MIAMI (MARCH 12, 2009) — Costa Rica makes it debut on Star Clippers’ roster beginning November 2010 when the 170-passenger Star Flyer inaugurates two seven-day, round-trip itineraries from Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica.
Calling at some of the most exciting ports in the country, the itineraries, which run through March 2011, mark the first time Star Clippers has deployed a vessel in that region. Group and charter reservations for the Costa Rica voyages are open, and individual bookings will open in April.
“We brought Star Flyer closer to home, yet we wanted to offer something new and expand our horizons,” said Mikael Krafft, owner and president of Star Clippers. “Costa Rica offers the perfect combination of exotic scenery and exciting tours that appeals to Star Clippers guests — it’s progressive, it’s current and we’re confident the cruises are going to book up quickly.”
The first itinerary calls at San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua; and Cuajiniquil, Playas del Coco/Flamingo, Puerto Carrillo and Islas Tortugas, Costa Rica. The second itinerary calls at Isla Coiba, Panama; and Golfito, Isla del Cano/Drake’s Bay, Quepos and Islas Tortugas, Costa Rica.
San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua: Set against the prehistoric volcanic hills to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west, San Juan del Sur is one of Nicaragua’s most beautiful areas. The inhabitants make their living fishing, diving and catering to the visitors drawn to the bay’s beautiful white-sand beaches, smooth waters and ecological richness. >From here, guests can journey to Granada, the country’s main tourist destination. Granada possesses active volcanoes and unique cloud forest ecosystems, and for centuries it has been called “The Great Sultana” in recognition of its beautiful colonial architecture.
Cuajiniquil, Costa Rica: Cuajiniquil is a small fishing village on the Pacific coast of northwest Costa Rica. Guests can visit Santa Rosa National Park, which protects some of the last remaining tropical dry forest in the world. Guanacaste National Park was created in 1989 to connect Santa Rosa National Park with the high elevation cloud forest of Orosi and Cacao volcanoes. Here visitors can observe humpback whales, dolphins, sea turtles, sharks, angelfish, boat-billed herons, monkeys, Guanacaste trees, mangroves and hundreds of other species, as well as see extraordinary geological formations caused by the collision of tectonic plates.
Playas del Coco, Costa Rica: A small fishing village with folkloric charm and a cosmopolitan flare, Playas del Coco is nestled in the northwest Pacific region of the country. Its beaches are among the best in Costa Rica, and the horseshoe-shaped bay area is ideal for water sports. Journey skyward for a spectacular view from the mountain tops or explore the lush treetops on a canopy tour.
Puerto Carrillo, Costa Rica: Puerto Carrillo is a tiny fishing village and relaxed beach town. Distractions are minimal, making this an ideal call to enjoy water sports and soak up the sun. The beach, with stunning views and sunsets, is easily one of the best in Costa Rica. Guests can enjoy snorkeling and diving in a beautiful marine environment.
Quepos, Costa Rica: Not only is Quepos known as one of the best places in the world for big-game sport fishing, the charming port also offers canopy tours, horseback riding, kayaking, rafting and surfing. Manuel Antonio is the smallest national park in Costa Rica yet there is quite a varied fauna with 109 species of mammals and 184 of birds. The expansive beaches are backed by an evergreen forest that grows right up to the high-tide line.
Drake’s Bay, Costa Rica: Discovered by Sir Francis Drake in 1579 during his circumnavigation of the globe, Drake’s Bay is one of the most popular destinations in the region. Drake’s Bay is exclusively accessible by boat and is home to Parque Nacional Corcovado, the tallest primary rainforest on the planet and home to nearly 300 species of birds, 139 species of mammals and 116 species of amphibians and reptiles. The tiny island has a wealth of underwater beauty, and gives guests the chance to swim among brightly colored tropical fish and dolphins.
Islas Tortugas (Curu National Reserve), Costa Rica: Curu contains Costa Rica’s first private national wildlife refuge. Located on the southern Nicoya Peninsula, the area offers easy access to see some of the most sought-after species such as howler and spider monkeys, scarlet macaws, collared peccary, coyotes, iguanas and hundreds of species of tropical and migratory birds. All five of Costa Rica’s mangrove species are represented in Curu. The refuge is one of the few places in Central America where agriculture, scientific research and tourism exist in harmony.
Isla Coiba, Panama: Isla Coiba, Panama’s largest island, is a nature and wildlife reserve filled with tropical rain forests. It is both a national park and an UNESCO World Heritage Site, and home to a wide variety of birds and animals. According to UNESCO, the waters around Isla Coiba are inhabited by no fewer than 760 species of marine fish, 33 species of shark and 20 species of cetaceans, making it a diver’s paradise.
Golfito, Costa Rica: The town of Golfito is located on the southern Pacific coast of Costa Rica near the border of Panama. From the northern section, trails go up to the Refugio Nacional de Vida Silvestre Golfito (Golfito Wildlife Refuge) on the hill, which extends across to the other side of the bay and is part of the national parks of Costa Rica. The area has some of the highest rain forests in Central America, and much of the region surrounding the town is characterized by tall evergreen forest.
Proving it’s a destination on the rise in popularity, the number of tourists visiting Costa Rica from January through May 2008 increased 16 percent over the same period in 2007, according to the Ministry of Tourism in San José. Yet the region has been able to maintain its pristine beauty and natural wonder.
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Star Clippers operates three of the world’s largest and tallest sailing vessels. Visiting ports often untouched by larger cruise ships and offering passengers the activities, amenities and atmosphere of a private yacht, Star Clippers is recognized as one of the premier specialty cruise lines. The ships currently sail throughout Tahiti, the Caribbean, Mediterranean and Far East.