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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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We found you 108 cruises

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Norwegian Joy
Norwegian Joy (Photo: Norwegian Cruise Line)

15 Night
Repo - Panama CanalDetails

327 Reviews
Leaving:Los Angeles
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Jan 6, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Norwegian Sun
Norwegian Sun

20 Night
Repo - Panama CanalDetails

2,082 Reviews
Leaving:Seattle
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Oct 11, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Norwegian Joy
Norwegian Joy (Photo: Norwegian Cruise Line)

15 Night
Panama Canal - MiamiDetails

327 Reviews
Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Jan 21, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite
Eurodam
Eurodam

20 Night
Panama CanalDetails

1,137 Reviews
Leaving:Vancouver
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Oct 9, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Virgin Voyages

12 Night
Repo - Panama CanalDetails

2,295 Reviews
Leaving:Colon
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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12 Night
Repo - Panama CanalDetails

2,295 Reviews
Leaving:Los Angeles
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Nov 12, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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15 Night
Repo - Panama CanalDetails

1,252 Reviews
Leaving:Los Angeles
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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11 Night
Panama Canal - MiamiDetails

2,332 Reviews
Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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15 Night
Panama Canal Eastbound CruiseDetails

1,679 Reviews
Leaving:San Diego
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises
Sep 30, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite

14 Night
Panama Canal CruiseDetails

1,202 Reviews
Leaving:Los Angeles
Cruise Line:Royal Caribbean International
Oct 20, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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14 Night
Panama CanalDetails

528 Reviews
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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15 Night
Panama Canal Westbound CruiseDetails

1,679 Reviews
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises
Apr 21, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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14 Night
Repo - Panama CanalDetails

327 Reviews
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Dec 4, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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11 Night
Panama Canal & S. CaribbeanDetails

638 Reviews
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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21 Night
Repo - Panama CanalDetails

273 Reviews
Leaving:Seattle
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Oct 23, 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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