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Sea to Shining Sea: From Miami to San Diego Through the Panama Canal

Program Number: 21277RJ
Start and End Dates:
10/14/2014 - 10/28/2014;
Duration: 14 nights
Location: US (FL, CA)/Cayman Islands/Colombia/Mexico
Price starting at: $5,610.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Ocean Cruises
Meals: 40; 14 Breakfasts, 12 Lunches, 14 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Low Salt; Low Fat    

Voyage from the Atlantic to the Pacific through the Panama Canal. Learn how the canal, one of history’s greatest engineering feats, came to be completed. Explore the walled city of Cartagena on an expert-led field trip and experience Grand Cayman Island and Pacific Mexico on your own or on shore excursions of your choice.




Activity Particulars

Must be able to handle your own luggage, get on and off a motorcoach, walk a few blocks and climb a few stairs.



Programs with Crystal Cruises are designed for the independent traveler. These programs offer a lower activity level and the ability to choose your own shore excursions based on your preferences and physical ability. Road Scholar will provide one exclusive shore excursion and private onboard lectures with our own study leader.



Itinerary At-a-Glance

Miami, Fla., 1 night; aboard Crystal Symphony, 13 nights.



Days 1-2: Arrival Miami, Fla. / embark Crystal Symphony:

Enjoy a panoramic city excursion in Miami and get an overview of the city’s history, from the 16th century to today. Then board the ship to begin your voyage. Lodging: Comfortable hotel near airport.



Days 3-4: At Sea / George Town (Cayman Islands):

Experience the natural beauty and British-influenced culture of Grand Cayman independently or on a shore excursion of your choice.



Days 5-6: At Sea / Cartagena (Colombia):

On an expert-led Road Scholar field trip, discover the hilltop La Popa Monastery, offering spectacular views of this seaside city, then continue to the old walled section of the city to absorb its lovely Spanish colonial architecture.



Days 7-10: Transit the Panama Canal / At Sea:

Make a full transit of the 48-mile Panama Canal as an official canal pilot provides details on its fascinating history. As the ship sails up the coast of Central America, enjoy exclusive Road Scholar lectures and take advantage of Crystal’s excellent enrichment program, which includes language classes, photography and art instruction, wine tastings and more.



Day 11: Zihuatanejo (Mexico):

Experience this traditional, easy-going Mexican Riviera port on your own or on a shore excursion of your choice.



Days 12-13: At Sea / Cabo San Lucas:

With turquoise waters on one side and majestic mountains on the other, it’s no wonder Cabo has become famous for its beauty. Explore independently or choose a shore excursion.



Days 14-15: At Sea / San Diego, Calif. / disembark / departure


Crystal Symphony

This sleek 781-foot ocean liner is one of the most spacious at sea. It accommodates 940 passengers for whom it provides a spa, fitness facility, two pools, Jacuzzis and inspired dining options, including a restaurant, café and outdoor grill. Complimentary fine wines and premium spirits are available to you throughout the voyage.



Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Peter Alden

Peter Alden is a world renowned naturalist, lecturer, ecotourism expert and author of 15 books on American and African wildlife, including the National Audubon Society’s Regional Field Guide Series. He is considered to be an authority on birds and larger mammals of the world and is often consulted by the media for his expertise. Peter is also a highly entertaining and widely sought after lecturer on topics that include world wildlife, the Polar regions and biodiversity of the northeast.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Courtyard by Marriott Miami Airport South Hotel
  Miami, USA 1 night
   Crystal Symphony
  Crystal Symphony, At Sea 13 nights
 Courtyard by Marriott Miami Airport South Hotel
Type: Hotel
  Description: Explore a full range of attractions within minutes of Miami Airport hotel's front door- including Downtown Miami, South Beach, University of Miami, the Miami Beach Convention Center, Coral Gables and countless golf courses. The airport is 10 minutes from the hotel and offers a free shuttle service from the airport to the hotel which runs every half hour. Look for a red colored Marriott shuttle curbside at the "Departure" level.
  Contact info: 1201 N.W. Lejeune Rd.
Miami, FL 33126 USA
phone: 305-642-8200
web: www.marriott.com/miaap
  Room amenities: AC, hair dryer, cable TV, telephone, free in room high-speed internet
  Facility amenities: Business center, pool, fitness center, restaurant on-site, room service
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Contact Road Scholar Travel Contact Road Scholar Travel Services for details.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM

