Cruisers ranked Holland America Line first in the Panama Canal at the 2019 Cruise Critic’s Awards. One reason: authentic excursions that connect you to this fascinating country, like paddling a kayak in Gatún Lake or visiting an Embera Indian village deep in the rainforest. Whether your Holland America Line ship calls in Gatún Lake or Fuerte Amador, you’re free to wander Panama’s Old Town, explore Frank Gehry’s Biomuseum, ride the isthmus railroad, or take a motorlaunch up close to the Locks.

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Fuerte Amador, Panama

Located west of Panama City at the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal, Fuerte Amador is a gateway to exploring the many faces of this unique Central American country. The impressive engineering of the canal itself is a wonder to behold; a quick trip to the Miraflores Locks' visitor center with its panoramic observation decks offers the chance to watch behemoth barges thread their way through the legendary manmade waterway. Just minutes from the cruise port, the recently opened Biomuseo is a Frank Gehry–designed natural-history museum dedicated to Panama's ecological marvels. And Fuerte Amador sits within easy taxi distance of Panama City.