Panama Canal Cruise
Taking a cruise that travels through the Panama Canal is the experience of a lifetime. Witness the engineering and marvel at the design of the six locks that were built over 100 years ago to connect the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean. Enjoy the beauty of Lake Gatun, which was created when the canal was built, as you sail from one coast of Panama to the other.
There are several options for Panama Canal cruises, but there is limited availability. Many of the large modern cruise ships cannot fit through the locks of the canal, so that limits the number of sailings. Panama is actually in the process of building a larger set of locks next to the old ones to allow for larger ships. Another limitation is the use of the canal. This is a major trade route, saving time and fuel for cargo shipments, so the slots available to cruise ships are limited.
Some cruises go through one set of locks, spend the day in Lake Gatun, then turn around and return back through the same locks. This allows travelers to depart from and return to the same port. Other cruises go all the way through the canal so the traveler ends up in a different port from where they start.
Depending on the length of the cruise, the size of the ship and where you depart from will depend on what other ports are visited during your cruise. Some cruises depart from Florida and visit some of the Caribbean islands before entering the canal. If they traverse the entire canal from north to south, they can then either go north to visit the west coast of Central America, Mexico and the U.S. or they can go south to visit the west coast of South America.
No matter which cruise you choose to take, if you cruise through the Panama Canal, you will not forget the experience.