Transiting the Panama Canal is on the bucket list of many looking for a one-of-a-kind vacation — – and with good reason. Historic and awe-inspiring Panama Canal cruises offer a unique and fascinating experience. Although it celebrated its centennial in 1914, this engineering marvel has never lost its appeal and is exciting as ever. Cruise lovers will find it offers a different yet equally fabulous experience compared to a traditional ocean voyage.
- Rainforest and canopy tours
- Stunning beaches
- Wildlife in their natural habitat
- Tubing & kayaking
- Cloud forests
- Monkey Watch
- Centuries old Forts
- Chagres National Park
Enjoy the Panama Canal — one of the “Seven Wonders of the Modern World” — in the utmost of comfort on a cruise ship. Delight in amazing onboard amenities as you are pampered from the moment of embarkation. Savor a wide range of exquisite cuisine at fine dining venues and casual eateries. Rediscover your “aah” at the spa and make yourself at home in spectacular accommodations – many designed for families.
Select from a host of cruise lines sailing to the Panama Canal. They include Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Disney Cruise Line and Lindblad Special Expeditions. Luxury cruises are offered by such lines as Azamara Club Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Cunard Line, Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Seabourn and Silversea Cruises.
Cruise to destinations such as the Caribbean with its legendary beaches, Central America, Mexico and South America. Call at breathtaking locales including Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Chilean Fjords, Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego and more.
Panama Canal sailings are typically featured in the fall and spring when cruise ships reposition between the Caribbean and Alaska. They are offered as one-way on a ”full transit” cruise which usually takes about 14 days. You can also do a “partial transit” typically sailing round-trip from Florida wherein the ships pass through the locks turn around and go back to their port of departure. Both the eastbound and westbound routes via the Isthmus of Panama boast incredible natural beauty along the way.
Journey through the canal between the Caribbean and the Pacific as the ship is lifted 85 feet above sea level in a flight of three steps at man-made Gatun Lake. The locks are 110 feet wide and a third wider lane is under construction to accommodate today’s mega-ships. It is expected to be completed in spring 2016.
Diverse Shore Excursions
These unusual itineraries not only offer the fascinating experience of the transit itself, but amazing shore excursions. There are city tours, such as Panama City’s historic and charming Casco Viejo district, now a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Adventurous cruisers will want to fly above the trees on a thrilling canopy ride and go kayaking. Highlighting any cruise here is the opportunity to see wildlife in their natural habitats and learning about the delicate eco-system of the many rainforests found here.
This fascinating cruise offers endless thrills which are perfect for the family to share. The kids will be just as enthused as the adults during the eight-hour canal transit. Feel the excitement and create a lifetime of memories as everyone gathers on deck to enjoy the views as you pass.
In Costa Rica, see the legendary “cloud” forests, such as the Monteverde Cloud Forest/Santa Elena Reserve. Explore Costa Rica’s Puntarenas volcanic terrain and lush rainforest. The Corcovado Conservation Area, which is another rainforest, is home to many endangered species including puma, tapir, crocodile, jaguar and marine turtles, plus the largest population of scarlet macaws in Costa Rica and over 400 species of birds and 500 species of trees.
Exciting sojourns may include the Antilla shipwreck in Aruba, the Mayan Ruins when in Puerto Quetzal, and go shopping in famous Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The Gamboa Rain Forest Aerial Tram offers unforgettable views of one of Central America’s most famous rainforest canopies. Take boating tours and a guided rainforest walk, plus tour an Embera native village.
Sure to delight everyone is a favorite shore excursion, “Monkey Watch”, where you enter the jungle-covered islands of Lake Gatun. This protected area is home to a host of animals, including Howler and capuchin monkeys, two- and three-toed sloth, turtles, bats and much more. It is also home to over 1,000 species of birds, such as the harpy eagle, hummingbirds and several species of macaws.
Adventure travelers, history-buffs, animal-lovers, nature enthusiasts and those with a desire for an incredible vacation will want to experience a Panama Canal cruise.