We went through the Panama Canal on Monday, November 19th, on Day 7 of this 16 day cruise aboard the Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas. It took all day to cross the three locks along the Canal.
The Gatun locks (pronounced Gatoon) consists of 3 gates, and with each one, the water rises 28 feets so that the ship rises a total of 85 feet, to make the trip from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. We crossed those three gates of the lock between 9:30 and 11:30 am.
There is a second channel, that has recently opened, larger, more sustainable, that can accommodate larger cargo and cruise ships. Larger as in wider, higher, and longer.
Then we continued to sail along Gatun Lake, which is quite magnificent. We sail between the Continental Divide, the narrowest point in the canal, where the mountain had to be cut, extracting tons of rocks – enough to build 8(?) pyramids. Not long after, we sailed under the Centennial bridge, built some 400 feet over the canal – not a drive I would want to take – although PEI’s confederation bridge is over 200 feet above the ocean.
Finally, we reached the Pedro Miguel and MiraFlores locks in late afternoon – Miraflores is in Panama City – and we had visited the Vistiors Interpretation Centre years back – where you now see hundreds of people on the various balconies waiving us through. We left the Canal with a last glance at Panama City behind it. The photos below are from last to first.