The amazing rainforests of Costa Rica are a must-see on many Panama Canal itineraries.
Transiting through the Panama Canal is a truly memorable experience.
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A Panama Canal cruise is perfect for all travelers who are interested in cruising. Experienced cruisers love Panama Canal cruises because they are usually longer in length and offer an exotic itinerary. New cruisers love them because they are a great introduction into the cruising world. Whether you're looking for rainforests, ancient ruins or beaches, a Panama Canal cruise has all of that and more. The Panama Canal is one of the world's greatest man-made structures, surrounded by breathtaking landscapes that are inhabited by exotic wildlife. Nothing comes quite close to a cruise vacation like this one.
Besides the canal itself, there are great ports of call in other areas that you may visit during a Panama Canal cruise. Many itineraries include ports of call in various Panamanian cities (including Cristobal) as well as Costa Rica, Mexico and a few Caribbean islands (such as Aruba, Curacao and Jamaica).
There are two main types of Panama Canal cruises. A one-way full canal transit is where cruise ships sail between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, during which the start and end ports are different. A round trip Panama Canal cruise is where the ship doesn't actually cross through the entire canal, and ends in the port where it began. A typical Panama Canal cruise is at least 10-nights long, with many itineraries going beyond that duration. Many of these cruises depart from a U.S. port of call. Among the convenient U.S. embarkation ports for Panama Canal cruises are Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Los Angeles.
American Discount Vacations is proud to offer the best deals possible on all Panama Canal cruises booked with us. Backed by our "Low Price Guarantee," and powered by our team of expert travel agents, we're sure to exceed your expectations when booking your next Panama Canal cruise!
Highlighted Panama Canal Cruise Attractions
The following are just a few of the many things to do while in Panama Canal:
Sailing Through the Panama Canal
One of the definite highlights of a Panama Canal cruise (that transits through the canal) is when the ship passes through the canal's huge locks (that control the level of the water in the canal). Standing out on deck as the cruise ship moves through the locks is a truly unique and thrilling experience that you will come to remember for a lifetime.
Tropical Rainforests and Beaches
The actual canal isn't the only highlight of a Panama Canal cruise, as it is surrounded by an exotic land filled with interesting wildlife. For example, the amazing rainforests of Costa Rica are a must-see on any Panama Canal itinerary. Besides wildlife, there are also beautiful white-sand beaches in the area, as well as in the other ports of call that you may visit. These beaches are perfect for relaxing during your cruise, which is a must for many cruisers.
Shore Excursions for Active Cruisers
If you are interested in joining in on active excursions during your Panama Canal cruise, you’re in luck. From scuba diving to snorkeling, and kayaking to even rafting, you will discover plenty of thrilling adventures to choose from.
The following cruise lines offer Panama Canal Vacations:
Mainstream Cruise Lines
Value is a key feature of these popular cruise lines, as they offer lots of activities, entertainment and dining options, along with a variety of stateroom types. Some of the cruise lines in this category have ships with unique innovations like water slides, rock-climbing walls, ice-skating rinks, surfing simulators, bowling alleys, and boardwalks.
Their ships are usually anywhere from mid-sized to very large "mega" ships, accommodating thousands of guests. These ships give the feel of being in a large resort.
Mainstream cruise lines are a great option for just about everyone (including multi-generation families, and first-time cruisers), and typically have great youth programs.
During the cruise, entertainment may include Broadway productions, Vegas-style shows, comedians, and music. Some of these lines have select formal nights during the cruise. Specialty restaurants are becoming more and more common (some which have a cover charge for this type enhanced dining experience). Buffets are usually available throughout the day, besides room service, and the main dining room(s).
Premium Cruise Lines
These cruise lines enhance what mainstream cruise lines typically offer, by providing their guests with higher quality service and cuisine, along with more spacious public spaces and accommodations.
Depending on the cruise line, the ships in this class range in size from small to very large.
These cruise lines appeal to a more discerning traveler, and are typically more expensive than mainstream cruise lines, but more affordable than the luxury lines.
Luxury Cruise Lines
When the finest cruise vacation is your top priority, this is the place to start.
On a luxury cruise line, guests experience highly personalized service, a more intimate (and usually formal) onboard experience, gourmet cuisine, well-appointed accommodations, and fantastic amenities. Many of these brands have smaller ships, allowing them to reach ports of call that the larger ships can't, which results in unique itineraries.
All of these brands feature a version of all-inclusive pricing, and some of them have ships with all-suite accommodations. Although these cruise lines are usually more expensive than the rest, they also provide their guests with so much more, resulting in a fantastic value when considering all that's included.
Specialty Cruise Lines
These cruise lines offer a truly unique vacation experience, with a wide range of possible amenities and itineraries. Some are expedition cruise lines, others have sailing yachts or are coastal ships.
On these types of cruise lines, there's usually a focus on a specific destination or theme. Itineraries are usually very destination intensive, aided by the fact that they're able to reach many ports of call that larger ships can't.