 Crystal Symphony
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: With her sleek silhouette and shimmering elegance, the legendary Crystal Symphony finds a natural home in the world's most glamorous harbors and idyllic ports of call. Generous per-passenger space ratios have become a Crystal trademark, along with forward-facing observation decks, a Palm Court lounge, and a wide teak promenade encircling the ship. A makeover in 2006 refreshed the Bistro Café and shops, reconstructed the casino and Starlite Lounge, and added a new nightclub called Luxe. An even more extensive refurbishment in 2009 transformed the Crystal Penthouses, Lido Café, and Prego Italian restaurant. Accented by a lovely waterfall, the focal point of the central two-deck atrium is a sculpture of two ballet dancers created especially for the space. Crystal Cove, the lobby lounge, is the spot to meet for cocktails as you make your way to the nearby dining room. Throughout the ship, public rooms shine with low-key contemporary style and flow easily from one to the next.
  Ship Information: Ship's Registry: The Bahamas 781 feet long x 99 feet wide 51,044 gross registered tons 20 knots cruising speed 21 knots maximum speed 922 passengers capacity An international crew of 545 with 40 countries represented European-trained hotel and dining staff
  Contact info: 2049 Century Park East, Suite 1400
Los Angeles, CA 1400 USA
phone: 310-785-9300
web: www.crystalcruises.com
  Room amenities: Cabins: There are no inside cabins on Crystal Symphony. Still, relatively small stateroom sizes are cozy and chic with boutique-hotel-style decor. All cabins have ample closet and drawer/shelf storage, as well as bathroom shelves. Many have private balconies furnished with chairs and tables. Most suites and penthouses have a walk-in closet. Crystal Penthouse suites have guest powder rooms. Amenities: Rich wood cabinetry, 100% Eygyptian cotton sheets, feather beds and plush duvets, wood and padded hangers, a small refrigerator filled with complimentary bottled water and soft drinks, a personal safe, two hair dryers, a flat-screen TV with a DVD player, and a sitting area with sofa, chair, and table are typical standard features in all cabins. Suite and penthouse extras vary, but all have a DVD/CD player, butler service, personalized stationery, and stocked minibars with wine, beer, and choice of liquor. Bathrooms: Every bathroom has oval glass sinks, granite counters, a full-size tub, Aveda toiletries, plush towels, and bathrobes for use during the cruise. Many suites and penthouses have a whirlpool tub and separate shower.
  Facility amenities: Public spaces have a sophisticated and contemporary feel with fine Italian and French fabrics, Axminster wool carpets, oriental rugs, teak deck furniture and English mohair lap blankets. 8 passenger decks, 2 specialty restaurants, dining room, buffet, ice cream parlor, Wi-Fi, safe, refrigerator, minibar (some), DVD, 1 pool, Fitness classes, gym, hair salon, 1 hot tub, sauna, spa, steam room, 5 bars, casino, cinema, dance club, library, dry-cleaning, laundry facilities, laundry service, Internet terminal, library
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Program starts at the program hotel in Miami, Florida in the late afternoon. You will be staying at Courtyard by Marriott Miami Airport South Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after breakfast on board the ship in San Diego, CA You will be staying at Crystal Symphony the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. **IMPORTANT INFORMATION** All participants MUST register online with Crystal Cruises. To register go to checkin.crystalcruises.com to access the Priority Check-in and Planning Center. To log in, you need type in your first/last names as they appear on your passport and your booking number (which appears on your cruise confirmation or can be obtained from Road Scholar). You will need to enter your contact and passport information in order to register. Once registered you will be able to book excursions and on-board activities (such as specialty dining, spa appointments, etc). If you did not recieve a booking number, please call us at 1.866.359.5966. For more information on using the Priority Check-in & Planning Center please see the attachment at the end of this booklet. Proof of citizenship is required for ALL guests. For full information regarding traveling with Crystal Cruises, we recommend visiting the Crystal Cruise website at: www.crystalcruises.com and refer to the "Cruise Guidebook"
  Parking availability:
Please consult the long term car park service at Miami airport for rates.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Taxi's are available at the airport
To Start of Program
  Location:  Miami
  Transportation to site: The Courtyard Miami Marriot Hotel is located minutes from the Miami International Airport (MIA) and downtown Miami. Complimentary shuttle service is available for all participants. The shuttle service runs from the Departures Level every 15 minutes from 5am - 1am daily. Look for Red and White Bus with Marriott logo, marked '1201 MarriottMiamiAirportCampus.com' with the Miami Airport Marriott, Courtyard and Residence Inn logos on the side. Participants who are making their own air reservations or arriving independently should plan to arrive in Miami by 4:00 pm. on Day 1
  From End of Program
  Location:  Crystal Symphony
  Transportation from site: There will be one group transfer from Port of San Diego in the San Diego International Airport. All participants are welcome to join this transfer. Participants who are making their own air reservations or departing independently should not arrange flights that depart San Diego before 12:00 noon.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrival Miami, FL
(Tuesday, October 14)
   
