Panama Canal & Locks Transit by Boat
PC1-615 | Panama Canal, Panama |
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Tour at a Glance
You will visit:
- Miraflores Locks
- Cruise Gatun Lake
You will see:
Approx. 6 hours
Experience the full wonder of the Panama Canal with a crossing of the canal by tour boat on this daylong adventure. Travel by ship's tender to the Gatun Yacht Club, where you will board an air-conditioned transportation for the narrated drive through the isthmus to the small village of Gamboa. Located on the banks of the Chagres River and the Panama Canal, Gamboa lies in the heart of Panama's 55,000-acre Soberania National Park. Large tracts of lowland tropical rainforests that nourish thriving plants and harbor enchanting animal populations surround the village.
From Gamboa, embark on your ferry tour boat for a partial transit of the canal. Cruise through the Gaillard Cut along your journey. The Gaillard Cut is an artificial valley that cuts through the continental divide in Panama. The cut forms part of the Panama Canal, linking Gatun Lake, and thereby the Atlantic Ocean, to the Gulf of Panama and the Pacific Ocean. Construction of the cut was one of the great engineering feats of its time; the immense effort required to complete it was justified by the great significance of the canal to shipping, and in particular the strategic interests of the United States of America.
After crossing the Gaillard Cut, enter the Pedro Miguel Locks, which lower your vessel 28 feet on its way to the Pacific. Your boat will settle on Miraflores Lake. Sail across Miraflores Lake to the Miraflores Locks. A light lunch is available during your scenic cruise of the lake and locks. The Miraflores Locks are part of the engineering marvel that makes up the Panama Canal. The locks will lower your tour boat the final 56 feet, matching the level of the Pacific Ocean.
The lock gates at Miraflores are the tallest of the three due to the extreme tidal variation that takes place in the Pacific Ocean; the tidal variation on the Atlantic coast is by far less. Miraflores Locks are slightly over one mile long, from beginning to end. Depending on the size of each vessel, one can see anywhere from 1 to 3 vessels make the transit simultaneously. From the minute the vessels enters the locks, it takes approximately 10 minutes for the process to be completed. The water enters and leaving the locks by means of gravity only, as there are no pumps or other man made devices that assist in this process.
Your cruise ends at La Playita in Panama City, where you board your air-conditioned ground transportation for the return trip to the ship.
Tour duration varies. Canal transits are scheduled and controlled by the Panama Canal Authority. The return drive from Panama City to the ship is approximately one hour and 15 minutes on the new four lane highway - very scenic. The transit itinerary for this tour is subject to change depending on your cruise ship's transit times through the locks. Type of vessel used varies depending on number of participants and may not necessarily be as pictured.
Tour duration varies. Duration can be up to 8 hours. Canal transits are scheduled and controlled by the Panama Canal Authority.
12 & under reduced