Embark on our only Central American expedition that travels solely through Panama, connecting you more deeply with the region's wildlife, culture, and famed modern engineering marvel. Aboard the National Geographic Quest, transit the historic Panama Canal by day and by night. Learn about the country’s indigenous and colonial history while visiting local communities and two UNESCO World Heritage sites. Encounter monkeys, iguanas, tropical birds, and more as you venture into lush rainforests, a wildlife refuge, and an important national park. In the surrounding turquoise waters, snorkel pristine coral reefs which shelter an array of colorful marine life. 


Highlights


• Transit the legendary Panama Canal—plus enjoy an exclusive stop at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute’s Barro Colorado Island

• Discover the storied Spanish architecture and fascinating pirate history of Portobelo, a UNESCO World Heritage site

• Explore Isla Iguana Wildlife Refuge and spot sea turtles and black and green iguanas on the beach or while snorkeling offshore

• Meet the indigenous Emberá people of Darién in Playa Muerto Village and learn about their customs, traditions, and deep reverence for their natural surroundings

• Sea kayak, hike, Zodiac cruise, and snorkel in the tranquil Pearl Islands, a network of 200 islands known for turquoise waters, white-sand beaches, and an enduring connection to the pearl trade


Upon arrival in Panama City this afternoon, transfer by land to Colón and embark the National Geographic Quest. Meet your expedition staff and enjoy a traditional Congo music and dance performance. Marvel at the coastline ahead as we sail to the historic port of Portobelo.

Arrival Time: Arrive by 12:00 p.m. 
Arrival City: Panama City, Panama 

Meals Included: Dinner


This morning, explore the area on kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, Zodiac cruises upriver, or go for a snorkel. Portobelo is known for its Spanish colonial military architecture, which is designated collectively as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visit several of the fortifications as well as the old Customs House, and hear the tales of Portobelo’s rich pirate history. Later on, set sail for the Panama Canal. As cargo ships tend to pass through the canal during the day, we’ll most likely begin our crossing at night, when the canal is dramatically lit. By special arrangement, National Geographic Quest will anchor in Gatún Lake near the Barro Colorado Nature Monument overnight.  

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Today, choose hikes and Zodiac cruises at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute facility on Barro Colorado Island, or take a boat ride to Gamboa, where the Chagres River meets the Panama Canal, and hike on the Panama Rainforest Discovery Center trails. This evening, continue through the complex lock system of the Canal and venture into the Gulf of Panama. 

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


This morning, we arrive at Isla Iguana Wildlife Refuge. Once a US Army bombing range, this protected area is home to black and green iguanas, sea turtles, and several species of birds and tropical fish. There is time to enjoy the beach and snorkel. In the afternoon, visit the mainland for a Spanish heritage cultural experience in the town of Pedasí on the scenic Azuero Peninsula.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Playa Muerto village is located in Darién National Park, the largest protected area in Central America and a UNESCO World Heritage site which contains an exceptional array of habitats, from sandy beaches and mangroves to dense tropical forests teeming with wildlife. It is also home to the indigenous Emberá and Wounaan tribes. We’ll be greeted by village leaders from the Emberá who will share their customs, traditions, and stories about their deep respect for their natural surroundings. Later on, enjoy short nature walks, go birding, or choose to join a longer hike into the rainforest in search of the elusive harpy eagle, one of the world’s most powerful eagles.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Approximately 200 islands make up the idyllic Pearl Islands. Explore several of the islands in the archipelago, including Isla del Rey and Isla Pacheca, as you learn about the history of the native populations and eventually the Spaniards and African slaves who arrived for the pearl trade. Deep rainforests, lush rivers, white sandy beaches, and shallow reefs provide great opportunities for hiking, sea kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, Zodiac river cruises, beach activities, and snorkeling.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


After breakfast, disembark in Balboa and transfer to the airport in Panama City for your flight home.

Departure Time: Depart anytime after 2:30 p.m. 
Departure City: Panama City, Panama 

Meals Included: Breakfast

Itineraries are subject to change.