Expedition cruise lines are a great fit for adventure-seeking travelers, featuring exciting destinations like the Galapagos Islands, Antarctica, and the Norwegian coast. During the cruise, there will usually be plenty of interesting lectures given by experts on the destination being visited. Often, shore excursions are included in the cost of the cruise. In fact, some of these cruise lines have all-inclusive pricing. There's a definite focus on the ship's surrounding scenery, as well as opportunities to view wildlife in their natural habitat. Small, but comfortable, ships are commonplace here, with anywhere from basic to very luxurious public spaces, cuisine, and accommodations (depending on the cruise line and ship).
Sailing Yachts, sail-assisted motor ships, offer a really unique vacation experience. Accommodations and cuisine on these intimate vessels can be anywhere from good to fantastic, depending on the cruise line. Destinations offered by these cruise lines may include the Caribbean, Europe, Panama Canal, Tahiti, and Costa Rica.
Deluxe Cruise Lines
These cruise lines fit (quality and, usually, price-wise) somewhere in between Premium and Luxury cruise lines.
A country club casual atmosphere can be expected on these lines, as can be elegant accommodations and gourmet cuisine. These cruise lines are a great option for adults looking for a upscale, yet laid back, vacation.
Unique itineraries are often available on these cruise lines, as their small-to-mid-sized ships can visit ports of call that large ones can't get to.
The pricing on Azamara Club Cruises includes select beverages and pre-paid gratuities, while the pricing of Viking Ocean Cruises includes shore excursions and select beverages.
Carnival Cruise Line is one of the largest and most popular cruise lines in the world. Known for its festive-yet-casual atmosphere, Carnival offers a variety of on-board dining, entertainment and activity options to suit any mood or taste. Carnival's WaterWorks is a fabulous water park found onboard many of their ships. Among the many cruise destinations offered by Carnival are Alaska, the Bahamas, Canada, Caribbean, Europe and Mexico.
Until you personally experience the five-star service for which Celebrity Cruises is acclaimed, you won't know what it means to be treated not simply as a passenger, but as an honored guest. Fabulous service, great food and entertaining shows are all available onboard each Celebrity cruise ship. AquaClass accommodations, balcony staterooms with special spa amenities and access, are now available on most Celebrity ships. Canyon Ranch, one of the world’s leading spa and wellness brands, has partnered with Celebrity to bring you the indulgent Canyon Ranch SpaClub aboard ten of their state-of-the-art ships. Consistently rated as one of the best cruise lines in the world, you simply can't go wrong with Celebrity Cruises.
Cunard's glorious ocean liners are floating palaces of art deco splendor and Edwardian excess, surrounding guests with every comfort and luxury. They are the quintessence of luxury travel. With Cunard, the journey may be even more magnificent that the destination. There are currently four vessels in the Cunard fleet: Queen Anne, Queen Elizabeth, Queen Victoria, and their flagship, Queen Mary 2. Regardless of which one you choose, you're going to be on a luxurious vessel with fabulous food, entertainment & service.
Award-winning Holland America Line has been among the leaders in cruising for over 140 years. This premium cruise line has a fleet of modern yet classic ships that combine to offer over 500 cruises a year, sailing in all seven continents! While on a Holland America cruise, guests can count on world-class entertainment, a variety of onboard activities to choose from, remarkable service, tastefully appointed accommodations, and fantastic dining. Select ships have special venues such as Lincoln Center Stage, B.B. King's Blues Club, as well as gourmet restaurants like the Pinnacle Grill and Tamarind (a Pan-Asian venue that has been praised by Condé Nast Traveler as having cuisine "that rivals the top restaurants on land."). Other onboard venues include several bars and lounges (serving masterfully crafted cocktails), the Greenhouse Spa & Salon, a fitness center, swimming pools, and a casino that offers a variety of games. The Culinary Arts Center, presented by Food & Wine® magazine offers cooking demonstrations from guest chefs and food and wine experts.
Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) is proud to present Freestyle Cruising, aboard one of the youngest fleets of cruise ships in the world. Enjoy open seating dining, where you can dine whenever and with whomever you wish. Don't want to pack formal wear on your vacation? With the resort casual evening attire, you don't have to! All of the Norwegian ships feature a slew of specialty restaurants and entertainment venues. An NCL cruise is perfect for guests of all ages, and includes complimentary youth programs. Their award-winning entertainment options include Broadway-style production shows, world-class acrobats, and much more. The Haven by Norwegian™, available on select ships, is an exclusive enclave for suite guests staying in NCL's most luxurious accommodations. Some Norwegian cruise ships have Studio accommodations, designed and priced for solo travelers. NCL is the only major cruise line to offer year-round Hawaii cruises.
Princess Cruises has taken cruising to a whole new level, with spacious and accommodating ships packed with amenities. You'll always find the freedom to chart your own course. The Princess fleet includes a variety ships, from mid-sized to large feature-filled vessels, and features a wonderful Personal Choice Dining® program where you can choose between Traditional (assigned) and Anytime (open) dining setups to enjoy their great service and cuisine.