 Afternoon: Arrival in Miami, transfer to the hotel and check in. Later enjoy a program orientation.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Courtyard by Marriott Miami Airport South Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Introduction to Miami / Embark Crystal Symphony
(Wednesday, October 15)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Get to know Miami like an insider. We’ll take a leisurely drive to get to know the city and surroundings, including Coral Gables, Coconut Grove and of course, South Beach! We will visit South Beach and the historic Art Deco District, where we stop for a stroll on Ocean Drive. We’ll cross over to the mainland and drive through downtown Miami and on to Coconut Grove.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own in Miami.
 Afternoon: Embark the Crystal Symphony and settle into your stateroom.
 Dinner: Join your study leader for a group dinner in the Crystal Dining Room.
   
Accommodations: Crystal Symphony
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3: Cruising the Straits of Florida
(Thursday, October 16)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at leisure on board in the Crystal Dining Room (open seating) or the more casual Lido Café. Room Service is also available 24 hours a day.
 Morning: Join your Road Scholar study leader for an exclusive presentation.
 Lunch: Lunch at leisure on board the ship in the Crystal Dining Room, the Lido Café, or the Trident Grill.
 Afternoon: Enjoy a relaxing afternoon aboard Crystal Symphony. Walk-on-Water along the 360-degree Promenade Deck; enhance your computer skills at the Computer University@Sea; deepen your knowledge during a lecture presented by one of Crystal's expert guest speakers; sneak away to watch recently-released movies in the Hollywood Theater, or simply relax by one of the ship's tranquil pools.
 Dinner: Join your study leader for a group dinner in the Crystal Dining Room.
   
Accommodations: Crystal Symphony
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Georgetown, Grand Cayman (Cayman Islands)
(Friday, October 17)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at leisure on board in the Crystal Dining Room (open seating) or the more casual Lido Café. Room Service is also available 24 hours a day.
 Morning: INDEPENDENT EXPLORATION: The Cayman Islands were colonized from Jamaica by the British during the 18th and 19th centuries and were administered by Jamaica after 1863. In 1959, the islands became a territory within the Federation of the West Indies. When the Federation dissolved in 1962, the Cayman Islands chose to remain a British dependency. The territory comprises the islands of Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Little Cayman, located south of Cuba and northwest of Jamaica.
 Lunch: Lunch at leisure on board the ship in the Crystal Dining Room, the Lido Café, or the Trident Grill, or you may choose to eat independently ashore. Some Crystal shore excursions will include lunch (depending on the length).
 Afternoon: Exploration of Georgetown continues before reboarding the ship.
 Dinner: Join your study leader for a group dinner in the Crystal Dining Room.
   
