Phone: 516-626-9000

Toll-Free: 800-807-7009

October 11 - 25, 2019

Costa Rica & The Panama Canal

Caldera to New Orleans

The Six-Star Crystal Symphony

Join Roberta and Arnold Salob on this memorable cruise!

Experience the tropics with a twist on this unique itinerary combining the historical treasures of Cartagena, the southern charm of New Orleans, a crossing of the Panama Canal and the eco-wonders of Costa Rica, including a maiden call to Golfito.

All this, plus Roberta and Arnold's exciting bridge program!

Participation in our fun-filled bridge groups is available only by booking direct with us at Bridge Holidays LLC

FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO BOOK THIS CRUISE:
Call us at: 516.626.9000 or 800.807.7009
E-mail: cruises@bridgeholidays.com

ITINERARY

October 11

Caldera, Costa Rica

October 12

Quepos, Costa Rica

October 13

Golfito, Costa Rica

October 14

Cruising the Coast of Central America

October 15

Panama City, Panama

October 16

Transit the Panama Canal

October 17

Cartagena, Colombia

October 18

Cruising the Coast of Central America

October 19

Puerto Limón, Costa Rica

October 20

Cruising the Caribbean Sea

October 21

Cruising the Caribbean Sea

October 22

Cozumel, Mexico

October 23

Cruising the Gulf of Mexico

October 24

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

October 25

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

October 11 - Caldera, Costa Rica

Depart 6 PM

Superlatives abound when describing Costa Rica, one of Latin America's most peaceful countries. Often called the "Switzerland of Central America," it does not possess an army and boasts a stable democratic government as well as a high literacy rate. Strategically located between two great continents, it has been the benefactor of great cultural contributions from each. In addition to discovering its fascinating traditions, visitors to Costa Rica will be welcomed by friendly people and will enjoy superb scenery and an ideal climate.

October 12 - Quepos, Costa Rica

7 AM to 7 PM

A bustling town gridded by colorful streets typical of Costa Rica, Quepos is the adventurer's practical stop for sleepovers, supplies and sundries for expeditions over fish-rich seas and jungle-clad mountains. Most travelers head to the wildlife haven of Manuel Antonio National Park, established in 1972 and located just a few miles from town. While the park is not the country's largest (indeed, it is Costa Rica's second-smallest), it is one of the most biodiverse, with 109 species of mammals and 184 species of birds within its rugged borders. You might trek along the park's well-marked trails to spot several species of sloths, iguanas, snakes and bats and wield your binoculars to view toucans, woodpeckers, tanagers and parakeets. An ocean of possibilities awaits you offshore, where you can go dolphin watching, sport fishing, snorkeling and scuba diving. Dip into a tavern in town to rub elbows with the locals, some of the friendliest creatures you are likely to encounter.

October 13 - Golfito, Costa Rica

7 AM to 6 PM

Golfito, meaning "Little Gulf," was once a major port for southern Costa Rica's banana industry. The United Fruit Company planted its headquarters here in the 1930s, but the 1980s saw a slip in the markets, labor disputes and banana blight, sending the banana business out of the region and the economy into a tumble. Today, the town is endeavoring to produce another type of bounty: tourism. Sport fishing, great sweeps of nature, including the Golfito Wildlife Refuge and some of the highest storied rainforests in Central America, and a duty-free zone are helping to grow Golfito's appeal. The Golfito of old and new, natural and commercial, are on display at the remains of the old United Fruit Company housing, botanical gardens, jungle-clad hillsides and dizzying choices at the Zona Americana, where souvenirs can be had for a bargain.

October 14 - Cruising the Coast of Central America

October 15 - Panama City, Panama

7 AM to 11:59 PM

Situated at the narrowest point in the Americas, Panama City has been the main passageway between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans since it was founded in the 16th century. One of the most popular places to visit is Casco Viejo, or "Old City," built by the Spaniards with walls on all sides to protect from pirate invasions. Neighborhoods within the city change drastically from block to block, with modern high-rises on one corner, slums on the next, and luxury homes right after that. Locals take it all in stride, and Panama City has been named by International Living magazine as one of the top five places in the world to retire for eight years running.

