Recommend December 2017 - 100

The refreshed
Safari Voyager.

Staying at Dreams Delight Playa Bonita
Panama, coupled with the immersive cultural
and adventure options offered by UnCruise
Adventures, provides an exciting opportunity
for new bucket-list experiences. Our trip
didn't disappoint.
Another day on Pacific waters is spent
in the Pearl Islands Archipelago, made up
of 90 islands and some 130 rocky islets,
historically famous for its pearls and more
recently as a film site for the "Survivor"
series. Almost entirely uninhabited, but
boasting golden beaches backed by forest
canopy, the islands host a bounty of tropical
flora and fauna-sample viewing: blue- and
brown-footed boobies, white orchids and
cacti. And mid-summer through early-fall,
the archipelago is frequented by dolphins
and humpback whales. Yes, we spotted both,
and while snorkeling, kayaking and standup paddleboarding, special marine sightings
included manta rays and green sea turtles.
Day 4 was river day, traveling by motorized
dugout canoes along the Mogue River,
whose astonishing wildlife includes roseate

spoonbills, ibises, ospreys and raccoons,
fishing for breakfast from the waters' edge.
Our destination is a village of the Embera,
one of seven indigenous groups in Panama;
their welcome is truly warm, and the
community shares its customs and stories
through music (played on instruments
made of leather and tortoise shell) and
dance (whose themes focus on animals and
healing). And the Embera are fine artisans,
producing colorful tagua nut jewelry and
gorgeous, intricately woven baskets, not only
highly prized but for the finest, highly priced.
Our abbreviated, but finely curated,
celebration cruise followed half of the
itinerary of UnCruise Adventures' newest
program, Pure Panama: Cultures, Coasts &
Canal. Our host, UnCruise president and
COO Tim Jacox, explained to Recommend
that his company's commitment to Panama
and Costa Rica-its two cruising destinations
in Central America-is demonstrated by
having the right cruise vessel. "Last year we
basically stripped our 32-cabin Safari Voyager
down to the steel for a total renewal and

The Pure Panama: Cultures, Coasts & Canal, an all-Panama cruise, launches May 4,
2018. The 8-night program starts in Panama City, with an overnight at the luxury
Bristol Panama, before boarding Safari Voyager the next day in Colon to see the newly
expanded locks of the Panama Canal, then sail on to: two days in the picture-perfect
Guna Yala (formerly San Blas Islands); the UNESCO Heritage town of Portobello; full
transit of the Panama Canal; two days in the Pearl Islands Archipelago; Darien Jungle
and Embera village visit on the Mogue River; explore Punta Patino Nature Reserve and
watch for whales in the Bay of Panama.
UnCruise combines Panama and Costa Rica in its 2018 cruise schedule on the
8-night Unrivaled Wonders of Costa Rica & Panama. Both cruises are priced from
$4,395. For an in-depth exploration of the two countries, the spotlight is on the
15-night Ultimate Costa Rica & Panama, priced from $8,345.
100 december 2017

redecoration." It included staterooms and
suites to an inviting dining room, as well
as a comfy lounge with an active bar and
good library, and broad observation decks
for wildlife viewing as well as yoga, sunning,
special barbecues and stargazing. And
he added, "Small ships deliver big
experiences, and she's just the right size
for adventurous exploration."
For this passenger, Safari Voyager is just
a feel-good boat: no cabin keys, open
seating, imaginative cocktails, top service.
While I found some of the guides more
informative than others, the crew is staffed
with friendly, savvy, energetic, enthusiastic,
and experienced people-from both North
and Central America-who are totally
attentive to safety. And in this classy, wellrun operation, extra special kudos go to the
chef and his team for a nonstop experience in
creative and delicious dining. On our cruise
(and every sailing), all beverages-like all
expeditions ashore-are complimentary, from
local beers and custom cocktails to wines
and spirits. So, too, are transfers to and from
the airport, all watersports equipment and a
complimentary massage.
Perhaps Journese passenger Renee Sanders,
owner of The Travel Connection, captured
best the Curators Celebration experience
in her e-mail to Jacox: "I loved everything
about the UnCruise style of cruising-just
perfect! Your staff went above and beyond to
make our stay the absolute best: educational,
enriching, and just plain fun." ■

Contact Information
Journese: journese.com
UnCruise Adventures: uncruise.com
recommend.com


http://www.journese.com http://www.uncruise.com http://www.recommend.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recommend December 2017

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