Panama Canal Cruises

We list here only one-way ship repositioning Panama Canal cruises 2017 and 2018 schedule of transition itineraries offered in Spring and Fall. You can compare here all Panama Canal cruise ships as destinations, departure ports and sailing dates. Learn how to discern the regular one-way Panama Canal transition cruises from the authentic, cheap repositioning cruises through Panama Canal operated seasonally with discount cheap deals.

Panama Canal Repositioning Cruises

When talking about repositioning cruises through Panama Canal, the predicament here is that most Panama Canal transition cruises are full transits (crossings with one-way itineraries). Panama Canal cruise ships are usually leaving either from Florida or California ports. Transition sailings usually last for about 2-weeks.

Panama Canal cruise ships relocation

These are two special “Panama Canal ship relocation” hints for you (serving almost like shortcuts): the always funny one is “follow the money”, and the not so funny one is “mind the season”.Panama Canal Reposition Cruises COM

  • Destination. Panama Canal cruise relocation is very often in the category of long Coast to Coast voyages (Florida-California and California-Florida, and New York to California and California to New York). And some itineraries start in South America to end in Florida, Boston or NYC, New York (and the reverse).
  • Season. It all happens in Spring (April and May) and Fall (September) when all Panama Canal repositioning ships relocate (to and from) Alaska according to their summer Alaskan season schedule. Repositioning cruises on ships passing through Panama Canal with itineraries to/from South America usually start in some of the Winter months.

As to the money part, you’ll know the Panama Canal reposition cruises by their tickets prices. Deals will vary greatly (depending on line, ship and cabin category), but always with pleasantly low rates which could be easily defined as “top-luxury inexpensive to really really cheap”.

Panama Canal cruise transition – facts and statistics

  • Repositioning Cruises Panama CanalTotal length of the Panama Canal is 77,1 km (48 ml).
  • Locks size. Panama Canal’s lock chambers determine the max size of a ship to be able to pass through. Most cruise ships are built to the max lock size allowed (Panamax ships). Larger size ships belong to the group of Post-Panamax ships. The length of each lock is 320 m (1,050 ft), their walls thickness range from bottom (15 m / 49 ft) to top (3 m / 9,8 ft).
  • The longest ship transiting the Panama Canal was a bulk-carrier – length 296,6 m (973 ft), width 32,3 m (106 ft).
  • Draft restrictions (max 12,6 m / 41,2 ft). Since draft is determined by the ship’s weight, Panamax ships (able to pass through the canal) have cargo weight restrictions to ~52,500 t.
  • Panama Canal cruise ship transition tolls are based on the ship’s size (vessel type and cargo type for freighter ships). Cruise ships through Panama Canal pay rates based on their passenger capacity (number of berths/beds). The current Panama Canal cruise ship fee (for bigger ships) is US$92 for unoccupied and US$115 for occupied bed. Panama Canal cruise ships of less than 30,000 t or less than 33 t per passenger are charged as the same per-ton fees as cargo ships. These tolls are (in USD) $3,90 per ton (first 10000 t), US$3,19 pt (second 10000 t), US$3,82 pt (third 10000 t) and US$3,76 pt thereafter.
  • The most expensive Panama Canal cruise ship transition toll was charged to the NCL Pearl cruise ship on its westbound repositioning cruise in Spring 2010 (passing on April 14th). NCL Pearl paid US$375,600 (for comparison, the average fee is ~US$55,000).
  • There are also priority passing fees – the highest was paid in 2006 (US$220,300) by a tanker ship bypassing 90 other ships waiting to move through the canal. The cargo ship avoided a 7-days delay by paying the regular toll 16 times (the normal fee was only US$13,400).

Repositioning Cruises Panama Canal cruise ships transition infographics

These are two Panama Canal related links. For all things Panama-related – the Republic of Panama official website For all history-technology-facts stuff – see this Wikipedia link. For details on itinerary and to compare prices (indicative rates) follow the line-links from the table below.

Repositioning Panama Canal cruises 2017-2018 schedule

Cruise Ships Spring 2017 Summer Fall 2017 Winter Spring 2018 Summer Winter 2016
Celebrity Cruises
Celebrity Infinity Mar 19 – 14days from Valparaiso Chile to Miami)

Apr 2 – 15days from Miami to San Diego)

2018, Mar 18 – 15days from Valparaiso to Fort Lauderdale)

Oct 9 – 15days from Los Angeles to Fort Lauderdale)

Nov 23 – 15days from Fort Lauderdale to Valparaiso)

Dec 09 – 15days from Fort Lauderdale to Valparaiso Chile
Queen Elizabeth 2017 – Jan 19 16days from Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco CA)

2018 – Jan 17 19days from New York City to San Francisco CA)


Queen Victoria  

Apr 04 – 17days from San Francisco to Fort Lauderdale



Disney Cruise Lines
Disney Wonder  


Holland America
Amsterdam Jan 04 – 22days from Fort Lauderdale to Honolulu Hawaii)

Apr 26 – 15days from Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco); 18day to Seattle


Dec 21 – 14days from San Diego to Fort Lauderdale)
Eurodam Apr 08 – 16days from Fort Lauderdale to San Diego
Maasdam Apr 26 – 19days from San Diego to Fort Lauderdale)



Nieuw Amsterdam Apr 09 – 16days from Fort Lauderdale to San Diego); 20day to Vancouver
Westerdam Mar 11 – 17days from San Diego to Fort Lauderdale)
Zaandam Apr 04 – 18days from Valparaiso to San Diego)
NCL Norwegian Cruise Lines
Norwegian Pearl Apr 13 – 17days from Miami to Seattle)  


-P&O Cruises (UK, Australia)

2018, Jan 09 – 24days from Southampton to San Francisco (with Transatlantic crossing)


Aurora Mar 28 – 25days from San Francisco to Southampton (with Transatlantic crossing)
Princess Cruises
Coral Princess Apr 17 – 15days from Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles)  –
Island Princess Apr 19 – 21days from Fort Lauderdale to Vancouver)  –
Pacific Princess Jan 03 – 17days from Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles)

Know that with time prices on Panama Canal repositioning cruise deals usually go down with time. Still, the economic law of “Supply And Demand” will always rule – cruise lines will price their deals and cabin categories accordingly. So good luck with those, and happy Panama Canal “reposition” vacations!