Panama Canal Cruises 2019 - 2020

Panama Canal

A Panama Canal cruise is a bucket list adventure for many cruise fans. One of the seven wonders of the modern world, the famous crossing between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans revolutionized ocean travel with its opening in 1914. The original locks are still in place, still working flawlessly after more than 100 years in an incredible feat of engineering.

Choose your cruise based on whether you want to make a full or a partial Panama Canal crossing. A full crossing is a must-see for any bucket list traveler looking for the full Panama Canal experience, while a partial has the advantage of shorter itineraries and more opportunities to explore the surrounding rainforests and beaches of Central America.

Nearby ports of call offer some of the most stunning nature of anywhere in the world. Explore lush tropical rainforests, hike to stunning lakes and waterfalls, and zipline over the tree tops on an unforgettable shore excursion to Nicaragua, Guatemala and more during your Panama Canal cruise.

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Our Recommendations
  Panama Canal Crossings
Charming Arica with Norwegian Cruise Line
Charming Arica with Norwegian Cruise Line
15 Nights with the Norwegian Star
 December 2019
p.p.from $2,964
Stunning Puntarenas from San Francisco with Norwegian Gem
Stunning Puntarenas from San Francisco with Norwegian Gem
21 Nights with the Norwegian Gem
 January 2020
p.p.from $2,144
12-Day Spectacular Cruise to Costa Maya
12-Day Spectacular Cruise to Costa Maya
11 Nights with the Norwegian Pearl
 November 2019 - January 2020
p.p.from $1,250
Los Angeles to Miami 16-Day Expedition
Los Angeles to Miami 16-Day Expedition
15 Nights with the Norwegian Joy
 October 2020
p.p.from $1,765
Delightful Los Angeles from Miami with Norwegian Encore
Delightful Los Angeles from Miami with Norwegian Encore
15 Nights with the Norwegian Encore
 April 2021
p.p.from $2,279
  Hot Offers
Memorable Oranjestad with MSC Cruises
Memorable Oranjestad with MSC Cruises
11 Nights with the MSC Divina
 February 2020
p.p.from $1,159
Delightful Roatán from Miami 12-Day Escape
Delightful Roatán from Miami 12-Day Escape
11 Nights with the MSC Divina
 January 2020
p.p.from $1,136
Enticing Balboa from Bridgetown
Enticing Balboa from Bridgetown
14 Nights with the Royal Clipper
 November 2019
p.p.from $4,560
Enticing St. John's from Balboa with Star Clippers
Enticing St. John's from Balboa with Star Clippers
14 Nights with the Royal Clipper
 November 2019
p.p.from $4,560
12-Day Spectacular Cruise to Costa Maya
12-Day Spectacular Cruise to Costa Maya
11 Nights with the Norwegian Pearl
 November 2019 - January 2020
p.p.from $1,250
  Central America Cruises
Vibrant Ocho Rios from Miami with MSC Seaside
Vibrant Ocho Rios from Miami with MSC Seaside
7 Nights with the MSC Seaside
 August 2019 - November 2019
p.p.from $583
Explore Spectacular Costa Maya from Galveston
Explore Spectacular Costa Maya from Galveston
5 Nights with the Enchantment of the Seas
 June 2019 - October 2020
p.p.from $404
Caribbean Islands and Castaway Cay with Disney Fantasy
Caribbean Islands and Castaway Cay with Disney Fantasy
7 Nights with the Disney Fantasy
 July 2019 - August 2020
p.p.from $1,561
Sensational Cozumel with Enchantment of the Seas
Sensational Cozumel with Enchantment of the Seas
4 Nights with the Enchantment of the Seas
 July 2019 - October 2020
p.p.from $363
Eastern Caribbean Cruise with MSC Seaside
Eastern Caribbean Cruise with MSC Seaside
7 Nights with the MSC Seaside
 August 2019 - November 2019
p.p.from $580
Top Panama Canal Ports
Panama Canalfrom
$1,159

What better way to see the Panama Canal than by cruising through it? Sail in the wake of history as your ship navigates the locks which have been in service more than 100 years and are still functioning flawlessly today. Plagued by difficulties during construction, the final lock system was so effective, it has remained virtually unchanged throughout the years.

The entire Panama Canal crossing takes 8 to 10 hours.

Highlights of the Panama Canal
  • Get up early to secure your spot on the bow of the ship, where you'll have the best view of the locks as you pass through
  • Capture a scenic photo of the Bridge of the Americas, the world's first non-swinging bridge to span the canal
  • Learn about the exciting history of the canal, from ill-fated construction attempts in the 19th century to its most recent expansion in 2016
Colón, Panamafrom
$824

Located on the Pacific side of the Panama Canal, Colon is home to a gleaming, modern, tourist-friendly port. Passengers will find plenty of opportunities to shop and eat near the cruise terminals, or to take a shore excursion to see some more scenic parts of Panama.

