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Panama Canal Partial Tour - Southbound Direction

star-4.589 Reviews
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Panamá, Panama
Panama Canal Partial Tour - Southbound Direction

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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon6 hours  (approx.)
Pickup from select hotels
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English and 1 more

Overview

Travel southbound through the Panama Canal during this 6-hour tour from Panama City. With your local guide, board a bus for a 45-minute journey to Gamboa, home of the Panama Canal Dredging Division. Meet your vessel, the Pacific Queen, for a trip through the Gailard cut, the Pedro Miguel Locks and the Miraflores Locks. Admire scenic views of the Centennial Bridge, the Chagres River, and the Bridge of the Americas. Eat a complimentary lunch on board during your journey. Disembark at the Flamenco Marina in Panama City.
  • Journey southbound through the Panama Canal
  • Travel on a small vessel to see the workings of the locks up close
  • Pass through the Pedro Miguel and Miraflores locks
  • Lunch provided on board the boat
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Lunch
Professional guide
Roundtrip hotel transfer from selected hotels
Sodas and water
Alcoholic Beverages
This operator has two meet-up options available. You can either meet at the departure point below or select a location for pick-up.
Fuerte Amador. Resort & Marina , 084300762, Panamá, Panama

Located on the last island of the Amador Causeway, behind the Duty Free Shop. We have a tour office with a sign of Panama Canal Tours.

Hmm...we can’t seem to find this place. Please check the spelling, or choose another location.

10:00 AM
This activity will end right where it started.If your hotel is not listed, please let us know so we can recommend the nearest at walking distance. The exact pickup time will be informed on the day before of the tour through the Viator extranet between 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. You can also contact us at this time.
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 180 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Panama Marine Adventures
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Panama Canal Partial Tour - Southbound Direction?
A:The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
See all safety measures taken by Panama Canal Partial Tour - Southbound Direction.
Q:
What is the policy on sanitization during Panama Canal Partial Tour - Southbound Direction?
A:The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by Panama Canal Partial Tour - Southbound Direction.
Q:
What is the social distancing policy during Panama Canal Partial Tour - Southbound Direction?
A:The policy on social distancing is:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
See all safety measures taken by Panama Canal Partial Tour - Southbound Direction.

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Traveler Tips


  • "The soft drinks also ran out after about four hours, so maybe take your own water." See review
  • "There is a lot of down time, from waiting for permission to exit the bus to waiting for boats to enter the locks, and the amount of time it takes for the locks to fill with water." See review

