We are doing a partial transit of the Canal in January 2016. Any recommendation s on excursion would be appreciate or is it not worthwhile to take an excursion and just stay on ship and watch the transit through the locks.
Kind of tough but depends on: Have you ever been through or into the canal before? If not, since it is a partial you will be on the Atlantic side and going through Gatun Locks into Gatun lake, you sit there for a few hours then go back out into the Atlantic and on your way. The experience is the locks, nothing else but it is worth it. So, next up is when an excursion begins, is it before the transit or after once you are on the lake? If after go for an excursion, if before do the locks. Have done a couple partials and a couple full transits and my feelings are you can see a lot of rain forests, zip lines, jungles, but you can only experience the locks once.
BUT whatever you do, it won't be wrong, it will be an experience.
bOB has it. I would add if you are making a stop long enough to do a Tour or even if you are not have a look at my buddy Mike"s site .. http://www.thepreismans.com/pan_can.htm
If it's your first time which it appears is the case and you have a choice of tour or locks on the ship I concur with bOB . do the ship. Been through a few times (all transits) and will go back again if able.
Our tour guide was unusually willing able and obviously outstanding. Best excursion ever. And don't forget or overlook that there are new bigger locks now. Im wondering if your ship goes up one and down the other. Let us know will you.