Panama Canal Passage & Costa Rica

Join this incomparable journey from the Costa Rican rainforest through the mighty locks of the Panama Canal, during a daylight transit. Spend one night in a deluxe hotel in San José, Costa Rica. Cruise for seven nights aboard the exclusively chartered, Five-Star Le Champlain. Experience the terrestrial wonders of Costa Rica’s National Parks, wildlife refuges, botanic gardens, and pristine waters. Costa Rica pre-trip and Panama City post-trip extensions are available.

Dates
Jan 30 - Feb 7, 2022  (9 Days)
Cost
from $4,995 per person, double occupancy
For more Information
travel@commonwealthclub.org

(415) 597-6720

Sunday, January 30
Depart U.S. / San Jose, Costa Rica

Depart the U.S. on flights to Costa Rica. Arrive to San Jose, Costa Rica.
Marriott Hacienda Belen  

Monday, January 31
San Jose / Puerto Caldera / Embark Le Champlain

In the heart of the fertile Valle Central is an eclectic mix of museums, landscaped parks, lively cafés, fascinating art galleries and an interesting fusion of Spanish Colonial, Moorish and Modernist architectural styles. This morning explore San Jose with a city tour and a visit to the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum and the National Theater. Built between 1891 and 1897, the ornate, Neoclassical National Theater—famous for its marble staircases and golden statues— was declared a National Symbol in 2018. Then visit the Pre‑Columbian Gold Museum’s impressive collections showcase the metalsmithing skills and cultural evolution of the civilization that inhabited Costa Rica from 500 B.C. to 1500 A.D. After lunch at a local restaurant this afternoon, we embark the ship.
Le Champlain (B,L,D)

Tuesday, February 1
Curú National Wildlife Refuge / Tortuga Island

A unique blend of sustainable agriculture, forest management and wildlife protection, Curú National Wildlife Refuge provides sanctuary to terrestrial and marine species, including the scarlet macaw and spider monkey. Encompassing five distinctive untouched habitats that range from mangrove swamps to dry and humid forests, it is the ideal place to observe the intricacies of interdependent ecosystems. Morning is the optimal time for a guided walk to watch for groups of capuchin and howler monkeys, coatis, iguanas and more than 230 species of birds.

Nestled in a private reserve near the stunning Nicoya Peninsula, idyllic Tortuga Island is named for its tortoise‑like volcanic rock formations. Enjoy an opportunity to swim and snorkel in this uninhabited island’s clear, sheltered waters, brimming with fascinating marine life including angelfish, spotted eagle rays and seahorses. Le Champlain (B,L,R,D)

Wednesday, February 2
Quepos for Manuel Antonio National Park

A captivating combination of lush rainforest, dramatic beaches and thriving coral reefs, Manuel Antonio National Park preserves more than 100 species of mammals, an estimated 300 species of birds and an array of reptiles and amphibians. In this biodiverse paradise, expert naturalists assist in spotting and identifying colorful toucans, cacophonous howler monkeys, camouflaged iguanas, red‑backed squirrel monkeys, two‑ and three‑toed sloths and rambunctious capuchin monkeys. Le Champlain (B,L,D)

Thursday, February 3
Rio Seco Rainforest

Immerse yourself in the ideal off‑the‑beaten‑path destination accessible only by boat. Rio Seco Rainforest is located inside Piedras Blancas National Park, a lush jungle home to howler monkeys, coatis, white-nose capuchin monkeys, toucans and scarlet macaws and renowned for its birdwatching. 

Enjoy a picture-perfect secluded beach along the peaceful waters of Golfo Dulce. Discover local tropical fruits and explore gardens with myriad colorful flora. Expert naturalist’s will guide along hiking trails and help search for wildlife while sharing knowledge of this incredible ecosystem. Le Champlain (B,L,D)

Friday, February 4
Cébaco Island, Panama

A winding coastline of rarely visited sandy beaches and towering palm trees front the dense rainforests that dominate Cébaco Island, a gem in the sparkling Gulf of Montijo. Snorkel in its emerald waters, where schools of brilliantly colored fish, giant manta rays, and four different species of turtles swim amid spectacular coral reefs. Le Champlain (B,L,D)

