Panama Canal Cruises

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We list here only one-way ship repositioning Panama Canal cruises 2015 and 2016 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 of the Panama Canal cruises are 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”.

Repositioning Cruises Panama Canal

  • 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

  • Total 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 VisitPanama.com. 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 2015 schedule

Cruise Ships Spring 2015 Summer Spring 2016 Summer Fall 2015 Winter Fall 2016 Winter
Celebrity Cruises
Celebrity Infinity
  • Mar 15 – 14days Valparaiso to Fort Lauderdale
  • Apr 28 – 17days Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco
  • Sept 18 – 17days San Francisco to Fort Lauderdale FL
  • Dec 5 – 15days Fort Lauderdale to Valparaiso
  • Mar 13 – 14days Valparaiso/Chile to Miami
  • April 26 – 15days Miami to San Diego
  • Sept 18 – 17days San Francisco to Fort Lauderdale
  • Dec 5 – 15days Fort Lauderdale to Santiago-Valparaiso)
  • Dec 09 – 15days Fort Lauderdale to Valparaiso/Chile
Celebrity Summit Apr 25 – 8days Puerto Rico to Bayonne NJ NY (with Bermuda) Apr 23 – 8days Puerto Rico to Bayonne NJ/NY Oct 18 – 6days New York /Cape Liberty to Puerto Rico
Cunard – Queen Victoria
  • Feb 02 – 15days Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles
  • Apr 6 – 15days Los Angeles to Fort Lauderdale
  • Jan 22 – 16days Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco
Disney Cruises – Disney Wonder
  • May 01 – 14days Miami to San Diego
Oct 23 – 14days San Diego to Galveston
Holland America
Amsterdam
  • May 12 – 19days Fort Lauderdale to Seattle
  • May 12 – 18days Fort Lauderdale to Vancouver, 15days Fort Lauderdale to San Diego
  • Apr 30 – 16days Fort Lauderdale to San Diego
  • Dec 18 – 18days San Diego to Fort Lauderdale
Nieuw Amsterdam Apr 10 – 15days Fort Lauderdale to San Diego
Noordam
  • Apr 20 – 15days Fort Lauderdale to San Diego
Oosterdam
  • Sept 30 – 16days San Francisco to Fort Lauderdale
Veendam Apr 15 – 17days San Diego to Boston Jan 03 – 14days San Diego to Tampa
  • Oct 17 – 19days Boston to San Diego
  • Dec 27 – 21days San Diego to Tampa Florida
Westerdam
  • Apr 11 – 16days Fort Lauderdale to San Diego
  • Apr 11 – 20days Fort Lauderdale to Vancouver
Mar 12 – 21days Fort Lauderdale to San Diego Sept 26 – 18days Seattle to Fort Lauderdale
Zaandam
  • Apr 1 – 18days Valparaiso-Santiago/Chile to Fort Lauderdale
  • Apr 29 – 14days Fort Lauderdale to San Diego
Apr 03 – 20days Valparaiso to San Diego Oct 07 – 18days San Diego to Valparaiso
NCL Norwegian
Norwegian Jewel Apr 18 – 19days Houston to Seattle
Norwegian Pearl
  • Apr 16 – 21days Miami to Vancouver
  • Apr 16 – 31days Miami to Seattle
  • Apr 16 – 16days Miami to Los Angeles
  • Oct 1 – 17days San Francisco to Miami
Norwegian Star
  • Apr 12 – 15days Los Angeles to Miami
Norwegian Sun Apr 19 – 19days Tampa to Vancouver
Princess Cruises
Coral Princess
  • Apr 12 – 20days Fort Lauderdale to Vancouver
  • Apr 12 – 15days Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles
  • Sept 16 – 22days Vancouver to Fort Lauderdale
  • Sept 21 – 17days San Francisco to Fort Lauderdale
  • Sept 23 – 15days Los Angeles to Fort Lauderdale
Island Princess
  • Apr 23 – 18days Fort Lauderdale to Vancouver
Pacific Princess
  • Apr 28 – 17days Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles
Apr 24 – 17days Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles
Royal Caribbean
Jewel Of The Seas
  • May 2 – 14days San Juan/Puerto Rico to San Diego
  • Oct 10 – 15days Los Angeles to Puerto Rico
Legend Of The Seas
  • Apr 29 – 15days Fort Lauderdale to San Diego
-.

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!

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