Panama Canal Cruises

Cross from ocean to ocean in one magnificent cruise…

The great crossroads connecting the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, the Panama Canal stands and flows as testament to the great things that human civilisation can accomplish with our works in the world. The significance of this canal to global trade cannot be understated…and its significance to your cruise bucket list is nothing to scoff at, either. Long held as one of the must-have items on any itinerant cruiser’s docket, your Panama Canal cruise will show you stretches of vibrant rainforest, beautiful shore, and the great locks of the canal itself.

Handcrafted Cruise Packages

AE Expeditions

Costa Rica and Panama Canal

  • 18 Apr 2024 - 01 May 2024
  • 12 Nights Greg Mortimer
  • 1 Nights in San Jose
  • Fly Cruise

13 nights including Delta Air Lines flights from £8,141 per person

Helpful Tips to Know Before You Go

  • A full Panama Canal cruise takes two weeks or longer, touring not only the canal itself but also some noteworthy ports around it. Decide whether you prefer a full-length comprehensive transit, or a shorter partial transit.
  • If you choose to do a partial transit cruise, you’ll typically pass through only one set of locks, and then return to your starting port. For these, you will most likely be flying home from the same airport you flew out to.
  • If you choose a full transit cruise, you’ll be travelling the entire length of the canal from the Atlantic to Pacific oceans, or the reverse. You’ll begin your cruise in one port and end in another, so will need one way flights to and from your starting and ending ports respectively.
  • Certain shore and shipboard opportunities must be booked promptly, such as rainforest tours or seats in the Sanctuary sun decks available in some ships. Be sure to book these ahead of time where possible, or first thing once you’re aboard if not.
  • The climate around the Panama Canal is very warm and humid, with rainforest sprawling across the land. You can expect plenty of rain in some months, particularly the wettest months of April to December. Bring a waterproof layer for rainforest tours, and be prepared to change clothes regularly. Suncream is also a must.
  • The best time to cruise the Panama Canal is in November, when the rains aren’t so heavy and the temperatures not too high.

Things to Do

  • Appreciate the wildlife. The area surrounding the Panama Canal is blanketed in lush rainforest, whose canopy stretches over a sizeable portion of the world’s biodiversity. Animal and nature lovers will have plenty to enjoy, with birds and jungle fauna of all kinds ready to spot on shore excursions into the forest.
  • Take a dip in the beautiful waters. Many ports at or around the Panama Canal benefit from gorgeous bay views and pristine ocean water, perfect for swimming, and crystal-clear to ensure fantastic snorkelling experiences. It’s a good way to refresh yourself in the humid rainforest climate, too.
  • Tour local ports. No matter where you stop by on your cruise, there’s fantastic things to see. Take tours of fort cities like Cartagena, visit UNESCO World Heritage sites, take photos of iconic local landmarks, and so much more.
  • Crossing the canal itself generally takes a full day; you’ll want to spend a great deal of ‘transit day’ on deck to appreciate the views, and marvel at the spectacle of the gigantic locks you pass through. The time to pass through these can be extensive, so good sun decks – like The Sanctuary and its spa facilities – will make the crossing even better.

Why Book With Kenwood Travel

When you book your cruise on the Panama Canal with Kenwood Travel, you can be confident that your cruise is in safe hands. Our decades of cruise experience and our expertise in crafting perfect holidays will ensure every aspect of your dream Panama Canal cruise is exactly as you could have hoped, with every single detail taken care of. We’ll help you plan the ideal itinerary for your needs, whether you’re interested in a full or partial cruise of the canal. We’re excited to help you plan your perfect voyage, so give us a call today.

Ports of Call & Places to Explore

Limon

Limon

Located on the northern end of the Panama Canal, Limon Bay is a gateway to many nearby cities including Cristobal, Colon and Panama City itself. The port offers fantastic views among other things, including fantastic tours to see native birds and monkeys in the beautiful rainforest nearby, and the serene waters of Limon Bay are a great place to take a swim.

Puntarenas

Puntarenas

Also known as Puerto Caldera, this port is a lush refuge for wildlife of all kinds, with the surrounding rainforest boasting a whopping 5% of our planet’s biodiversity. The sheer variety of plant and animal species to see makes this an incredible place to go walking and animal spotting, and the Paseo de los Turistas by the port provides plenty of shopping and dining options for cruisers.

Cartagena

Cartagena

A vibrant and beautiful city, when you call at Cartagena, you’ll be right in the heart of the action. Take a walking tour to see stunning plazas, the walls enclosing the old town, and the historic character of this venerable fort city. Enjoy the colours and spirit in every corner, see the local sights, and stop by a café or restaurant for a bite to eat.

Puerto Quetzal

Puerto Quetzal

While not along the canal itself, Puerto Quetzal’s proximity to Panama gives you a chance to experience the largest Pacific port of Guatemala, and it’s not one you’ll want to miss. Shore excursions are diverse, ranging from full day visits to UNESCO Antigua City to visits to coffee plantations, hot springs, chocolate factories and more.

Destination map

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Talk to our expert

Our dedicated team brings years of expertise to curating unforgettable cruise holidays, ensuring that every aspect of your voyage is nothing short of perfection.

Emma Sanger-Horwell
Emma Sanger-Horwell
Cruise Expert

Emma Sanger-Horwell, head of cruise. A multi award winning industry veteran with over 30 years experience in the Cruise and luxury travel industry. One of the very first Clia Cruise Masters, she has sailed to all seven continents and visited more than 100 different countries.

Emma is always happy to hear from you, have a chat or help in any way she can. You can reach her by email or phone.

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