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Two Oceans by Railroad vs. Panama Canal by Ferry???

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which tour would you do and why? Two oceans by railroad or the Panama Canal by Ferry? both are the same cost.

Help!:o

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Panama Canal by Ferry my choice. You'll actually see the locks at both ends from a small ferry.

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Boy, the Panama Railroad just doesn't get any respect!;) Just kidding. The PRR is a pretty unique railroad... first transcontinental railroad, at one time the highest priced stock on the NYSE, instrumental in the construction of the Canal... but it really is a rather low key excursion and is more suited for a railroad aficionado who is interested in its historical significance. It's a very pleasant ride. While you do get glimpses of the Canal on the railroad, usually the Canal is in the distance as the RR skirts the edges of the Canal for a large part of the route.

 

If your primary purpose is to see the Canal, then the Canal by Ferry is a much better choice. Your morning transit through the Atlantic Locks combined with the passage through the two Pacific Locks and Gaillard Cut will allow you to see a large portion and the best parts of the Canal. (I am assuming you are on a partial transit cruise which you only pass through Gatun Locks on your ship).

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I have already booked the ferry excursion for next month. Do we get to see the Pacific & will I be able to actually dip my toes in the Pacific? This will probably be my only chance to see the Pacific Ocean. I would love to actually feel the water from the Pacific. That is part of my bucket list for this cruise.

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Not sure you will have the chance to actually "dip" the toes in the Pacific, but you will be in the Pacific at some point. The tour can operated in either direction, that is from Gamboa to Ft. Amador (Panama City/Pacific) or the other way around. The portion of the trip that is in the Pacific is from Ft. Amador to Miraflores Locks. It feels just like the Atlantic or the Gulf of Mexico;):D.

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which tour would you do and why? Two oceans by railroad or the Panama Canal by Ferry? both are the same cost.

Help!:o

Definitely the ferry. Having ridden the railroad and transited the Canal numerous times on cruise ships, yachts and ACP tugs the real Canal experience is found in the bottom of the chambers. My website (http://www.madaboutpanama.com) will give you some insights to the Canal. Enjoy your experience.

Boy, the Panama Railroad just doesn't get any respect!;) Just kidding. The PRR is a pretty unique railroad... first transcontinental railroad, at one time the highest priced stock on the NYSE, instrumental in the construction of the Canal... but it really is a rather low key excursion and is more suited for a railroad aficionado who is interested in its historical significance. It's a very pleasant ride. While you do get glimpses of the Canal on the railroad, usually the Canal is in the distance as the RR skirts the edges of the Canal for a large part of the route.

 

If your primary purpose is to see the Canal, then the Canal by Ferry is a much better choice. Your morning transit through the Atlantic Locks combined with the passage through the two Pacific Locks and Gaillard Cut will allow you to see a large portion and the best parts of the Canal. (I am assuming you are on a partial transit cruise which you only pass through Gatun Locks on your ship).

 

 

Sent from my SM-T580 using Forums mobile app

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just returned from the panama canal ferry excursion. It was a long day! yes, it was very informative on the history of the panama canal. The ferry was a typical ferry....chairs under the shade, some out in the sun. they had a small lunch for us and sold beer and water. If I had to rate it between a 1-10, I'd give it a 6 But I would never stay on the ship!

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I am coming from the Caribbean. Where will we get on the ferry & where will we get back on the ship? I heard that we get off the ship in Gatun Lake by tender. Will we be getting off the ferry anywhere?

 

Thanks in advance.

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I am coming from the Caribbean. Where will we get on the ferry & where will we get back on the ship? I heard that we get off the ship in Gatun Lake by tender. Will we be getting off the ferry anywhere?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Its' a little of a depends answer... When you reach Gatun Lake after passing through the locks on the Atlantic side and tender off the ship, then it is a bus ride to the other side of the Isthmus, the Panama City side. Often times you will go to Gamboa which is in about the center of the Canal to board the ferry. From there the ferry will take you through Gaillard Cut and the two Pacific Locks ending up in the Pacific. After you disembark the ferry you will be bused back to Colon/ Cristobal where you will rejoin the ship. There is also the possibility the tour can run in the opposite direction, it really depends on the Canal traffic on that day. The good thing it really makes no difference at all which way it runs, equally enjoyable.

 

There are no intermediate stops on the ferry portion of the excursion.

 

Where you will meet your ship depends on what ship you are on, The Caribbean Princess docks in Cristobal and most of the other ships dock in Colon. It really is a distinction without a lot of difference since they are essentially the same place, just different sides of the the same city.

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You will see much more from the Ferry.

 

================================================

 

Agree, the Ferry is the better choice! (y)

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I am coming from the Caribbean. Where will we get on the ferry & where will we get back on the ship? I heard that we get off the ship in Gatun Lake by tender. Will we be getting off the ferry anywhere?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

I did the ferry tour last month from the Coral Princess (partial transit from Ft. Lauderdale). We were tendered off the ship in Gatun Lake, then we were bussed (6 busses in total) for what seemed to be a long time to the other end of Gatun Lake where we boarded a ferry. We slowly went through the 3 Pacific locks (we had to wait for other boats and a large cargo ship to join us in the locks). Near Panama City we got off the ferry and onto busses and made our way (slowly at first due to rush hour traffic in Panama City) to Colon where the ship was waiting for us. We arrived back at the ship a little after the scheduled departure time of 7:30pm. It was a very long day, but I believe it was well worth the bus rides and waiting.

