The wonders that surround the Panama Canal are sure to impress any traveller. Cruises along this famous waterway take in famous locations in both the Caribbean and Central America and are a highly recommended option for anyone looking to experience some stunning tropical scenery and diverse culture.
The French were responsible for the construction of this man-made maritime thoroughfare, in 1880, but the US took over operations at the start of the 20th Century. Crossing the narrowest part of the American continent, the canal is a total of 48 miles long and carries a vast number of cargo and passenger ships between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
The Panama cruise season runs from October to April, but traveller should take note that the rainy season in this region doesn’t usually end until the middle of November. Many of the main cruise companies offer voyages along the Panama Canal, with Princess Cruises operating 40 trips each season. The canal normally forms part of the route for cruises running from Florida that cut through the Caribbean, Panama and on to the west coast of Mexico. Cruise and stay holidays can range from 9 to 16 days.
Some cruises also allow passengers to leave the ship at destinations along the canal, such as Gamboa. As it is a relatively short leg of the journey, many ships pass though in a day. However, the opportunity to experience inspiring locations like Gamboa should not be missed. Also not to be passed by are Lake Gatun and the famous Gaillard Cut, on the Continental Divide.