Before the completion of the Panama Canal, the overland rail route played an important role in transporting goods between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Passengers today can still take a historic train ride on the Isthmian Railway from Colon to Panama City.

Highlights of Colon
  • Take a scenic train ride from Colon to Panama City
  • Take an excursion into the rainforest to see sloths, harpy eagles, and other exotic wildlife
  • Visit the nearby town of Portobelo and explore the Spanish forts colonial houses
Fuerte Amador, Panamafrom
$1,487

An island located off the west coast of Panama, Fuerte Amador is the gateway to Panama City. Sitting close to the Pacific entrance of the Panama Canal, it offers the perfect place to watch ships enter the locks as they begin to traverse the canal. In addition to holding numerous canal-related museums and attractions, Fuerte Amador offers easy access to Panama City, the metropolis-like capital city and heart of the nation.

Highlights of Panama City
  • Check out the Miraflores Locks Visitor Center to learn more about the canal, its history and its engineering
  • Explore Casco Viejo, Panama City's historic quarter and a UNESCO protected site
  • Learn about the importance of gold in Panama's history and see golden treasures up close at the Old Panama Museum
Cristóbal, Panamafrom
$1,109

Cristobal is one of two ports in Colon on the Atlantic side of the Panama Canal. Many ships stop in Cristobal before they enter the locks, or stop in Cristobal and then turn around on partial crossings. If your cruise belongs to the latter, consider booking an excursion to complete the crossing in a smaller boat to get the complete experience.

Directly next to the pier, cruise passengers will find a lively flea market with plenty of opportunities for shopping, souvenir hunting, and haggling over prices. Adventure-seekers and nature-lovers may wish to visit the beautiful Gatún Lake.

Highlights of Cristobal
  • Snag some deals while shopping at the local market
  • Take a tour of the rainforest's canopy with the Gamboa Aerial Tram
  • Visit a nearby indigenous village and learn about the local art of basket weaving
Balboa, Panamafrom
$1,734

Balboa is one of two cruise ports on the Atlantic side of the Panama Canal, located in close proximity to Panama City. Head down to the Miraflores Locks to watch the ships as they enter and exit the locks, or take a taxi into the city for excellent shopping, sightseeing and dining opportunities. Another option is a shore excursion into the rainforest – the surrounding area is a nature and wildlife preserve.

Highlights of Panama City
  • Take advantage of the duty-free shopping at Fuerte Amador Mall, or snag souvenirs at a local artisanal market
  • Explore the Spanish and French colonial architecture in the Panama Viejo, the old part of the city
  • Visit one of the city's many museums to learn about the history of the canal and the native wildlife to Panama
Panama City, Panamafrom
$4,210

Panama City is the thriving, urban metropolis that is the heart and soul of Panama. The largest city in Central America, it is said to rival Miami as being the "Capital City of Latin America." Panama City can be accessed by ship at the nearby cruise ports, Fuerte Amadore and Balboa, or by a boat or train ride from Colon. Situated on the Pacific side of the Panama Canal, the city has benefited from a century of wealth generated by the canal.

Highlights of Panama City
  • Capture a scenic photo of the Bridge of the Americas, the world's first non-swinging bridge to span the canal
  • Stroll through the scenic city center, which was influenced by both Spanish and French colonial architecture
  • Browse the numerous markets, malls and souvenir shops dotted throughout the city
Isla Parida, Panamafrom
$2,999
Isla Parida is part of Paridas archipelago which consists of 50 uninhabited tropical islands off Panama's Pacific coast.
San Blas Islands, Panamafrom
$20,800
The San Blas Islands are an archipelago of 360 islands in the Caribbean Sea. Crystal-clear sea waters, white sandy beaches, the blue sky and palm trees create a truly beautiful scenery for you to enjoy. Take a dip in the waters to uncover some beautiful corals and other exciting marine life! The residents of San Blas Islands are known for their warmth and will certainly give you a warm reception!
Bocas del Toro, Panamafrom
$6,778

Visitors are drawn to the island archipelago Bocas del Toro by its funky, Afro-Caribbean vibes, its year-round tropical temperatures, and its buzzing nightlife. Sweeping sandy beaches invite visitors to stroll barefoot on the shore, and crystal clear waters are inviting for snorkeling and scuba diving.

The quirky capital city of Boca Town draws creative types from around the world, who turned this laid-back island town into a colorful artist's paradise. Browse hand-made souvenirs and organic products at local artisan shops, or practice yoga in a funky purple house.

