The Panama Canal gets roughly 1 million visitors each year. And it’s no surprise: this impressive testament to the willpower of man will leave you in awe. But what’s the best way to visit?

Consider taking a cruise through the Panama Canal. Wondering why? Read on to find out more. 

Learn About the Panama Canal

If you’re fascinated by the Panama Canal, there’s no better way to learn about it than by traveling it yourself. 

First of all, it puts history into context. You’ll appreciate how much terrain had to be destroyed to create this artificial waterway. And you’ll appreciate the sacrifice over 20,000 workers made to open up this pathway between the Atlantic and Pacific.

As you travel, you can experience the locks system for yourself — there are actually three sets used to raise and lower ships for passage. Each time a ship passes through a lock, it takes an astonishing 26,700,000 gallons of water to fill it. And the large size of the ships you’ll see passing through is nothing short of remarkable.

You’ll also get to examine it’s two large bridges up close and personal. The first permanent bridge built across the canal was the Bridge of the Americans in 1962. Then, there’s the Centennial Bridge, built in 2004, which completes the Pan-American highway.

Finally, the best way to actually travel the Panama Canal is via cruise ship. It costs thousands of dollars for each ship that wants to travel through. To book passage on a vessel will set you back over $1,000, which is often the cost of an entire cruise anyway.

Enjoy South America

Not only will you get to experience the Panama Canal up close, but you’ll also visit many port cities along the way. You’ll visit several unique countries rich with culture and history. 

Ports are typically located in Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and, of course, Panama. You’ll want to explore a Panama Canal cruise itinerary ahead of time to make sure it hits all of your ideal destinations. Make sure to take full advantage of your time docked in these locations by interacting with the locals and going on cultural excursions!

With regards to the canal, each itinerary typically follows one of two options:

  • Trans-Canal Crossing: These itineraries cross from Atlantic to Pacific or vice versa. You’ll usually start in Florida and end up in California. You’ll spend an entire day crossing the canal, giving you the full experience.
  • Partial Crossing: These itineraries dock at the entrance to the canal in Colon, Panama, and let passengers off for shore excursions. Here, the ship won’t take you through the canal, but you are free to book a boat ride on the canal while the ship is docked. You can also visit the observation center to get a better view of the locks in action.

Trans-canal crossings are longer cruises that end up on a different coast. Partial crossings are shorter and end at their starting destination.

Relax with Luxury Amenities

Finally, what better way to experience the Panama Canal than on a world-class cruise ship. Most cruises offer amazing dining options on board. And instead of worrying about how you’ll get to your next destination, you’ll get to sit back and relax.

Take time to enjoy on-board entertainment, spas, and pools. And when you’re docked, you’ll get to choose from a curated list of local travel guides vetted by the cruise line. For a purely care-free experience, book an all-inclusive package.

Ready to Travel?

Convinced you need to take a cruise on the Panama Canal? We are!If you’re looking to make that trip, you’re going to need a passport. Looking to book ASAP? Check out our tips on expediting your passport so you can leave on the next cruise ship out there!

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