Accommodations: Crystal Symphony
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Cruising the Caribbean Sea
(Saturday, October 18)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at leisure on board in the Crystal Dining Room (open seating) or the more casual Lido Café. Room Service is also available 24 hours a day.
 Morning: Join your Road Scholar study leader for an exclusive presentation.
 Lunch: Lunch at leisure on board the ship in the Crystal Dining Room, the Lido Café, or the Trident Grill.
 Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure on board the ship.
 Dinner: Join your study leader for a group dinner in the Crystal Dining Room.
   
Accommodations: Crystal Symphony
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Cartagena, Colombia
(Sunday, October 19)

Note: Today's field trip has been designed exclusively for Road Scholar participants. Please do not book a Crystal Shore Adventure today.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at leisure on board in the Crystal Dining Room (open seating) or the more casual Lido Café. Room Service is also available 24 hours a day.
 Morning: ROAD SCHOLAR EXCLUSIVE: Depart from the pier to visit some of the most important monuments of this historic city. The first stop will be made at the Convent of La Popa built at the beginning of the 17th century on the hill of the same name. From there a magnificent view of the city and the bay can be seen. The tour will then continue on to San Felipe's Fort, built in the 17th century to protect the city from marauding invaders. Stop here for a photo stop and explanation of the site. After this short stop, continue to the colorful handicraft market of Las Bovedas, where you will have a short time to see the local artisan displays. Stroll through the walled city with a local architect who will explain the colorful colonial architecture of the old city. Arrive at the Convent of San Pedro Claver, named in honor of the Spanish born monk who was known as the "Apostles of Blacks". The tree filled courtyard of the convent houses religious and pre-Colombian artifacts. You will have some free time at the Plaza de San Pedro before returning to the pier.
 Lunch: Return to the ship for lunch at leisure in the Crystal Dining Room, the Lido Café, or the Trident Grill, or you may choose to eat independently ashore. Some Crystal shore excursions will include lunch (depending on the length).
 Afternoon: The afternoon is free to explore Cartagena on your own, or relax on board the ship. Charming Cartagena is one of the most fascinating towns in South America. The old city, almost completely surrounded by lagoons, bays and the Caribbean Sea, is still girded by its 17th-century fortifications. Once these guarded the gold and treasures of the New World, bound for Spain; now they shelter ornate churches and convents, the dramatic Palace of the Inquisition, and other historic gems.
 Dinner: Join your study leader for a group dinner in the Crystal Dining Room.
   
Accommodations: Crystal Symphony
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Transit the Panama Canal
(Monday, October 20)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at leisure on board in the Crystal Dining Room (open seating) or the more casual Lido Café. Room Service is also available 24 hours a day.
 Morning: Full transit through the Panama Canal, with onboard commentary provided by a Panamanian canal pilot. One of the largest and most difficult engineering projects ever undertaken, the canal had an enormous impact on shipping between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, replacing the long and treacherous route via the Drake Passage and Cape Horn at the southernmost tip of South America. A ship sailing from New York to San Francisco via the canal travels 5,900 mi, well under half the 14,000 mi route around Cape Horn. The concept of a canal near Panama dates to the early 16th century. The first attempt to construct a canal began in 1880 under French leadership, but was abandoned after 21,900 workers died, largely from disease (particularly malaria and yellow fever) and landslides. The United States launched a second effort, incurring a further 5,600 deaths but succeeding in opening the canal in 1914.
 Lunch: Lunch at leisure on board the ship in the Crystal Dining Room, the Lido Café, or the Trident Grill.
 Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure to enjoy the ship's activities.
 Dinner: Join your study leader for a group dinner in the Crystal Dining Room.
   
Accommodations: Crystal Symphony
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Cruising the Coast of Panama
(Tuesday, October 21)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at leisure on board in the Crystal Dining Room (open seating) or the more casual Lido Café. Room Service is also available 24 hours a day.
 Morning: Join your Road Scholar study leader for an exclusive presentation.
 Lunch: Lunch at leisure on board the ship in the Crystal Dining Room, the Lido Café, or the Trident Grill.
 Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure to enjoy the ship's activities.
 Dinner: Join your study leader for a group dinner in the Crystal Dining Room.
   
