More About Panama Canal Cruises

On the full transit, Panama Canal cruise itineraries are at least 10 or 11 days in length. The cities of embarkation and disembarkation vary, but will not include US ports on either end. On longer itineraries of 14 days or more, cruises will often include US ports, as between San Diego or Los Angeles and Ft. Lauderdale or Miami.

Some Panama Canal cruises only make a partial transit of the Canal, where the ship transits the locks on the eastern side from the Caribbean Sea, turning around in Gatun Lake, and exiting back out. These voyages can be as few as seven days, and include Caribbean cruise ports of call.

Ports of call visited during the cruise vary, and it's useful to compare itineraries and options. Popular times of year for Panama Canal cruises are in spring and fall, when ships are being repositioned between the Caribbean and Alaska cruise seasons.  (If you can find a copy, we recommend reading "A Path Between the Seas," the excellent historical book about the building of the Panama Canal.)