Category 1

$10,556 AUD pp
Category 1
Cat 1 #301-306 Cabins feature two lower single beds that can convert to a Queen, a writing desk and two portholes. Each cabin has individual climate controls, allowing you to adjust the temperature to your liking. Botanically-inspired shampoo, shower gel, and lotion are all available in cabin bathrooms, as well as an Expedition Essential Kit. Hair dryers are also available in each cabin.

Category 2

$11,476 AUD pp
Category 2
Cat 2 #307-315 Cabins feature two lower single beds that can convert to a Queen, a writing desk and two portholes. Each cabin has individual climate controls, allowing you to adjust the temperature to your liking. Botanically-inspired shampoo, shower gel, and lotion are all available in cabin bathrooms, as well as an Expedition Essential Kit. Hair dryers are also available in each cabin.

Category 3

$12,384 AUD pp
Category 3
Cat 3 #201-206 Cabins feature two lower single beds that can convert to a Queen, a writing desk and a large view window. Each cabin has individual climate controls, allowing you to adjust the temperature to your liking. Botanically-inspired shampoo, shower gel, and lotion are all available in cabin bathrooms, as well as an Expedition Essential Kit. Hair dryers are also available in each cabin.

Category 4

$13,940 AUD pp
Category 4
Cat 4 #207-229 Cabins feature two lower single beds that can convert to a Queen, a writing desk, sliding glass door and small, private balcony. Each cabin has individual climate controls, allowing you to adjust the temperature to your liking. Botanically-inspired shampoo, shower gel, and lotion are all available in cabin bathrooms, as well as an Expedition Essential Kit. Hair dryers are also available in each cabin.

Category 5

$15,394 AUD pp
Category 5
Observation Deck #101-108 (Suite) Cabins feature two lower single beds that can convert to a Queen, large view windows, an expanded bathroom, writing desk, ample storage space, and a convertible sofa bed to accommodate a third person. Each cabin has individual climate controls, allowing you to adjust the temperature to your liking. Botanically-inspired shampoo, shower gel, and lotion are all available in cabin bathrooms, as well as an Expedition Essential Kit. Hair dryers are also available in each cabin.

Category 1

$10,556 AUD pp
Category 1
Cat 1 #301-306 Cabins feature two lower single beds that can convert to a Queen, a writing desk and two portholes. Each cabin has individual climate controls, allowing you to adjust the temperature to your liking. Botanically-inspired shampoo, shower gel, and lotion are all available in cabin bathrooms, as well as an Expedition Essential Kit. Hair dryers are also available in each cabin.

Category 2

$11,476 AUD pp
Category 2
Cat 2 #307-315 Cabins feature two lower single beds that can convert to a Queen, a writing desk and two portholes. Each cabin has individual climate controls, allowing you to adjust the temperature to your liking. Botanically-inspired shampoo, shower gel, and lotion are all available in cabin bathrooms, as well as an Expedition Essential Kit. Hair dryers are also available in each cabin.

Category 3

$12,384 AUD pp
Category 3
Cat 3 #201-206 Cabins feature two lower single beds that can convert to a Queen, a writing desk and a large view window. Each cabin has individual climate controls, allowing you to adjust the temperature to your liking. Botanically-inspired shampoo, shower gel, and lotion are all available in cabin bathrooms, as well as an Expedition Essential Kit. Hair dryers are also available in each cabin.

Category 4

$13,940 AUD pp
Category 4
Cat 4 #207-229 Cabins feature two lower single beds that can convert to a Queen, a writing desk, sliding glass door and small, private balcony. Each cabin has individual climate controls, allowing you to adjust the temperature to your liking. Botanically-inspired shampoo, shower gel, and lotion are all available in cabin bathrooms, as well as an Expedition Essential Kit. Hair dryers are also available in each cabin.

Category 5

$15,394 AUD pp
Category 5
Observation Deck #101-108 (Suite) Cabins feature two lower single beds that can convert to a Queen, large view windows, an expanded bathroom, writing desk, ample storage space, and a convertible sofa bed to accommodate a third person. Each cabin has individual climate controls, allowing you to adjust the temperature to your liking. Botanically-inspired shampoo, shower gel, and lotion are all available in cabin bathrooms, as well as an Expedition Essential Kit. Hair dryers are also available in each cabin.