Accommodations: Crystal Symphony
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Cruising the Pacific Ocean
(Wednesday, October 22)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at leisure on board in the Crystal Dining Room (open seating) or the more casual Lido Café. Room Service is also available 24 hours a day.
 Morning: Join your Road Scholar study leader for an exclusive presentation.
 Lunch: Lunch at leisure on board the ship in the Crystal Dining Room, the Lido Café, or the Trident Grill.
 Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure to enjoy the ship's activities.
 Dinner: Join your study leader for a group dinner in the Crystal Dining Room.
   
Accommodations: Crystal Symphony
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Cruising the Coast of Mexico
(Thursday, October 23)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at leisure on board in the Crystal Dining Room (open seating) or the more casual Lido Café. Room Service is also available 24 hours a day.
 Morning: Join your Road Scholar study leader for an exclusive presentation.
 Lunch: Lunch at leisure on board the ship in the Crystal Dining Room, the Lido Café, or the Trident Grill.
 Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure to enjoy the ship's activities.
 Dinner: Join your study leader for a group dinner in the Crystal Dining Room.
   
Accommodations: Crystal Symphony
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Zihuatanejo, Mexico
(Friday, October 24)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at leisure on board in the Crystal Dining Room (open seating) or the more casual Lido Café. Room Service is also available 24 hours a day.
 Morning: INDEPENDENT EXPLORATION: The seaside port of Zihuatanejo was established over 100 years ago. Today it maintains the rustic charm and easy-going ambiance of that period. Picturesque and unspoiled, its golden beaches and brilliant waters are somewhat reminiscent of Polynesia. Just five miles away lies its twin town, the burgeoning resort of Ixtapa, an isolated oasis of high-rise hotels. Zihuatanejo's natural beauty has been preserved and its pristine, fine-grained sandy beaches remain. However, there are some modern touches. Former dirt streets are now cobblestone, and numerous chic boutiques and bars serving chilled cervezas have sprung up.
 Lunch: Lunch at leisure on board the ship in the Crystal Dining Room, the Lido Café, or the Trident Grill, or you may choose to eat independently ashore. Some Crystal shore excursions will include lunch (depending on the length).
 Afternoon: Continue your exploration of Zihuatanejo, Mexico.
 Dinner: Join your study leader for a group dinner in the Crystal Dining Room.
   
Accommodations: Crystal Symphony
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Cruising the Pacific Ocean
(Saturday, October 25)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at leisure on board in the Crystal Dining Room (open seating) or the more casual Lido Café. Room Service is also available 24 hours a day.
 Morning: Join your Road Scholar study leader for an exclusive presentation.
 Lunch: Lunch at leisure on board the ship in the Crystal Dining Room, the Lido Café, or the Trident Grill.
 Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure to enjoy the ship's activities.
 Dinner: Join your study leader for a group dinner in the Crystal Dining Room.
   
Accommodations: Crystal Symphony
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
(Sunday, October 26)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at leisure on board in the Crystal Dining Room (open seating) or the more casual Lido Café. Room Service is also available 24 hours a day.
 Morning: INDEPENDENT EXPLORATION: Cabo San Lucas is nestled on the southernmost tip of the Baja Peninsula, where the cool currents of the Pacific Ocean meet the warm waters of the Sea of Cortez. Commanding rock formations, timeless desert and a translucent sea provide a compelling introduction to this tranquil resort town. Here, mile upon mile of golden sandy coves dot the shoreline while marlin and sailfish frolic in the waters offshore. Laze on a deserted beach, explore the undersea world or discover bustling shops and markets for tempting treasures such as silver, jewelry and wooden sculptures.
 Lunch: Lunch at leisure on board the ship in the Crystal Dining Room, the Lido Café, or the Trident Grill, or you may choose to eat independently ashore. Some Crystal shore excursions will include lunch (depending on the length).
 Afternoon: Continue independent exploration of Cabo San Lucas.
 Dinner: Join your study leader for a group dinner in the Crystal Dining Room.
   
