Costa Rica and Panama Expedition Cruise

Aboard the Sea Cloud Spirit


The tiny countries of Panama and Costa Rica are home to more species of plants and animals than can be found in all of Northern America and Europe combined, with more than a quarter of their total area under protection of more than 200 national parks, forest reserves, and game sanctuaries. From rainforests and tropical flower paradises to mystical mangrove woods and beautiful beaches, there is no end to the natural highlights that await your discovery on this exciting voyage. The sea surrounding Costa Rica is the perfect place for sailing—and the Sea Cloud Spirit is the perfect yacht to sail in. The ship will cruise between far-flung national parks, ensuring that you arrive completely refreshed and ready to begin each new adventure on land. Highlights include the fascinating Panama Canal, a phenomenal masterpiece of engineering—passing through the mighty locks during the day is a special experience!—and the UNESCO world heritage site of Granada, Nicaragua, with its astounding colonial legacies dating back 500 years.

Note: This cruise is not exclusive to, nor operated by, Wilderness Travel, who acts solely as agent in booking your reservation with the ship operator. The itinerary, lecturers, and all other arrangements are subject to change at the discretion of the cruise line.


Day 1
San Jose, Costa Rica / Embark

After arriving in San Jose, transfer to Puntarenas and embark on the Sea Cloud Spirit, departing at 10:00 pm.

Day 2
At Sea

Enjoy a day at sea getting acquianted with the ship and fellow passengers.

Day 3
Playa Panama, Costa Rica

The Palo Verde National Park stretches along one bank of the Rio Tempisque. It features the densest population of water fowl in the whole of Costa Rica and is one the best areas for bird watching in Central America - almost 300 species of bird have been identified here. The best vantage point to see them is on a boat trip through the mangroves.

Day 4
At Sea

Today is all about sailing. Relax onboard and watch the passionate crew hoisting the sails by hand.

Day 5
Quepos, Costa Rica / Manuel Antonio National Park

Quepos is home to Manuel Antonio National Park, with its unspoiled beaches and many hiking trails. You can opt to take a hike in the rainforest or take a boat tour through the winding channels of the mangrove forest. The birdlife is terrific, with more than 350 resident species.

Day 6
Golfito, Costa Rica / Piedras Blancas National Park

Explore the enchanting El Chorro waterfall in Piedras Blancas National Park, with its stunning diversity of flora and fauna, or board a catamaran in search of dolphins.

Day 7
Coiba National Park, Panama

The Coiba National Park covers the island of Coiba, the larges in the country, and 38 other smaller tiny islets. It is one of the world's largest marine national parks and is protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Because the island broke off from the mainland around 15,000 yeas ago, a unique range of flroa and fauna and an extraordinary variety of species are preserved here. Beautiful deserted beaches nestle up to the delightful turquoise sea.

Day 8
At Sea

Enjoy another relaxing day at sea, perhaps to take in a soothing massage or just sit in a deck chair and watch the passing scenery with a good book in hand.

Day 9
Pearl Islands, Panama

The name of this Pacfici Archipelago in the Gulf of Panama pre-dates the Spanish conquest to a time when its inhabitants were pearl fisherman and traded in oyster pearls. Where in previous centuries pirates and buccaneers hid out and buried their loot, other treasures can now be found. Over 200 islands, of which even the smallest are inhabited, from an almost undisturbed paradise with a diverse range of lakes and rivers, enchanting white coral beaches, golden sandy beaches and black volcanic beaches, rounded off with lush green tropical vegetation.

Day 10
Panama Canal

Spend a full day sailing through the astounding Panama Canal. This masterpiece of engineering art has been connecting the Pacific with the Atlantic for more than 100 years. In 2016, its extension was opened: Within nine years, 40,000 workers had used 192,000 tons of steel in order to enable the passage of giant freighters carrying up to 14,000 containers. Passing through the mighty locks during the day is a rather special experience!

Day 11
San Blas Archipelago

Visit the indigenous Guna people of the San Blas islands. Time seems to stand still here, with the Guna people still living as their ancestors did. Hammocks sway in bamboo huts; in front of them women sew molas, brightly colored works of fabric art. The fascinating culture of the islands can be discovered at leisure. Because the Guna want to preserve their customs, they do not allow mass tourism in their paradise.

Day 12
Panama City (Colón) / Depart

Arrive in Panama City and disembark at 8:00 am.

Reverse Itinerary
Panama City, Panama to San Jose, Costa Rica

Day 1: Panama City (Colón), Panama
Day 2: San Blas Archiipelago, Panama
Day 3: Sailing through the Panama Canal
Day 4: Pearl islands, Panama
Day 5: At Sea
Day 6: Coiba National Park, Panama
Day 7: Golfito, Costa Rica
Day 8: Quepos, Costa Rica
Day 9: At Sea
Day 10: Playa Panama, Costa Rica
Day 11: At Sea 
Day 12: San Jose, Costa Rica



Small countries with a lot of natural diversity: Costa Rica and Panama
Sail the fascinating Panama Canal
Granada, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
The green paradises of Costa Rica's national parks
Expert lecturers accompany each departure


Length: 12 days
Cost From: $10,385  
Arrive: San Jose, Costa Rica
Depart: Panama City, Panama
Lodging: 11 nights aboard a 136-passenger vessel
Meals: All meals aboard ship, including wine, beer, and soft drinks with lunch and dinner
Activity: Small Boat and Yacht Cruising
Trip Level:

11-day cruise, cultural explorations and walking tours, snorkeling and swimming