(30) Transiting the Panama Canal
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The Panama Canal is one of the wonders of the modern world. There are two levels of Panama Canal cruises, full and partial transit. Partial transits (usually part of Southern Caribbean cruise itineraries) enter from the Caribbean Sea through the first set of locks, cruise around Lake Gatun and return to the Caribbean through the same locks. Note: Read Path Between the Seas before or during your cruise.
- Best Bet: Cruise the entire 51-mile transit up and over Central America from the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean. Full canal transits are scheduled for daylight hours. Don't miss a minute of the fascinating feat of lifting giant cruise vessels aided by on-shore locomotives (called mules) through first three great locks. Sail across Lake Gatun, through narrow man-made channels carved through rock, dense jungle and exit a second set of locks into the Pacific Ocean. (Cruises also transit the Panama Canal from the Pacific Ocean side to the Caribbean.)
- Best Time: October to April when the weather is not as sweltering.
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