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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.

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

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

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Island Princess
Island Princess (Photo: Princess Cruises)

15 Night
Transcanal CruiseDetails

1,142 Reviews
Leaving:Los Angeles
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Ruby Princess
Ship Exterior on Ruby Princess

15 Night
Transcanal CruiseDetails

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

15 Night
Transcanal CruiseDetails

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

10 Night
Transcanal CruiseDetails

Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Viking Cruises Australia (CC)

18 Night
Transcanal CruiseDetails

Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
Apr 26, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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10 Night
Transcanal CruiseDetails

Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
Dec 12, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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14 Night
Panama Canal CruiseDetails

Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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21 Night
Panama CanalDetails

Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Apr 9, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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9 Night
Panama Canal-panama City Details

Leaving:Panama City
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite

16 Night
Panama Canal CruiseDetails

Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Jan 3, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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17 Night
Panama CanalDetails

Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Apr 15, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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15 Night
Transcanal CruiseDetails

Leaving:Los Angeles
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
Oct 15, 2021
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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12 Night
Panama Canal - Miami Details

Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Dec 21, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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16 Night
Panama CanalDetails

Leaving:San Diego
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Oct 13, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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17 Night
Panama CanalDetails

Leaving:San Diego
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Oct 6, 2021
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite

16 Night
Carnival Journeys - Panama CanalDetails

Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Carnival Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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23 Night
Panama CanalDetails

Leaving:Vancouver
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Oct 2, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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11 Night
11 Nt Panama Canal & S Caribbean HolidayDetails

592 Reviews
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises
Dec 22, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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18 Night
Panama Canal - Miami Details

210 Reviews
Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Apr 17, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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14 Night
Carnival Journeys - Panama Canal CruiseDetails

Leaving:New Orleans
Cruise Line:Carnival Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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16 Night
Carnival Journeys - Panama CanalDetails

Leaving:Seattle
Cruise Line:Carnival Cruise Line
Sep 20, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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10 Night
Transcanal CruiseDetails

Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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15 Night
Transcanal CruiseDetails

Leaving:Los Angeles
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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11 Night
Repo - Panama Canal Details

Leaving:Panama City
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Jan 30, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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11 Night
Repo - Panama Canal Details

Leaving:New York
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Feb 10, 2022
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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