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Old January 13th, 2010, 11:36 AM
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Default Panama Canal docking

Do ships dock or do they use tenders in the Panama Canal ?
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Old January 22nd, 2010, 01:21 PM
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They tender after they go through lock and on the way back through locks, they dock at Christobal Pier,
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Old January 22nd, 2010, 07:07 PM
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we docked in Colon
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 10:00 AM
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Just to be clear, if a ship docks in the region, there are two choices: Colon & Christobal. The Port of Colon is next to downtown Colon and ships that dock there usually never enter the Canal Zone. Christobal is a few miles away from the Port of Colon and is located in the Canal Zone, before the first set of locks.

Therefore, if your ship docks at the Port of Colon, and you do not take Canal-specific tour of some kind, you will NOT see any of the Panama Canal.

If your ship docks at Chrstobal, you will have at least seen a portion of the Canal and it is likely that you will have passed through at least the first set of locks.

The third possible option is a complete Canal Transit, which may or may not dock at Christobal, or anywhere else in Panama for that matter.

Before booking a Panama Cruise, make sure that you know exactly what you want to see and then make sure you book the correct cruise.
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by sptrout View Post
Therefore, if your ship docks at the Port of Colon, and you do not take Canal-specific tour of some kind, you will NOT see any of the Panama Canal.
Ah there there you are wrong
It depends on the cruiseline of course
We did the canal full transit (MIA to LA) & docked in Colon
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 01:16 PM
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Ah there there you are wrong
It depends on the cruiseline of course
We did the canal full transit (MIA to LA) & docked in Colon
Thanks for the correction. It has been awhile since we did the "Colon" stop and at the time the ship never came close to the Canal. Any idea why your ship went over to the Port of Colon instead of just stopping at Christobal since it had to sail right by it?
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 05:09 PM
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Thanks for the correction. It has been awhile since we did the "Colon" stop and at the time the ship never came close to the Canal. Any idea why your ship went over to the Port of Colon instead of just stopping at Christobal since it had to sail right by it?
Sorry I was wrong
DH reminded me that it was not on the Panama cruise we stopped in Colon so you are right no stop there if doing the canal
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Old January 24th, 2010, 09:56 AM
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Sorry I was wrong
DH reminded me that it was not on the Panama cruise we stopped in Colon so you are right no stop there if doing the canal
No problem, the options for cruising the Panama Canal are varied and easy to confuse. That is why I wanted to expand on the earlier comments to make sure that the OP really bought the cruise experience that they wanted. It is very easy to go wrong here.
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Old January 27th, 2010, 11:32 AM
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Is there anything to do in Colon other than shopping at the pier ?
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Old January 27th, 2010, 03:45 PM
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Is there anything to do in Colon other than shopping at the pier ?
Not really; you will be docked very close to downtown. When we visited there a few years ago we took a train tour to Panama City. While on the brief bus ride from the dock to the train station we had to drive though downtown. Nothing in downtown that I would want to see again, nor would I recommend walking around outside the main shopping area next to the ship.

I highly recommend taking a ship offered tour at this port.

IMO, the same thing applies if you dock at Christobal. Just a few shops next to the ship, and then you are in an industrial port area.
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Old January 28th, 2010, 08:56 AM
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I've heard negatives about the bus and train tours .The Emberra Village sounds interesting but I am not a canoe person ,however ,the people traveling with me may opt to do that
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Old January 28th, 2010, 10:20 AM
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I've heard negatives about the bus and train tours .The Emberra Village sounds interesting but I am not a canoe person ,however ,the people traveling with me may opt to do that
We have taken both the train tour and the trip to the Indian Village, however I think they have changed the past couple years.

In our case the Train Tour was excellent, but the train portion was R/T and I believe, based on comments from others, that this is no longer the case (train to Panama City, bus ride back to Colon).

The Emberra Village Tour was also very interesting and I can recommend it, but in our case they did not use canoes, but large (~20 passenger) flat-bottom power boats. Again, I have read reviews from people that describe what we had (boats) and others that say they had canoes. I have no idea why this seems to change back and forth.

If anyone is interested in either of these tours make sure to read the description carefully to make sure that you understand exactly what you are buying.
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Old January 28th, 2010, 09:16 PM
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Thanks for the info
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