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Panama Canal & Central America Cruises

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

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16 Night
Cruise to Panama Canal & Central America

Leaving:
Los Angeles
Visiting:
Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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DAY 1: Miami

12 Night
Cruise to Panama Canal & Central America

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Great Stirrup Cay, Cartagena ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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DAY 1: Miami

16 Night
Cruise to Panama Canal & Central America

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Falmouth, Cartagena ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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DAY 1: New York

14 Night
Cruise to Panama Canal & Central America

Leaving:
New York
Visiting:
Puerto Plata, Curacao ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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11 Night
Cruise to Panama Canal & Central America

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Cartagena, Gatun Lake ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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14 Night
Cruise to Panama Canal & Central America

Leaving:
Los Angeles
Visiting:
Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Quetzal ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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9 Night
Cruise to Panama Canal & Central America

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Puerto Plata, Curacao ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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17 Night
Cruise to Panama Canal & Central America

Leaving:
San Francisco
Visiting:
San Diego, Cabo San Lucas ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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Cruise Critic Favorite

8 Night
Cruise to Panama Canal & Central America

Leaving:
Tampa
Visiting:
Puerto Limon, Panama Canal ...
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Cruise Line:
Carnival Cruise Line
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15 Night
Cruise to Panama Canal & Central America

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Cartagena, Panama Canal ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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12 Night
Cruise to Panama Canal & Central America

Leaving:
Panama City
Visiting:
Panama Canal, Puntarenas ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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14 Night
Cruise to Panama Canal & Central America

Leaving:
Galveston
Visiting:
Montego Bay, Aruba ...
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Cruise Line:
Carnival Cruise Line
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9 Night
Cruise to Panama Canal & Central America

Leaving:
Panama City
Visiting:
Panama Canal, Puerto Limon ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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16 Night
Cruise to Panama Canal & Central America

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Cartagena, Colon ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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11 Night
Cruise to Panama Canal & Central America

Leaving:
Tampa
Visiting:
Cozumel, Puerto Limon ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to Panama Canal & Central America

Leaving:
New Orleans
Visiting:
Montego Bay, Aruba ...
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Cruise Line:
Carnival Cruise Line
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8 Night
Cruise to Panama Canal & Central America

Leaving:
Panama City
Visiting:
Gatun Lake, Puerto Limon ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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11 Night
Cruise to Panama Canal & Central America

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
Aruba, Bonaire ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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17 Night
Cruise to Panama Canal & Central America

Leaving:
Galveston
Visiting:
Santa Marta, Cartagena ...
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Cruise Line:
Carnival Cruise Line
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18 Night
Cruise to Panama Canal & Central America

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Key West, Grand Cayman ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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15 Night
Cruise to Panama Canal & Central America

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
Cartagena, Colon ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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12 Night
Cruise to Panama Canal & Central America

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Bonaire, Curacao ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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Cruise Critic Favorite

15 Night
Cruise to Panama Canal & Central America

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
Cartagena, Colon ...
see more
Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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17 Night
Cruise to Panama Canal & Central America

Leaving:
Seattle
Visiting:
Cabo San Lucas, Huatulco ...
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Cruise Line:
Carnival Cruise Line
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15 Night
Cruise to Panama Canal & Central America

Leaving:
San Diego
Visiting:
Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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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.



Top Panama Canal & Central America Cruise Ships

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