Starting this fall and through spring 2016, you can join one of six Holland America Line ships that will sail 11 full transits of the Panama Canal or embark on one of their ships that offers 14 itineraries featuring both the southern Caribbean and partial transits. With cruises ranging from 10 to 22 days, Holland America Line provides guests more in-depth ways to experience the Panama Canal than any other cruise line. In the 2015-16 season, the combined full and partial transits will carry more than 44,500 guests through the lakes and locks of the man-made marvel.
Go Between Oceans on a Full Panama Canal Transit
From September 2015 through May 2016, ms Amsterdam, ms Maasdam, ms Nieuw Amsterdam, ms Oosterdam, ms Veendam, and ms Westerdam will make 11 transits between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans from six departure cities. Guests can set sail from Boston, Mass.; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; San Diego and San Francisco, Calif.; Seattle, Wash.; and Vancouver, British Columbia. In addition to the Panama Canal transit, the 14- to 22-day cruises include a variety of port calls along the way, making each voyage all the more enriching. On the full transits the ships visit destinations in Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and the Caribbean, along with Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line’s award-winning private Bahamian island.
Partial transits include the ‘ABC’ Islands
Besides the full transits, ms Zuiderdam will make 14 partial transits between November 2015 and April 2016. The 10- and 11-day “Panama Canal Sunfarer” itineraries include an exploration of the canal’s Gatún Lake and a combination of southern Caribbean calls in Aruba, Bonaire, Columbia, Costa Rica, Curaçao, Grand Cayman, Panama, and Half Moon Cay.
Go ‘On Location’ in the Panama Canal
On each Panama Canal cruise, guests can enjoy the On Location enrichment program that brings local experiences onto the ships through lectures, presentations, cuisine and entertainment. Guests can learn to weave with palm fronds during Caribbean sea days; and while the ship is in the Panama Canal an expert historian recounts the history and drama of constructing the famous waterway. A Panamanian market and buffet 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.
Photos © Linda Coffman