to the port at Colon. Upon arriving at the port we will board RCGS Resolute, our home for the next 10 days. Ideally you will have arrived a day or two early into Panama City, in order to adjust to any time change, acclimatize, and prepare for our adventure together. You could opt for a day trip through the Panama Canal as our voyage heads straight out into the Caribbean Sea. Having a day or two buffer also helps if you experience any flight delays or other travel hurdles. After embarking and settling into our rooms, we’ll gather for cocktails, followed by dinner, after which we’ll relax on deck and enjoy the tropical sunset.

DAY 2 /SAN BLAS ISLANDS, PANAMA

With over 365 islands scattered over 100 square miles, we could spend an entire year visiting an island each day. Most of the islands are not inhabited, however, the larger islands - Aguja, Guanidup, Chichimei and El Porvenir are inhabited by the indigenous people known as the Kuna, or Guna. Since 1925 the Kuna have maintained political autonomy from the mainland and still practice their traditional form of government. Although the San Blas Islands are a very popular vacation destination for Panamanians, it is recognized that any visitor there is a guest of the Kuna. Their reliance on small crops, fishing and harvesting coconuts has kept the islands largely free of any industry and therefore beautiful and pristine.

Kuna People.jpg

DAY 3 / CARTAGENA & ROSARIO ISLANDS, COLOMBIA

Cartagena’s ‘Old Town’, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is surrounded by more than 10 kilometres of centuries-old stone walls. Within these walls lie a maze of cobblestoned streets and alleys. Bougainvillea drips off the balconies of colonial houses and a resplendent cathedral appears around every corner. We will wander the streets taking in the vibrant colours of the markets, the brightly painted houses, artisan shops and galleries. Be sure to take a break and cool down with a limonada de coco (with or without rum). Later in the day we’ll sail for the Rosario Islands. These 28 islands were declared a National Park in order to protect the critical coral reef that encircles the archipelago. We will stop by the Oceanarium and the Museum of Marine Life to learn a little about the coral and ecosystems we are going to see – then we’ll grab a snorkel, kayak or paddleboard and visit the ‘real thing’ first hand. The evening and following day will be spent at sea, heading towards the San Andrés and Providencia Islands.

DAY4 / AT SEA

Today we make our way northwest towards Nicaragua. We will have a series of educational presentations on the local flora and fauna we hope to encounter in the coming days. Photography awareness will play a big role, to ensure we understand the opportunities available to us in order to capture these incredible experiences. Today is a great opportunity to take binoculars out on deck and look for seabirds travelling alongside the ship.

Coral Reef_Central America.jpg

DAY 5 / SAN ANDRES & PROVIDENCIA ISLANDS, COLOMBIA

This quirky pair of islands, San Andrés and Providencia, found off the coast of Nicaragua, are historically connected to England and are politically part of Colombia. The result, socially speaking, is the 300-year-old English-Creole-speaking Raizal culture which bumps up against the much more recently arrived Colombian culture. These islands are a favourite weekend getaway for Colombians who come here to party, shop tax- free, and sunbathe. Fortunately the night life is concentrated in the towns, leaving the rest of the island quite peaceful and pristine. We will take the time to investigate the quieter corners, bays, and atolls, perhaps stopping for a snorkel or paddle, to take in the beauty of the coral reefs. On Providencia we can, once again, spend time in the small town, or stretch our legs on a hike up Alto El Pico, for 360-degree views of the entire Caribbean. Those looking for a more gentle stroll can wander the beaches or head to the north end of the island to cross Lover’s Bridge, which takes you to Santa Catalina, the next island.

DAY 6 / MISKITO CAYS, NICARAGUA

Once a hot-spot for pirates, Miskito Cays may be the least discovered island of Nicaragua. Sitting 80km off shore, Miskito Cays are part of the Northern Atlantic autonomous region, which is recognized by the Nicaraguan government. The Miskito people have maintained their ancient culture, governed by their ‘Council of Elders’ and continue to practice the tradition of no private property. The seascape and marine life in this area is so complex, delicate and interesting, it was declared part of the larger Biological Marine reserve and Coastal Fringe in 1991. What better way to take in this amazing ecosystem than with a tranquil paddle in a kayak or on a stand-up paddle board. If you’d rather keep your feet dry, you can stroll the beaches and head for ‘town’ – a cluster of homes built on stilts in the water.

