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Panama Canal & Central America Cruises

Cruise ship passing locks in the Panama Canal (Photo: Sorin Colac/Shutterstock)

About Panama Canal & Central America Cruises

A cruise on the Panama Canal through Central America can appeal to more than one type of passenger. The Panama Canal portion of the trip focuses on the transit itself,with onboard lectures as ships make their way through the locks. Within the rest of Central America, put on your hiking boots and head for the rainforest or kick off your shoes and hit the beach. Port highlights include Costa Rica's Puntarenas and Limon, with excursions that cater to adrenaline junkies.

A message from Cruise Critic: During this unprecedented time throughout the world and across the cruise industry, it is important to note that article information might be impacted by cruise line hiatuses and port closures due to COVID-19. For the latest information, please visit our regularly updated article on cruise port closures.

  • What is the best time to cruise to the Panama Canal & Central America?

  • Which cruise lines go to the Panama Canal & Central America?

Find Panama Canal & Central America Cruises

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Insignia
Insignia
Insignia

20 Night
Cruise to Panama Canal & Central AmericaDetails

192 Reviews
Leaving:San Francisco
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Ruby Princess
Ship Exterior on Ruby Princess
Ruby Princess

15 Night
Cruise to Panama Canal & Central AmericaDetails

1,782 Reviews
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Island Princess
Island Princess (Photo: Princess Cruises)
Island Princess

15 Night
Cruise to Panama Canal & Central AmericaDetails

Leaving:Los Angeles
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Caribbean Princess
Caribbean Princess (Photo: Princess Cruises)
Caribbean Princess

10 Night
Cruise to Panama Canal & Central AmericaDetails

Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Island Princess

14 Night
Cruise to Panama Canal & Central AmericaDetails

Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Crown Princess

15 Night
Cruise to Panama Canal & Central AmericaDetails

Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Emerald Princess

10 Night
Cruise to Panama Canal & Central AmericaDetails

Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Carnival Pride

14 Night
Cruise to Panama Canal & Central AmericaDetails

Leaving:Baltimore
Cruise Line:Carnival Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Insignia

18 Night
Cruise to Panama Canal & Central AmericaDetails

Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Seven Seas Mariner

18 Night
Cruise to Panama Canal & Central AmericaDetails

Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Regent Seven Seas Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Seabourn Venture

14 Night
Cruise to Panama Canal & Central AmericaDetails

Leaving:Barbados
Cruise Line:Seabourn Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Carnival Freedom

16 Night
Cruise to Panama Canal & Central AmericaDetails

Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Carnival Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Serenade of the Seas

13 Night
Cruise to Panama Canal & Central AmericaDetails

Leaving:Los Angeles
Cruise Line:Royal Caribbean International
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Royal Clipper

14 Night
Cruise to Panama Canal & Central AmericaDetails

Leaving:Barbados
Cruise Line:Star Clippers
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Crystal Serenity

11 Night
Cruise to Panama Canal & Central AmericaDetails

Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Crystal Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Carnival Freedom

16 Night
Cruise to Panama Canal & Central AmericaDetails

Leaving:Seattle
Cruise Line:Carnival Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Celebrity Millennium

15 Night
Cruise to Panama Canal & Central AmericaDetails

Leaving:San Diego
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Eurodam

16 Night
Cruise to Panama Canal & Central AmericaDetails

Leaving:San Diego
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite
Queen Victoria

27 Night
Cruise to Panama Canal & Central AmericaDetails

Leaving:Southampton
Cruise Line:Cunard Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Seabourn Odyssey

33 Night
Cruise to Panama Canal & Central AmericaDetails

189 Reviews
Leaving:Aruba
Cruise Line:Seabourn Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Norwegian Encore

15 Night
Cruise to Panama Canal & Central AmericaDetails

Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Norwegian Jewel

8 Night
Cruise to Panama Canal & Central AmericaDetails

Leaving:Colon
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Norwegian Jewel

12 Night
Cruise to Panama Canal & Central AmericaDetails

Leaving:Los Angeles
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite
Queen Victoria

27 Night
Cruise to Panama Canal & Central AmericaDetails

Leaving:Southampton
Cruise Line:Cunard Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Celebrity Edge

11 Night
Cruise to Panama Canal & Central AmericaDetails

Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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What is the best time to cruise to the Panama Canal & Central America?

Panama Canal and Central America cruise season is from October through April. The rainy season doesn't end until November, so cruises here are more popular from December onward. For more: Best Month to Cruise to the Panama Canal

Which cruise lines go to the Panama Canal & Central America?

Most major cruise lines, including Princess and Holland America, feature at least a few Panama Canal sailings in addition to expedition lines like Tauck and Lindblad. Cruisers can choose from a partial or full transit of the canal (Panama Canal: Partial Transit vs. Full Transit). Cruises that specifically explore countries like Costa Rica (without the canal) are on offer, from small-ship lines like Windstar Cruises.

What are some things to do in the Panama Canal & Central America?

In addition to either a full or partial crossing of the Panama Canal, most cruises in this region include stops in popular ports throughout Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean. That means you can do anything from lounge on the beach to explore ancient ruins or enjoy some duty-free shopping. If you can, trek Arenal Volcano from Puerto Limon, Costa Rica.

Do you need a passport to take a cruise to the Panama Canal & Central America?

Yes, a passport is required for travel throughout Central America, including Panama.

What should I pack for a cruise to the Panama Canal & Central America?

The weather in this region tends to be hot and humid, so pack plenty of shorts and t-shirts. Since Panama Canal crossings tend to be longer sailings, be prepared that your cruise might have more than one formal night.

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