Panama & Colombia: Exploring the Caribbean Coast
8 Days, October 28 - November 4, 2023
From $6,290 from Panama City, Panama
Few travelers have explored the Panama Canal in its entirety, surveying its lush green shores by day and observing the luminous traffic of ships at night. On the 50-cabin National Geographic Quest, you’ll not only transit the canal, you’ll explore its verdant realm and discover the Caribbean coasts of Panama and Colombia over the course of eight days.
A transit of the Panama Canal is on most travelers’ bucket list. Our transit spans 48 hours, enabling us to see the canal both by day and dramatically lit by night. Within the Canal Zone, we have special permission to overnight at Barro Colorado Island in Gatún Lake, home to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Later, aboard the ship, we’ll learn how the canal’s massive locks move a mountain of water as 26 million gallons of manipulated water rise magically beneath our ship, lifting us 85 feet above sea level!
The Panama Canal bisects a wealth of natural treasures: the tropical paradise of Panama and the vibrant natural and cultural history of Colombia. As you land on the shores of Portobelo or cruise by boat through the backwaters of Cispatá Bay, you’ll behold a kaleidoscope of parrots overhead and a dazzling array of wading birds poking along mangrove-lined channels. You’ll explore secluded islands and riverside towns, where you’ll meet fascinating local populations as you investigate and appreciate Colombia’s legendary heritage.
Our ship is outfitted with Zodiacs, kayaks, snorkeling gear, and stand-up paddleboards. The Quest’s expedition team of naturalists will direct your attention to the plethora of mammals, birds, and insects hidden in the dense forest canopy, while the ship’s certified photo instructor will assist with your best shots ever. For a close-up view of the Panama Canal and an informed natural-history expedition to Colombia, this is a voyage that will fill your bucket, indeed.