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MSC Divina and Panama Canal


bstel
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I am booked on a January 2022 Divina 12 day cruise that hits the ABC Islands, Cartegena, etc and also goes to Colon, Panama.  So looks like the ship doesn't go into the Panama Canal like most ships and then turn around.  So is my assumption correct that there will be excursions to book on smaller boats to take us through the locks and Lake Gatun.  We are in Colon from 10am-6pm.  I have never seen a cruise like this that the ship doesn't go in itself.

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WE did this same cruise 2 years ago and we rode the train to the other side of the canal.  The train runs along the canal and you can see the locks and other sites along the way.  In Panama city there was a local tour and then a bus ride back to the ship.

Colon is a shipping port and there is not much to see there as we saw a lot of it on our way to the rail station.  A few cruise ships do not go into Gatun lake and turn around due to the timing and cost. 

In response to your question about smaller ship excursions we did not see or hear of any being offered but you might be able to get something privately  in the lake above the locks.  Hope this helps.  Enjoy your cruise.

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On 5/4/2021 at 5:31 PM, bstel said:

I am booked on a January 2022 Divina 12 day cruise that hits the ABC Islands, Cartegena, etc and also goes to Colon, Panama.  So looks like the ship doesn't go into the Panama Canal like most ships and then turn around.  So is my assumption correct that there will be excursions to book on smaller boats to take us through the locks and Lake Gatun.  We are in Colon from 10am-6pm.  I have never seen a cruise like this that the ship doesn't go in itself.

 

What is the reason you would book this type of itinerary?  If it is to sail through some of the locks of the Panama Canal, I question if it will fulfill that item on your bucket list.  I doubt that a small excursion boat could get through to Gatun Lake and get you back to the Divina with only an eight hours of time docked in Colon.  As a previous poster stated, there is not much of interest in walking distance of where the ships dock in Colon.  

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In fact, walking around Colon, from the ship, is not recommended, for safety reasons.  So if not on a tour, there is not much to do.

We, too, would prefer a cruise that does a partial or full transit of the Canal.  Going through the locks, and seeing the huge cargo ships coming and going, is a special kind of experience.

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On 5/4/2021 at 5:31 PM, bstel said:

I am booked on a January 2022 Divina 12 day cruise that hits the ABC Islands, Cartegena, etc and also goes to Colon, Panama.  So looks like the ship doesn't go into the Panama Canal like most ships and then turn around.  So is my assumption correct that there will be excursions to book on smaller boats to take us through the locks and Lake Gatun.  We are in Colon from 10am-6pm.  I have never seen a cruise like this that the ship doesn't go in itself.

We have done both the “partial transit” and “complete transit” from CA to FL, enjoyed both and would do either again. CarolnLarry made reference to the Train Excursion, we did that also, felt it was a good choice for us. Enjoy, don’t be discouraged, some are suggesting you may not be satisfied with your choice, it will be lovely.

On 5/4/2021 at 10:29 PM, CarolnLarry said:

WE did this same cruise 2 years ago and we rode the train to the other side of the canal.  The train runs along the canal and you can see the locks and other sites along the way. 

Also, in Cartagena we took a cab with another couple and toured the “old city,” was a good choice, actually just met this couple once we got off the ship in Cartagena and they were looking for someone to join them, usually not something I would do but worked out great.

And love the ABC Islands - sounds like a great itinerary. 

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