When you think about bucket list experiences, a cruise through the Panama Canal is on the top of many traveller's lists. Visiting idyllic destinations like Curacao, Costa Rica, Mexico and more onboard the Coral Princess - this is the perfect way to kick off winter 2024.
According to the popular 1960 beach movie, Fort Lauderdale is "where the boys are." The city's reputation as America's Spring Break capital, however, has been replaced with the more favorable image of a prime family tourist destination, attracting more than 10 million visitors annually. The most popular beach resort in Florida is even more rightly famed as the "Yachting Capital of the World," with more than 40,000 registered crafts calling its waters home. The city also prides itself on being the "Venice of America" with more than 300 miles of navigable waterways. Fort Lauderdale boasts world-class theaters, museums, sightseeing, and shopping.
Historians still contend over which European adventurer first spied the largest island in the former Netherlands Antilles. Some historians claim the honor for Alonzo de Ojeda; other historians champion Amerigo Vespucci. Little does it matter; today's travelers are content to bask beneath sunny skies cooled by the trade winds. Lying some 40 miles off Venezuela, Curaçao boasts a landscape that is dramatic, stark, and volcanic. In contrast, Willemstad, the capital, seems a cozy Dutch haven with its neat row houses. And while those gabled and tiled roofs illustrate the island's heritage, the bright, pastel houses speak pure Caribbean. Islanders themselves reflect this same colorful contrast: over 50 different nationalities have come to call Curaçao their home.
Cruising through the Panama Canal will be one of the unforgettable experiences of your voyage.
It takes approximately eight hours to navigate the 50-mile waterway linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, allowing you to experience firsthand one of the engineering marvels of the 20th century.
Fuerte Amador, situated at the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal, is a man-made peninsula extending out into the Pacific Ocean.
The one-mile causeway was created by connecting four small islands with rocks excavated from the Panama Canal. There are several shops, restaurants, and other specialty stores centered around a large marina that serves as a tender dock. The causeway also affords a panoramic view of Panama City's impressive skyline and serves as the home for the Smithsonian Institute of Tropical Research.
To Spanish explorers, the rumors of gold and vast riches could only mean that this section of Central America was the costa rica - the "Rich Coast."
Hailed as the Switzerland of the Americas, Costa Rica occupies a unique position, lying between two oceans and two continents. On both coasts, tropical rainforests rise to the mountains of the interior, many of which soar over 13,000 feet above sea level. In the west, a seemingly endless succession of brown-sand beaches forms the nation's Pacific coast. Puntarenas is your gateway to Costa Rica's wonders - and to its capital city of San Jose.
Nicaragua is the largest Central American nation and has stunning landscapes, vast cultural treasures, and an intriguing history.
Until recent times Nicaragua was unfortunately known for the civil war (Sandinistas and Contras) that raged from the late 70s through much of the 80s. Today, the soldiers and guerrillas have given way sightseeing in a beautiful country. From strolling the cobblestone streets of colonial Granada on Lake Nicaragua, to exploring one of the many volcanoes, Nicaragua has something for even the most seasoned traveler.
Nine bays bordered by 36 golden-sand beaches form the beautiful Las Bahias de Huatulco in the state of Oaxaca.
Welcome to Mexico's newest resort on the Pacific Riviera. Huatulco is a tropical Eden with crystalline waters, coral reefs, and uncrowded beaches. Inland, the rugged coast range is thickly carpeted with rainforest and coffee plantations. While Huatulco is still in its early stages of development, travelers may note that the resort has a different feel from other destinations on the Mexican Riviera. That's because large areas of Huatulco have been designated as an ecological reserve. Huatulco is located in the state of Oaxaca where the foothills of the Sierra Madre del Sur Mountains meet the Pacific Ocean.
Puerto Vallarta was sleepy no more; its transformation into an international resort had begun. Then director John Huston chose the village as the location for his film "Night of the Iguana," starring Richard Burton. Today, the city has its own "Gringo Gulch," a haunt of the rich and famous. Travelers are also drawn by its climate, its excellent shopping - which offers great values on leather goods, jewelry, and handicrafts - and mile after mile of palm-lined beaches.
The City of Angels always hovers between dream and reality. Once a near-forgotten colonial outpost, the pueblo metamorphosed into an agrarian paradise before reinventing itself as a movie colony. Perhaps no other city owes so much to the technological innovations of the 20th century, from the automobile to the airplane. Little wonder that LA is oft described as the "dream machine." In LA, reinvention is a way of life. Yet this talent for change has created a city with a rich ethnic diversity and a sizzling culture. LA is the source for trends that migrate across the country and then the world. Where else can you enjoy a Thai taco or munch on a kosher burrito? Or travel from downtown's high rises to the beaches of Malibu, shopping in Beverly Hills along the way?
About the Coral Princess:
Coral Princess, with more than 700 balcony staterooms, was custom built to navigate the historic Panama Canal. Be sure to try the Bayou Café and Steakhouse, which features classic steakhouse cuisine, join friends for cocktails and Movies Under the Stars® by the pool or try some decadent treats at the International Café. From the moment you step aboard, we want you to feel welcomed and right at home. And with attentive service from a friendly staff that knows what hospitality means, you’ll find your Princess® ship truly is your home away from home. Indulge your appetite whenever you wish on board Princess®. Every hour, our chefs are busy baking, grilling and sautéing great-tasting fare from scratch. Princess offers unparalleled inclusive dining options throughout the ship with a wide range of culinary delights to suit any palate, from endless buffet choice to gourmet pizza, frosty treats, decadent desserts and much more.