 

If you are on the Coral Princess, my guess is your experience will be similar to mine. We did not get off the ferry until we docked near Panama City to board the busses.

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Its' a little of a depends answer... When you reach Gatun Lake after passing through the locks on the Atlantic side and tender off the ship, then it is a bus ride to the other side of the Isthmus, the Panama City side. Often times you will go to Gamboa which is in about the center of the Canal to board the ferry. From there the ferry will take you through Gaillard Cut and the two Pacific Locks ending up in the Pacific. After you disembark the ferry you will be bused back to Colon/ Cristobal where you will rejoin the ship. There is also the possibility the tour can run in the opposite direction, it really depends on the Canal traffic on that day. The good thing it really makes no difference at all which way it runs, equally enjoyable.

 

There are no intermediate stops on the ferry portion of the excursion.

 

Where you will meet your ship depends on what ship you are on, The Caribbean Princess docks in Cristobal and most of the other ships dock in Colon. It really is a distinction without a lot of difference since they are essentially the same place, just different sides of the the same city.

 

I did this cruise last month. This is exactly what I did. It was very interesting & I felt it was well worth the time & money. I did get a picture of my hand touching the wall of the canal (very exciting). After reading the book, I was really interested in seeing what I read about & I wasn't disappointed. We did take the bus to Gamboa to get on the ferry. We were in the locks with a sailboat & a car carrier. The 2 ships in the lock next to us were the same 2 we started with on the NCL Jade. I seem to remember the rock at the end of the canal on the Pacific looking familiar. I asked the name & was told (I think) "Little Beaches". It was a fantastic place. The other ports were not as nice as I expected but I still enjoyed them. We stayed in the port area in Roatan, walked around town in Costa Rica, took a trolley tour in Guatemala, a Resort for a Day in Costa Maya, & a beach day in Belize.

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Do these excursions run on both the partial AND full transit cruises? Which lines offer them

 

I have only done one full transit, on the Disney Wonder, a repositioning, and we made no stops on the Canal day.... we must have been in some kind of hurry.

 

Maddle

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Do these excursions run on both the partial AND full transit cruises? Which lines offer them

 

I have only done one full transit, on the Disney Wonder, a repositioning, and we made no stops on the Canal day.... we must have been in some kind of hurry.

 

Maddle

 

They run on both. If the cruise lines stops in panama city before or after a full transit. They might be offered.

 

As far as I'm aware , only Princess does them on full transits.

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Do these excursions run on both the partial AND full transit cruises? Which lines offer them

 

I have only done one full transit, on the Disney Wonder, a repositioning, and we made no stops on the Canal day.... we must have been in some kind of hurry.

 

Maddle

 

No stop in Panama on a full transit cruise unfortunately is not that uncommon. Princess and HAL do offer a Panama stop on some of their full transit cruises but not all, while Celebrity and Royal Caribbean offer a stop on most of their Canal transits. The only difference is Princess, HAL call on Ft. Amador for Panama City and Celebrity and Royal Caribbean call at Colon. Generally the same excursions are offered at both ports of call. I have not noticed NCL offering a Panama stop on their full transits, but the same basic excursions are offered when they make partial transits.

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Its' a little of a depends answer... When you reach Gatun Lake after passing through the locks on the Atlantic side and tender off the ship, then it is a bus ride to the other side of the Isthmus, the Panama City side. Often times you will go to Gamboa which is in about the center of the Canal to board the ferry. From there the ferry will take you through Gaillard Cut and the two Pacific Locks ending up in the Pacific. After you disembark the ferry you will be bused back to Colon/ Cristobal where you will rejoin the ship. There is also the possibility the tour can run in the opposite direction, it really depends on the Canal traffic on that day. The good thing it really makes no difference at all which way it runs, equally enjoyable.

 

There are no intermediate stops on the ferry portion of the excursion.

 

Where you will meet your ship depends on what ship you are on, The Caribbean Princess docks in Cristobal and most of the other ships dock in Colon. It really is a distinction without a lot of difference since they are essentially the same place, just different sides of the the same city.

 

We are booked on Caribbean Princess going thru the Agua Clara Locks. Will we go through the locks while on the ship and then tender to town to go to the ferry? We do not want to miss going through the large locks while on the cruise ship.

 

thanks for your good info.

HAL 253

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We are booked on Caribbean Princess going thru the Agua Clara Locks. Will we go through the locks while on the ship and then tender to town to go to the ferry? We do not want to miss going through the large locks while on the cruise ship.

 

thanks for your good info.

HAL 253

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We are booked on Caribbean Princess going thru the Agua Clara Locks. Will we go through the locks while on the ship and then tender to town to go to the ferry? We do not want to miss going through the large locks while on the cruise ship.

 

thanks for your good info.

HAL 253

 

You will lock up through Agua Clara Locks on the ship to the Gatun Lake anchorage, after reaching the anchorage you will tender off the ship to meet your excursion. You will be bused to the Pacific side where you will board the ferry. While you are on your excursion the ship will lock back through Agua Clara retracing your route to the piers in Cristobal. After your trip through the Pacific Locks and Gaillard Cut you will be bused back to Cristobal to meet the ship.

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