Panama Canal Partial Transit Boat Tour
Partial Crossing by tour boat through the Panama Canal:
- Panama Canal Partial Transit Tour.
- Duration: Approximately 5-6 hours.
- Pacific entrance to the Canal
- Miraflores Locks
- Pedro Miguel Locks
- Continental Divide
- Corte Culebra
- Las Americas Bridge
- Centennial Bridge
- and more.
To take the Panama Canal Partial Transit Tour:
- You should also plan to stay in the city of Panama the night before as we will be departing at varying times between 6:00am and 12:00 noon. Although a 12:00pm departure is very uncommon.
- 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.
Partial Tour by Ship through the Panama Canal
- Adult Fare: $180 USD per person + 7% government tax.
- Child Fare 2-8 years old: $120 USD per person + 7% government tax.
- Infants: 0-1 years old: $40 USD per person + 7% tax.
- The tour begins at Amador Causeway
- 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).
- All of them located in Amador Causeway, with 3 separate boarding points, each very near to the other.
- The Flamenco Marina (La Marina de Flamenco), La Playita de Amador and Casa Club Flamenco Marina.
- At the time of you make your reservation you will be informed as to which one of these three points will be use for the departure of your tour.
- These three points are utilized for both departures ad terminations. The tours always begins and ends at the very same point.
- Generally the tour departs between 6:00 am and 9:00 am.
- 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.
- The day before our departure the Canal Authority will also inform us as to which direction we are to begin the tour, either north or south.
- 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 Partial Transit Tour you should plan to stay in Panama City the night before. As we depart very early in the morning. Therefore, the day of the tour you need to count on the full day to be able to complete the passage.
Partial Transit Boat Tour
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 and on this adventure will you have the opportunity to experience how massive ships are raised and lowered to the level of the Pacific Ocean. All during this tour of approximately 5-6 hours duration. It is a very unique experience that you will not find in any other part of the world.
The tour begins either at The Pacific entrance to the Canal. Or also, at Gamboa in the northern part of the canal. Where you will descend to the south towards the Pacific entrance to the Canal. Regardless of whether you begin your tour at the Pacific entrance and travel north at Gamboa and travel south the adventure is the same.
Your Journey on the Canal
The Panama Canal, one of the world’s engineering marvels. Awaits you in this partial transit voyage through the locks on the Pacific side of the canal, on an approximately 5 to 6 hours journey.
You will navigate the entire Pacific entrance to the Canal. And the locks at Miraflores and Pedro Miguel where you will experience how our boat is either raised above sea level, or lower down to sea level, depending upon our direction of travel.
Sometimes our tour travels from south to north. And sometimes from north tp south according to the instructions we are given by the Canal Authority the day before our scheduled tour.
In whichever case the journey is the same and you will be navigating the world-famous Panama Canal. A voyage south to north entails beginning the tour at the Pacific entrance to the Canal. Traveling north to the area know as Gamboa. North to south entails starting the trip at Gamboa. Specifically at the Panama Canal Authority Dredging Division docks, and traveling to the south. Ending the trip at the pacific entrance to the Panama Canal. This journey is the same whichever direction we travel.
Tour Direction Doesn’t Matter
When the tours begins at the Gamboa, we transport all passengers via luxury tour bus from the confirmed departure point at the Amador Causeway up to Gamboa. Specifically, to the Panama Canal Authority Dredging Division facilities dock.
The tour bus transfer takes approximately 45 minutes. Once arriving in Gamboa, all passengers will board the tour boat to begin our voyage along the Panama Canal.
For the alternate tour direction we will be boarding the tour boat at the dock located adjacent to the pre-confirmed departure point on the Amador Causeway. Concluding our tour boat voyage at the Dredging Division docks at Gamboa. Once arriving at Gamboa all passengers will disembark the tour boat. And immediately board our luxury tour buses for the transfer back to the original, established departure point.
Panama Canal Partial Transit Tour. Pacific Area and Locks
When the tour boat journey begins at the north we depart from Gamboa. Which is located at the northern entrance to the Corte Culebra. 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 also the point in the Canal where the Chagres River flows into the Canal. 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.
The giant Chagres River feeds fresh water to maintain the Canal operation. By the way, our tour boat will traverse the entire 14 kilometers which comprise this unique section of the Canal on our way to the locks at Pedro Miguel. There, at Pedro Miguel, you will observe the entrance to the newly inaugurated third set of locks on the Canal. Through which the post-panamax mega-ships now pass.
Entering the Pedro Miguel Lock
Before arriving at the Pedro Miguel locks at the southern end of the cut you will pass underneath the modern Centennial Bridge which crosses over the Canal.
Once in the locks at Pedro Miguel our boat will descend 9 meters (30 feet) down to the level of Miraflores Lake which begins on the exit side of the locks. Miraflores is a small freshwater lake which separates the two sets of locks on the Pacific side of the Canal. After crossing Miraflores lake we will arrive at The Miraflores locks where we will descend a total of 18 meters (60 feet) in two steps.
Exiting the final set of locks at Miraflores we will be at sea level of the Pacific Ocean. You will have the opportunity to experience just how our boat descends. While being enclosed within the confines of the locks as the trapped water is slowly released into the Pacific Ocean.
To the point where we end up at the same level as the ocean-side waters. It is truly an experience of engineering mastery at work that is not to be missed.
At Miraflores you will also experience the feeling of being observed by dozens of curious onlookers. As the watch our boat pass through the locks from the Visitor’s Center alongside. Leaving the locks at Miraflores we will continue sailing towards the Pacific Ocean.
Stunning views of the Bay
Along the way we will pass underneath the historic Las Americas Bridge. This bridge has a length of 1.6 kilometers (1 mile). The Las Americas Bridge, along with the Centennial Bridge, are what effectively join North and Central America with south America.
As we pass through the Pacific entrance to the Canal out into Panama Bay you will notice the formidable skyscrapers the fill the skyline over Panama City.
Likewise, we´ll get an excellent view of the group of island outside the bay which form a natural protection for the Canal entrance. Our tour boat will sail on the either the Flamenco Marina, La Playita or Casa Club Flamenco Marina. Wherever our tour began when we boarded the tour buses hours earlier. We always end at the very same point where we began the tour.
Recommendation For After The Tour
- As an option you may wish to take advantage of the time after our tour concludes to visit more of the Amador Causeway.
- It is a spectacular boardwalk which connects 3 islands, offers a variety of different restaurants, bars and open areas where you can walk and / or just relax.
- You’ll enjoy extraordinary views of Panama City. And the entrance to the Panama Canal as well as some resplendent sunsets out over the Pacific Ocean.
- It is a very popular touristic zone ensuring your ease and convenience when it’s time to catch a taxi cab back to your hotel.
Included in the Panama Canal Partial Transit Tour:
- Bilingual Spanish/ English tour guide narrators.
- Breakfast (Depends on departure time, between 6am and 7am).
- 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.