Reviews

4.5
star-4.5
89 Reviews
1 star
0

Reviews by Viator travelers

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Showing 1-10 of 89 reviews
star-5
Outstanding from start to...
CHRISTOPHER_J
, Jun 2022
Outstanding from start to finish. Its a must for any visit to Panama and you want to understand how the Canal works.
icon Response from Host , Jun 2022
We are very glad that you enjoyed your Panama Canal Tour!
star-5
Amazing experience!
Shelly_R
, May 2022
This tour was incredible! Being able to navigate the canal and see how the ships pass trough the locks is unbelievable. They have soft drinks and lunch included in the price of the tour and you can buy beers if you want. Fully recommended!
star-5
Exceptional and Comfortable
Michael_M
, May 2022
It's a wonderful experience to be on the actual canal and be a part of the route. The tour guide was very informative and made it memorable.
star-5
Really worth visiting!
Jan_H
, Apr 2022
Absolutely astonishing experience! True industrial landscape combined with a really interesting guidance. Everything well-organized. One of the greatest highlight in Panama. Worth visiting!
star-5
Memorable trip!
Chirag_G
, Apr 2022
Very well organized, comfortable, knowledgeable staff on board, and a great way to understand the workings of the canal and locks.
star-5
You have got to do it!
AnneB
, Apr 2022
It was just great. A good day with perfect explanations. The boat was good and the meal in a bag was not too bad.
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
Fun day travelling the Panama Canal Locks
Mehrad_M
, Apr 2022
We enjoyed the tour as it was very informative and kid friendly. Our tour guide Javier was awesome. In my opinion, the half day tour is long enough to keep everyone engaged but not too long to become boring (for the kids).
star-5
Amazing Panama Canal Experience
Kimberly_R
, Mar 2022
We thoroughly enjoyed this tour of the Panama Canal. We learned so much more from our experience than viewing from the observation level at Mira Flores. It’s a full day on the water that is very enjoyable.
star-5
Experience the Canal rather than View it!
George_G
, Mar 2022
Given the there are multiple ways one can view the incredible working locks of the Panama Canal, I would whole-heartedly recommend this tour above the others. We started our experience out of Gamboa and cruised along the canal with huge container ships, tankers, and car carriers. We learned about all of the trials and pitfalls of trying to create this amazing system over the years. when the time came we were in the locks with another enormous car carrier right on top of us. The experience or riding the lock down as the water receded was amazing and so worth it. I watched many people viewing from an overlook at the locks but surely felt that my experience was better having decided to travel through them. Super fun, insightful, and a great team. I would do it again in a heartbeat. Recommended.
star-5
Terrific Tour
Vickie_M
, Mar 2022
After hearing about the Panama Canal all our lives, it was a thrill to cruise through the famous locks. Our guide was a wealth of information, and was able to answer all our questions. We even enjoyed the sack lunch.
star-5
Tour guide
Mark_S
, Mar 2022
Tour guide was the best and was able to provide great history lesson on the canal. Made all the difference in the trip.
star-4
Good trip
Anthony_C
, Mar 2022
Sailing from Atlantic to Pacific Ocean in a couple of hours instead of 10 days. Amazing Panama Canal!
star-4
Only one complaint. The...
Jamil_F
, Feb 2022
Only one complaint. The tickets say start time is 11am but in actuality the start time is 9:30 to catch the shuttle. The website also said 11am so it was confusing. I had to catch an expensive taxi to meet the tour boat. Change the ticket to say 9:30 and problem solved.
star-5
A MUST do if you're in Panama.
Jose_E
, Jan 2022
What a great experience to travel through the actual canal locks. If you're going to Panama, a trip through the locks IS A MUST. It offers a vastly different experience than seeing the locks from the Vistor Center. After all, the canal is why most people travel to Panama and if you go, you definitely need to experience this tour. The boat we were on was very comfortable and small enough (about 100 people) to really enjoy the passage through the canal. The lunch was good, and they served drinks throughout the cruise. Overall, it was a great experience, and I would recommend it.
star-5
Spectacular views, informative guide, great service
Marcia_H
, Jan 2022
We were lucky to witness two large ships going through the lock system at the same time as us. Beautiful nature vistas surrounding the canal. Informative and well-articulated guide. Good luck snd plenty of refreshments. 360 degree views from the covered deck and below. Great that the boat was not overful. Plenty of space to move around. Friendly staff. Convenient hotel pick-up. All round a wonderful experience. Warmly recommended!
star-5
Joshua the guide
Douglas_R
, Nov 2021
Joshua, the guide, made the tour interesting and fun. Haws able to answer all questions and really seemed to enjoy visiting with as LLC the guests.
icon Response from Host , Nov 2021
Thank you Mr. Douglas! He truly is wonderful. Thank you for choosing Panama Marine Adventures
star-4
Half day was perfect amount of time on the canal
Kathryn_T
, Mar 2020
We went back and forth deciding whether to do a full transit from coast to coast or a half day. We chose the half day based on other reviews and on the later start time (11 a.m. vs 6 a.m.) We're so glad that we went with the half day. There is a lot of down time, from waiting for permission to exit the bus to waiting for boats to enter the locks, and the amount of time it takes for the locks to fill with water. The half day was just the right amount of time for us. The tour was professional and everything went smoothly. We were picked up at our hotel at 11 a.m. and taken straight to Gamboa. We had to wait on the bus for about 30 minutes but reviews had suggested bringing a book or magazine so we just read while we waited. We were given wrist bands that determined our lunch time and boarded the boat. The boat has an open uncovered section, a covered area and two indoor air-conditioned decks. Sit on the left (port) side to be in the shade; people on the sunny side were all moved over to the port side by the time we reached the locks. It was very pleasant sitting there and cruising on the canal, and the commentary was interesting. Great to see the huge ships and the people working on the locks (including two guys in a row boat!). Lunch was typical Panamanian food served in the A/C. There's a small gift shop that sells a good book about the canal. We were alongside a cheaper tour where food was by purchase only and there were many more passengers than seats, and we were glad we'd chosen this Viator trip! Beautiful views of the Panama City skyline as we came into the Flamenco port at about 6 p.m. The driver met us and took us back to our hotel. The only thing that would make it better might be some commentary on the bus on the way to Gamboa telling us about the area, the jungle and the wildlife. Definitely recommend this tour.
2 travelers found this review helpful
star-5
Great Excursion
Celia_C
, Feb 2020
This was a once in a lifetime experience for us. So cool to be in the canal passing with the ships. Gus, our narrator was fantastic and extremely knowledgeable. I would definitely recommend it. This process is long and slow but you truly get the feel by being right in the canal.
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-4
Fine tour, but too crowded
NielsPeter_B
, Feb 2020
The tour was very fine with plenty of time to follow the transit through the locks. However, with 300 passengers it was more crowded than we expected making good seatings very limited.
star-3
Manage your Expectations
Owen_S
, Feb 2020
Many people coming to Panama want to experience a canal transit, and it would be hard to detract from the actual experience of going through one of the world’s great waterways. However, the organisational side of the experience left something to be desired. My other two trips in Panama were both excellent, with prompt pick-ups, knowledgeable and attentive English-speaking guides no delays and good administration. I guess that canal transit operators can rely on a constant stream of people booking, so they don’t have to try too hard. There is no doubt that the canal transit was a memorable experience, and the various people that I spoke to all enjoyed it. I would certainly not want to put anyone off taking this trip, but would suggest that you go with limited expectations about the organisation. The price was also higher in USD/hour terms than for other tours, and a full 9-hour transit probably offers nothing a partial one doesn’t My experience seems a fairly common one, being given one pick-up time, then told when I phoned after no-one arrived it had been delayed an hour, yet the transport with a driver speaking little English still arrived at Gamboa 90 minutes before embarkation. Most other tour buses arrived about an hour later. The ship was fairly full, particular as most favoured the upper, outdoor deck, but not too full. Lunch was adequate, but with no provision for vegetarians, and if you don’t like spicy chicken, take a sandwich. The soft drinks also ran out after about four hours, so maybe take your own water. Disembarkation at Panama City was quite chaotic, as every had to find their own tour buses on a crowded dock
1 traveler found this review helpful

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