How do you wrap a lifelong memory, a history lesson and an amazing vacation all in one? By celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Panama Canal! Your St. Louis travel agents at Travel Leaders in Chesterfield, MO can you there. August 15 will mark 100 years since the opening of the Panama Canal, which is undergoing the latest in a series of improvements. As work continues on building a new, wider set of locks, the canal remains open for business. Cargo ships and cruise ships move smoothly through every day.
One of the world’s largest and most complex engineering projects – built so ships could travel from the Atlantic to the Pacific without taking the long and often dangerous route around the southern tip of South America – the canal is impressive in itself. Some cruise lines equip their ships with experts who provide a running commentary while the ship is in the canal. They tell the inspiring and sometimes tragic story of how it was built, and explain its many working parts. While the canal is completely capable of holding your interest for an entire day, don’t forget to enjoy the scenery of Panama, which is breathtaking. The slender isthmus includes a central spine of beautiful mountains and hills. There are hundreds of rivers, expanses of dense green jungle, and the most diverse flora and fauna in Central America.
At the Pacific entrance to the canal, Panama City is a modern collection of skyscrapers that began as a 16th century base for Spanish expeditions into the Inca Empire. There’s a lovely mix of architecture in Casco Viejo, the city’s old quarter; an active arts community; Las Bovedas, a waterfront promenade; and lots of restaurants serving fresh seafood and sangria. A wide variety of Panama Canal cruises are available from more than a dozen cruise lines. Itineraries range from seven or eight days to 14 or more. Some cruises travel all the way through the canal, from ocean to ocean; some include a partial crossing, passing through one set of locks, then letting passengers go ashore for sightseeing and excursions. A third option is a cruise that docks at the Caribbean entrance to the canal and offers excursions into the canal on smaller boats. Whatever itinerary you choose, know that our Panama Canal cruise specialists at Travel Leaders in Chesterfield, MO will guide you to the perfect package that is right for your family and your budget. Give our St. Louis travel agents a call today and celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Panama Canal in Panama!