Cruise West offers special ‘Paradise Found’ itineraries in Central America

Take one rarely visited island paradise, add a visit to a jungle tribe much unchanged by modern culture, mix with an incredible array of tropical sea life found in two oceans, then sweeten with lectures and guided tours by two generations of renowned marine researchers — the results are tropical adventures found on two Central American voyages presented by small-ship line Cruise West ( for the 2009/2010 season.

Announcing a new six-night Cocos Island voyage and a freshly revised nine-night Between Two Seas itinerary that ventures from Panama to Costa Rica. Book both voyages back-to-back and save 25 percent on Cocos Island and an additional five percent on Between Two Seas.

Cocos Island – rich in history, rich in nature

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Cocos Island borders on the magical — caverns rumored to hold pirated Incan treasure; 200 streaming waterfalls; the world’s largest population of hammerhead sharks; 90 species of birds; and outstanding kayaking and snorkeling are just a few of its many attractions. An inspiration for the film Jurassic Park, Cocos Island is considered the jewel of the Costa Rican park system; a paradise that Jacques Cousteau once called “the most beautiful island in the world.” Choose from two departure dates, roundtrip from San Jose, Costa Rica: January 24 and April 12, 2010, with rates starting at $2,799 per person.

Leading these voyages onboard the 100-guest Pacific Explorer are renowned Christopher and Stephen Weston, second and third generation naturalists from a family long known for its exploration and protection of Cocos Islands.

Famed shark and tropical ecology specialist Stephen Weston will share his passion for marine life conservation on both cruises. Grandson of the famed Cocos Island explorer Julian A. Weston, the third generation Weston honed his craft diving at father’s side. Today, he operates a marine research station where he has pioneered methods in identifying and documenting sharks. Author and researcher Christopher Weston joins son Stephen on the April cruise to share stories of the family’s long history with Cocos Island as well keen insights into its flora and fauna.

Between Two Seas awaits a tropical adventure

Starting in the Caribbean Sea and ending in the Pacific Ocean via a transit through the Panama Canal — the nine-night Between Two Seas voyage offers spectacular exploration of the tropical isthmus that separates these two seas. Within this ribbon of land are more species of wildlife and flora than any other place on the planet, complemented by slumbering and active volcanoes, cloud forests and turquoise bays that teem with marine life.

A highlight of this voyage is a zodiac excursion to visit the remote Emberá, a tribe much unchanged by modern culture and designated as a UNESCO site. Located in the Darién Jungle, the excursion offers a true immersion experience into an historic local culture. Guests also will revel for two days at Coiba National Park, known for its abundant sea life and world class snorkeling; visit the exotic gardens of Casa Orquideas at Golfo Dulce; and enjoy some well earned beach time at Corcovado Conservation Area and Manuel Antonio National Park, both known for prolific wildlife and bird viewing.

Book both voyages back-to-back and save 25 percent on Cocos Island and five percent on the January 15, 30 and April 3, 2010, departures of Between Two Seas. In addition, the single supplement fee will be waived on these departures in select cabin categories. The nine-night Between Two Seas voyage operates through April 3, 2010, with rates for beginning at $3,999 per person. An added bonus for holiday travelers – Christmas or New Year’s celebrations with festive Costa Rican and Panamanian holiday activities and traditional cuisine.

Land tour add-ons include two nights at El Establo Hotel deep in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, a four-day Highlights of Costa Rica tour or a four-night coastal wildlife experience at Costa Rica’s famed Tortuguero National Park.

For further details, visit, call 800-296-8307 or a travel professional

About Cynthia Boal Janssens

Cynthia Boal Janssens is the editor and chief blogger for She is a former national president of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW). She has sailed on over 40 cruises all over the world.
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