Saturday, February 5
Panama City

Attractive and cosmopolitan, Panama City is arguably Central America’s most enchanting capital city. In the UNESCO World Heritage‑designated Casco Antiguo, charming, cobblestone streets are lined with Spanish-, Italian- and French-influenced architecture that lead to flower-filled plazas. Nearby, the Frank Gehry-designed Biodiversity Museum showcases the ecological significance of Panama’s exotic flora and fauna. Learn more about the operation of the Panama Canal’s locks in the adjacent Miraflores Locks Visitor Center. Le Champlain (B,L,D)

Sunday, February 6
Panama Canal Transit / Colón

During a specially arranged daylight passage, experience firsthand what former British ambassador James Bryce hailed as the “greatest liberty man has ever taken with nature.” A work of mesmerizing genius, the Panama Canal cuts through the Great Continental Divide, spanning almost 50 miles from Panama City in the south to Colón in the north. Taking 33 years, 100,000 laborers and $400 million to complete, the canal facilitates the passage of approximately 13,000 ships each year.  ​​​​​Le Champlain (B,L,D)

Monday, February 7
Colón/ Disembark / Panama City / Depart for U.S.

Disembark the ship for flights home, or join the Panama post-tour optional extension. (B)

Map
Landscapes of Costa Rica: Jan 27-31

Explore Costa Rica’s diverse biospheres, from steamy hot springs to misty cloud forests. In view of Arenal Volcano, walk in the lush rainforest along with a series of suspended and fixed bridges. Visit an organic chocolate workshop, an award‑winning coffee estate, and a traditional artisan town known for intricately hand-painted woodcrafts. Accommodations are for two nights in the ideally located Hotel Royal Corin and two nights in the deluxe Costa Rica Marriott Hotel Hacienda Belen.  

Panama's Renaissance: Feb 6-9

Experience Panama City’s rich indigenous culture, compelling colonial history and contemporary élan. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage‑designated Panama La Vieja—founded in 1519—to see the ruins of the oldest European settlement on the Pacific‑American coast. Visit the fascinating Agua Clara Visitor Center for panoramic views of the Panama Canal expansion and cruise the Gatún River to meet indigenous Emberá people. Spend two nights in the ideally located, deluxe Bristol Panama Hotel.

Cabin Categories (Prices are per person, double occupancy)

8 – $4,995  Picture window, sliding door onto private partial-wall balcony, Deck 3, forward, (limited availability)
7 – $5,695  Picture window, single door onto private partial-wall balcony, Deck 3, midship.
6 – $6,595  Expansive sliding glass door, private balcony, Deck 4, forward.
5 – $6,995  Expansive sliding glass door, private balcony, Deck 4, midship.
4 – $7,495  Expansive sliding glass door, private balcony, Decks 5 & 6, aft, (limited availability)
3 – $7,995  Expansive sliding glass door, private balcony, Deck 5, forward, (limited availability)
2 – $8,495  Expansive sliding glass door, private balcony, Deck 5, midship.
1 – $9,995  Expansive sliding glass door, private balcony, Deck 6, midship.

Deluxe Suite – $10,295   Suite with expansive sliding glass door, large private balcony, sitting area with sofa. Decks 3, 4, 5 & 6, (limited availability)
Prestige Suite – $11,295  Two-room suite, expansive sliding glass door, large private balcony, two bathrooms, two closets, large sitting area with sofa, Deck 5, (limited availability) 
Privilege Suite – $11,695   Large suite, expansive sliding glass door, larger private balcony, sitting area with sofa, Decks 5 & 6, (limited availability)
Grand Deluxe Suite – $12,695  Extra-large two-room suite, expansive sliding glass door, spacious private balcony, full bathroom with tub and separate shower, additional half bath, sitting area with sofa, Deck 6, (limited availability)
Owner’s Suite – $12,995  Extra-large two-room suite, expansive sliding glass door, spacious private terrace with outdoor Jacuzzi, full bathroom with tub and separate shower, additional half bath, sitting area with sofa, Deck 5, (limited availability)

Singles are available in category 5 at $12,295 and in category 2 at $14,4795.

Taxes are an additional $415 per person and are subject to change.

