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Panama Canal cruises

Panama Canal cruises

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A Panama Canal cruise is the fantastic experience of sailing a mixture of man-made and natural wonders, typically taking at least a full day and night. More than 100 years old and 48 miles long connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the Panama Canal is a modern-day feat of engineering recognised as one of the most sophisticated pieces of architecture in the world.


Taking 33 years to construct, during which time there were many obstacles to overcome for the workers, including disease and engineering issues, the Panama Canal was eventually completed and vastly improved the journey time for all ships travelling between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. These days cruise ships pass through it for pleasure, but for traders it was a much safer alternative than the hazardous Cape Horn route.

There are a multitude of cruise lines that offer journeys through the Panama Canal, from luxury cruise lines to family cruises and singles cruises. The experience is normally in combination with a cruise that takes you into the Pacific, around the Hawaiian Islands and up the west coast of North America. Alternatively you might visit Miami and the Caribbean before making the journey. You may even be lucky enough to be passing through the canal on a world cruise, but whatever the excuse is, sailing through this man-made waterway is an unforgettable journey.

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Visiting Panama Canal

Panama Canal Repositioning Cruises

As the gateway for cruise ships from the Atlantic, Caribbean and Europe to the Pacific ocean and therefore the western coasts of South, Central and North America, taking in the USA, Canada and Alaska as well as Hawaii and Pacific Islands beyond, some of the best Panama Canal cruises are repositioning cruises. Also known as ‘Repo cruises’ among cruise fans, these sailings are unique opportunities to take in destinations not normally offered as part of the same sailing - and often at great prices!

Panama Canal Cruises Weather

With a tropical climate, the Panama Canal experiences warm temperatures throughout the year. While the weather may stay warm, there can also be quite heavy rainfall, so if you want to cruise in the driest part of the year, choose to travel between October and April.

Panama Canal Cruises Highlights

From the man-made to the natural, there are many highlights to see on a cruise through the Panama Canal, including

Lake Gatun- a huge artificial lake on the Panama Canal, this is a beautiful sight to cruise past on your voyage, as well as being home to Guacha Island, a thriving wildlife sanctuary.

Gaillard Cut- while this valley on the canal may be man-made, the towering cliffs and green shrubs on either side make it an impressive 8-mile long section of the journey along this waterway.

Locks- although at first it may not seem like the locks will be a highlight of your cruise, they are in fact an exciting part of travelling through the Panama Canal. Featuring a grand total of six along the route, they are some of the most impressive feats of engineering the world has seen, lifting ships up 26 metres.

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