Panama Canal cruises combine this world-famous waterway with great ports in the Caribbean and/or Mexican Riviera. Cruise the Panama Canal and see the massive engineering marvel that was built to connect the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Construction on the canal began in 1904 and was completed 10 years and $387 million later. On cruises to the Panama Canal, six immense locks raise the cruise ship from sea level up to 85 feet, then gently lower it --sometimes with only inches to spare on either side. On your Panama Canal cruise, join other passengers on the decks as a canal historian explains the workings of the locks and points out sights along the way.
- The Panama Canal cruise season lasts from September to April.
- Panama Canal cruises are usually 10 to 15 nights (sailings between Florida and Los Angeles through the canal are about 15 nights).
- Panama Canal cruises are available as round-trip partial transits or one-way complete transits. Partial transits usually sail round-trip from Florida. Ships that cruise the Panama Canal usually go through the first set of locks, then turn around in Gatun Lake and exit the canal the way they entered. Full transits typically sail from coast to coast, beginning in Florida and ending in one of several ports on the West Coast, such as Los Angeles or San Diego (or the reverse).