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“On most peoples bucket list”
Review of Panama Canal

Panama Canal
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$130.49*
and up
Panama Canal Partial Transit Sightseeing Cruise
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$60.00*
and up
Panama Canal and Gatun Lake Jungle Eco Cruise
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$130.00*
and up
Panama City Tour And The Canal
Ranked #1 of 174 things to do in Panama City
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Operating since 1914 and considered one of the wonders of the world, this fifty-mile waterway transports ships by raising them from sea level to more than 85 feet via a series of gravity-powered locks.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Wirral UK
Level 6 Contributor
793 reviews
398 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 553 helpful votes
“On most peoples bucket list”
Reviewed December 23, 2013

Rightfully one of the 7 Engineering Wonders of the Modern World and on most people's bucket list. we did a full transit from Panama city to Colon on the Norwegian Star. We were lucky that the weather was fine throughout the 12 hour transit, 50 mile transit.

Most people think of the canal as a long trench, as per the suez Canal, but in reality it is a series of locks at both ends, with a large lake in the middle. The French tried to build a trench from Pacific to Atlantic at sea level, but failed. Then the US took over and decided on the current format ie locks at the Pacific end raising ships 85 feet up to the lake (formed by river damming) and then locks that take you 85 feet back down at the Atlantic end. Considering it is 100 years old in 2014, the canal is in good condition.

There are more locks being constructed at both ends, to take longer, wider and deeper ships.Due to open 2015. You can see the work going on as you transit the locks.

I thought the canal was wonderful and I'm so glad that we did a full transit, whereas many ships do a part transit and turn back.

We were very lucky with the weather, as it can rain a lot in this area.

Visited December 2013
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1 Thank NeilandBarbara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Beacon, New York
Level 6 Contributor
210 reviews
139 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
“SIMPLY AWESOME”
Reviewed December 22, 2013

We went on a cruise and passed thru the canal from Pacific to Atlantic in December, 2013. Got up at 4:30 because I was so excited to be checking off a main item on my bucket list. Saw a wonderful sunrise and then watched as we sailed passed Panama City and into the canal. Went thru the first set of locks, Miraflores. It takes about 2 minutes to open to gates of the locks, about 15 minutes for the ship to get into the lock, another 2 minutes for the gates to close and about 10 minutes for the water to fill in. Then another 2 minutes for the gates to open and about 10 minutes for the ship to get out. Sailed to the second set of lock, Pedro Miguel and repeated the whole procedure. It is NOT as fast procedure!! They only do about 35 - 40 ships per day. Who knew!! It was one-way traffic from Pacific during the morning. We sailed under the Pan Am Bridge and the Centennial Bridge. Sailed along a river and then into the lake. Then went thru the Gatun locks, which are a triple set of locks. And finally into the Atlantic/Caribbean. Ships coming from the Atlantic went one-way thru the Gatun locks in the morning into the lake, waited for our traffic to pass, then down the river and thru the other two sets of locks to the Pacific. All in all, the trip was from 8am til 6pm - a total of 10 hours to go 50 miles, but what a 50 mile stretch it is. Smaller ships can travel at night and can go two-way traffic. You will pass the Continental Divide, the area where the landslide was. Lots and lots of jungle, There is no building along the canal as it is protected. We had someone board our ship to talk about the canal and gave us wonderful information. It has only closed 3 times ever in 99 years (1914-2013), Once was for a landslide, once because of Noriega and once due to flooding. To watch UP CLOSE the locks and realize this huge cruise ship is raised and then lowered simply by water, is mindboggling. And in 99 years, there have been no changes. When the did it, they did it right and haven't had a need for improvements. We did pass the construction of the new locks - they will NOT be done for the 100 yr anniversary, but they are impressive. Old locks are 110 ft wide and 1000 ft long. New locks will be 180 ft wide and 1400 ft long. A MUST SEE and A MUST EXPERIENCE!!

Visited December 2013
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Thank dad414
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“An Engineering Marvel even 100 years later”
Reviewed December 21, 2013

It has been 100 years since the canal was completed and it is still a wonderful place to visit. 85 feet up to the lake in the center and then 85 feet down on the other side and it sounds pretty simple but it was really wonderful...much more impressive than the locks on European rivers....

Visited December 2013
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1 Thank MuseumTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“A day at the canal”
Reviewed December 21, 2013

A very interesting day visiting the Panama canal.Lots to here about it construction and history.visit the museum along side the canal .

Visited December 2013
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1 Thank fish58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Good half day trip.”
Reviewed December 20, 2013

The canal was a great afternoon trip for our group and we enjoyed watching the container ships come through. There is some funny commentary and the movie is ok. It was easy to get to by bus or taxi (we took a taxi as there was 5 of us) and cheap enough. The $8 entry was reasonable.

Visited December 2013
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Thank Cassie_Powell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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