One of the world’s most sophisticated engineering marvels provides a thrilling transit that’s made all the more intriguing with Crystal Cruises, one of the world’s leading luxury large-ship cruise lines. Whether you refer to the Panama Canal as the eighth wonder of the world, modern engineering’s greatest marvel, or the quickest and most scenic shortcut between the Atlantic and Pacific, a cruise through the Panama Canal is sure to be one of the most unique vacations you’ll ever experience, even if you consider yourself to be a seasoned cruiser.
Whether you’re cruising eastbound or westbound, you’ll enjoy terrific shopping at sun-drenched ports, exciting land excursions, plenty of onboard entertainment, and the root of the cruise: actually passing through the locks of the Panama Canal. While on the cruise, six immense locks will raise your ship from sea level up to 85 feet, then gently lower it back again with only inches to spare on either side- all of which you’ll be able to observe from the comfort of an observation deck or your own balcony.
Crystal Serenity & Symphony
Depending on the exact cruise chosen, your Crystal Cruise Panama Canal cruise will take you on board the Crystal Serenity or Crystal Symphony. The Crystal Symphony is one of the most spacious cruise ships at sea, with amenities that include grand lounges, full-service fitness facilities, and a Feng Shui inspired spa for each of its 940 guests to enjoy. The Crystal Serenity is the newest addition to the fleet and raises the already lofty standards of Crystal Cruises to even greater heights. With an expanded space-to-guest ratio and elegantly appointed staterooms, each room has an unobstructed view of the ocean and surrounding land.
Things to Do in the Panama Canal
If you’re concerned that experiencing the locks is the only exciting thing about a Panama Canal cruise, think again. Throughout the cruise you’ll be able to ride through the waters of the rainforest or visit the Butterfly Farm in Aruba. Whether you enjoy swimming with dolphins, relaxing with a drink in hand on a sandy beach, or learning about local history at museums and art galleries, you’ll gain access to it all on a Crystal Cruise to the Panama Canal. If you prefer to relax, there are plenty of quiet beaches waiting for you.
A cruise through the Panama Canal will take you between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, while showcasing the variety of natural features and landmarks along the way. While in Caldera, Costa Rica, cruisers will have the opportunity to visit the National Theatre and the National Museum of Pre-Columbian Art, two museums that are testament to the art and cultural symbolism of the city. If you prefer to spend your time outdoors, don’t worry- Caldera has something for you, too. Whether it’s a rainforest canopy zip lining excursion or time spent bird watching in the Carara National Park, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors.
Panama Canal Cruise Tips
On the day of your journey through the Panama Canal, prime viewing locations may fill up quickly. Although enjoying the transit from your balcony will give you a better appreciation for how tight the squeeze is, being up on the bow is the best way to appreciate the entire process. So, set your alarm, wake up early, and find a prime location on the observation deck of the bow. Even if you’re heading through the canal earlier in the day, you’ll want to prepare yourself for the Panama sun. Many ships will pass out water or chilled towels, but be prepared for plenty of sun and warm temperatures.
When spending time onshore, it’s important to use common sense and good judgement wherever you go, no matter the crime rate. However, there are places where extra caution is wise, including many of the ports on the Panama Canal and Central American circuit. When cruising the Panama Canal, consider shore excursions over independent touring, as many of the stops along the way have a reputation for petty crime within the main city. If you’re concerned about your safety, you’ll likely be safer on a shore excursion than if you decide to head into town on your own.