Think outside the locks
Transiting the Panama Canal vaults you into the highest category of world travelers. But a Holland America Line Panama Canal cruise is much more than a trip through the locks. It's a walk along the ramparts of a Spanish castle in Cartagena. It's an afternoon mulling ancient ruins in Puerto Chiapas, Mexico. It's a hike in the Costa Rican rainforest, where life teems with colors as vivid as a patisserie.
Holland America Line can take you to the canal in more ways than any other cruise line. Cruise eastbound or westbound. Go in the fall, spring or during the holidays. Take a brief cruise, exploring the canal’s colossal set of locks at Gatún. Or take a longer transit, with itineraries that stop in the Caribbean and Central and South America.
Throughout your cruise enjoy a premium onboard experience featuring our Greenhouse Spa & Salon, Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine Magazine, Exploration Café powered by The New York Times, Digital Workshop powered by Windows®. Feed your curiosity at our Exploration Speaker Series, which features experts on the history of the canal and the art, culture and wildlife of the region. All this, plus our award winning 5-star service and
Whether you choose our Sunfarer cruises or our longer Collectors’ Voyage, Holland America Line has the perfect Panama Canal cruise vacation to satisfy your interests, schedule and budget. Ready when you are, with over 60 sailings, five luxurious ships and six convenient home ports.
Cruise to Cartagena
Privateers loved Cartagena, the chief Spanish port in New Granada (today's Colombia). Sir John Hawkins besieged the city in 1568 and his nephew, Sir Francis Drake, sacked it 18 years later. In response, Spain poured millions into the port's defense, building the fortifications that are today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town the walls protected is also part of that World Heritage designation. Cruise visitors can walk those deeply textured alleyways today through some of the best-preserved colonial neighborhoods of the Americas. When you're ready for a change, there are beaches ready to hand. Bocagrande is busy and close to the city. Playa Blanca is south across the bay and quieter. Both are lovely.
Shore Excursion Highlights
Cruise to Fuerte Amador
Fort Amador was one of the U.S. installations that guarded the southern end of the Panama Canal, just below the Bridge of the Americas. The other was Fort Grant, which covered several small islands just offshore. Today, the Amador area is a southern suburb of Panama City, gateway to the canal, and a travel destination in its own right. Cruise visitors shouldn't miss the shopping and dining on Flamengo Island, the Frank Gehry-designed Museum of Biodiversity (once its complete), and Panama City's UNESCO World Heritage site, which includes Panama Viejo and Casco Viejo.
Shore Excursion Highlights
- Miraflores Locks by Night: Watch the big ships pass through and explore the visitors center's four exhibition halls.
- Aerial Tram and Ecological Encounter: Travel into the upper forest canopy of Soberania National Park.
- Monkey Watch & Canal Nature Cruise: Take a high-speed ride to Gatun Lake, then slow down to look for capuchins, howler monkeys, sloths, and other animals.
Cruise to Half Moon Cay
While Holland America Line is committed to keeping 98 percent of its pristine private island wild, Half Moon Cay offers everything you need for a day of play on your Caribbean cruise. Park yourself in an air-conditioned cabana along a two-mile crescent of blinding white beach. Visit Stingray Cove to feed and learn more about the gentle creatures. Ride your horse to a deserted beach and into the surf. Or, take your kids to Half Moon Lagoon, island's aqua park and children's playground. Part of the Bahamas, Half Moon Cay lies about 100 miles southeast of Nassau and is visited on nearly every Caribbean itinerary.
Shore Excursion Highlights
- Horseback Riding by Land & Sea: Head to the high point of the cay on horseback before a brisk ride in the surf.
- Aqua Trax Adventure: Get on a personal watercraft for a tour of the island, then test your skills on an obstacle course.
- Deep-Sea Fishing: The waters around the cay teem with wahoo, snapper, grouper and other fish. Catch (and release) them.
Cruise to Puerto Caldera
It's hard to throw a stick in Costa Rica and not have it hit a national park. The city of Puerto Caldera, on Costa Rica's Pacific coast, has a number of them within easy reach for cruise visitors. Just to the south, Carara is a mecca for birders, especially those chasing the scarlet macaw. Poas Volcano is inland, and rises to nearly 9,000 feet. See it before it blows again. Barra Honda contains a series of limestone caves. Palo Verde preserves one of the last tropical dry rainforests in Central America. Arenal has the most active volcano in the country. Tapanti contains species of orchids discovered only in 2009. Grab your hiking boots and a pair of binoculars. It's all a feast, wherever you go.
