The Real Panama Canal Full Transit Boat Tour
Please take into consideration that to take the Panama Canal Full Transit Tour, you will need to spend the night before in Panama City as this tour is only available departing from the City on the Pacific Coast.
We will be departing at varying times between 6:00am and 8:00am. We will be traversing the entire Canal including Gatun Lake and finalizing the boat section of the tour in the Atlantic Ocean approximately 10 hours after our departure.
Our exact departure time each day is set by the Panama Canal Transit Authority and we are only notified of this exact time at 4:00pm-5:00pm of the afternoon before your tour.
Once we receive this information from the Canal Authority, we notify, via email, all reserved passengers of the exact tour departure time and the time at which you will need to board the boat. We don´t have the ability to influence the departure time set by the Panama Canal Authority.
Complete Transit Boat Tour. Pacific Area and Locks, Gatún Lake, Chagres River, Atlantic Area and Locks.
- Ocean to Ocean, from the Pacific to the Atlantic (Caribbean).
- Duration: Approximately 10-11 hours.
- Amador Causeway and its islands
- Pacific entrance to the Canal
- Miraflores Locks
- Pedro Miguel Locks
- Continental Divide
- Corte Culebra
- Las Americas Bridge
- Centennial Bridge
- Gatún Lake and its islands
- Chagres River
- Atlantic Area and Locks
Adult Fare: $250 USD per person + 7% government tax.
Child Fare 2-8 years old: $150 USD per person + 7% government tax.
Full Tour by Ship through the Panama Canal
The Panama Canal one of the most astonishing engineering endeavor of all times is awaiting your visit. You´ll be overcome with amazement as you traverse this world-famous canal. Only in Panama will you have the opportunity to travel from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean in approximately 10 hours.
It’s a singular experience that is not available in any other part of the world. The tour begins at the Pacific Ocean entrance to the Canal and concludes at the Caribbean Sea (Atlantic Ocean) at the city of Colon.
Upon arrival at Colon, passengers will disembark the tour boat and will be transported via luxury tour bus back to Panama City, to the exact same point of where they originally departed from all the Amador Causeway. The bus ride from Colon to Panama City takes approximately 1 ½ to 2 hours.
Our tour begins at the Amador Causeway in Panama City. There are three specific points of departure, the three very close to each other. These meeting points are located only 20-30 minutes outside the center of the city and from the principal hotel districts (Avenida Balboa, Punta Pacifica, Paitilla, Banking Area, Marbella, Calle 50, Avenida Perú, Avenida Cuba, Obarrio, Vía España, Vía Argentina, San Francisco, Albrook, El Cangrejo, Bella Vista, Calidonia, Old Town or Casco Viejo).
There are three specific points of departure. All of them located in Amador Causeway. The Flamenco Marina (La Marina de Flamenco), La Playita de Amador, The Balboa Yacht Club. Along with your reservation confirmation we will send details as to exact departure point for your tour boat. With your reservation we will indicate which departure point you need to be at.
Generally the tour departs between 6am and 7am. The exact time is regulated by the Panama Canal Authority. The Panama Canal Authority is who assigns departure times for all craft passing through the Canal. For this reason we request that all passengers on our tours email us the day before the tour in order to re-confirm the exact departure time of your tour boat. This time can vary and it is the Canal Authority who communicates to us, at approximately 4:00pm the day before the tour our assigned departure time. Upon receiving this communication from the Canal Authority we will in turn notify all our passengers of the assigned schedule via email.
In order to participate in the Panama Canal crossing tour you should plan to stay in Panama City the night before as we depart very early in the morning and the day of the tour you need to count on the full day to be able to complete the passage.
Begin in the Pacific Ocean and end in the Atlantic Ocean-Caribbean Sea
The Complete Transit Boat Trip it is the most impressive day trip in Panama, from Ocean to Ocean. The tour boat canal crossing tour begins at the Amador Causeway at the departure point which will be assigned with your tour reservation.
There passengers will board the tour boat in preparation for the canal crossing, from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean in the course of the same day. Only in Panama will you have the privilege of finding both oceans by a mere 80 kilometers (50 miles) at the narrowest part of the Isthmus of Panama.