Category 1

$10,770 AUD pp
Category 1
Cat 1 #301-306 Cabins feature two lower single beds that can convert to a Queen, a writing desk and two portholes. Each cabin has individual climate controls, allowing you to adjust the temperature to your liking. Botanically-inspired shampoo, shower gel, and lotion are all available in cabin bathrooms, as well as an Expedition Essential Kit. Hair dryers are also available in each cabin.

Category 2

$11,940 AUD pp
Category 2
Cat 2 #307-315 Cabins feature two lower single beds that can convert to a Queen, a writing desk and two portholes. Each cabin has individual climate controls, allowing you to adjust the temperature to your liking. Botanically-inspired shampoo, shower gel, and lotion are all available in cabin bathrooms, as well as an Expedition Essential Kit. Hair dryers are also available in each cabin.

Category 3

$12,890 AUD pp
Category 3
Cat 3 #201-206 Cabins feature two lower single beds that can convert to a Queen, a writing desk and a large view window. Each cabin has individual climate controls, allowing you to adjust the temperature to your liking. Botanically-inspired shampoo, shower gel, and lotion are all available in cabin bathrooms, as well as an Expedition Essential Kit. Hair dryers are also available in each cabin.

Category 4

$14,510 AUD pp
Category 4
Cat 4 #207-229 Cabins feature two lower single beds that can convert to a Queen, a writing desk, sliding glass door and small, private balcony. Each cabin has individual climate controls, allowing you to adjust the temperature to your liking. Botanically-inspired shampoo, shower gel, and lotion are all available in cabin bathrooms, as well as an Expedition Essential Kit. Hair dryers are also available in each cabin.

Category 5

$16,030 AUD pp
Category 5
Observation Deck #101-108 (Suite) Cabins feature two lower single beds that can convert to a Queen, large view windows, an expanded bathroom, writing desk, ample storage space, and a convertible sofa bed to accommodate a third person. Each cabin has individual climate controls, allowing you to adjust the temperature to your liking. Botanically-inspired shampoo, shower gel, and lotion are all available in cabin bathrooms, as well as an Expedition Essential Kit. Hair dryers are also available in each cabin.

Category 1

$10,770 AUD pp
Category 1
Cat 1 #301-306 Cabins feature two lower single beds that can convert to a Queen, a writing desk and two portholes. Each cabin has individual climate controls, allowing you to adjust the temperature to your liking. Botanically-inspired shampoo, shower gel, and lotion are all available in cabin bathrooms, as well as an Expedition Essential Kit. Hair dryers are also available in each cabin.

Category 2

$11,940 AUD pp
Category 2
Cat 2 #307-315 Cabins feature two lower single beds that can convert to a Queen, a writing desk and two portholes. Each cabin has individual climate controls, allowing you to adjust the temperature to your liking. Botanically-inspired shampoo, shower gel, and lotion are all available in cabin bathrooms, as well as an Expedition Essential Kit. Hair dryers are also available in each cabin.

Category 3

$12,890 AUD pp
Category 3
Cat 3 #201-206 Cabins feature two lower single beds that can convert to a Queen, a writing desk and a large view window. Each cabin has individual climate controls, allowing you to adjust the temperature to your liking. Botanically-inspired shampoo, shower gel, and lotion are all available in cabin bathrooms, as well as an Expedition Essential Kit. Hair dryers are also available in each cabin.

Category 4

$14,510 AUD pp
Category 4
Cat 4 #207-229 Cabins feature two lower single beds that can convert to a Queen, a writing desk, sliding glass door and small, private balcony. Each cabin has individual climate controls, allowing you to adjust the temperature to your liking. Botanically-inspired shampoo, shower gel, and lotion are all available in cabin bathrooms, as well as an Expedition Essential Kit. Hair dryers are also available in each cabin.

Category 5

$16,030 AUD pp
Category 5
Observation Deck #101-108 (Suite) Cabins feature two lower single beds that can convert to a Queen, large view windows, an expanded bathroom, writing desk, ample storage space, and a convertible sofa bed to accommodate a third person. Each cabin has individual climate controls, allowing you to adjust the temperature to your liking. Botanically-inspired shampoo, shower gel, and lotion are all available in cabin bathrooms, as well as an Expedition Essential Kit. Hair dryers are also available in each cabin.

