Colon (Cristobal) Panama Canal Tour Excursion Reviews

Colon (Cristobal) Panama Canal Tour cruise excursion
Overall Rating
Take an unforgettable tour of the 48-mile architectural triumph -- the Panama Canal is a one-of-a-kind experience!
Member Image FionaFluffy
1 review
Apr 2016
Very interesting tour of the canal and we were very lucky that there were three ships going through. This excursion is really a must, so that you can understand better what happens during your own ship transit through the canal.
Read FionaFluffy's full Celebrity Infinity cruise review
Provider: Celebrity Cruises
Member Image honeyb085
3 reviews
Apr 2016
This was the Expansion tour. As we drove closer to the old locks, the traffic congestion was terrible. The guide decided to go to the expansion section first, which was a great idea because we were the only folks there. We saw a film, then sat in the shade where he explained the view. The only problem here was that a recorded voice was also telling us what we saw (I guess for those folks who don't have a guide). By the time Celebrity comes back, these locks will be open and in use. We then went back to the old locks, where the crowds had shrunk. We had plenty of time for another explanation, this time from a live person sitting up the viewing area. It was very informative. If you can't climb the 90 or so steps to the viewing area, there's another shaded area at ground level. Due to the construction, it took us about an hour to drive back the few miles to the ship. Think seriously against taking a private tour in the afternoon, due to traffic issues.
Read honeyb085's full Celebrity Equinox cruise review
Provider: Celebrity Cruises
Member Image Buck1949
2 reviews
Mar 2016
Roberto is a 35 year employee of the Panama Canal system who does independant tours and has an in depth knowledge of the workings of the entire canal system. We were able to view the original Gatun Locks and also the soon to be opened "new" locks which were in the final months of completion. Roberto provided us with an Air Conditioned bus, and also was able to show us the countryside, and small business operating along the roadside where we were able to obtain snacks and a cool drink.
Read Buck1949's full Celebrity Infinity cruise review
Provider: Robtads Tours (Roberto Whitaker)
Member Image dafcpa
1 review
Mar 2016
Our main goal for this trip was to see the canal. In Gatun Lake we disembarked and took a bus and boarded a ferry. We ended up taking the ferry all the way from Gatun Lake to the Pacific Ocean and thoroughly enjoyed it. We also had a unique experience of being in a minor collision with a freighter in the canal. No injuries but a little damage to our ferry. EXCITING!
Read dafcpa's full Norwegian Pearl cruise review
Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Member Image Arscar
2 reviews
Mar 2016
Good
Read Arscar's full Celebrity Equinox cruise review
Provider: Celebrity Cruises
Member Image retiring soon
15 reviews
Feb 2016
This was an excursion we looked forward to but it turned out to be a long hot day, almost 12 hours! Our guide Ramses was very good, the tour interesting & luckily the ship waited for us as we were almost 3 hours late returning since we had to wait for the big ship that was transiting the canal with us.We sat inside on the ferry & were close to the lunch buffet. Water & pop was freely offered & there was also some refreshing fruit pieces available.
Read retiring soon's full Thomson Dream cruise review
Provider: Thomson Cruises
Member Image Andy200
3 reviews
Jan 2016
Good. Interesting. Good guide.
Read Andy200's full Island Princess cruise review
Provider: Princess Cruises
Member Image Steambuff
3 reviews
Jan 2016
The guide was excellent and the tour lived up to expectations. We had to wait at the locks but all the reasons were explained. Best tour of the cruise
Read Steambuff's full Thomson Dream cruise review
Provider: Thomson Cruises
Member Image WanderingTheWorld
2 reviews
Dec 2015
It's a once in a lifetime experience getting to go through the entire Panama Canal. However, the ferry was crowded and hot, and there were hours between locks. Take a ferry at your own risk.
Read WanderingTheWorld's full Norwegian Pearl cruise review
Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Member Image Happy NCL Cruiser
1 review
Dec 2015
Specifically the "Panama Canal Ferry Tour".. yes they do mean it can take up to 12 hours; it did and it was more than well worth it. A "must see" for anyone interested in the history and operation of the Panama Canal.. Although partly on bus the 6 +/- hour ferry boat trip from Lake Gatun through the Culebra Cut, Pedro Miquel and Miraflores locks and on the the Pacific was simply awesome. Taking a 300 passenger ferry into a lock chamber followed by a "mega freighter" was another experience altogether.
Read Happy NCL Cruiser's full Norwegian Pearl cruise review
Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Member Image Space Coast Cruisers
5 reviews
Nov 2015
we did the Gatun locks and expansion tour. We had the opportunity to see a couple of ships go through the canal and the guide was very informative. We then went to the expansion project and saw the progress on that. The excursion was interesting but a little long for what you got to see.
Read Space Coast Cruisers's full Celebrity Equinox cruise review
Provider: Celebrity Cruises
Member Image GINNY L
1 review
Nov 2015
This excursion is just way too long. I am glad I experience it, but there was just way too much sitting around for me. Next time I go thru the canal I want to be on a cruise ship.
Read GINNY L's full Celebrity Equinox cruise review
Provider: Celebrity Cruises
Member Image Sandbox Cruiser
1 review
Nov 2015
Great tour. Roberto worked at the canal so knew everything there was to know about history and present day facts.
Read Sandbox Cruiser's full Celebrity Equinox cruise review
Provider: Roberto's
Member Image wtroller
1 review
Oct 2015
The guide was excellent and very informative about the area and its history.
Read wtroller's full Norwegian Pearl cruise review
Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Member Image rmtheisen
1 review
Oct 2015
Two focuses on this tour were up close views of the operating locks and a review of the construction of the new locks. Major complaint with this tour is the waste of time at the new locks. We spent at least 1 hour more here than we should have, I suspect waiting for the Coral Princess to arrive in Colon.
Read rmtheisen's full Coral Princess cruise review
Provider: Princess Cruises
Member Image omar066
2 reviews
Feb 2015

booked with myfriendmario which did a scenic drive with a short walk thru a rainforest path, Saw a few howler monkeys on the way to Fort San Lorenzo with it's breathtaking views and then finished with a 1 hr. stop at Gatun locks which was absolutely awesome to witness. I was truly surprised and impressed by what I learned and then saw first hand. This is a must see Overall had a great tour guide.