October 16 - Transit the Panama Canal

Spend an unforgettable day cruising the Panama Canal, a fifty-one-mile waterway through the rainforest that is one of the world's engineering masterpieces. The ship glides down the canal with inches to spare, through locks that raise and lower it like a toy. Along the way it crosses enormous Gatun Lake, and the amazing Gaillard Cut, blasted out of a solid mountainside.

October 17 - Cartagena, Colombia

12 PM to 10 PM

Charming Cartagena is one of the most fascinating towns in South America. The old city, almost completely surrounded by lagoons, bays and the Caribbean Sea, is still girded by its 17th-century fortifications. Once these guarded the gold and treasures of the New World, bound for Spain; now they shelter ornate churches and convents, the dramatic Palace of the Inquisition, and other historic gems.

October 18 - Cruising the Coast of Central America

October 19 - Puerto Limón, Costa Rica

7 AM to 6 PM

Puerto Limón, located on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica, boasts a rich combination of sights, sounds and smells. Once ashore, embrace these elements as they surround you, filling your senses with the essence of this delightful port city. The growth of the coffee market prompted the Costa Rican government to search for an Atlantic port to facilitate shipping coffee to Europe and beyond. In 1871, the port of Limón was established and what was once a migrant fishermen's village of five huts grew into an important center of commerce. With the introduction of a rail service the following year between San José and the Atlantic coast, Limón became a thriving railroad and banana town.

October 20 - Cruising the Caribbean Sea

October 21 - Cruising the Caribbean Sea

October 22 - Cozumel, Mexico

7 AM to 7 PM

Just 11 miles off the eastern coast of Mexico lies Cozumel, the country's largest island and the gem of the Caribbean for water sports. Relax and bask in the sun on pristine palm-lined beaches or snorkel amid intricate coral formations at nearby Palancar Reef. On the island's west coast lies the bustling town of San Miguel, which boasts deluxe hotels, inviting shops and tempting restaurants. Off the island of Cozumel is Playa del Carmen, your gateway to the Mayan mysteries of the intriguing Yucatán. Inland lies Cobá, a splendid reminder of a civilization that existed thousands of years ago. Closer at hand lies Tulum, a massive fortress built in 564 AD and the only Mayan site to overlook the Caribbean Sea.

October 23 - Cruising the Gulf of Mexico

October 24 - New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Arrive 11 AM

Sitting astride the great Mississippi River, rising ever so slightly from the first high ground above its mouth, the city of New Orleans commands the river-borne bounty of the vast North American interior. Both the Indian traders who originally occupied the area and the European explorers who came later quickly recognized its obvious commercial and strategic value. The invention of the cotton gin, the arrival of the steamboat and the rapid expansion of the United States combined to place New Orleans at the center of a regional economic boom.

October 25 - New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Disembark AM

GROUP TOURS WITH ROBERTA AND ARNOLD

Panama City, Panama

Biodiversity Museum & Miraflores Visitors Center

October 15

A transfer of about ten minutes brings you to the colorful and unique Biodiversity Museum. Located at the end of the Amador Causeway with views of the Pacific Ocean and ships entering the Panama Canal, the museum’s site is exceptional. Also exceptional is the museum’s pedigree. It was designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry as his first commission in Latin America.

The museum is the only one of its kind in the region, first envisioned in 1999 and finally opened, due to bureaucratic and other delays, in October 2014, taking more time to build than its storied neighbor, the Panama Canal.

The wait was well worth it, as you will discover during your visit. Greeting you with a contemporary style typical of Gehry (yet also unusual with its boldly hued roof panels), the structure references the exotic colors of its tropical location. Inside, exhibits center on the natural wonders of Panama and how the isthmus bridges not just the world’s commerce but also the region’s biology and geology.

Leaving the museum, transfer to the Miraflores Visitors Center, arriving after approximately 45 minutes. Here, you will learn about the canal’s past and future, and observe the operation of the canal at work, riveted as the lock gates allow ships to navigate between oceans. You will also have the chance to explore four themed exhibition halls, which feature historical objects, interactive modules, video presentations and models of the Panama Canal.

