We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Panama Canal Full Transit Boat Tour

Select Date and Travellers
2 travellers
    What to Expect
    This is a typical itinerary for this product

    Pass By: Panama Canal Tours, Panama City Panama

    Full Crossing by tour boat through the Panama Canal: Pacific entrance to the Canal, Miraflores Locks, Pedro Miguel Locks, Continental Divide, Corte Culebra, Gamboa, Las Americas Bridge, Centennial Bridge, Gatún Lake and Chagres River, Atlantic Area and Locks.

    Stop At: Amador Causeway (Calzada de Amador), Av Amador, Panama City Panama

    Know locally as just “The Causeway”, which is another oceanfront boardwalk area ; Naos, Perico and Flamenco. These islands are connected by a road (The Causeway) that was constructed using the material extracted during the original construction of the Canal. The tour boat canal crossing tour begins at the Amador Causeway at the departure point which will be assigned with your tour reservation. There passengers will board the tour boat in preparation for the canal crossing, from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean in the course of the same day.

    Duration: 30 minutes

    Pass By: Bridge of the Americas, Balboa, Panama City Panama

    You will, as well, get an excellent view of the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal and the majestic Las Americas Bridge. The importance of this bridge can not be overlooked as not only does it connect Panama City with the rest of the country but more importantly is one of the two bridges which cross the Panama Canal and effectively create the connection between North and Central America with South America.

    Pass By: Miraflores Visitor Center, East Side of the Miraflores Locks, Panama City Panama

    Later you will have the opportunity to see the Canal operation up close as well take you to the Miraflores Locks and Pedro Miguel Locks. The tour boat will traverse the first set of locks, The Miraflores locks, where we will be rise up a total of 18 meters (60 feet) in two steps as you experience how the water elevates the boat above sea level. The Canal visitor center is located there at Miraflores Locks and it is here that you´ll observe as dozens of curious onlookers watch as you and your boat pass through The Miraflores Locks. We then traverse the Mirraflores Lake which is a quite small fresh-water lake that separates the two sets of locks on the Pacific Side of the Canal. At the other side of the lake we arrive at the Pedro Miguel locks. At the Pedro Miguel Locks the tour boat will ascend a total of 9 meters (30 feet) in one single step. At the both the Miraflores and the Pedro Miguel locks you´ll have the opportunity to experiment just how the boat is elevated as it is trapped within the confines of the locks which are in effect, huge concrete-walled chambers with sailing gates which allow the sealed chamber to be quickly filled with water until reaching the level required to permit continuing the voyage on to the next section of the canal. It is a truly a unique engineering marvel that must be experienced.

    Pass By: Puente Centenario, Autopista Panamá-La Chorrera, Panama

    Upon exiting the Pedro Miguel Locks the tour boat will pass through the Corte Culebra where the Chagres Rivers flows into the Canal. The Chagres River is the source of fresh water for the Panama Canal. It is because of this river that the Panama Canal is a fresh water Canal. The Corte Culebra section of the Canal is known by this name because of the similarity of its curves with those of a snake (Corte=Cut.Culebra=Snake). This is actually one of the most interesting sections of the canal as it was cut through the solid rock formation which constitutes the Continental Divide, giving this section of the canal grand historic and geographic importance. After passing through the Corte Culebra we will travel underneath the second bridge which crosses the Panama Canal, The Puente Centenario (The Centennial Bridge).

    Pass By: Chagres River, Gamboa Panama

    At this point you will be able to observe the continued maintenance that this area requires due to its susceptibility to land slides along the Banks of the canal. Minutes later you will have the opportunity to navigate the famous Gatun Lake. For many years this mass of fresh water was known to be the largest artificial lake in the world, and is still one of the largest in all the world. Gatun Lake is fed by the powerful Chagres River which also feeds the entire Panama Canal. The Chagres has the unusual claim of drainage into two oceans. This river feeds water to the Panama Canal for its operation.

