Cruise West Extends Panama And Costa Rica 2008/2009 Cruise Season And Adds New Land Tour Options

SEATTLE, July 1, 2008 – As a result of demand, Cruise West, ( the leader in small-ship voyages, has announced two additional spring departures and six themed cruises of its 2008 and 2009 Between Two Seas itinerary. Additionally, one enhanced and two new land tours are offered as add-ons. Choose from two holiday cruises, two PENTAX photography cruises or traveling in the company of a Panama Canal expert on two departures.

The 10-day, 9-night Between Two Seas voyages sail onboard the 100-guest Pacific Explorer and take in the sights of the San Blas Islands and a Kuna Indian Village, Portobelo and traversing the entire Panama Canal. Guests continue to the remote Emberá Village in the Darién Jungle, Coiba National Park, Golfo Dulce, Caletas Beach and Manuel Antonio National Park, known for its prolific wildlife and bird viewing.

Festive Costa Rican and Panamanian holiday activities and traditional cuisine complement a fun, relaxing Christmas on the December 20, 2008 departure. Ring in Feliz Año Nuevo on the December 29 New Year’s sailing amid the comforts and amenities of the Pacific Explorer with a New Year’s bash including a midnight toast and late night buffet.

Guests on the two PENTAX photography cruises offered December 2, 2008 and March 2, 2009, will benefit from onboard workshops with hands-on instruction by professional PENTAX photographer, Kerrick James. A Panama Canal guru will share knowledge about the history and future expansion of the canal on the December 11, 2008, and April 7, 2009 departures.

Highlighting the stunning flora and fauna native to Panama and Costa Rica, the two new land tours include a 2-night, 3-day visit to Monteverde Cloud Forest or a 4-night, 5-day stay in the Tortuguero National Park. Guests will immerse themselves in the serenity of the Monteverde Cloud Forest with a guided walk through its butterfly and hummingbird gardens. Alternatively, they can observe turtles nesting via a boat or canoe excursions to Tortuguero National Park.

The enhanced tour includes six days and five nights of accommodations and adventures in Sarapiqui and Arenal, Costa Rica. Guests visit the world-class Gold Museum, the majestic La Paz Waterfall Gardens and an Eco-Center tour in the company of local school children. At the Hacienda Pozo Azul, guests have the option to participate on the thrilling canopy zip line tour, a float or river rafting trip or a chocolate and pineapple plantations tour.

Prices start at $3,799 per person based on double occupancy. Guests can take advantage of early booking incentives of up to $175 per person when paying the full amount by September 5, 2008 for departures January 2009 through May 2009 or receive savings of $350 per person when booking the cruise and paying in full by March 27, 2009 for departures October through December 2009.

For additional information or to book a Cruise West cruise, call 1-800-296-8307 or visit