Vessel Type: Expedition Ship

Length: 72 metres

Passenger Capacity: 100 guests (in 50 cabins)

Built: 2017

Designed with decades of expedition experience in the region, National Geographic Quest more than comfortably accommodates 100 guests in 50 cabins. Her twin expedition craft landing platform allow us to rapidly get on and off the ship to take advantage of wildlife sightings and to ensure we maximize our time off the ship exploring. Created with a shallow draft, Quest draws only nine feet of water allowing her to sail into places where much larger ships cannot go.

PUBLIC AREAS: Global gallery; fitness centre; LEXspa; lounge with full service bar and facilities for films and presentations; observation deck; mudroom with lockers for expedition gear, and a partially covered sundeck with chairs and tables. Our ‘open bridge’ provides guests an opportunity to meet our officers and captain and learn about navigation.

MEALS: Served in single seatings with unassigned tables for an informal atmosphere and easy mingling. Breakfast is a wide selection buffet and dinner is served family-style. Menu emphasises local fare.

CABINS: All cabins face outside with windows or portholes, private facilities and climate controls. Some cabins have balconies.

EXPEDITION EQUIPMENT: Expedition landing craft, a fleet of 24 kayaks, Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), hydrophone, splashcam, underwater video camera, video microscope, snorkelling gear for all guests (where applicable).

SPECIAL FEATURES: Guest internet access, elevator, National Geographic certified photo instructor, a video chronicler and undersea specialist.

WELLNESS: The vessel is staffed by a Wellness Specialist and features a gym with an elliptical machine, treadmill, exercycles, handweights and resistance bands. Treatments in the LEXspa are available by appointment.

Cabin layout for National Geographic Quest

Optional excursions available. Please get in touch for more information.

Special Offers

SUITE EXCLUSIVES

Spacious living areas and incredible views immerse you in the beauty of your marine surroundings. Our new Suite Exclusives package helps make your voyage all the more memorable.

10% OFF BACK-TO-BACK VOYAGES

Save 10% on consecutive departures, applicable on voyage fares only and not valid on extensions or airfare. Valid for new bookings only, subject to availability, and may not be combined with other offers. Call for details.

SAVE 5% TRAVELING AS A GROUP

Save 5% when traveling as a group of eight or more people. Valid on voyage fares only and not applicable on extensions or airfare. Deposit, final payments, and cancellation policies for group travel vary from our regular policies. Valid for new bookings only, subject to availability, and may not be combined with other offers. Call for details.

BRINGING THE KIDS

We believe sharing an expedition with your kids or grandkids is a life-enhancing experience. So take $715 off for each child under the age of 18.

CELEBRATE LIFE'S MILESTONES

Celebrate a milestone with a group of eight or more and enjoy a special amenity package including: 5% savings on voyage fares, custom group photo, US$150 shipboard credit for the group, and other special gifts. Milestone celebration to be communicated at time of booking.

COMBINING OFFERS

Combine now and save!

Certain offers may be combinable, up to two savings opportunities, except where noted otherwise. For example, travel with a group of 8 or more on back-to-back expeditions, and take advantage of both savings.

Inclusions


• Voyage on board in selected cabin category
• All meals while on board
• Non-alcoholic and Alcoholic beverages included (Excluding Premium Brands)
• Free wifi (Subject to coverage)
• Expedition cruises include excursions and zodiac cruises
• Some shore excursions are included, depending on the voyage destination

Exclusions


• Flights other than those mentioned in the itinerary
• Travel insurance
• Passport and visa costs if applicable
• Premium beverages package (Can be purchased on board)
• Optional Excursions where applicable
• Spa treatments on board
• Pre and post cruise accommodation unless otherwise stated
• Transfers unless specified
• Gratuities
National Geographic Quest
Central America Small Ship CruiseSmall Ship Cruise
8 Days from
$1,320 AUD per day

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NZ Freephone
0800 945 3327

AUS Freephone
1800 107 715

to help you make your reservation

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