Top Tips for Exploring the Panama Canal on a Cruise 

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Have you ever wanted to explore the wonders of the Panama Canal? With a cruise, you can experience this engineering marvel up close. From the locks to the rainforest, there is a lot to see and do.

The Panama Canal is a renowned engineering marvel; the perfect way to explore its wonders is with a double-occupancy cruise. Cruise ships of almost all sizes, from small ships to large cruise liners, sail through the Panama Canal each year. From Los Angeles to San Diego and Fort Lauderdale to Puerto Vallarta, there are many routes available when planning your Panama Canal cruise. Let’s take a look at what your dream Panama Canal cruise itinerary might look like. 

Best Cruise Itinerary 

The cruise typically begins in either Ft. Lauderdale, Florida or Los Angeles, California. A full-transit cruise through the canal takes at least ten days, while partial transits can be done in as little as four nights. During that time, you’ll have chances to explore both sides of the canal – Atlantic and Pacific – as well as nearby destinations like Guatemala, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Colombia, and Mexico. A 14-day Panama Canal cruise would be my first choice as a traveler. There is so much to see and do in South America.

Also See: An Ultimate Guide With The 9 Best Things To Do In Cartagena, Colombia

Book Best Cruise Itinerary Below

Best Cruise Lines for a Panama Canal Cruise

The most popular cruise lines that go through the Panama Canal include Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Celebrity Cruises, and MSC. These cruises offer unique itineraries that take you through both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans for an unforgettable experience. Most cruise lines now offer a Panama Canal Cruise.

Our favorite cruise line is Celebrity. They tend to have excellent service and more activities and excursions for the over-50 crowd. However, if we plan to cruise with the kids, we choose their sister company Royal Caribbean. The first cruise line we went on to Panama, was MSC, although it did not go through the canal.

  • Royal Caribbean.
  • Carnival.
  • MSC.
  • Celebrity.
  • Disney.
  • Holland America.
  • Norwegian.
  • Oceania.
  • Princess.
  • Regent Seven Seas.

Itineraries for the Panama Canal

Popular itineraries for a Panama Canal cruise include cruises aboard smaller ships like Princess Cruises’ Crown Princess, which departs from Fort Lauderdale in Florida and takes ten days to make a full transit of the canal.

Book Recommended Itineraries for the Panama Canal Below

Holland America Line offers 14-day Panama Canal cruises, with departures from San Diego or Fort Lauderdale and 15-night Panama Canal cruises from San Francisco. Additionally, Celebrity Cruises and the Norwegian Cruise Line offer 10-day Panama Canal cruises departing from Los Angeles or Puerto Vallarta, respectively.

Cartagena, Colombia

The entire transit of the Panama Canal is an incredible feat of engineering which includes three locks: Miraflores Lock on the Pacific side, Pedro Miguel Lock, and Gatun Lake Locks on the Atlantic side.

On these cruises, you’ll get an up-close view of cruisers going up or down in elevation between each lock as well as witness a vibrant coral reef and rainforest canopy during port stops. Plus, you’ll have access to shore excursions such as archaeological sites or wildlife sightings and dining areas to enjoy authentic Panamanian cuisine aboard your ship.

  • See Ruins in Old Panama.
  • See a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Witness History at the Panama Canal Railway.
  • Ride an Aerial Tram through Soberania National Park.
  • Visit Lake Arenal and other sites in Costa Rica.
  • Lock Eyes on the Gatun Locks.
  • See the city of Cartagena, Colombia.

Panama CanalPanama Canal

For first-time cruisers who want to experience history in motion, cruises give you access to amazing places like Costa Rican rainforests, Panama City, Belize City, where howler monkeys blend in with tropical birds, or San Juan Del Sur located in Nicaragua, where you can ride horseback alongside coastal waters – all while understanding how this important waterway has shaped our lives over the years!

Safety Protocols

What makes this cruise even more special is that it has unprecedented connectivity options so you can stay connected with your family and friends back home throughout your voyage.

With keyless stateroom entry that works via wearable technology such as Apple Watch or Android Wearable, transforming vacations into more meaningful experiences than ever before. It’s no wonder why cruises are gaining so much popularity! Plus, contactless payments make service delivery faster for added peace of mind regarding safety protocols on board.

Wrap Up!

So whether you’re interested in experiencing a 10-day or 15-night Panama Canal cruise on board a Princess fleet of ships or wanting something even longer like a 17-day voyage aboard Norwegian Cruise Line – double occupancy cruises offer something for everyone! With their diversity of itineraries designed for a better way of exploring new places every day – taking a cruise through the Panama Canal is not just about sailing from one point to another but getting up close and personal with interesting facts about the history along with food cultures from around Central America!

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