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Panama Canal & Central America

Home > Cruise Destinations > Panama Canal & Central America

The Panama Canal, created by the US, is one of the greatest man-made structures ever. Panama, the home of the canal, is part of Central America. The function of the canal is to connect the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, for transit and travel purposes. The canal was completed in 1914, after the US took over a failed construction attempt by the French.

Panama Canal cruising season is year round, but the most popular time to go is typically from April through November. Most major cruise lines, such as Princess, Celebrity, NCL, Royal Caribbean and Holland America, offer Panama Canal cruises.

There are two main Panama Canal cruise types. One is a true crossing of the canal, from one ocean to the other, starting in one port and ending in another. The other option is a partial crossing, where you travel a certain distance through the canal and then turn around and return to your port of departure for a round trip cruise.

Perhaps the most unique and interesting moment of being on a Panama Canal cruise is when you can see and experience the transit of actually going through the locks of the canal.

The rest of Central America is not as popular for cruise vacations as the Panama Canal; however, there are a few other popular destinations. These include Costa Rica, Belize and Honduras. Many Caribbean cruise itineraries feature stops in ports in these countries.

Windstar Cruises and Cruise West offer Costa Rica cruise itineraries. Such cruises focus heavily on the beauty of the wildlife, volcanoes and tropical rainforests located throughout the region.
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Popular departure ports for Panama Canal cruises:
Acapulco (Mexico), Fort Lauderdale (Florida), Los Angeles (California), Miami (Florida), San Diego (California)
Popular departure ports for Central America cruises:
Colon (Panama), Los Suenos (Costa Rica), Puerto Caldera (Costa Rica)

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