Shore Excursion Highlights
- Canopy Tour & Aerial Tram Combination: Get the rainforest immersion and the adrenaline of 10 zip lines.
- Costa Rica's Countryside & Coffee Experience: See what goes into brewing a great cup of coffee at Espíritu Santo Coffee plantation.
- Sky Walk in the Forest: A memorable walk along trails and bridges through the forest.
Cruise to Puerto Chiapas
Puerto Chiapas is the Pacific gateway to the Mayan world. Just north of the Guatemalan border on southern Mexico's Pacific Coast, the port is the starting point for excursions to the ruins at Izapa. Founded around 1500 BCE, Izapa is noted for its large, intricately carved "Tree of Life" stone. Nearer port, explore San Cristobal de Las Casas cathedral, journey to a rainforest, or shop for local handicrafts like stone carvings or colorful textiles. Or, simply wander the beaches and take in the untamed and exotic surroundings.
Shore Excursion Highlights
- Argovia Express: Coffee Tasting & Botanical Garden: Head into the Sierra Madres for a visit to one of the oldest coffee producers in the region.
- Banana Plantation & Rural Community: Get a deeper understanding of the local people and landscape.
- Mangrove Boat Ride & Bird Watching: See a profusion of bird life inside a nature reserve.
Cruise to Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta squeezed into the thin space between Banderas Bay and the verdant folds of the Sierra Madre. It's no longer the well-kept secret of the artists, writers and Hollywood stars who first "discovered" it in the 1960s, but "PV" (as it is affectionately known) still retains the essence of the fishing village it once was. Viejo Vallarta, the old town, is a mix of red-tiled buildings, cobbled streets, chic shops and busy open markets. Other highlights include Mismaloya Beach, Gringo Gulch, and Conchas Chinas, the Beverly Hills of Vallarta. Head inland for more adventure, up into the rugged canyons and luxuriant jungles of the mountains.
Shore Excursion Highlights
Explore Hotel/ Tour Packages
Holland America Line's Cancellation Protection Plan (CPP) is available for purchase on Holland America Line Cruises and CruiseTours, and is offered as a Standard Plan or a Platinum Plan. CPP is designed to protect your vacation investment from loss. Be it illness, family matters, unforeseen work events - anything, CPP is a product that enables you to cancel your vacation plans before you leave, for any reason and receive a refund.
Four reasons to choose the Holland America Line Cancellation Protection Plan:
- YOU CAN CANCEL BEFORE DEPARTURE FOR ANY REASON. Even if it's up to 24 hours before departure under our Standard Plan or right up to departure with our Platinum Plan. For any reason whatsoever, your reservation may be cancelled with ease.
- YOU GET MONEY BACK. Only Holland America Line refunds 80-90% of eligible amounts paid, regardless of your reason for canceling, as long as you cancel more than 24 hours prior to departure (right up to departure with the Platinum Plan).
- SAME PRICE FOR ALL AGES. We offer the same excellent protection for everyone, at the same cost.
- NO PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS. Our Standard and Platinum Plans do not contain pre-existing condition exclusions.
Our Standard and Platinum plans at a glance
Unforeseen events do happen. When you book your next cruise, be sure to ask about our Cancellation Protection Plans to protect your cruise investment.
CPP Standard Plan – Provided by Holland America Line
Our Standard Cancellation Protection Plan (CPP Standard Plan) will allow you, for any reason, to provide written cancellation up to 24 hours prior to the start of your scheduled travel (sea, land and/or air) arrangements made by Holland America Line and receive a refund equal to 80% of the eligible amounts paid. CPP Standard is available to all guests, regardless of residency.
In addition, Holland America Line (HAL) automatically assumes an additional $500 (USD) of liability for lost, damaged or delayed baggage of guests who purchase the CPP Standard Plan still subject, however, to the limitations in our baggage policies. For example, we do not cover losses while baggage is in the custody of airlines. Please review our Baggage Policy.
The CPP Standard Plan is not insurance, and is administered by Holland America Line; it provides no rights other than those explained above. For example, it does not protect double-triple-quad occupancy rates should one or more members of your party cancel, nor does it cover expenses or unused services due to trip interruption.