Highlights of Bocas del Toro
  • Surf, snorkel or sunbathe at one of the many beaches on the islands
  • Learn about local flora and fauna at Finca los Monos botanical garden
  • Indulge in an alternative wellness treatment in the bohemian Boca Town
Darién, Panamafrom
$7,500
Darién is a province of Panama near the border with Colombia. The capital is La Palma. Darién extends from the Gulf of Darién and Urabá of the Caribbean Sea to the Gulf of San Miguel of the Pacific Ocean and is a heavily wooded, hilly area.
Portobelo, Panamafrom
On Request

Named by Christopher Columbus "Puerto Bello," or beautiful port, Porotbelo was an important Spanish settlement in the early colonial days. A major Spanish trade port, the Spanish Armada used it to transport goods to Central America and bring Incan gold back to Spain. Today, the ruins of three Spanish fortresses still remain, with ancient cannons rusting between their crumbling walls. Portobelo's rich history of Incan treasure, Spanish conquistadors and ruthless pirates make it a must-see stop for any history nut.

Highlights of Portobelo
  • Walk in the footsteps of Spanish settlers among the ruins of the ancient forts
  • Take a trip to the local museum to learn about the town's colorful, violent history
  • Visit the Black Christ statue in the Iglesia de San Felipe church, which draws pilgrims from around the world in October each year
Gatún Lake, Panamafrom
$1,109

Gatún Lake makes up a major component of the Panama Canal. Located near the Atlantic side of the canal, a series of lock separate it from the Caribbean Sea. The man-made lake was created during the construction of the canal by damming the Chagres River, and it plays an important role in restoring the water lost during boat transit from the canal.

Highlights of Gatún Lake
  • Drift through the narrow channels and scenic islands of Gatún Lake on a Panama Canal crossing
  • Take a boat tour and look for exotic wildlife, such as monkeys, sloths, and toucans
  • Rent a kayak and paddle around the lake on your own or with an expert guide
Fort San Lorenzo, Panamafrom
On Request

Fort San Lorenzo is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a popular shore excursion for cruise itineraries traveling the Panama Canal. Wander among the ancient ruins of Spanish fortresses, which were used to protect trade goods from plundering by pirates.

The fort sits at the top of a cliff, and you can enjoy spectacular views of the Chagres River from above. Nearby, a vast natural reserve beckons, holding some of Panama's most spectacular jungles and wildlife.

Isla de Coiba, Panamafrom
On Request
The island of Isla de Coiba is located off the Pacific coast of Panama and is surrounded by fine white sand beaches and mangroves. It is the largest island in Panama, and offers a lot of natural beauty. The relative isolation means that several species can only be found on this island.
Holandes Cayes, Panamafrom
On Request
Cayos Holandes or the Dutch Keys are a group of remote islands, the furthest from the mainland of Panama. They are surrounded by coral reefs full of marine life which make a great location for snorkeling.
Panama Canal

Panama Canal Cruises

Lying between two larger continents and surrounded by the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, Central America is a wondrous belt of islands and lands bursting with rainforests, tropical beaches, lava-spewing volcanoes. Central America boasts year-round sunshine and is becoming one of the most popular regions for cruisers. This precious region offers paradisiacal, white sand beaches and turquoise waters, and promises to be an experience filled with sunshine, culture, and history. Discover vibrant cultural meccas and cities with a rich colonial past!

Belize City, Belize

Belize is arguably the most overlooked country in Central America by tourists. Belize ramshackle colonial streets are alive with vivid characters who represent every facet of its ethnic makeup, especially the Creoles. Belize has the second largest barrier reef in the world, so for anyone who loves swimming among tropical fishes and other exotic marine wildlife, snorkeling in Belize is a must! From scuba diving its warm and turquoise-colored Caribbean waters and a gigantic blue hole to hiking an ancient Maya village, Belize city has something for everyone.

Cruises to Cozumel, Mexico

Cozumel has become one of the top travel destinations in the world because of its spectacular and intriguing attractions like diving along the shallow reefs, hiking through the Punta Sur Ecological Park or exploring what the Mayans left behind at the San Gervasio ruins. Cruise passengers use the island as a hub for Mexico’s spectacular attractions, including marine-life encounters like the baby sea turtle hatching, botanical gardens, and ruins. If you are looking to escape to a stress-free and sunny place that offers a great mix of adventure and fun-filled activities, then you might want to consider Cozumel, Mexico. Book Now Book online or call our experts for all the best deals on Central America Cruises. For other great international destinations why not have a look in Europe or the Caribbean. All cruises can be found on our homepage. If you're after a cheap or last minute cruise, then have a search through each page for the best deals.