Toucan.jpg

DAY 7 / GUANAJA, HONDURAS

Originally named Pine Island by Christopher Columbus, Guanaja is both lush and mountainous with it highest peak topping out at 1400 feet. We have the option of a short hike to the only waterfall on the island, or a longer hike up to Grant’s Peak for amazing views of the nearby islands. Sitting on the second largest barrier reef in the world, it is not surprising that diving and snorkeling are very popular activities. If anyone is interested in catching dinner, there is guided fly-fishing available as well. If anyone is looking to hit the ‘big city’, Bonacca (actually an island itself) has a store, a bank and a pharmacy.

DAY 8 / JEANNETTE KAWAS NATIONAL PARK, HONDURAS

Officially named Jeannette Kawas National Park in honour of the environmental activist, this park was previously known as Punta Sal. Here the large lagoon, marine estuaries, tropical rainforests, and mangrove swamps make for an incredibly diverse National Park. Jungle trails allow us to explore the park, a well-known birding destination with over 300 species noted, including the green-breasted mountain-gem and resplendent quetzal. The West Indian manatee and several types of sea turtles also frequent this area. Further inland you may run into howler or white-headed capuchin monkeys. This park is also inhabited by the Garifuna people who have lived here for hundreds of years. Their villages are scattered throughout the park and the Garifuna traditions and culture are also protected by the park’s mandate.

Dolphin.jpg

DAY 9 / BLACKBIRD CAYE & TURNEFFE ATOLL, BELIZE

World renowned for their diving, snorkeling and fly-fishing, blackbird caye and the turneffe atoll offer an incredible array of marine life. More than 500 species of fish, 65 species of stony coral, plus seas turtles, manatees, dolphins, and a plethora of seabirds, all call this area home. Using our kayaks, paddleboards, zodiacs, or simply our feet, we will get up close and personal with these hidden treasures. A paddle through the lagoons will reveal more than 150 mangrove islands and the incredible marine life that goes with that.

DAY 10 / COZUMEL, MEXICO (SATURDAY MAY 11, 2019)

Today you will wake up off the shores of Cozumel, Mexico the final destination of this voyage. After breakfast we will bid farewell to the crew and disembark the ship. Transportation will be provided to the Cozumel airport where you can begin your journey home, or on to further adventures in Mexico.

Snorkelling2-2.jpg

Expedition dates...

May 2 - 11, 2019

Gateway cities...

This trip commences in Panama City, where we journey to Colon - Panama's historic port - via a 1 hour bus ride. We recommend you arrive in Panama City at least one day prior to the scheduled voyage departure date. This gives you a buffer in the event of any unexpected travel delays between home and trip departure time.

At the end of our voyage, our disembarkation point will be Cozumel, Mexico. Here you will be transferred to either to a central downtown location or to the airport if you are flying out today.

Expedition rates...

Triple Cabin: $3,995 per person
Twin Cabin: $5,295 per person
Superior Cabin: $5,895 per person
Superior-Plus Cabin: $6,095 per person
Shackleton Suite: $7,095 per person
One Ocean Suite: $8,695 per person

Save $1,000 per person off these rates for any bookings confirmed before August 30, 2018!  Book both Central American expeditions and receive the early booking promotion on both, plus 10% off the rates on the second voyage, and much more!

All prices are listed in USD.  If traveling alone the ship will attempt to match you with another traveler of the same gender - if no roommate is found you will have the cabin to yourself at the shared rate.

If single travelers prefer a guaranteed single cabin the supplement is 1.5x for the twin occupancy cabins and 2x for the suites (single supplements not available for the triple share cabins). 

Snorkelling.jpg

Included in expedition rates...

