Our first day of exploration took us deep into the magical intermingling web of the tropical rainforest, one of the most researched ecosystems in the world. We enjoyed sightings of monkeys, toucans, sloths, and many birds. Upon our return, we had a great lunch followed by a boat ride along the perimeter of the heart of the canal, Gatun Lake. The lake is 164 square miles, framed with lush tropical rainforest growing on islands that used to be the hilltops of this former valley. Gatun Lake took ten years to be fully filled with water from the Chagres River.

During these first 24 hours of our voyage we have already created so many marvelous memories. The crossing of the Panama Canal; the lush tropical forest with all its quintessential animals like monkeys, toucans, and iguanas, as we hiked the island of BCI; and then as the cherry on the cake, speedboat cruises around Gatun Lake. Not bad for the opening act of this voyage.