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Travel along the Costa Rican coast and down to the Panama Canal on a memorable small ship adventure cruise

Central America is truly a place to fall in love with nature – be it dense, wildlife-filled forests, white beaches with irresistible waters, or vast jungle-ringed lakes – and you’ll get to experience it all on this memorable small ship adventure cruise. Aboard the M/Y Callisto, surrounded by rich fabrics, woodwork, antiques and fine works of art, cruise down the Pacific Coast and choose to explore lush nature reserves, snorkel among the marine life of idyllic islands, and indulge in beach barbecues. You can travel up river in dugout canoes to a hidden village and spend time with the indigenous locals, swim in crystal clear waters, and enter the locks of the famous Panama Canal. With stops at the likes of Tortuga Island, Puerto Jimenez, Granito de Oro Island, Punta Patino Darrien and Gatun Lake, this trip is a unique way to experience this diverse corner of Central America.

Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Panama City, Panama
Costa Rica, Panama
Adventure Cruising
Physical rating
Min 7
Group size
Min 1, Max 48

Why we love this trip

  • Not many cruise ships can drop anchor among the pristine atolls of Granito de Oro and navigate their way up the historic Panama Canal. The M/Y Callisto is one of them.

  • This trip includes an optional adventure in dugout canoes, paddling up the Mogue River to spend time with Embera Indians. Not something you find on a traditional itinerary.

  • While bigger cruise liners have to moor out at sea and commute into shore via tender, we’ll drop anchor in the middle of port towns like Quepos, Puerto Jiminez and Punta Patino. You can hop on or off the boat as you please.

  • Cruise through the locks of the world-renowned Panama Canal.

  • This is the adventure cruise for nature lovers. Crocodiles, turtles, Coiba Aguit, howler monkeys, scarlet macaws, kingfishers – you’ll have the chance to see them all in their natural habitat. There’s also an on-board naturalist with you for the entire journey.

  • The Pacific waters off the coast of Panama are some of the most beautiful you’ll see anywhere. We’ll be swimming off the back of the boat and exploring the shore via zodiac boats.

Is this trip right for you?

  • This is a small ship adventure cruise, which means you’ll be sailing on a yacht with between 30 – 50 other people. The boat is spacious and comfortable, but it focuses more on the destination than on-board activities. Instead of a pool, we have the sea itself. Instead of a casino, we’ve got board games and a good book. There’s also no formal dress code to worry about. Wifi is available for a small charge.

  • Our ship moves under engine power, rather than sailing, so all cabins will experience light engine noise when the ship is moving (and occasionally when we drop anchor). It’s probably worth packing earplugs if you’re a light sleeper.

  • Onshore activities and excursions will involve a bit of walking. You’ll be visiting a lot of National Parks, and you may have to cross uneven ground, sometimes in slippery conditions.

  • If you’re concerned about seasickness, there are seasickness tablets on-board. The ship will experience some roll and pitch in choppy conditions, however all of our ships come equipped with stabilisers to minimise movement. Most of our departures run in peak season, when the seas are calmer. Your crew do all they can to minimise any discomfort.

  • There are no lifts (elevators) on-board our ships, so you’ll have to navigate a few steep flights of stairs on-board. Handrails are always available.


This itinerary is valid for departures from 06 January 2018 to 24 February 2018. View the itinerary for departures between 30 December 2017 - 21 April 2018

Embarkation will take place between 3 and 4pm. Once all are on board, we set sail for Curu Reserve where we will overnight at anchor.
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Before leaving Curu Nature Reserve, take an optional walking tour with a local ranger. He will introduce you to the the variety of wildlife that thrives here, including up to 200 species of birds, capuchin and howler monkeys as well as sloths and anteaters.
The reserves includes 4.5 kilometers of coastline with beautiful white sand beaches and tiny coves. Although it is a small reserve, two thirds is preserved as primary forest.
Late morning, we will set sail for Tortuga Island, arriving around noon for swimming and snorkelling. Lunch will be a BBQ on the beach and your afternoon at leisure on this amazing island.
Overnight at anchor.