Comprehensive pre-voyage information package including details to help you prepare for your voyage; Transfers to the ship on embarkation day and from the ship to the airport or local hotel on disembarkation; Shipboard accommodation in your selected cabin category with daily housekeeping. Cabins feature outside views with windows or portholes that open on each deck; High quality, eco friendly, Canadian made natural amenities in every cabin; All breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board throughout your voyage with daily afternoon tea; 24-hour tea, coffee, hot chocolate in bar lounge plus in-cabin tea, coffee, hot chocolate replenished daily; Experienced Expedition Leader and professional expedition team of marine bioligists, naturalists, historians, adventure guides and photographers; Daily off-ship excursions by zodiac boat breaking into small groups for shore landings; Guided hikes and walks on shore of various durations for guests of all abilities; Visits to wildlife colonies, historic sites, places of outstanding natural beauty and community visits; Educational presentations and talks by experts in their field (ie. marine biologists, naturalists, historians etc). Onboard or on shore; Resident photography guide available to assist all guests; Access to computers in the multimedia lab for image downloads, file back up and management; An emergency trained medical physician onboard every voyage; Dedicated hospitality team including Hotel Manager, four chefs, professional bar staff and Adventure Concierge staff; Onboard sauna, plunge pool, jacuzzi and fitness centre including personal trainer and massage options (charge applies for massage and spa treatments); Access to well stocked library full of reference books; Optional Sea Kayaking, snorkeling, stand up paddling boarding, etc. (inlcuded in the voyage fare); End of voyage video, photos and take home USB; Port fees and all permits to access visited areas.

Not included in expedition rates...

Any airfare; Visa and passport expenses; Pre or post-cruise hotel accommodation unless otherwise specified in the itinerary (or pre-arranged); Pre or post-cruise transfers unless otherwise specified in the itinerary (or pre-arranged); Personal expenses on board such as alcoholic beverages, bar charges or laundry expenses; Telecommunication charges (ie. email, satellite phone); Baggage, cancellation or medical travel insurance related expenses (comprehensive travel insurance is mandatory on all One Ocean Expeditions trips); A voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for expedition staff and ship crew (suggested amount – $US12-15 per day)

Sea Kayaking_Central America.jpg

The right ship = The best experience... 

RCGS Resolute offers exceptional onboard facilities and provides an ideal platform for expedition cruising in remote locations. Outstanding observation areas both inside and from the outer decks allow you to be completely absorbed by the coastal landscapes along the way. Our priority is to craft specially designed itineraries that provide you with maximum time in the pristine locations we visit. The vessel has capacity of just 146 guests and we break into small, special interest groups. There are wonderful hiking options onshore, visits to small coastal communities, historic sites and throughout the voyage we enjoy outstanding wilderness areas. Cruising in the zodiacs photographing the landscapes, or observing coastal marine and bird life is a highlight for many. For the more adventurous, sea kayaking and stand-up paddle boards are another memorable experience. 

Passports & Visas...

At the time of publication, US, Canadian, UK, Australian, New Zealand, and South African passport holders travelling to Central America for touristic purposes do not require a visa for stays up to 90 days. Ensure your passport is valid for more than six months after your intended stay in these countries. For visitors travelling on other passports, be sure to check with your consulate.

Kayaking option...

The sea kayaking program is open to any passenger with an adventurous spirit and some prior paddling experience. Included in the voyage fare, an expression of interest must be mentioned at the time of booking. You will need to complete a special questionnaire outlining your previous kayaking experience. Please request this document if you are interested in joining the sea kayaking program on occasion.

 San Las Island, Panama

San Las Island, Panama

 

ABOUT OUR ITINERARY: Small ship expedition cruising can sometimes be unpredictable. Specific sites visited will depend on prevailing weather and sea conditions at the time of sailing. The above itinerary should be read as a 'guide only' and may change. The ship's Captain in conjunction with the Expedition Leader continually review the sailing plan throughout the voyage, making adjustments to the itinerary along the way to
take advantage of optimal weather and sea conditions or to maximise our encounters with wildlife. Years of experience spent exploring these waterways mean we have plenty of outstanding landing sites and zodiac cruising locations to consider, even when the weather conditions may not be ideal. A flexible approach is something we encourage you to bring to the ship.

All photos courtesy of One Ocean Expeditions.