what is the best time of year, cruise line, cruise ship to do a panama canal cruise? we were hoping to go in July, but it seems that no one sails through the canal at that time of year. any suggestions?
Many Panama Canal cruises are repositioning cruises for ships going to and from their Alaska assignments. As such you find the biggset concentration of such cruises in early spring and late fall. Princess used to do a partial canal cruise (in one side , cruise the lake and back out again, but really doesn't deploy too many ships to Caribbean on summer. I think you may be out of lucl for July. Get in touch with a good TA and let them do the research for you.
most cruise lines are in the Caribbean for the summer it might be hard to find, and besides the canal heat would be totally and completley UNBERABLE in July - i don't mean just hot i mean unberable so hot you can't be outside-pass-out heat. Its very hot in the canal in February but its berable. just something to think about. We cruised Princess a trans-canal cruise is an awesome experience.
Think December (or January, or February!) for Panama Canal. We were on Infinity 12/8 for 14-day transit and the weather was unbelievable (considering we left 6" of snow back here in Ohio when we left!) at 85-90 degrees. I can only imagine how horribly hot that region must be in the summer months.
It was an unbelievable experience and one we hope to repeat next December.
Hi, I agree, the heat on the Panama Canal cruises coupled with the extreme humidity is awesome! We did the trans-canal in early March, I believe, one year. At 5 in the morning, we went forward and claimed our "position" on deck for the passage thru the first set of locks; it was 105 degrees, and I am not kidding! It was a fabulous trip and we hope to repeat it, next time doing the reverse- West coast thru.
Keep you eyes open for a Cruisemates canal cruise, details should up up shortly :-)
In most cases you can't find better pricing than when doing one of the CM cruises, and also lots of little extras which make the cruise that much more enjoyable. This one should be in the fall of this year on the new Island Princess.
I believe that is when it will be onboard the new Princess ship. Mike Mastell will be the CM Host onboard and details will be up very shortly on it. Look in the CM Cruises section for more info.
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I have to agree that a winter Panama Canal cruise is best. Go in December, January or February. This is the dry season and while the teps are still high you will have much less humidity to contend with.
I would also suggest a FULL transit of the canal, not a partial. On a partial transit you enter the Gatun locks and then turn around in Gatun Lake and go back out. You miss more than three quarters of the Panama Canal. And the part you will miss is the best part. Gaillard Cut is an enginering marvel that you should not miss. The scenery as you pass Barro Colorado island and the Charges River is awsome. After passing two more sets of locks on the Pacific side you are greeted by the Bridge of the Americas, another sight not to be missed.
Take a full transit and you will not be disapointed. By the way our Canal trip on the Sun Princess leaves in 15 days. And it is our second time full transit.