Our Platinum Cancellation Protection Plan enables you to supplement the benefits provided under the CPP Standard Plan with higher cancellation reimbursement and extends the eligible cancellation period up until the start of your scheduled travel (sea, land and/or air) arrangements made by Holland America Line. CPP Platinum also provides insurance coverage for trip delays and interruptions, medical expenses and much more. In addition, CPP Platinum includes 24-hour worldwide emergency assistance services. CPP Platinum is comprised of the following:
Cancel for Any Reason Waiver
Provided by Holland America Line
You may cancel for any reason prior to the start of your scheduled travel (sea, land and/or air) arrangements made by Holland America Line and receive reimbursement equal to 90% of the eligible amounts paid to Holland America. Note: CPP Platinum does not protect double-triple-quad occupancy rates should one or more members of your party cancel prior to departure.
TRAVEL INSURANCE PROGRAM
Underwritten by Stonebridge Casualty Insurance Company
- Trip Interruption: Enables you to cancel or interrupt your cruise vacation for illness, injury or death to you, an immediate family member or a traveling companion, as well as certain other non-medical reasons affecting you or your traveling companion, and receive up to 150% of your cruise vacation cost.
- Trip Delay: If you miss the departure of your cruise due to carrier-caused delays or other specified reasons, you will be reimbursed up to $500 for additional accommodations, meals and “catch-up” transportation expenses.
- Baggage Protection: If your baggage or personal property is lost or damaged, you will be reimbursed up to $1,000. If your bags are delayed or misdirected by a common carrier for more than 24 hours, you will be reimbursed up to $500 for the purchase of necessary personal effects.
- Medical Expense Coverage: Should you become injured or sick during your vacation, you will be reimbursed up to $10,000 for medical expenses.
- Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation: In the event that serious illness or injury requires air or ground transportation to a specialized facility or to return home, you will be provided up to $50,000 in covered medical services and supplies (coordinated by our 24-hour assistance provider) to help ensure your safe transport. Repatriation coverage provides for shipment of remains in the event of death during the cruise vacation.
The Travel Insurance Program is underwritten by Stonebridge Casualty Insurance Company, a Transamerica company, Columbus, Ohio; NAIC #10952 (all states except as otherwise noted) under Policy/Certificate Form series TAHC5000. In CA, HI, NE, NH, PA, TN and TX Policy/Certificate Form series TAHC5100 and TAHC5200. In IL, IN, KS, LA, OR, OH, VT, WA and WY Policy Form #'s TAHC5100IPS and TAHC5200IPS. Certain coverages are under series TAHC6000 and TAHC7000.
WORLDWIDE EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE SERVICES
Provided by On Call International
Provides 24-hour assistance services including: pre-cruise health, safety and weather information; assistance with travel changes; lost luggage assistance; emergency cash transfer assistance; emergency medical and dental assistance; lost travel document assistance; and emergency medical payment assistance.
IMPORTANT: This is only a brief description of the program. Please refer to the link below for a summary of the terms, conditions, and exclusions. Note that the benefits and services provided in CPP Platinum are available only to guests who enroll in and pay the appropriate program cost to Holland America Line. Please note that payment of the required cruise deposit does not automatically activate enrollment in CPP Platinum Protection. In order to activate enrollment, you must pay the appropriate program costs in addition to the required cruise deposit amount. The CPP Standard and CPP Platinum Plans are optional and are available for purchase prior to the date on which cancellation fees begin to accrue. Payment for the plan is due at time of purchase and is non-refundable. The per person, per cruise costs for both plans are listed with the cruise fares. To add our Cancellation Protection Standard or Platinum Plan to your new or existing cruise booking, please call us at 1-877-932-4259.
This program was designed and is administered by Aon Affinity Berkely Travel. Aon Affinity, is the brand name for the brokerage and program administration operations of Affinity Insurance Services, Inc.; (AR 244489); in CA, MN & OK , AIS Affinity Insurance Agency, Inc. (CA 0795465); in CA, Aon Affinity Insurance Services, Inc., (0G94493), Aon Direct Insurance Administrators and Berkely Insurance Agency and in NY and NH, AIS Affinity Insurance Agency. Affinity Insurance Services is acting as a Managing General Agent as that term is defined in section 626.015(14) of the Florida Insurance Code. As a MGA we are acting on behalf of our carrier partner.
For New York residents only: The Holland America Cancel For Any Reason Waiver may be purchased separately from the Travel Insurance Program. Contact 1-877-538-3815 for details.
This plan provides insurance coverage that applies only during the covered trip. You may have coverage from other sources that provides you with similar benefits but may be subject to different restrictions depending upon your other coverages. You may wish to compare the terms of this policy with your existing life, health, home and automobile policies. If you have any questions about your current coverage, call your insurer, insurance agent or broker.