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
Herradura, Costa Rica / Carara National Park

In Carara National Park, home to the northernmmost Pacific coastal rainforest and the transition zone to the tropical dry forest, enjoy a boat trip on the Crocodile River, take a walk on one of the park's hiking trails, or visit a local garden.

Day 3
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 4
Playas del Coco, Costa Rica / Palo Verde National Park

Options today include a boat tour through the birding paradise of Palo Verde National Park, with the possibilities of seeing cattle egrets, roseate spoonbills, wood storks, green-backed herons, anhingas, black-crowned night herons, and many others. You can also opt to take a horseback ride or raft in the Cañón de la Vieja.

Day 5
San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua / Granada

Situated picturesquely at the foot of a volcano and on the shore of a lake, the Nicaraguan town of Granada never ceases to conjure up stunning views of the natural and the man-made. Founded by the Spanish in 1524, it was one of the most influential towns in Central America for around 200 years. It is still considered an insider tip among the region’s colonial pearls. The significance of its historical legacy has earned it a very special seal of approval: a place on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. You can also take a boat trip on Lake Nicaragua or explore Masaya Volcano National Park, the first (and largest) national park in Nicaragua.

Day 6
At Sea

Climbing the rigging, untying ropes, setting sails—today is all about sailing. Time to lean back and relax in your deck chair and watch the crew hoisting the sails by hand.

Day 7
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 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 Pearl Islands are a group of more than 200 islands lying about 30 miles off the coast of Panama. The TV series Survivor was filmed here, and you'll have the day to spend at the beach.

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.

Itinerary for 15-day Dec 21, 2022, departure:
Day 1: Panama City (Colón), Panama
Day 2: Panama Canal
Day 3: Pearl Islands, Panama
Days 4-5: At Sea / Golfito, Costa Rica
Day 6: Herradura, Costa Rica
Day 7: Curú, Costa Rica
Day 8: Tortuga Island, Costa Rica
Day 9: Quepos, Costa Rica
Days 10-11: At Sea / Corinto, Nicaragua
Days 12-13: Granada, Nicaragua
Day 14: Playas del Coco, Costa Rica
Days 15: San Jose, Costa Rica

Itinerary for 12-day Jan 15, 2023, departure:
Day 1: Panama City (Colón), Panama
Day 2: Panama Canal
Day 3: Pearl Islands, Panama
Day 4: At Sea
Day 5: Golfito, Costa Rica
Day 6: Herradura, Costa Rica
Day 7: Curú / Tortuga Island, Costa Rica
Day 8: Quepos, Costa Rica
Day 9: At Sea
Day 10: Granada, Nicaragua
Day 11: Playas del Coco, Costa Rica
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: $11,785  
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