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Panama Canal

The Panama Canal can be your gateway to a magical cruise adventure, brimming with fun, leisure and entertainment. Marvel at this magnificent feat of engineering as you sail through the incredible man-made waterway which connects the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean in Central America. You’ll visit magical tropical destinations which ooze fascinating culture and history, natural beauty, superb hospitality and enthralling wildlife. Prepare to be wowed by the colonial architecture in Cartagena in Columbia, gaze in awe at simmering volcanoes in Costa Rica and explore the enchanting Panamanian rainforest. You’ll also get an insight into the workings of the amazing system of locks on this spectacular canal which has provided an inter-ocean shortcut for more than one million ships since it was opened in 1914.

Panama Canal

Set sail on an awe-inspiring cruise holiday of a lifetime along the magnificent Panama Canal, the world-famous waterway which creates an epic shortcut between the Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Ocean. Construction on this amazing feat of engineering across the Isthmus of Panama started in 1904 and was completed in 1914. The canal was extended in June, 2016 to its current length of 82km.
Panama, which is fondly referred to as ‘The Bridge of the Americas’, is home to exotic beaches, verdant national parks, jawdropping mountain retreats and beautiful private islands. The vibrant metropolis of Panama City is well worth a visit, with its delightful cobblestoned centre, captivating colonial landmarks, towering skyscrapers and lively café-lined plazas.
 A Panama Canal cruise also offers the chance to discover the beauty and wonders of Costa Rica, with its towering mountain peaks, amazing wildlife and breathtaking landscapes, and Columbia where you’ll discover mighty Andean summits, fragrant coffee plantations and the charming cities. Your thrilling cruise offers the chance to visit an array of compelling ports including Cartagena, Colón, Guatemala, Huatulco, Puerto Chiapas and Puntarena.

Food & Drink

Panamanian fare is an exciting kaleidoscope of cuisines, with Spanish, American and Afro-Caribbean flavours and aromas figuring prominently.

 Corn tortillas are a breakfast staple which are fried or griddled and often served with sausages and eggs. Unlike Mexican-style tortillas, they are thick, small rounds of corn dough. Corvina (Sea Bass) is Panama's most popular fish which can be served fried, baked, or eaten raw as ceviche. It is usually accompanied by patacones or yuca frita. Arroz con Guandu (Coconut Rice) is a much-loved side dish which accompanies many meals in Panama, while patacones are delicious green plantains which are sliced, fried, pressed, and fried again.

Flan is a tasty egg custard dessert which goes down a treat with a cup of flavoursome Panamanian coffee. Some companies operate Panama Canal Gourmet Food Cruises which allow foodies to focus on discovering all the gastronomic delights in Panama and surrounding countries.

Best Time

A great time to cruise the Panama Canal is December, the start of the dry season when you'll enjoy plenty of glorious sunny weather. This is also the ideal month to avoid the biggest crowds and higher prices encountered during the busiest period from January to March. The dry season sees a huge influx of tourists, meaning the cruise ports will be extremely busy. With this in mind, many travellers opt to visit between May and November when they will experience short-lived rain showers, but Panama's jungle is bursting with life. You'll enjoy pleasant average temperatures of 26°C to 28°C for most of the year in a Panama cruise, with the rain at any time of year being the key factor to take into consideration, rather than the prospect of sunshine.
The rainy season in this tropical destination runs from April to December. During this time you can expect heavy downpours in the afternoon and early evening, with mornings and nights being generally clear. It's advisable to avoid a Panama Canal cruise during bank holidays when you're likely to discover most shops, restaurants and transportation services will be closed.    

Things To See and Do

The countries often included in a Panama Canal cruise, such as Columbia and Costa Rica, offer a world of adventure, culture, leisure and entertainment, but the beautiful land of Panama itself is steeped in beauty and wonder, with so much to see and do. A magical cruise on this phenomenal man-made waterway offers the chance to explore Panama’s blissful natural landscapes, historic attractions and exciting cities. Take in the ruins of Panama Viejo (Old Panama), an enthralling archaeological site where you’ll get a flavour of Panamanian history and culture, or visit the wonderful Panama Canal Railway, the world's first transcontinental railroad which was completed in 1855. Ride an aerial tram through Soberania National Park, a stunning jungle paradise brimming with spectacular wildlife and vegetation or visit an Embera Indian Village, home to one of 7 indigenous groups in Panama, deep in the Panamanian rainforest. A must-see attraction is the Gatun Locks, the first set of locks on the Atlantic entrance of the Panama Canal which carry out the incredible task of raising ships over 85 feet above sea level.
Popular activities in Panama include kayaking around the islands of Gatun Lake, sightseeing in mesmerising Panama City, surfing on the beaches of Bocas Del Toro, watching the enchanting sunsets on the Sunset Coast, hiking in Boquete and kitesurfing at Punta Chame.

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