Panama Canal cruises can be part of an extended cruise that includes other destinations over a stretch of time, or can simply be one-day affairs allowing visitors already based in Panama to enjoy this country's greatest attraction. Other Panama Canal tour options are available as well, but there isn't anything quite like getting to actually sail on the famed waterway. Scores of cruise lines offer Panama Canal cruises which embark from a number of ports. Generally, the best time to take Panama Canal cruises is right after the end of November, which also signals the end to the rainy season. Major cruise lines tend to offer at least a handful of Panama Canal cruises every year, so you will have a healthy list of options to choose from. As the cruise industry continues to develop new routes and itineraries, the Panama Canal will surely continue to figure as a prominent Central American destination. It sure makes for a travel experience worthy of bragging rights.
Panama Canal Cruises
In the past, Panama Canal cruises were fewer in number,
with one main route reigning supreme. Starting in
Florida, the ships would make their way along a 14-day
route to the Caribbean and Central America, with a stop
or two in Mexico.
The Panama Canal was the link from the East Coast to the
West Coast of America. While there was nothing wrong
with the route, there was little in the way of variety.
Nowadays, variety is surely the spice of life for cruise
companies, who are dedicated to offering more and more
possibilities. This is good news for those seeking
bargain Panama Canal cruises, as cruise lines are known
to attract new customers by offering special deals.
Also, with more and more competition vying for customers,
finding a discount Panama Canal cruise is easier than
ever, even if you book at the last minute. Most
of the Panama Canal cruises offered by the major cruise
lines last anywhere from a week to the better part of
the month, with other featured stops along the way.
Nearby Costa Rica often makes it into the itinerary, and
as is the case with most cruises, you will have the chance
to enjoy fun and exciting onshore excursions at each port
of call. Touring the Tortuguero National Park near Limon,
Costa Rica is often a possibility, for example.
For the most part, the most popular Panama Canal cruises
embark from North America. Top cruise ports on the
western side include Vancouver, San
Francisco and San
Diego. To the east, Miami and Fort
Lauderdale are key departure cities. You can
find some non-standard Panama Canal cruises that are available
from city's like Tampa and Seattle,
so looking around a bit is a good idea. It's
definitely the best way to find a discount Panama Canal
cruise. Shopping around might reveal a deal with
one company that can save you quite a lot a money over
that of another. Also, if bargain Panama Canal cruises
are your aim, you'll want to start by booking the
cheapest onboard accommodations. This usually means
staying in an interior cabin, which don't offer
windows with views of the sea. This is fine
by most if they want to save money for other things like
onshore excursions. The major cruise lines are probably
your best bet for bargain Panama Canal cruises, as the
specialty lines can't offer the kinds of deals the
big boys can.
Sometimes booking well in advance can be a good way
to score a discount Panama Canal cruise, as a company
will thankfully offer a break for someone ensuring future
business. But that doesn't mean that last
minute bargain Panama Canal cruises don't pop up
from time to time. After all, a cruise line would
rather sell a cruise package at a discount rather than
lose money to vacancy. More and more travel agencies
exist that specialize in deals on all things travel-related,
so you are sure to come across a discount Panama Canal
cruise in no time. Imagine including this venerable
world attraction in a cruise that takes you through the
Caribbean and Central America. Some of the Panama
Canal cruises even sail about the large Gatun Lake, which
is one of the artificial lakes that is part of the Panama
Canal Zone. Who knows. As nearby Cuba starts to open its borders to tourism, it too will figure
as a port of call for cruises to the Panama Canal.
Those interested in short, one-day Panama Canal cruises,
they can be arranged with other Panama Canal tours.