Nothing is better than an expedition cruise. Of all my adventures, I would choose this style of travel over and over. You get to explore in smaller groups of like-minded travelers who are seeking fun challenges and go into regions of still-pristine wilderness that are typically unreachable by any other means.
UnCruise Adventures specializes in expeditions and does it as well as any other company -- and much better than most.
Last year, a went on back-to-back sailing with UnCruise Adventures to the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. Those voyages were action-filled and left me wanting to get back on an UnCruise Adventures ship as soon as possible. Well, that time has come, and we'll be sailing through the Panama Canal from Panama City to San Jose, Costa Rica, on Safari Voyager.
Here's the day-by-day sailing itinerary for our destinations and all the activities.
On embarkation day, we will have an evening transit of the 48-mile-long Panama Canal.
Sailing the Gulf of Panama, on a search for marine life and seabirds as we cruise among islands and islets.
At Granito de Oro and Coiba National Park in Panama, we can choose to snorkel, kayak and explore trails on the uninhabited island. We'll be on the lookout for howler monkeys, eagles and turtles.
At Coiba National Park, for a morning of swimming, snorkeling or hiking options before afternoon sailing.
Golfo Dulce is a paradise for bird fanatics. Now, in Costa Rica, we'll visit the tropical reserve -- filled with monkeys, hummingbirds, butterflies and exotic plants -- on a walking tour and also have the chance to explore mangroves by skiff and kayak.
Osa Conservation Area is the location of Costa Rica's largest national park. Corcovado is blooming with biodiversity of plants and animals. Fully 2.5 percent of the world's plant and animal species can be found at Corcovado. We'll try to spy as many as we can on a trail hike.
At Curu National Wildlife Refuge, a number of exotic creatures could appear. The gnarly mangroves are home to birds, colorful frogs, army ants and crocodiles. Activities include crossing a swinging bridge on a trail hike to spot monkeys. We'll also jump into the waters at Isla Tortuga to kayak, snorkel and paddleboard.
Colleen and I will be with about 60 other passengers on the ship, which features modest staterooms amenities, a sun deck, EZ dock for launching into the waters for skiff tours and kayaking, open-seating dining room and a lounge area with a bar. The ship features an outdoor viewing area at the bow, which will be a popular gathering place for viewing wildlife, and UnCruise offers each traveler a complimentary 30-minute massage (I'll gladly pay for a second or third massage, too, after all the activity I am anticipating). I'll return with a full review of the ship and adventure experience.
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