    Pass By: Gatun Lake, Panama City Panama

    Crossing Gatun Lake feels as if you were crossing the ocean due to the immensity of this body of water. Located throughout the volume of its turquoise – colored, fresh waters you will be able to appreciate dozens of all islands that are home to an impressive diversity of flora and fauna, many of which are only found in this unique habitat. For this reason Gatun Lake is a site of great importance from an ecological stand point and as such The Smithsonian Institute has its center for tropical investigations located precisely on the Barro Colorado Island. At this very location scientists have discovered dozens of new species of life that exist exclusively on this island. At this site you will witness how nature and man combine to create one of the most amazing environments on the planet.

    Pass By: Gatun Locks, Colon Panama

    Upon arriving at the Caribbean side of the canal our boat will enter the multi-level Gatun Locks where in a series of 3 steps we will descend a total of 26 meters (85 feet) down to the level of the Atlantic ocean. This fascinating lock system is both majestic and awe-inspiring at the same time.

    Leaving this final set of locks our boat will navigate on the city of Colon on the Caribbean coast of Panama where we will dock at the cruise ship terminal 6 and all the passengers will disembark. You will immediately board luxury tour buses for our return trip to Panama City and to the very meeting point where our tour began. Travel time from the city of Colon back to Panama City by tour bus is approximately 1½ to 2 hours.
    Show More
    Important Information
    Departure Point
    Panama City, Panama City, Panama Province
    Departure Time
    6:00 AM
    Return Details
    Returns to original departure point
    • Bilingual Spanish/ English tour guide narrators.
    • Breakfast
    • Lunch - Buffet lunch
    • Afternoon Coffee and Snacks in the afternoon
    • Water and soft drinks, all you can drink.
    • Snacks
    • Bottled water
    • Coffee and/or Tea
    • Entry/Admission - Amador Causeway (Calzada de Amador)
    • Alcoholic drinks (available to purchase)
    Show More
    Additional Info
    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • Not wheelchair accessible
    • Availability for shows cannot be checked without making a booking. Credit cards will only be charged upon confirmation of show availability
    • Infant seats available
    • Most travelers can participate
    • Although we do not have wheelchair access or special facilities, people who use wheelchair or other mobility devices are welcome, our staff will be attentive to help.
    • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 99 travelers
    Cancellation Policy
    For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
    Traveller rating
    • 7
    • 0
    • 1
    • 0
    • 2
    Traveller type
    Time of year
    • Filter
    • English
    Popular mentions
    The canal transit was the trip of a lifetime for my 88 year old mother. My father was US Navy, had told my mom about transiting the canal and they had planned on doing the transit together. He passed away before they could. Everyone on board the ship was helpful and
    Read more
    We really enjoyed our trip. I was a little surprised as we boarded by the sheer number of people (240 passengers) on such an apparently small ship, but it went very well. You were able to move around the boat quite freely (except for the bow on the top deck, which was hogged for
    Read more
    The tour was actually from Canal and Bay Tours. I highly recommend taking the full transit. Boating across Gatun Lake was a bit long but rewarded by passing through the Gatun Locks. If Agua Claras is not possible as the boat is not of the size needed for Agua Claras. Our bad
    Read more
    This was a great tour. You get breakfast and lunch on this tour which is pretty decent. They take you from one gate to the other and you actually follow another ship going through the gates. There was much knowledge given on this tour by the advisor.
    Read more
    This is a must do if you visit Panama. The full transit gives you a view of how the entire canal works, the locks on the Caribbean side, and a chance to just enjoy the scenery and amazing ships going by. Highlight recommend!
    Read more
    Key Details
    • Duration: 10h
    • Mobile Ticket Accepted
    • Instant confirmation
    • Languages Offered: English, Spanish
    Why Book on TripAdvisor?
    • Free Cancellation up to 24 hours in advance
    • Low Price Guarantee
    • No Booking Fees
    • Secure Payments
    • 24/7 SupportCall: +852 30184991