This is exactly where the Panama Canal is located. On the voyage towards the first set of locks you´ll be able to appreciate the spectacular Bay of Panama and view the impressive skyscrapers of Panama City. We´ll pass under neath the Bridge of the Americas, the bridge that joins North and Central America with South America, and you´ll get a stunning view of the group of islands that serve a natural open ocean barrier protecting the Panama Canal entrance.
The tour boat will traverse the first set of locks, The Miraflores locks, where we will be rise up a total of 18 meters (60 feet) in two steps as you experience how the water elevates the boat above sea level.
The Canal visitor center is located there at Miraflores Locks and it is here that you´ll observe as dozens of curious onlookers watch as you and your boat pass through The Miraflores Locks. We then traverse the Mirraflores Lake which is a quite small fresh-water lake that separates the two sets of locks on the Pacific Side of the Canal.
At the other side of the lake we arrive at the Pedro Miguel locks. At the Pedro Miguel Locks the tour boat will ascend a total of 9 meters (30 feet) in one single step. At the both the Miraflores and the Pedro Miguel locks you´ll have the opportunity to experiment just how the boat is elevated as it is trapped within the confines of the locks which are in effect, huge concrete-walled chambers with sailing gates which allow the sealed chamber to be quickly filled with water until reaching the level required to permit continuing the voyage on to the next section of the canal.
Upon exiting the Pedro Miguel Locks the tour boat will pass through the Corte Culebra where the Chagres Rivers flows into the Canal. The Chagres River is the source of fresh water for the Panama Canal. It is because of this river that the Panama Canal is a fresh water Canal. The Corte Culebra section of the Canal is known by this name because of the similarity of its curves with those of a snake (Corte=Cut.Culebra=Snake).
This is actually one of the most interesting sections of the canal as it was cut through the solid rock formation which constitutes the Continental Divide, giving this section of the canal grand historic and geographic importance. After passing through the Corte Culebra we will travel underneath the second bridge which crosses the Panama Canal, The Puente Centenario (The Centennial Bridge).
At this point you will be able to observe the continued maintenance that this area requires due to its susceptibility to land slides along the Banks of the canal. Minutes later you will have the opportunity to navigate the famous Gatun Lake. For many years this mass of fresh water was known to be the largest artificial lake in the world, and is still one of the largest in all the world. Gatun Lake is fed by the powerful Chagres River which also feeds the entire Panama Canal.
Crossing Gatun Lake feels as if you were crossing the ocean due to the immensity of this body of water. Located throughout the volume of its turquoise – colored, fresh waters you will be able to appreciate dozens of all islands that are home to an impressive diversity of flora and fauna, many of which are only found in this unique habitat.
For this reason Gatun Lake is a site of great importance from an ecological stand point and as such The Smithsonian Institute has its center for tropical investigations located precisely on the Barro Colorado Island.
At this very location scientists have discovered dozens of new species of life that exist exclusively on this island. At this site you will witness how nature and man combine to create one of the most amazing environments on the planet.
Upon arriving at the Caribbean side of the canal our boat will enter the multi-level Gatun Locks where in a series of 3 steps we will descend a total of 26 meters (85 feet) down to the level of the Atlantic ocean. This fascinating lock system is both majestic and awe-inspiring at the same time.
Leaving this final set of locks our boat will navigate on the city of Colon on the Caribbean coast of Panama where we will dock at the cruise ship terminal 6 and all the passengers will disembark.
You will immediately board luxury tour buses for our return trip to Panama City and to the very meeting point where our tour began. Travel time from the city of Colon back to Panama City by tour bus is approximately 1½ to 2 hours.
Included in the Full Transit Tour:
- Bilingual Spanish/ English tour guide narrators.
- Buffet Lunch
- Afternoon Coffee and Snacks in the afternoon
- Water and soft drinks, all you can drink.
What to Bring
- Light Clothes
- Passport or copy
- Comfortable shoes (sneakers or tennis shoes)
- Wide-brimmed hat
- Sun block
- Sun glasses
- Umbrella, cape or others rain protection (Rainy season is May to December)
- Cash for the purchase of souvenirs if you wish
Note: Bar service will be available on the boat. The tour price does not include alcoholic beverages.
It is a truly a unique engineering marvel that must be experienced.