On a cruise through the ingenious 105-year-old Panama Canal, you may find yourself wondering how far the human mind can go in its quest to find solutions.
As your ship slowly traverses the 50-mile manmade shortcut through the jungle between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, howler monkeys screech in the distance and electric “mules” (locomotives) with ropes guide your ship through a series of locks and gates and across manmade lakes. It is an innovation for the ages, and it is hard not to feel inspired.
Panama Canal cruises embark from ports in Florida and California, such as Fort Lauderdale and Los Angeles, as well as from other ports in the U.S., Canada and Europe, in fall, winter (including popular holiday sailings) and spring. Most itineraries are 10 days or more.
Cruise guests can book either a one-way passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific (or vice versa) for what’s known as a full transit; or a round-trip partial crossing from Florida, which lets you experience some of the locks of the canal and beautiful manmade Gatun Lake, a waterway surrounded by rainforest and teaming with wildlife.
Six of Carnival Corporation’s nine cruise line brands offer travelers plenty of options, with more ships sailing through the Panama Canal than any other cruise company. A total of 26 cruise ships from its Carnival Cruise Line, Cunard, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn and P&O Cruises brands are scheduled to do more than 70 partial or full transits in the 2019-2020 season.