Accommodations: Crystal Symphony
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Cruising the Coast of Baja California
(Monday, October 27)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at leisure on board in the Crystal Dining Room (open seating) or the more casual Lido Café. Room Service is also available 24 hours a day.
 Morning: PROGRAM WRAP-UP: Meet with your study leader and other participants to discuss your final thoughts about the program.
 Lunch: Lunch at leisure on board the ship in the Crystal Dining Room, the Lido Café, or the Trident Grill.
 Afternoon: Spend the afternoon enjoying the ship's activities.
 Dinner: Join your study leader for a group dinner in the Crystal Dining Room.
   
Accommodations: Crystal Symphony
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: San Diego, California
(Tuesday, October 28)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at leisure on board in the Crystal Dining Room (open seating) or the more casual Lido Café. Room Service is also available 24 hours a day.
 Morning: Disembark the ship and transfer to the airport for flights home. Disembarkation will start at approximately 8:00 am (subject to Customs and Immigration). There will be one coach transfer to the airport. We do not recommend booking flights before 12:00 noon to ensure you have enough time to get to the airport and check in before your flight.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


A Brief History of Central America


Author: Hector Perez-Brignoll


Description: A good overview of the region’s economic, political and social history through the 1980s by a professor at the University of Costa Rica. Well-written, informative and concise.



Birds of Mexico & Central America, Princeton Illustrated Checklists


Author: Ber Van Perlo


Description: An admirably compact, comprehensive guide featuring color plates.



Eyewitness Top Ten San Diego


Author: Chris Stowers (Photographer)


Description: A compact, illustrated guide in the popular series, featuring favorite attractions. With handy pullout map.



Mexico, Biography of Power, A History of Modern Mexico, 1810-1996


Author: Enrique Krauze


Description: In fluid translation from the Spanish, this widely praised, sweeping political and social history of Mexico covers the last two centuries.



Miami


Author: Joan Didion


Description: Acclaimed essayist Jon Didion looks to Miami in this book of astute commentary. The drug war, Cuba, political scandals and race relations all find their way into this trenchant examination of a completely unique American city.



Miraculous Air


Author: C. M. Mayo


Description: Like Steinbeck (from whom she quotes in the title "the very air here is miraculous"), Mayo is enchanted with the land and people of Baja. She writes of a 1,000-mile journey from Cabo to Tijuana with insight, warmth and style.



Panama Canal by Cruise Ship


Author: Anne Vipond


Description: This outstanding guide to the Panama Canal and popular ports of call in Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America features a mile-by-mile guide to the transit, a history of the building of the canal and a detailed pullout map.



The Building of the Panama Canal in Historic Photographs


Author: Ulrich Keller


Description: These archival photographs tell the story of the people who built the Panama Canal, the engineers who designed it and the changes wrought on the landscape through its construction.



The Canal Builders, Making America's Empire at the Panama Canal


Author: Julie Greene


Description: This revisionist history of the Panama Canal focuses not on engineers or politicians but on the role of the workers -- and the place of the canal in America's perception of itself.



The Labyrinth of Solitude


Author: Octavio Paz


Description: These essays by the Nobel Prize-winning poet address Mexican culture and character. The chapters on the Mexican celebration of the Day of the Dead and the conquest are especially memorable.



The Log from the Sea of Cortez


Author: John Steinbeck


Description: The classic account of a collecting trip to the Sea of Cortez with marine biologist Ed Ricketts, first published in 1941. Subtitled "A Leisurely Journal of Travel and Research," this much-loved book captures the wonders of the Gulf of California and the joys of discovery.



The Panama Canal Map


Author: Compass


Description: A map and souvenir guide to the Canal.



The Path Between the Seas


Author: David McCullough


Description: A great story, admirably told in vivid, page-turning detail, this is the one book to read on the creation of the Panama Canal.



The Tailor of Panama


Author: John Le Carre


Description: Set in Panama, this thriller by master storyteller John Le Carre includes spymasters, corrupt officials, arms manufacturers and other unsavory types.





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