Panama Canal

A typical cruiseship daylight transit of the Panama Canal usually starts with the pilot boarding at about 0630.  From the Pacific, this usually means that the ship will arrive at Miaflores Locks at about 0830.  Typically the ship will arrive at Pedro Miguel Locks at about 1000.  From there the ship should arrive at Gatun Locks at about 1600.  Our passage was much slower due to canal management problems.  Transit through the locks was especially slow for all ships.  In fact, we actually had to anchor in Gatun Lake to wait for clearance into the Gatun Locks.


Approaching the Pan-American Highway "Bridge of the Americas "

Miaflores double lift locks

Mules - electric cogwheel trains that pull the ships through the locks and keep the ships centered with their steel tending cables

Typical lock gates

Pedro Miguel single lift locks from Miaflores Lake

Entering Gatun Lake and the Gaillard Cut from Pedro Miguel

Transiting the Gaillard Cut and passing Gold Mountain and the continental divide

Waterfront prison near Gamboa

Canal maintenance equipment near Gamboa.  To get a sense of size, there is a man standing on the boom behind the dredge's cutter head.

Gamboa and the Chagres River (source of water for the locks)

Gatun Lake

Gatun Dam 

Gatun triple lift locks

Entering the upper Gatun lock

Equalizing upper and middle Gatun locks

Opening gates into middle Gatun lock

Releasing water into the ocean from the lower Gatun lock

Typical clearance for a panamax ship 

Mules working a panamax ship into the lower Gatun lock