Panama Canal, Panama (Gatun Lake)

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Main port photo for Panama Canal, Panama (Gatun Lake)

The narrow isthmus separating the Atlantic from the Pacific Ocean had a colorful and turbulent history long before Ferdinand de Lesseps first dreamed of building a transcontinental canal.

Spanish conquistadors hauled Incan gold through the dense rainforest to ports on the Atlantic. English freebooters sought to ransack those ports and attack the treasure ships that sailed from Portobelo. And 49ers braved mosquitoes and yellow fever to get to the California gold fields. While the Panama Canal remains one of the great American engineering feats of the 20th century, visitors to Panama will discover a whole range of scenic wonders. Hike into the dense rainforest, home to over 1,000 species of animals. Or pay a visit to an Embera Indian village in the heart of Chagres National Park.

Disembarkation in Gatun Lake is restricted to passengers who have booked the following tours only: PC1-100, PC1-110, PC1-115, PC1-120, PC1-170, PC1-175, PC1-210, PC1-235, PC1-350, PC1-385, PC1-605, PC1-610, PC1-615. Passengers on these tours are taken ashore by tenders. Later in the day, the ship then retraces her route through the Gatun locks to dock at Pier 6 in Colon in the Caribbean. The tours return to this point. All remaining passengers are able to disembark in Colon, where they may explore the dockside shops. There are no tours offered in Colon.

Note: The Panama Canal Authority assigns specific time slots for the transit of a vessel through the locks. The ship will anchor in a designated area and will wait for instructions. Once clearance is transmitted to the ship, procedures begin to bring ship's tour passengers ashore. Therefore, tour departure times may vary and will be announced onboard.
**Please note that passengers may encounter numerous local vendors at various tourist locations and may find them to be persistent in their sales offers.**

  • Panama Viejo / Casco Viejo Panama Viejo / Casco Viejo

    Central America's historic and cultural roots are celebrated and displayed in Panama's oldest settlements, where exceptional museums, archeological ruins, and Colonial streets, churches, and monuments tell the story of the city's tragic past.

  • Canal Locks Canal Locks

    On the Atlantic side, the three chambers of the Gatun Locks raise ships 87 feet above sea level, while the Miraflores Locks transfer 26 million gallons of water in under 7 minutes at its Pacific end.

  • Panama Canal Railway Panama Canal Railway

    Ride the world's first transcontinental railway. Experience Panama's rainforest setting along the historic route originally built in 1855 during the heyday of the California gold rush.

  • Panama Canal Transit Panama Canal Transit

    Experience the thrill of canal transit and the intricacy of the lock's system firsthand as your ferry is lifted over 85 feet above sea level, from one body of water to the next.

  • Cruise Gatun Lake Cruise Gatun Lake

    A jungle boat excursion through the dense rainforest highlights the abundance of exotic wildlife and breathtaking scenery found along this vital waterway, a key component of the Panama Canal's intricate system.

  • Embera Indians Embera Indians

    Experience traditional Embera hospitality when you are invited into a world of ancient ritual, native culture, and timeless wonder. Watch a ceremonial dance routine, explore the unspoiled grounds, and marvel at the exquisite handmade crafts.

  • Aerial Tram & Soberania National Park Aerial Tram & Soberania National Park

    Nestled within the vast Soberania National Park, an aerial tram soars over the Gamboa Rainforest, a jungle paradise and complex ecological system that showcases some of the most spectacular vegetation and wildlife in the world.

  • Panama Canal Expansion Panama Canal Expansion

    Get a close-up view of the engineering and construction behind the canal's expansion. The massive project includes widening Gatun Lake and creating two new sets of locks in 2016.


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  All prices are displayed in US Dollars unless otherwise noted; excursions priced in other currencies may be available on select voyages only. Prices are based on the amount Princess typically charges for each excursion, but your price may vary by voyage date and departure time.

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