Cruise West Introduces Coco Islands, Revised Panama & Costa Rica Voyages

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Seattle, WA, April 20: Dive into an adventure with a rare visit to the Cocos Islands with Cruise West, one of the world’s leading providers of small-ship exploration cruises to the most fascinating destinations on earth. Cruise West is introducing two, 6-night Cocos Island voyages and a revised 9-night Between Two Seas Panama & Costa Rica program for the 2009/2010 season. Combine both itineraries for a remarkable 15-night journey aboard the 100-guest Pacific Explorer that includes a full transit through the Panama Canal. Book early and save up to $1,200 per cabin.

The new Cocos Island cruise begins in Los Suenos, Costa Rica and offers three full days of land and sea exploration including guided walks, Zodiac tours, snorkeling and kayaking opportunities. This rarely visited UNESCO World Heritage Site boasts prolific bird life with some 90 species, unusual caverns to explore, the world’s largest hammerhead shark population and more. Departures are available on Jan 24 and April 12, 2010, and may be combined with the Jan 15, Jan 30 or April 3, 2010, Between Two Seas departures.

The revised 9-night Between Two Seas voyage sailing one-way between Panama City and Los Suenos, Costa Rica, takes in the sights of Portobelo with a special performance by the Kuna Indians and traverses the entire Panama Canal. Always a highlight are the welcoming Emberá people in the Darién Jungle who are known for tattooing themselves with ink made from the fruit of the jagua plant. Newly added are two days at Coiba National Park, known for its abundant sea life, which makes for fabulous snorkeling, kayaking and nature walk opportunities. Rounding out this active and nature-focused itinerary are visits to Casa Orquideas at Golfo Dulce boasting beautiful gardens; and guided nature walks and beach time at Corcovado Conservation Area and Manuel Antonio National Park, known for prolific wildlife and bird viewing. Choose from 14 departures that operate from Oct 26, 2009 through April 3, 2010.

Avoid Holiday stress and enjoy a relaxing Christmas on the Dec 18, 2009 departure complete with festive Costa Rican and Panamanian holiday activities and traditional cuisine. Or ring in Feliz Año Nuevo on the Dec 27 sailing with a New Year’s bash including a midnight toast and late night buffet.

Highlighting the stunning flora and fauna native to Costa Rica are three diverse Land Tour add-ons: The 2-night Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve known for its butterfly and hummingbird gardens; the 4-night coastal wildlife experience at famed Tortuguero National Park on the Caribbean coast; or the 5-night of adventures in Sarapiqui and Arenal, Costa Rica that includes a visit to Doka Estate Coffee Plantation and the world-class Gold Museum, options to participate on the thrilling canopy zip line tour, a float or river rafting trip or a chocolate and pineapple plantation tour and Arenal Hot Springs. To book the Cocos Islands or Between Two Seas voyages or for additional information call 1-800-296-8307 or a travel professional or visit www.cruisewest.com