PANAMA CANAL CRUISES

Travelers may disagree on which sites deserve to be considered modern wonders of the world, but the Panama Canal would surely make most short lists. The shipping channel—which took 33 years to complete and cost 25,000 workers their lives—is arguably the greatest engineering project ever. Today, a journey through the canal will take you from the port of Colón on the Atlantic to bustling Panama City on the Pacific. Along the way, you'll find Gatun Lake, once the largest manmade lake in the world, which has proved a boon for Central American species that thrive here, undisturbed by the ships passing by. 

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Top 5 Reasons To Cruise The Panama Canal

Feel your ship rise 85 feet as water fills the locks on the Panama Canal, then listen as your Canal historian shares tales of the incredible engineering feat that divided two continents. Explore the intriguing lands, cultures and peoples of this amazing region. From engineering marvels to exotic wildlife, there's so much to discover.

Wonder of the Modern World

Cruise the famed locks that changed the course of history with a marvel of modern engineering. Secure a spot at the bow as you traverse the locks and listen as your Canal historians expound on the history, culture and wildlife of the region.

Diverse Ports of Call

Our carefully crafted itineraries blend the region’s most popular ports with less-visited gems, such as Puerto Caldera, Coast Rica; Cartagena, Puerto Vallarta; and Oranjestad, Aruba.

Perfectly-Sized Ships

Large enough to offer diverse amenities, yet never crowded, our ships are purposefully designed to accommodate fewer guests so there’s almost always a corner to call your own. You’ll also find coming and going from the ship is easy and convenient.

Exceptional Cuisine & Entertainment

Onboard a team of world-class chefs chart an exciting course and offer the most immersive culinary experience at sea. Evenings offer a variety of exclusive entertainment such as Lincoln Center Stage, B.B. King’s Blues Club & America’s Test Kitchen.

Extraordinary Tours

Our excursions connect you to each fascinating destination. At Gatún Lake, board a motor launch for a one-hour cruise and get a water-level view of the Locks. Or watch for monkeys, toucans and sloths while you kayak through the Gatún islands.

Featured Ports

In Partnership With

Cartagena, Colombia

Its official name is Cartagena de Indias—or "Cartagena of the Indies"—but call it Cartagena for short. The formal name hints at this Colombian city's colonial relationship with Spain; it was founded in 1533 and named after the mother country's Cartagena. Colombia declared independence in 1810, but there's plenty about its fifth-largest city that evokes old Spain, including the impressive fort of Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, and the wall that encloses the old town, one of the few intact structures of its kind in the Americas. Both were considered important enough to inscribe on UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites in 1984.

In Partnership With

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.

Half Moon Cay, Bahamas

The Caribbean is full of tropical wonders. But there’s nothing like Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line’s 2,400-acre private island paradise in the Bahamas. The most authentic, highest-rated private-island experience in the region, Half Moon Cay has won Porthole Cruise Magazine’s Best Private Island award 17 consecutive years, and was also named the best in Travel Weekly's Readers' Choice Awards. One visit and it’s easy to see why Holland America Line guests wish they could stay here forever. Most Caribbean cruises departing from Ft. Lauderdale include a day at Half Moon Cay. Uncrowded and unspoiled, it combines the unparalleled natural beauty of a protected preserve with access to a wide range of amenities and activities. With miles of pristine, white-sand beach, guests can stay busy all day or simply luxuriate in tranquil solitude. Holland America Line acquired this beautiful island more than 20 years ago to create a unique and memorable experience for our Caribbean cruise guests.
In Partnership With

Puerto Caldera (Puntarenas), Costa Rica

One of the stops along the Panama Canal route, Puerto Caldera isn't your ordinary port of call, positioned as it is within easy day-trip distance of the country's multiple national parks. The town itself is small, but makes for an ideal base from which travelers can venture out to explore a variety of outdoor attractions and activities. These include visiting gushing waterfalls and active volcanoes, bird-watching in nature reserves and horseback riding on Pacific beaches. Visitors to the region also enjoy shopping for handicrafts, as well as sampling traditional Tico cuisine, especially gallo pinto—a combination of rice and beans.

In Partnership With

Puerto Chiapas, Mexico

The southernmost port on Mexico’s Pacific coast, Puerto Chiapas is named for the state in which it is located. It is relatively new, built in 1975, and is the primary hub from which the region’s agricultural goods, including coffee, are sent abroad. For travelers arriving by cruise ship, the town of Puerto Chiapas is a jumping-off point to explore surrounding areas, including Tapachula, the second-largest city in the state of Chiapas. In addition to visiting the coffee estates and banana and cacao plantations of the area, day trips include excursions to Maya sites such as Izapa.

In Partnership With

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Unlike some of Mexico’s beach resorts, Puerto Vallarta, on the Pacific Ocean, retains its colonial-era charm. Its town square, Plaza de Armas, and the gorgeous parish church topped with an ornate crown serve as the loveliest representations of bygone ages. Alongside them are an ambitious public art project along the seaside walkway (the malecón) and trendy restaurants. Round these out with outdoor activities on Banderas Bay (whale-watching! snorkeling! jet-skiing!) and a side trip to one of Mexico's pueblos mágicos (magical towns, a designation recognizing smaller towns that possess historical and cultural value), and you'd be hard-pressed to find a more pleasant port.

Featured Excursions

The ultimate journey between two continents and two mighty oceans, a Panama Canal cruise encompasses Spanish colonial architecture, verdant rainforest and an engineering marvel. Learn more about our ports in the region with articles on Cartagena’s graceful Old City and Costa Rica’s exotic Pura Vida Gardens; Antigua, Guatemala, including La Merced, the city’s 250-year-old cathedral; and the storied past of Panama Viejo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And be sure to explore the complex and fascinating history of the Panama Canal.