Today mark’s the 100-year anniversary of the completion of the Panama Canal. The Panama Canal is a “man-made” wonder, an engineering marvel that changed the way the world traveled and moved goods.
Un-Cruise Adventures (formerly American Safari Cruises and InnerSea Discoveries) announced today its acquisition of the 64-guest Safari Voyager for its yacht fleet with plans to offer Luxury Adventures year-round in Mexico’s Sea of Cortés beginning in November 2013. In winter 2015, the vessel will transition to sailing year-round in Central America. Previously Lindblad Expedition’s Sea Voyager, the vessel is currently in Colombia undergoing renovation.
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Cruise West, one of the world’s leading providers of small-ship exploration cruises is introducing two, six-night Cocos Island voyages and a revised nine-night Between Two Seas Panama & Costa Rica program for the 2009/2010 season. Combine both itineraries for a remarkable 15-night journey aboard the 100-guest Pacific Explorer that includes a full transit through the Panama Canal. Book early and save up to $1,200 per cabin. Read the rest of this entry
From the Sea Voyager, January 4, 2009
Panama Canal & Barro Colorado Island
Last night we accomplished the first section of our crossing through the Panama Canal. The Sea Voyager, in less than two hours, reached from the Caribbean to Gatun Lake. Passing through three chambers of the Gatun Locks was fascinating. As we were rising 85 feet above sea level, we witnessed the precise coordination between the pilot and our captain at the bridge, the control tower of the Gatun Locks, the locomotives that keep the ship aligned, and the line-handlers onboard the ship.
Today, a placid morning welcomed us to the largest island in Gatun Lake: Barro Colorado Island (BCI). Gatun Lake was formed between 1911 and 1914 by the damming of the Chagres River. Once the lake flooded the lowlands, several middle elevation terrains became islands. In order to protect the precious water, most islands were converted into biological reserves. Therefore, in 1923 BCI was established and, since then, administrated by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Within this six square-mile island, knowledge and science from the tropical forest have projected to the world.
The scattered rain in the beginning of our outings did not stop any of our guests from discovering the secrets of the rainforest. As we were hiking or taking Zodiac cruises we were able to find special moments with observations of: Mantled howler monkeys, American crocodiles, long nosed bats, snail kites, and keel-billed toucans.
By mid afternoon, we reached the infamous Gaillard or Culebra Cut. This time we witness the project of the expansion of the Canal that would permit larger Post-panamax vessels to cross this 50-mile passage.
Finally, transiting the continental divide in addition to the Pedro Miguel and Miraflores Locks ended our memorable day in the isthmus of Central America.
Gatun Lake, Barro Colorado Island & Gatun Locks
From the Sea Voyager in Central America
After an exciting evening transiting the first set of locks, we awoke to a gorgeous sunrise over the pristine waters of Gatun Lake, the waterway connecting the two great oceans and home to the oldest and world renowned tropical research station on Barro Colorado Island. One of the lead research biologists, Egbert Giles Leigh Jr., came aboard our vessel and gave an overview of the scientific research being done through the Smithsonian Research Institute there, and provided a lead-in to our morning outings – two different trails into the forest, or zodiac cruises along the coastline of the island. Read the rest of this entry
This time of year, the small ship cruise lines offer several early bird discounts on cruises for 2009. This year, with the current state of the economy, there are even more incentives to offer to small ship adventurists.
Sunstone Tours & Cruises is pleased to offer unbelievable savings to many regions of the world; Alaska, Asia, Central America, Columbia River and Mexico’s Sea of Cortez. But you must act fast; these discounts are for a limited time, some expiring the first few weeks of December.
So act now, to obtain the largest discount ever on small ship adventures, by visiting Sunstone Tours & Cruises today!
We’ve just posted a latest cruise review from one of our clients. She traveled aboard Lindblad Expedition’s Sea Voyager to the Panama Canal.
“The itinerary was terrific—it was thrilling to go through the Canal on a small ship (I had been there twice before but only on a large cruise ship), and staying overnight in Gatun Lake was great, as was the morning hike on Barro Colorado Island.”