Taking one last look at the amazing engineering feat that is often called the Eighth Wonder of the World, return to the pier and your Crystal ship with a transfer of 30 minutes.

Important Notes:
Although the sights are manual-wheelchair accessible, guests must be able to embark and disembark the motor coach with little to no assistance. All wheelchair guests should be accompanied by a family member or assistant. All manual wheelchairs must be collapsible and be easily stored onboard the motor coach. It is recommended that guests dress in casual clothing and wear flat, comfortable shoes. Medium to heavy crowding may be anticipated at the Miraflores Visitors Center. The order of sights visited may vary. This excursion will operate in all weather conditions. A minimum number of bookings is required for this excursion to operate. Pre-reservation of this Crystal Adventures excursion is recommended.

Excursion Code:

PAC-G

Highlights:

Visit two of Panama’s most diverse museums: the new, vibrantly colored Frank Gehry-designed Biodiversity Museum, and the historical Miraflores Locks and Visitors Center.

Walking Type:

Little

Duration:

Approximately 4 to 4.5 hours

Price:

$119

Cartagena, Colombia

Comprehensive Cartagena

October 17

First up are your travels to enjoy views of San Felipe Fortress, a military fortress situated outside the walled city. The imposing structure is considered to be the most outstanding feat of Spanish military engineering in the New World. Construction on the fort began in 1536 and continued for 121 years.

Pause to ponder the immensity of the fort and take a few photographs before rejoining your motor coach and heading to the neighborhood of Getsemani. This historic neighborhood of the city, which until a few years ago was rundown and largely ignored, is today an area buzzing with locals and visitors enjoying the many cafés, restaurants and bars as well as innumerable small hotels, boutiques and art galleries. Trinidad plaza is the center of the neighborhood and in the neighboring streets, the local families sit outside their houses and mix with the visitors enjoying the eclectic atmosphere and the general hustle and bustle of what “Cartageneros” now refer to as “Jetsemani”. During the guided stroll of the neighborhood, there will be the opportunity to appreciate the colorful graffiti, painted by local artists on the walls of the Colonial houses.

Rejoin your motor coach for a short drive to the walled city and a visit to San Pedro Claver Cloister, monastery and museum built in homage to the protector of slaves, San Pedro, and serves as reminder of the turbulent past of Cartagena and indeed the Americas. The Cloister where Pedro Claver lived and died has become a special place of silence and reflection – a shrine to the life’s work of this extraordinary man. Here, visitors will find examples of pre-Colombian ceramics and an extensive museum rich with objects of religious art. Adjoining the Monastery is a beautiful baroque church, designed by German and Dutch architects. Here, at the high alter, within a glass encasement, lie the remains of Saint Pedro Claver, “the slave to the slaves.”

Next, walking along atmospheric streets, also appreciate the charm of the city’s Spanish colonial architecture, some of the most impressive and well-preserved in South America. View old merchant’s houses, flower-bedecked balconies, stunning civic buildings and beautiful churches. Many squares and public spaces are lined by sidewalk cafés and restaurants, where Colombians and visitors alike relax and enjoy the magic of this amazing city.

Enjoy a delicious tropical fruit juice or homemade lemonade on a roof terrace with stunning views of the historic rooftops and church domes before continuing your guided walk through the iconic Bolivar plaza for a visit to the Cartagena Historic Museum. The Spanish Inquisition adopted this building as their headquarters in the city and the building itself is considered one of the most elegant and characteristic colonial constructions of its time. Visitors to the museum will find references to the torture carried out here and see the old prison cells.

With a bounty of precious memories, return to the pier and your Crystal ship with a motor-coach transfer of approximately 30 minutes.

