This was a fantastic trip-well organized and well worth the time and money. From the pickup at my hotel to the drop-off some six hours later, the whole operation was very smooth and comfortable. Of course, seeing the canal, experiencing the working of the locks, seeing the huge ships navigating the canal. Being part of all that on the water, that was amazing. All the services were well-organized. Breakfast, lunch, bathrooms, drinks free and for sale, the quality of the narration and explanation of the operations and history, all of this was excellent.
Some recommendations: (1) It’s very hot in Panama. Go in the morning when the temperatures are mildest. (2) Bring a hat,umbrella, etc to shade you from the sun if you are going to spend a lot of time on the upper decks. (3) Decide what is a priority - seeing a lot or staying cool. This will determine what kind of seat you want to find (hot outside, cool inside) . (3) The forward deck is where you will see the most. There are benches there for you to sit but it is also where people congregate to take pictures. (4) Relax on the early part of the trip. The real pictures, the most interesting ones, Combe when you start to enter the locks. (5) Use sunscreen if you are spending a lot of time on the outside decks. Even in cloudy weather you will get sunburned. (6) Since the water around the canal is generally clam, there is little danger of getting seasick.
(7) Read David McCullogh’s book “The Path Between the Seas” to gain a better understanding of thre complexities and dangers of building the canal before you come. It will expand your experiences hugely.
This was a very memorable trip. The tour company did a great job of making the journey enjoyable, Five stars