Included
Exclusive lectures and presentations by study leaders; One night at the Marriott Hacienda BelenSeven nights aboard the exclusively chartered, Five‑Star Le Champlain; Cruise round trip from Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica, to Colón, Panama, featuring port calls at Curú National Wildlife Refuge; Tortuga Island; Quepos for Manuel Antonio National Park; Rio Seco Rainforest; Cébaco, Panama; and Panama City, featuring a transit of the Panama Canal; Meals as specified in the itinerary; Complimentary alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages served throughout the cruise; Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Receptions; All entrance fees and tours as described in the itinerary; Transfers and luggage handling abroad if your arrival(s)/departure(s) coincide with the scheduled group transfer(s); Complimentary Wi-Fi on board ship (conditions permitting); Gratuities to local guides and drivers on included excursions and transfers; Hospitality desk in the hotels and aboard ship; Complimentary bottled water in your accommodations and on excursions; Complimentary use of an audio headset during guided excursions; Experienced Gohagan & Company Travel Directors throughout the program; Pre‑departure materials, including a reading list; Automatic $250,000 flight insurance policy for each participant ticketed on flights by Gohagan & Company

Not Included
International airfare; Taxes of $415 per person (subject to change); Gratuities to ship personnel ($15 per person per night recommended); Hotel staff gratuities (Pre-/Post-Program Options, $2 per person per night recommended) and gratuities for activities on your own; Passport and visa fees; Meals and alcoholic beverages not listed as included; Transfers and baggage handling to/from airport/hotel on day(s) of arrival and/or departure if you are arriving earlier or later than and/or departing earlier or later than the scheduled group transfer(s); Any overnight on land due to flight schedule(s); Personal expenses such as laundry, telephone calls and Internet access unless otherwise specified; Accident/sickness, trip cancellation and baggage insurance; Baggage charges on aircraft; airfare and associated local taxes not listed as included; Airport facility taxes and federal inspection fees not listed as included; All other services not specifically mentioned in the “Included” section.

Pre‑Program Option
Landscapes of Costa Rica: Jan 27-31

$1,295 per person, double occupancy
$1,845 per person, single occupancy

Included
Accommodations for two nights in the deluxe Costa Rica Marriott Hotel Hacienda Belen outside San José, inclusive of taxes and service; Accommodations for two nights in the charming Hotel Royal Corin outside Arenal Volcano National Park, inclusive of taxes and service; Transfers and luggage handling abroad if your arrival(s)/departure(s) coincide with the scheduled group transfer(s); Breakfast each morning, two lunches and one dinner; Gratuities to local guides and drivers; Hospitality desk in the hotel; Complimentary bottled water on excursions; Experienced Gohagan & Company Travel Program Director at your service; Complimentary use of an audio headset during guided excursions. All excursions and visits, as outlined below, with experienced local guides:

Panoramic city tour of San José.
Artisan chocolate presentation and tasting at Sibú Chocolate, with lunch.
Guided tour of the fascinating Doka Estate coffee plantation, with lunch.
Visit to artisanal Sarchí to learn more about the traditional crafting of Costa Rican oxcarts. Excursion to the Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges in the rainforest of Arenal Volcano National Park.
Evening visit to the tranquil Ecotermales hot springs.
A guided cloud forest walk on El Silencio trail, with lunch in the Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel

Post-Program Option
Panama's Renaissance: Feb 7-9

$695 per person, double occupancy
$945 per person, single occupancy

Included
Transfers and luggage handling abroad if your arrival(s)/departure(s) coincide with the scheduled group transfer(s); Accommodations for two nights in the deluxe Bristol Panama Hotel, inclusive of taxes and service;  Breakfast each morning and one lunch; Gratuities to local guides and drivers; Hospitality desk in the hotels; Experienced Gohagan & Company Travel Program Director at your service; All excursions and visits, as outlined below, with experienced local guides:

Visit to the hilltop Agua Clara Visitor Center, featuring panoramic views of the Panama Canal’s new, expanded locks.
Specially arranged cruise on the Gatún River, part of the Panama Canal system, into the verdant jungle of Chagres National Park.
Visit to an indigenous Emberá village, with traditional performances, artisan demonstrations and lunch.
Tour of Panama City’s historical Panama La Vieja, a UNESCO World Heritage site. ◆ Architectural tour of Panama City’s financial district. 