Important Notes:
Guests should be in good physical condition and able to walk at a medium pace in the heat for approximately 45 minutes in order to participate. It is recommended that guests dress in casual clothing, a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen, as well as wear flat, comfortable shoes. The walk in the Old City involves negotiating uneven surfaces and high curbs. Care should be taken with footing. Some crowding in the Old City can be expected. The order of sights visited may vary. This excursion will operate in all weather conditions. A minimum number of bookings is required for this excursion to operate. Pre-reservation of this Crystal Adventures excursion is recommended.

Excursion Code:

CTG-H

Highlights:

An array of Cartagena’s best sights is featured in this half-day outing, with an emphasis on historic architecture, marketplaces and museums. In fact, you will explore the Inquisition Palace, and the San Pedro Claver Church & Museum.

Walking Type:

Strenuous

Duration:

Approximately 4 hours

Price:

$109

New Orleans

The National WWII Museum: Stories of Courage & Heroism

October 24

Ready for your immersion in the history of the most impactful event of the 20th century, depart the pier and make the approximately 15-minute transfer to The National WWII Museum. Located in the downtown Warehouse District, the museum is spread across a five-acre campus and hosts an impressive collection of more than 250,000 artifacts and 9,000 personal accounts supporting the major exhibits and research.

During your free time, explore the five soaring pavilions housing the interactive and thought-provoking displays. The museum tells the story of the American experience in the war that changed the world—why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today. From the D-Day galleries and groundbreaking “Campaigns of Courage,” to the period newsreels and 4D cinematic show ”Beyond All Boundaries,” the museum reveals the lessons of World War II and movingly relates the stories of heroism, tragedy and liberation.

Following your museum survey, stop in at the on-site Jeri Nims Soda Shop for a house-made milkshake, sundae or soda. Enjoy the diner-like setting reminiscent of days gone by before returning to your Crystal ship.

Important Notes:
As this excursion involves approximately 90 to 120 minutes of walking, it is not recommended for guests with walking difficulties. It is recommended that guests dress in casual clothing and wear flat, comfortable shoes. This excursion will operate in all weather conditions. A minimum number of bookings is required for this excursion to operate. Pre-reservation of this Crystal Adventures excursion is recommended.

Excursion Code:

MSY-I

Highlights:

Venture to historic downtown New Orleans to experience the dynamic and illuminating exhibits of The National WWII Museum, designated by Congress as the official World War II museum of the United States.

Walking Type:

Medium

Duration:

Approximately 4 hours

Price:

$179

FARES

All Fares are Per Person, Double Occupancy
(Single fares in Brackets)

Fares are All-Inclusive: All beverages (including wine & liquor), WiFi/internet and gratuities are included.

Port Charge: $630

* Fares include the Book Now Savings.

Call us for air fares.

Save More: Crystal Society Discount, Onboard Booking Discount

Category (Deck) Our Discounted Fares
with Book Now Savings*
(single fares in brackets)
E2 (8)
Deluxe Stateroom w/ Large Picture Window (Extremely Limited View)
$ 5,000 ( $ 6,500)
E1 (7,8)
Deluxe Stateroom w/ Large Picture Window (Limited View)
$ 5,395 ( $ 7,015)
D (5)
Deluxe Stateroom w/ Large Picture Window
$ 5,830 ( $ 7,580)
C2 (7)
Deluxe Stateroom w/ Large Picture Window (Forward)
$ 6,700 ( $ 8,710)
C1 (7)
Deluxe Stateroom w/ Large Picture Window
$ 6,905 ( $ 8,975)
B2 (8)
Deluxe Stateroom w/ Verandah (Forward)
$ 7,180 ( $10,050)
B1 (8)
Deluxe Stateroom w/ Verandah
$ 7,290 ( $10,205)
A3 (9)
Deluxe Stateroom w/ Verandah (Forward)
$ 7,430 ( $10,400)
A2 (9)
Deluxe Stateroom w/ Verandah (slightly limited view)
$ 7,615 ( $10,660)
A1 (9)
Deluxe Stateroom w/ Verandah
$ 7,695 ( $10,775)
SH, PH (9, 10)
Penthouse w/ Verandah & Butler
$ 11,385 ( $19,925)
SS, PS (10)
Penthouse Suite w/ Verandah & Butler
$ 15,370