World Cruise Wednesday Day 5: Historic Panama Canal

Updated: Aug 23, 2021

We left Caragena, Columbia in late afternoon. Why so early? Because we have an important place to go to and we need as much daylight as possible so you can truly take it in. For we are going to be spending the day doing the full transit of; The Panama, Canal.


It will take around 8 hours to travel this amazing 50 mile waterway that links the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans The canal was completed in 1914 and was a long time dream of Balboa after he first crossed the Isthmus of Panama and had sight of the Pacific in 1513.

Ferdinand de Lesseps and the French Canal company first undertook this monumental task in 1880, but were defeated by disease, lack of money, and engineering problems. The French sold their claim to the area to the United States for $40 million, at a $247 million loss on their investment. The United States began construction in 1904, and were able to completing the project in 10 years at a cost of $387 million. The United States did oversee the operation of the Panama Canal up until December 31, 1999, when the Republic of Panama assumed responsibility. The Panamanian government controls the canal through the Panama Canal Authority, an independent government agency created for the purpose of managing the canal.

couples on princess cruise ship crossing the Panama Canal


This is where you stateroom choice is key! If you've chosen a balcony, it allows you to sit outside a breathtaking sunrise as you start your journey through the locks. Maybe take breakfast out there too! Then head to the front of the ship for an informative talk on the history of the canal.

Our journey through the locks is complete just in time for supper. We have a day at sea before we head to our next port, Puntarenas, Costa Rica.

Happy cruising!

- Karen Cordes, CTC

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