Optional Activities
  • Curu Nature Reserve - EUR50
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
PLEASE NOTE - The landing at Curu Nature Reserve will be a wet landing where the zodiac will stop in shallow waters and disembarking will involve a short wade through shallow water to the beach.
Very early in the morning, we weigh anchor and sail to Quepos where there is an optional excursion to Manuel Antonio National Park, undoubtedly one of the highlights of this cruise.
Manuel Antonio National Park is the jewel of the Costa Rica's large number of national parks. Its' fragile rainforest ecosystem shelters an abundant wildlife including the easy to see monkeys and a great variety of tropical birds. We will take you by bus to the Park Entrance for your one & half hour guided walk in the dense rainforest. Your local guides and our naturalist will lead you through small trails and you will encounter an extraordinary animal life and a thousand different species of flora. The trail followed is very well maintained and is easy walking with no uphill climbs. Our hike ends with a swim at a park's beach.
In the afternoon, we sail to Playa Biesanz for an afternoon swim. (Guests who have taken the Titi Forest Canopy excursion will rejoin the ship in Playa Biesanz)
Tonight is our Tropical theme night.
Late evening, we set sail for Puerto Jiminez. Overnight at sea.
Optional Activities
  • Quepos - Manuel Antonio National Park - EUR60
  • Quepos - Titi Forest Canopy Tour - EUR80
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
We reach Puerto Jimenez early in the morning. Morning optional Osa Peninsula excursion. This is a short and easy walk through a very nice patch of secondary forest, where you will have the chance to see up to 4 different kind of monkeys, scarlet macaws and many other species of birds.
Our walking excursion starts after a short walk from where our zodiacs land. The trail and the property are part of one of the Biological Corridor’s for the worldwide known Corcovado National Park. The trail it’s mostly flat and shaded and offers comfortable walking.
After lunch, we reach Casa Orquideas where an optional excursion can be taken to this beautiful private sanctuary. The gardens contain all sorts of tropical plants, and samples of other species brought from all over the world.
We'll have time for a swim before returning to the boat and setting sail for Golfito. At around midnight, we will stop at Golfo Dulce for immigration and ship clearance. Sail overnight to Coiba Island, Panama.
Optional Activities
  • Osa Exploration Walk - EUR57
  • Casas Orquideas Garden Tour - EUR40
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Morning arrival in Isla Coiba for an optional walking exploration. Coiba Island is surrounded by smaller islands which are nicknamed the Galapagos of Panama for their pristine environment and wildlife. The island hosts many species of mammals including some endemic ones like the Coiba Aguti as well as, crocodiles, turtles and lizards. It is also known for its amazing underwater life.
Our Ship Naturalist will take you on a 1 and 1/2 hour hike uphill. Sightings of howler and white faced monkeys are frequent. The views at the top of the island are rewarding and spectacular.
After returning to the ship, we have a deck BBQ while sailing to nearby Granito de Oro Island for swimming and snorkeling. In the afternoon, we leave Granito de Oro and sail to the Pearl Islands - Overnight at sea
Optional Activities
  • Coiba Island Walking Tour - EUR30
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
PLEASE NOTE: The Coiba Island excursion involves a medium to strenuous uphill hike.
We arrive early morning at the Pearl Islands for a morning of swimming and snorkeling.
That evening, we sail to Panama City.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
This morning there is a choice of optional excursions; a half day excursion of Panama City and the Panama Canal, or a full day excursion the the Gatun Lake including a local Emberra Village.
Tonight, our last night on board the Panorama, enjoy a Captain's dinner with your ship mates and crew.
Optional Activities
  • 1/2 Day Panama City Tour - EUR58
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Time to say goodbye. Disembarkation takes place between 6 and 9 am.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast


7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners


Small Cruise Ship


Small Cruise Ship 9 nights

Dates & availability

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Important notes

Your voyage is operated by our partner company, Variety Cruises.
On this itinerary, shore excursions are optional and are paid on board the ship in Euro’s. The price and a description of these excursions are listed in the day to day itinerary.
Adventure Cruising trips have a deposit of A$600 per person (different amounts apply in other currencies) and the balance is due 90 days before departure.
It is not possible to share with a stranger on a Variety Cruises voyage and single travellers must pay the Single Occupancy rate.
Children from the age of 7 can be accommodated on these voyages. Each boat has one cabin category that will accommodate a 3rd person allowing for triple sharing. Any child under the age of 18 must share with an adult.

Essential trip information

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