It has long been considered one of engineering's most incredible feats, and travelers looking to check a Panama Canal cruise off their bucket list will have 32 Holland America Line sailings to choose from between September 2019 and May 2020. Seven ships will offer 16 unique itineraries, including full transits ranging from 14 to 23 days, as well as 10- and 11-day partial transits that also include southern Caribbean cruising.
While the Panama Canal transit is the centerpiece of the voyage, guests also have the opportunity to explore noteworthy ports throughout the Mexican Riviera, Central America and the beautiful Caribbean. Depending on the itinerary, guests can visit the lush rain forests of Costa Rica's Puerto Caldera; indulge in some leisurely beach combing on warm, sunny Aruba; discover ancient Maya artifacts in Puerto Corinto's archaeological museum; or marvel at the great Maya stone temples of Tikal from Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala.
"Transiting the Panama Canal deeply resonates with any explorer because of the sheer magnitude and power of the experience, and we offer travelers a variety of itinerary choices with a robust season across seven premium ships," said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. "The sensation of being raised and lowered through the Canal's legendary locks is inspiring, and whether our guests do it on a full transit from ocean to ocean or a partial through Gatún, it really is one of the world's greatest modern wonders."
Witness Two Oceans in One Cruise on a Full Panama Canal Transit
From September 2019 through May 2020, Amsterdam, Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Oosterdam, Rotterdam and Volendam will make 16 transits between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans from three departure cities. Guests can conveniently sail to or from Fort Lauderdale, Florida; San Diego, California; or Vancouver, British Columbia.
Each itinerary includes a diverse collection of ports along with the exploration of the Panama Canal. On full transits, guests will visit cities in Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua and islands in the Caribbean. In addition, some of the sailings include a visit to Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line's award-winning private island in the Bahamas known for its pristine beaches, engaging family activities, exciting shore excursions and exclusive beach cabanas.
Explore the Caribbean and Central America on a Partial Transit
In addition to the full transits, Zuiderdam and Eurodam will make 16 partial transits between October 2019 and April 2020. Conveniently cruising roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, the 10- and 11-day Panama Canal Sunfarer itineraries include an exploration of the Canal's Gatún Lake with a combination of southern Caribbean calls in Aruba, Curaçao, Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama and Half Moon Cay.
Panama Canal Comes to Life with Explorations Central Immersive Travel
Throughout the cruises, EXC programming brings the region's local traditions, culinary tastes and cultural experiences to life on board. Guests who want to learn more about the region can attend an EXC Talk or head to an EXC Port to Table cooking demonstration or wine pairing event. The Dining Room and Lido Market also will showcase the flavors of the region.
During the transit, a local expert is on board providing commentary on the history and building of the Canal. For an up-close view, Holland America Line's spacious open bow observation area gives guests a great platform to watch all the action of a Panama Canal transit, from workers on shore to the electric mules to our hard-at-work crew members.
Panama Canal cruises feature a diverse selection of Shore EXCursions that allow guests to immersively experience each port of call. Tours focus on culture, history, nature, architecture, adventure, culinary topics and family outings. Exclusive culinary-themed Shore EXCursions in partnership with FOOD & WINE magazine showcase the regions' food scenes from a local perspective.
Panama Canal cruise fares start at $949 for a partial-transit Sunfarer itinerary and $1,349 for a full transit departure. Fares are per person, double occupancy, and taxes, fees and port expenses are additional. Several Panama Canal sailings are eligible for Holland America Line's Oceans of Extras promotion, where travelers looking to plan ahead for next year can take advantage of up to a $600 shipboard credit, depending on the stateroom booked. Suite guests also receive a $100 beverage card and a Signature Dining Package including dinner in the Pinnacle Grill and Canaletto. Guests receive all benefits when booking a stateroom on an eligible cruise by June 30, 2019.
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