A great manufacturing achievement, the Panama Canal reduced the sailing distance between New York and San Francisco by 7,000 miles and was completed in 1914. The Canal isn't just about offering a 'short-cut', it also offers some of the most spectacular scenery in the world. Whether it's beautiful mountains, lush green rainforests or sandy beaches, this is one part of the world that has to be explored.
Find out below where you could be visiting on your Panama Canal cruise, or check out our best Panama Canal cruises
Princess Cruises, Island Princess, 1st Nov 16, 15 nights, sailing from Fort Lauderdale
Celebrity Cruises, Celebrity Infinity, 9th Nov 16, 15 nights, sailing from Miami
Holland America Line, MS Zuiderdam, 9th Nov 16, 11 nights, sailing from Fort Lauderdale
Princess Cruises, Coral Princess, 18th Nov 16, 10 nights, sailing from Fort Lauderdale
Holland America Line, MS Zuiderdam, 20th Nov 16, 10 nights, sailing from Fort Lauderdale
Celebrity Cruises, Celebrity Infinity, 24th Nov 16, 15 nights, sailing from San Diego, California
This Colombian port of call is full of new activities to keep you entertained. Whether it's learning salsa, taking a Zumba class in the piazza or relaxing in a Moroccan-themed spa, you will be entertained! If you're looking for a romantic spot of dinner then try Palo Santo, this restaurant is hidden away in Cartagena's historic centre and still has its 400-year old features. The food is divine, only local produce is used so the tastes of lime, lemon, passion fruit and prawns dominate the menu.
Colon is the second largest city in Panama and acts as a commercial/trade district. There are some fantastic daytime activities to keep you occupied around Panama. The great rough rivers offer you a chance to try some white water rafting, the nearby tropical islands also offer great scuba diving spots, or how about exploring the nearby habitat in the lush green rainforests?
The Sunshine State is where many Panama Canal cruises begin. Don't just treat this port as a departure point though. Before boarding the ship why not visit the unique Everglades National Park? With over 1.5-million acres of swamps and sub-tropical jungle there's plenty to explore and learn about this unusual landscape. If the natural world is something you enjoy then there's plenty more to see including - Butterfly World, Museum of Discovery & Science and Flamingo Gardens. Fort Lauderdale is also a port included in many Transatlantic and Caribbean cruise itineraries.
Perfectly surrounded by the mammouth mountains of the Sierra Madre and the glistening waters of Banderas Bay, this Mexican city really offers something for everyone, whether you want to relax on the sandy beaches, go to the theatre in the evening, or hit the top nightspots. Puerto Vallarta plays host to a range of festivals and carnivals every year. If you're cruising solo then don't worry, in 2003 it was voted the world's friendliest city by Condé Nast Magazine!
When docking in this Costa Rican port you'll see why the country is named the 'Rich Coast'. It is one of the most ecologically diverse places on earth, where you can find nearly 5 per cent of the planet's plant and animal species. It's also an ideal port for anyone who loves water sports and jungle adventures. Zip line through the jungle canopies, tackle the rapids during an exhilarating white water rafting session, gallop through the jungle on horseback, or hike the 'Monteverde Cloud Forest', a tropical rainforest high in the mountains.
If adventure and discovery is what you look for in a holiday, then a Panama Canal cruise could be for you. There are so many islands and countries ready to be explored - leaving you with nothing but experiences and memories that will last a life time.
The main factor you need to consider is the humidity; due to the rainforests the region experiences high humidity year round, though the best time to avoid this is in January/February. In April through to July you may experience sudden thunderstorms - to avoid the rain travel between December and May.
They begin in North America - you can choose from flying to the east coast and two of Florida's leading ports, Fort Lauderdale or Miami, or flying to the west and sailing from San Diego. What this does mean is you need to consider booking a flight with your cruise. Call CruiseDeals now to find out more and book your fly/cruise trip to Panama.
Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises, Star Clippers and Royal Caribbean are among the leading cruise lines sailing to the Panama Canal.
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