For Immediate Release
January 19, 2009
Tahoe City, CA > Panama is a destination that offers travelers a surprisingly diverse selection of landscapes, cultures and experiences. Exploring by small ship only enhances those experiences, with up-close exploration of tropical rainforests, isolated beaches, remote, Native villages and of course, the famous Panama Canal.
AdventureSmith Explorations’ eight-day Panama Adventure Cruise aboard the 24-passenger Discovery catamaran is a journey designed specifically for lovers of nature, culture, bird life, wildlife and activity. Each day offers new opportunities for off-vessel exploration, and expert naturalist guides lead nature hikes, visits to remote villages, kayaking excursions, and snorkeling among unspoiled reefs. Each evening is reserved for rest and relaxation in the company of fellow passengers and crew to enjoy delicious cuisine and luxurious accommodations aboard the Discovery.
Day one of the cruise begins in Panama City, where guests board the catamaran Discovery and set sail toward Contadora before navigating to the Darien Jungle – a place that not many have had the privilege of experiencing. More than a simple shore excursion, day two of this unique itinerary is a journey into the lives of the Embera Indians, a proud people who have maintained their traditions and lifestyle as they were before the Spaniards colonized the region.
Day three of the adventure is spent snorkeling, swimming, sea kayaking and joining divers from Esmeralda in search of pearl oysters in the waters of the Pearl Islands. On the outer portion of this archipelago, the islands of San Telmo and Galera are home to pristine beaches, perfect for snorkeling and exploring by sea kayak.
The following day, guests awake at the Pacific entrance of the Panama Canal and join the morning ship convoy for a northbound canal passage traversing Miraflores Locks and Pedro Miguel Locks. The Discovery will be raised 85 feet above sea level to Gatun Lake, where passengers have an opportunity to experience the history and operation of this engineering marvel.
At Gatun Lake, guests explore Barro Colorado Island, where the Smithsonian’s Tropical Research Center is located, and the trip’s expedition leader will take passengers aboard small crafts past lush rainforests to secluded areas of the lake to witness firsthand the splendor and excitement of the jungle. Exotic birds, monkeys, sloths, iguanas and crocodiles are just a few of the animals that guests could see in their native surroundings. Cameras are a must, as this is considered the world’s premier location for viewing monkeys and other animals in the wild. Following this breathtaking excursion, the Discovery will exit the Panama Canal in the afternoon on its way to the mouth of the Chagres River.
Day six is spent experiencing the magnificent Chagres River, which was used by the conquistadors to move their gold across the Isthmus of Panama from Peru to Spain, and by the gold prospectors who attempted a "short cut" from the east coast of the United States to the gold fields of California. Guests explore Fort San Lorenzo, where trip leaders share the immense amount of history found in this area.
The next day, guests enjoy the Caribbean town of Portobelo, which was founded by Christopher Columbus on his fourth voyage to the new continent in 1597 and was the most important refuge for the Spanish galleons in the Caribbean. This quaint town is rich in history, as it was the site of many sea and land battles between the Spanish colonials and the pirates and corsairs raiding the Spanish Main. Guests explore the fortifications built by the Spaniards to protect their treasures and visit the Church of San Felipe, the sanctuary of the Black Christ.
On the last day of the itinerary, passengers awake to a farewell breakfast before disembarking the Discovery, then travel by motor coach to Panama City, traversing the Trans-Isthmian Highway from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean where their journey ends.
Rates per person for the Panama Adventure Cruise, based on double occupancy, start at $4,350. Cruises depart Feb 7–14, 2009, Feb 28–Mar 7, 2009, Mar 28–Apr 4, 2009, Apr 18–25, 2009, May 30–Jun 6, 2009, Aug 1– 8, 2009, Oct 10–17, 2009, Oct 31–Nov 7, 2009, Dec 26–Jan 2, 2010.
For reservations or more information, visit www.AdventureSmithExplorations.com, call 1-800-728-2875, or email travel@AdventureSmithExplorations.com.
About AdventureSmith Explorations
AdventureSmith Explorations specializes in small ship cruise expeditions and wilderness tours. Company founder Todd Smith pioneered the concept of wilderness cruising - combining the comforts of a small cruise ship with the adventure of sea kayaking and exploring ashore in remote wilderness areas. Founded in 2003, AdventureSmith Explorations strives to create connections with the world's exotic natural environments and native cultures through travel, combining fun and exciting activities such as sea kayaking, hiking, small ship cruising and rafting in places not found on more conventional itineraries; extraordinary, off-the-beaten-path places in such destinations as Alaska, the Caribbean, Costa Rica, Belize, Ecuador and the Galapagos, Guatemala, the Arctic, Antarctica and New Zealand.
In addition to its Carbon Free Cruising campaign, it is the company's mission is to give something back to the individuals, communities and environments encountered on every AdventureSmith Explorations trip through connecting travelers with a network of grassroots and global nonprofit partners worldwide including the Alaska Natural History Association, Neotropica Foundation, and Galapagos Conservancy, among others.