Read omar066's full Celebrity Equinox cruise review
Provider: Celebrity Cruises
Member Image Grammy Sims
1 review
Feb 2015

AWESOME!!!! Fantastic!!!! Traveled by boat through the last 3 locks and ended in Pacific ocean. Great views, educational and fun! Highly recommend this excursion.

Read Grammy Sims's full Zuiderdam cruise review
Provider: Holland America Line
Member Image italian stallion
5 reviews
Feb 2015

Awesome, a must to see and partake in the canal transit especially if it's your first visit to Colon. Another hot and sunny day, but the boat with plenty of shade offered relief from the sun. Yes very long day 6hr+ but advantage of taking the ship sponsored tour, the ship will wait for you. The tour boat had lots of cold water and sodas and a small insignificant lunch. Souveiners availble to purchase on the tour boat. Some may say you see one canal you've seen them all, granted yes but seeing the Panama Canal is the pinnacle of canals to see. Highly recommended (especially for first timers)

Read italian stallion's full Celebrity Equinox cruise review
Provider: Celebrity Cruises
Member Image bellevillecruiser
1 review
Feb 2014

THis was an excursion to the MInaflores locks, then to the Albrook MAll for shopping, before being dropped off at the airport. The canal and locks are amazing, Albrook is HUGE if you like shopping ( we were at the mall for about 3 hours) and the cost of the tour is comparable to a straight airport transfer. This tour only works if yof you have a late afternoon flight.

Also, be aware, at the airport, we had to go through 2 security checks, one as per usual on the way to the gate, and then another, complete with metal detector and bag screening, at the gate itself. It seems , however, that as flight time approaches and they have to get the plane loaded, this get check becomes more cursory, and the line moves much more quickly.

Read bellevillecruiser's full Vision of the Seas cruise review
Provider: Royal Caribbean International
Member Image HnJCruzrs
1 review
Feb 2014

Must go thru to Pacific Ocean on smaller boat. Great experience!! Food on ferry - not good. Bring some food, long trip.

Read HnJCruzrs's full Coral Princess cruise review
Provider: Princess Cruises
Member Image corke
1 review
Jan 2014

Too slow.
Boring.
Took 9 hours.
Not enough food on the ferry.
The Men's toilet facilities were not acceptable.

Read corke's full Zuiderdam cruise review
Provider: Holland America Line
Member Image LAPH
1 review
Dec 2013

Tour was just OK Colon is horrible Find another port

Read LAPH's full Coral Princess cruise review
Provider: Princess Cruises
Member Image cruiserolina
3 reviews
Not Rated
Oct 2013

Panama Canal: Cruise ship transit through the Gatun Locks was awesome. Because this was just a partial transit, the cruise ship dropped anchor in Gatun Lake. You can only get off the ship onto a tender if you have booked a ship's excursion. At this point, we got off the ship on an excursion which would take us through the rest of the locks to the Pacific Ocean. After getting to shore on the tender, we boarded an air conditioned bus which took us to Gamboa. The bus ride was around an hour. In Gamboa, we boarded a smaller ferry. The ferry transported us across Gatun Lake and through both the Pedro Miguel and the Miraflores locks. We were able to see the new construction of the expanded locks, the Centennial Bridge, and the Bridge of the Americas by taking this tour. The ferry docked at the end of Panama City. Here we boarded an air conditioned bus which transported us back to Colon, Panama, which was about a 1.5 hour bus ride. The ship was docked close to the downtown and the main shopping areas in Colon.
Colon: The ship docked close to downtown late in the day. This was due to the fact that the ship had to go back through the Gatun Locks to the Caribbean, and to pick up the passengers that got off in Gatun Lake for excursions. (All excursions ended up in Colon). In this downtown area, there were numerous shops and restaurants.

Read cruiserolina's full Island Princess cruise review
Provider: Princess Cruises
Member Image ritz1030
1 review
Feb 2013
Hired a driver for private tour for about 15 p.p. very nice, informative, comfy a.c. van, went to Canal for about an hour, that was a nice site. Stopped and saw a yatch club and where the U.S. used to be for military housing. The big disappointment was the center of Colon and its shanty town, that was a gross site, and that the cruise took us on a Sunday which meant the Merchant zone was closed for shopping. Phone calls and internet is super cheap here and easy to find and use. Bought a calling card at the supermarket (super clean) and spoke to the U.S. for 1 hour for a dollar.
Read ritz1030's full Celebrity Equinox cruise review
Provider: Celebrity Cruises
Member Image VAWCB
1 review
Jan 2013
The small boat gave a great prospective to the canal and contrasted nicely with the view we got from the Coral Princess going through the Gatun locks. The guide and his narrative was excellent.
Read VAWCB's full Coral Princess cruise review
Provider: Princess Cruises

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