The five small to mid-size ships in Regent Seven Seas' award-winning six-star fleet include: the intimate all-suite 490-guest Seven Seas Navigator; as well as the all-suite, all balcony 700-guest sister ships, Seven Seas Mariner and Seven Seas Voyager, the recently introduced Seven Seas Explorer and upcoming ship Seven Seas Splendor. Regardless of which ship you choose, you're going to be on a luxurious vessel that's staffed with an ultra-attentive staff and gourmet all-inclusive setup, in which gratuities as well as select wines and spirits are included.
What type of traveler is Royal Caribbean right for? All types! Royal Caribbean is popular with families, seniors, couples, honeymooners, singles, and large groups (regardless of travel experience). Why? Because there's something for everyone on a Royal Caribbean cruise. Royal Caribbean has one of the largest fleets in the world, consisting of some of the most beautiful and modern ships in the cruising industry. Their ships are destinations within themselves! Possibilities aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship include Broadway-style shows, casinos that will make you think you're in Las Vegas, a variety of dining venues, great programs for children, as well as (depending on the ship), innovations like surfing simulators, sky-diving simulators, rock-climbing walls, ice-skating rinks, and much more.
Seabourn is one of the world's most luxurious cruise lines, offering state of the art amenities such as complimentary welcome champagne, open bars, complimentary gourmet dining and personalized service. Since its founding, Seabourn's ultra-luxury ships have consistently ranked among the very best vacation experiences in surveys, polls and the annual honors lists of international guidebooks and travel critics. New for Seabourn in May 2018 was Seabourn Ovation, sister ship to the innovative Seabourn Encore.
Discover a new age of sailing, where the traditions of the past are combined with the modern comforts and amenities of the present. Star Clippers' tall ships are perfect for cruising in casual elegance. On board you will enjoy a relaxed atmosphere, friendly crew, and international cuisine, all in pampered comfort. If you're a boating enthusiast, you can choose to lend a hand hoisting the sails, you can climb the mast, or you can just lay back and let the crew do all the work.
Viking Ocean Cruises is the sister company of world-renowned Viking River Cruises. This line launched with one vessel, Viking Star, in 2015, with 3 sister ships to follow (in 2016-2017). Itineraries include 10- to 50-day adventures all over Europe. All staterooms on Viking Ocean cruises have a veranda, so you can enjoy the sights and smells of the open ocean at all times. With a concentration on ports with rich heritages and plenty of local experts to learn from, cruises on Viking Ocean Cruises cater to those yearning to learn as they vacation. There's a great value here, with meals, guided shore excursions, WiFi, select beverages, hotel accommodations during city portions of your Viking Ocean Cruises itinerary (if you purchase a cruise tour), as well as lectures and various live performances all being included in the pricing.
Windstar was created with the vision to offer an alternative to the typical cruise or resort vacation. The Windstar passenger sees the world with luxurious accommodations, a casual yet elegant atmosphere, and exquisite service and cuisine. Well known for cruising off the beaten path and pampering without pretense, they sail to exotic locales and hidden harbors that larger ships can't access. Windstar Cruises operates three sailing yachts and three power yachts, throughout Europe, the Caribbean and the Americas.
Select a cruise port below for more information regarding Panama Canal Vacations that include it:
Ports of Call Calendar
Pricing listed above is per person, based on double occupancy in the least expensive accommodations available, is subject to change, and may not reflect the most
recent pricing (as pricing gets updated throughout the day). Prices may not reflect discounts and special promotions that you may qualify for. Go to the Category
selection step of the online booking process to view the live pricing and latest offers. Taxes, fees, and port expenses are additional (and are displayed on the Search Results step (and the steps that follow it) in the online booking process.
The following are just a few of the more popular tour operators that offer Panama Canal Vacations. Use the search box that's higher up on this page, or contact us, if you're interested in pricing, availablity and our special deals on other brand.
An escorted tour includes a professional guide, as opposed to being an independent (or self-guided) tour. Some escorted tour operators include a limited amount of time for guests to explore on their own, while others have tours that are completely escorted. Typically, just about your entire itinerary is included and planned for in an escorted tour package. You don't have to worry about what you're going to see and don't have to make reservations (for each component of the trip) with multiple tour operators - this option allows for you to just leave it to the professionals and enjoy yourself.
Depending on the tour operator, as well as on the specific tour, some tours are private (just you and your traveling companions, if you have any) while others are with other travelers that booked the same tour. In the latter case, some tour operators offer small groups (which tend to be more expensive, but also more intimate and exclusive) while some have larger groups that travel together (which provides a very social atmosphere, as you can meet many other people).
One of the world's leaders in luxury travel, Globus has been arranging tours since 1928. By booking a Globus tour (referred to by them as "journeys") you'll gain VIP access to many sites visited during your journey, special excursions that are included in the price of your tour, access to an expert Tour Director that has unique knowledge about the destinations, and you'll stay in first-class and above pre-selected hotels (with breakfast and dinner usually included), located in prime areas. Portage is included with all Globus tours, so you won't have to worry about lugging your luggage from one place to another. Some tour operators over-schedule you, but Globus weaves in just the right amount of free time for individual exploration.
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