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Set sail through the Panama Canal and experience one of the world’s most enduring marvels of engineering. The importance of this beautiful waterway cannot be overstated enough. Every year, the canal lock system makes it possible for over 14,000 vessels to make the journey from the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean (or vice versa) within days instead of weeks. And, most every ship built today, be they for transporting goods or people, adheres to the strict dimensions dictated by the Panama Canal Authority.

As we go through this manmade wonder, take note that, due to the curvature of the isthmus, one must travel west to get to the Atlantic Ocean, and east to get to the Pacific side. While we make our way through the canal you’ll experience the canal’s surrounding natural beauty. The area is a sanctuary for sloths, eagles, ocelots and toucans, thanks to a lush rainforest environment and tropical temperatures. Once on the other side of the canal, venture to Colón, one of Panama Canal cruise ports to explore the numerous ecological sites, including Chagres National Park, a 3,000,000-acre rainforest preserve, and the Gamboa Rainforest Preserve, which lies within Soberania National Park.

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