Between fall 2017 and spring 2018, travelers hoping to cruise through two different oceans while exploring the lakes and locks of the Panama Canal can choose among eight different Holland America Line ships and 19 full-transit cruises. Two Southern Caribbean & Panama Canal Sunfarer itineraries with partial transit through the Canal are also available aboard the ms Zuiderdam. Transit time across these many cruises ranges from 14 to 23 days, and Holland America Line anticipates carrying more than 400,500 guests through Central America during this time.
As one might expect with the Panama Canal’s geography, guests can set sail from a variety of North American ports, including Boston, Massachusetts, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, San Diego and San Francisco, California and Vancouver, British Columbia. The Holland America Line ships making these transits are the ms Amsterdam, ms Eurodam, ms Maasdam, ms Nieuw Amsterdam, ms Oosterdam, ms Westerdam and ms Zaandam. Cruise rates begin at $1,199.
Full transit guests will also make port calls in Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua and the Caribbean, including Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line’s private island in the Bahamas. At these stops, guests can enjoy beaches, shore excursions, cabanas and child-friendly activities.
The 16 partial transit trips made by the ms Zuiderdam will explore the Canal’s Gatún Lake as well as a combination of southern Caribbean calls in Aruba, Bonaire, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curaçao, Grand Cayman, Panama and Half Moon Cay. Partial transit trips will last 10 to 11 days, and their rates start at $1,099.
During these voyages, Holland America Line’s Explorations Central (EXC) programming infuses the experience with Panama’s local traditions, cuisine and cultural experiences. Guests are encouraged to practice their language skills, learn about local customs and attend an EXC Talk, where an expert on the Panama Canal recounts the history of the Canal’s construction. On the Lido Deck, voyagers can try a number of regional delicacies from a Panamanian market, such as empanadas, arroz con pollo, ropa vieja and pastel de tres leches.
The EXC team also provides customized guidance for port call excursions as well as tips and information for each destination. For more information, visit hollandamerica.com.