Passage through the Panama Canal is on most maritime travelers’ bucket lists. And now after a recent cruise through the Caribbean I can check it off mine.
The canal itself is impressive, very impressive. It is a modern marvel approaching 100 years operation still with its original locks. “Panamex” compliant cruise ships (a max of approx. 960 ft long x 106 ft wide) offer passage to tourists as it is not just for cargo transport anymore.
On my passage through the Panama Canal I listened to on board presentations took an excursion to visit the Gatun Locks, and paddled across Lake Gatun on a kayak. I even had the opportunity and assisted in interviewing the Captain Emiel de Vries of the ms Zuiderdam (my Cruise Ship) about the passage. All amazing. But there is no substitute for experiencing the canal firsthand via passage on a ship. No substitute for standing there on deck soaking it all in. I hope these pictures give it justice.
The Gatun Locks of the Panama Canal
Mules – The Electric Locomotives
The electronic locomotives known as Mules (or Mulas) are used to keep the ship straight in the canal locks. They don’t propel the ship forward just steady the ship in the tight locks.
The Aft View of the Panama Canal
Looking back always provides a chance to reflect and appreciate what has happened. On this day, I passed through the Gatun Locks of the Panama Canal. It is an experience I’ll always cherish.
stay adventurous, Craig
I’d like to thanks Cruise Radio and Holland America for passage aboard the ms Zuiderdam through the Panama Canal. .