Pre-program option and post-program option cancellation and refund policy
In the event you have to cancel your reservation, cancellation policies as outlined in your travel program brochure apply. These policies are strictly enforced. Cancellations for all or any part of the program will not be effective until they are received in writing. A minimum of 30 participants per program is required for the Landscapes of Costa Rica Pre-Program and Panama’s Renaissance Post-Program Options to operate

What to Expect

This is an active tour. The exclusive excursions offered on this travel program are specifically designed to highlight the best of Panama and Costa Rica’s natural wonders and cultural sights while in port. Optional walking excursions in Panama City and San José are at least one mile (1.6 km), up to three hours in length, and can involve cobblestone streets with moderate inclines and several flights of stairs (some without railings). In national parks and wildlife refuges, expect some trail walking in warm to hot temperatures along uneven and/or slippery terrain. Please be advised that the ship will dock in port and tender ashore by small boat or Zodiac inflatable landing craft. Tenders may involve a dry landing (participants step from the tender vessel directly onto land or a dock) or a wet landing (participants step from the tender vessel into knee-deep water and wade ashore). With the exception of transfer days, participants are free to stay in the hotel(s) or aboard the ship or explore the ports of call at their own pace. Participants requiring assistance must travel with a companion who will be responsible for handling any and all equipment, including a walker, wheelchair, and/or scooter.  

Expert naturalist guides lead all excursions. Enjoy lectures by exclusive onboard study leaders throughout the journey.

Cancellations & Fees
Cancellations for all or any part of the trip including Pre/Post Program(s) reservation(s) will not be effective until received in writing in the offices of The Commonwealth Club and Gohagan. Should you have to cancel, the following terms will apply:

From the time of booking through 96 days prior to departure: no cancellation fees.

Thereafter, cancellation fees apply as follows:

95-61 days prior to departure: 50% of program price
60-45 days prior to departure: 75% of program price
44-0 days prior to departure: 100% of program price

 In the event of a travel program cancellation 45-95 days or less prior to departure, the refund will be by credit, usable on a future Gohagan trip that commences on or before December 31, 2023. In addition, for all bookings, any applicable airline cancellation fees, optional excursion cancellation fees, and administrative fees may apply

Eligibility
We require membership to the Commonwealth Club to travel with us. People who live outside of the Bay Area may purchase a worldwide membership. To learn about membership types and to purchase a membership, visit our membership page or call (415) 597-6720.

Insurance
We strongly recommend the purchase of trip cancellation insurance, which is available for coverage of expenses in conjunction with cancellation due to illness or accident. Baggage insurance is also recommended. In the event you must cancel your participation in the travel program, trip cancellation insurance may be the only source of reimbursement. Information will be sent upon registration and can be viewed Travel Insurance Services website

Airfare
Airfare is subject to change and availability and, depending on the fare basis, likely is nonrefundable. Your airline ticket constitutes a contract between you and the airline, even if purchased through Gohagan. 

Luggage
Luggage allowance policies are set by the airlines and may change without notice.

Physical Accessibility
All programs require physical independence and mobility. Any physical or mental condition that may require special medical attention or physical assistance (for example, the need for a wheelchair) must be reported in writing when you make your reservation. Participants must be able to embark or disembark motorcoaches alone or with minimal assistance from their traveling companion and climb stairs and step over raised thresholds without assistance. Travelers requiring assistance must travel with a companion who will be responsible for handling equipment.

Rates
Prices quoted are based on fares in effect at the time of printing and are subject to change at any time. On land and/or cruise programs, even after full payment, Gohagan reserves the right to increase the tour price in the event of cost increases due to changes in supplier costs, currency fluctuations, or fuel or energy surcharges and all such increases are to be paid to Gohagan upon notice to the tour participant of such increases. On programs that include Gohagan purchased interstate or international air (which originates or returns to the United States), no increased costs will be passed on after final payment except for subsequently imposed governmental tax increases.

