Travellers who want to transit the lakes and locks of the Panama Canal will have eight Holland America Line ships and 19 cruises to choose from between autumn 2017 and spring 2018. In addition to the full transits, ms Zuiderdam will offer two Southern Caribbean & Panama Canal Sunfarer itineraries that feature a partial transit through the Panama Canal, making 35 cruises in total.
With transits ranging from 14 to 23 days, Holland America Line provides guests more ways to experience the famous waterway than any other premium cruise line. During the 2017–18 season, Holland America Line’s full and partial transits will carry more than 400,500 guests through the Central American man-made marvel.
“The Panama Canal is among the greatest engineering feats of our time, and one of the most popular longer itineraries we feature,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “There’s no better way to become more immersed in the world than by experiencing something like the Panama Canal, where history comes to life as you witness up close what it took to connect these two oceans. Everyone should transit the Panama Canal at least once in their lifetime.”
See two oceans on full Panama Canal transit
From September 2017 through to May 2018, ms Amsterdam, ms Eurodam, ms Maasdam, ms Nieuw Amsterdam, ms Oosterdam, ms Westerdam and ms Zaandam will make 19 transits between the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean from five departure cities. Guests can set sail from Boston, Mass.; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; San Diego and San Francisco, California; and Vancouver, British Columbia. Cruise rates start at £1,199pp for a 16-night Panama Canal cruise onboard ms Eurodam departing from San Francisco on 20 October 2017 and ending in Ft Lauderdale. Fly/cruise fares are available on request.
In addition to visiting the Panama Canal, the 14- to 23-day cruises include a variety of port calls along the way. On the full transits the guests will visit destinations in Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua and the Caribbean. Additionally, most sailings visit Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line’s award-winning private Bahamian island known for its pristine beaches, exciting shore excursions, exclusive beach cabanas and child-friendly activities.
Aruba, Bahamas and the Panama Canal on partial transits
In addition to the full transits, Zuiderdam will make 16 partial transits between November 2017 and April 2018. The 10- and 11-day Southern Caribbean & Panama Canal Sunfarer itineraries include an exploration of the Canal’s Gatún Lake and a combination of Southern Caribbean calls in Aruba, Bonaire, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curaçao, Grand Cayman, Panama and Half Moon Cay. Cruise rates start at £939pp for a 10-night cruise departing 26 November 2017. Fly/cruise fares are available on request.
Explorations Central (EXC) brings Panamanian culture on board
Throughout the voyages, EXC programming brings Panama’s local traditions, culinary tastes and cultural experiences to life on board. Through EXC Encounters, guests can practice their language skills, find out about local customs, or enjoy the simple pleasure of storytelling. Those who want to learn more can attend an EXC Talk where a Panama Canal expert recounts the history and drama of constructing the famous waterway. A Panamanian market on the Lido Deck is a highlight of the voyage where guests can indulge in regional delicacies such as empanadas, arroz con pollo, ropa vieja and pastel de tres leches.
The EXC team will provide further customized guidance for the port calls, and online EXC Port Planners in partnership with AFAR Media offer exclusive tips and information for each destination. The in-stateroom EXC Channel will feature a selection of curated films, documentaries and TV shows exploring destinations on the ship’s itinerary.