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The Panama Canal is one of the marvels of the world that isn’t as complicated to experience as you may think, particularly if you live on the west coast of the United States. This is because you don’t need a long international flight to get there if you can drive (or get a quick flight) to California. And once in Panama, you don’t need to figure out how to coordinate a boat ride through the canal or be stuck watching the famous lock system from the sidelines on land. You’ll already be sailing through it. How is this so easily possible? With a Panama Canal cruise that leaves from California.

A Panama Canal Cruise from California

Panama Canal cruises with Celebrity Cruises are typically one way cruise itineraries that leave from San Diego, Los Angeles, or San Francisco. The cruise sails through the Panama Canal with many stops along the way and typically ends in Fort Lauderdale, Florida (occasionally Miami). This means you only have one flight to have to worry about coordinating: an easy flight back home to the west coast that Celebrity Cruises can help you book and arrange transportation to the airport for. (Or, if you prefer, you can fly to Florida and take the Panama Canal cruise back to California.)

Port of Calls on a Panama Canal Cruise

The ports of call your cruise may stop at between California and Florida include several Central and South American countries, giving you a taste of many different cultures during your cruise. Here are the stops and popular activities you can do in each one.

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico – Spend the day in port lounging by the beach or exploring Cabo’s famous rock arch via a sailboat ride.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – See the beautiful sights of Carara National Park on a hike or take an aerial tram through the rainforest.

Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala – Take a walking tour around the nearby city of Antigua and learn about the Spanish colonial architecture or visit a coffee estate.

Puntarenas, Costa Rica – Fly over tree tops ziplining or explore the inner jungle on a safari jeep excursion.

Cartagena, Colombia – Explore the historical Old Town or take a romantic harbor cruise while taking in the views of scenic Cartagena.

Colon, Panama – Think of this as the gateway to the Panama Canal. You’ll be able to view the canal from land if you still want to take in the marvel of the Gatun locks, plus you can partake in a number of activities on and around Gatun Lake, including kayaking, eco cruises, and a visit to a historic fort.

Willemstad, Curacao – Explore the city center of Willemstad, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or get out on the gorgeous Caribbean Sea surrounding the island of Curacao via a boat safari.

Make sure to check out see what shore excursions you can possibly want to try.

Cruising Through the Locks of the Panama Canal

Then, there’s the day cruising the Panama Canal. You’ll want to be on your stateroom balcony or one of the cruise ship decks for this experience since the Panama Canal is more exciting to witness than you may expect. There is a reason the canal is considered to be such an engineering marvel – even today, let alone when it was originally built in 1914. You’ll be right on the water as the locks do their impressive process to lower and raise the water to effortlessly get your cruise ship through the passage. It’s something that’s best experienced from a ship and you’ll have a new appreciation for this breakthrough (both in design and land) that allows ships to conveniently get from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean (or vice versa).

To book your Panama Canal cruise, visit Celebrity Cruises

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