Release of Liability, Assumption of Risk, and Binding Arbitration Agreement Responsibility  
The Commonwealth Club and Gohagan & Company and its and their employees, the sponsoring associations/organizations, and its and their employees, shareholders, subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, directors or trustees, successors, and assigns (collectively  “Gohagan”), do not own or operate any entity which is to or does provide goods or services for your program including, for example, lodging facilities, airline, vessel, or other transportation companies, guides or guide services, local ground operators, providers or organizers of optional excursions, food service or entertainment providers, etc. All such persons and entities are independent contractors. As a result, Gohagan is not liable for any negligent or willful act or failure to act of any such person or entity or of any other third party.

In addition and without limitation, Gohagan is not responsible for any injury, loss, death, inconvenience, delay, or damage to person or property in connection with the provision of any goods or services whether resulting from, but not limited to, acts of God or force majeure, acts of government, acts of war or civil unrest, insurrection or revolt, bites from or attacks by animals, insects or pests, strikes or other labor activities, criminal or terrorist activities of any kind or the threat thereof, sickness, illness, epidemics or the threat thereof, the lack of availability of or access to medical attention or the quality thereof, overbooking or downgrading of accommodations, mechanical or another failure of airplanes, vessels, or other means of transportation, or for any failure of any transportation mechanism to arrive or depart timely or safely.

If due to weather, flight schedules or other uncontrollable factors, you are required to spend an additional night(s), you will be responsible for your own hotel, transfers and meal costs. Baggage is entirely at the owner’s risk. The right is reserved to decline to accept as a trip participant, or remove from a trip, without refund, any person Gohagan judges to be incapable of meeting the rigors and requirements of participating in the activities, or who is abusive to other trip participants, leaders or third parties, or who Gohagan determines to detract from the enjoyment of the trip by others. Specific room/cabin assignments are within the sole discretion of the hotel or cruise line.

Gohagan reserves the right to change the itinerary or trip features at any time and for any reason, with or without notice, and Gohagan shall not be liable for any loss of any kind as a result of any such changes. Ship schedules, port calls, hours of arrival and departure, sightseeing events, special programs and guest lecture series (if applicable), are subject to change or cancellation. Gohagan reserves the right to substitute motorcoach transportation using hotels, inns or lodges for cruise accommodations if necessary due to weather, water conditions or levels, other events of force majeure, mechanical or other conditions beyond the control of Gohagan. Gohagan is not responsible therefore and is not required to compensate passengers under these circumstances. Gohagan may cancel a trip (or an option) for any reason whatsoever; if so, its sole responsibility is to refund monies paid by the participant to it. Gohagan, however, is not required under these circumstances to refund the cost of any purchased travel insurance. Gohagan is not required to cancel any trip for any reason including without limitation, United States Department of State, World Health Organization or other Warnings or Advisories of any kind. Gohagan is not responsible for penalties assessed by air carriers resulting from operational and/or itinerary changes, even if Gohagan makes the flight arrangements or cancels the trip. Gohagan reserves the right to substitute vessels, hotels, or attractions of a similar category for those listed in this brochure.

Binding Arbitration
Any dispute concerning, relating, or referring to this Agreement, the brochure, or any other literature concerning the trip, or the trip itself, shall be resolved exclusively by binding arbitration pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. Sections 1-16, either according to the then-existing Commercial Rules of the American Arbitration Association (AAA) or pursuant to the Comprehensive Arbitration Rules & Procedures of the Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services, Inc. (JAMS). Such proceedings will be governed by substantive (but not procedural) Illinois law and will take place in Chicago, IL. The arbitrator and not any federal, state, or local court or agency shall have exclusive authority to resolve any dispute relating to the interpretation, applicability, enforceability, conscionably, or formation of this contract, including but not limited to any claim that all or any part of this contract is void or voidable. Please understand that by agreeing to these terms and conditions, the participant and Gohagan are waiving the right to a trial by jury. 

Acceptance of Contract
By forwarding of deposit, the participant certifies that he/she does not have any mental, physical or other condition of disability that would create a hazard for him/herself or other participants and accepts the terms contained in this Release of Liability, Assumption of Risk and Binding Arbitration Agreement.

Registration 
Commonwealth Club CST#: 2096889-40; Gohagan CST#: 2031868-40, WST#: 601 767 666, OST#: TA 0905.