Cruise and Beach Destinations
in the Caribbean, Mexico & Beyond

Panama Canal Shore Excursions

Photo By Stan Shebs, Wikimedia
The Panama Canal is becoming increasingly popular among cruise lines. Excursions along the Panama Canal offer a variety of excursions and experiences for visitors.

When spending just one day in Panama, many cruisers like to plan out in advance what they are going to do. Some of the most popular excursions include seeing the locks, taking a tour of Panama City, and visiting Gatun Lake.

Half Day Excursions

For cruisers with only a half day to explore Panama, it is recommended to stay closer to the port, likely to be in the city of Colon.

Driving tours of the historic city of Colon are offered at the port. This taxi tour escorts visitors around the city, showing them the monument of Christopher Columbus, the Episcopal Christ Church cathedral, and the Panama Canal.

Touring Fort San Lorenzo and the Gatun Locks is a four hour excursion, making it an ideal option for half day cruisers.

From Shore Trips, a round trip excursion to the locks can be purchased starting at $106.00 per person.

The excursion includes round trip transportation to and from the cruise pier, a visit to Fort San Lorenzo, a view of the Chagres river, and a trip to the Gatun Locks.

The Gatun Locks are said to be the most impressive of the three in Panama, as all three chambers connect at the Gatun Locks.

Whole Day Excursions

Cruisers with a little bit more time to explore Panama may enjoy a tour of Panama City and the Canal.

A full tour of the Panama Canal is about eight and a half hours in length. Visitors have the opportunity to ride the Pacific Queen through the Snake Cut. The Snake Cut is the most narrow portion of the canal, only 152 meters wide.

Panama City is full of history and rich in heritage. The city has a variety of museums to explore, including the Museum of History and the Museum of Religious Art.

Old Town Panama City features delicate historic structures dating back to 1673. It is an area popular with tourists.

Tours of Panama City and the canal can be purchased as a combination through Shoreline Excursions.

Best Excursions for Active Travelers

Cruisers to Panama looking for recreation and adventure will find it. Diving on Old Colon Island is a popular excursion. Tour operators provide all necessary equipment.

Kayaking on Gatun Lake is a great way to explore nature and watch some of the large vessels travel through the canal. Many tourist organizations combine kayaking tours with a visit through the Sovereignty National Park.

Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas.

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February 17, 2020
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