Zaandam Southern Caribbean Cruise



Has anyone taken this cruise? If so, does it actually sail through the Panama Canal? How much of the Canal do you get to see? Any information on this port would be appreciated.


I haven't taken this specific cruise, but I have taken cruises that sail through the Panama Canal, so if that is what your itinerary says, that is what the ship will do. The passage through the canal takes up most of a day. We were fortunate to go through on a cloudy day, so being on deck for long periods was comfortable. Otherwise be sure to wear a hat and sunblock. You'll pass through locks along with any other cruise ships or commercial vessels going through that day and you'll sail under the Bridge of the Americas which is a humbling feeling. You feel like you are on this giant ship, but here is this bridge towering above you as cars whiz by overhead.

We went through the locks with a container ship in the next lock over. It was fun watching the container ship "grow" as we "shrank" and vice versa. It was also kind of odd to be on deck 14 at the start of the lock and be practically eye level with the shore in the middle of the lock. You'll get an up close and personal look at some of the structural components of the canal as well, as the canal was built before the era of the tubbier cruise ships out there. I think the Zaandam is one of the skinnier ships. I recommend heading off to the library and doing some research on this remarkable canal. Knowing a bit about the history and technical aspects makes this trip more interesting. Also, unless your itinerary calls for a stop you won't stop in Panama City. Some crossing itineriares also have the ship going in halfway, turning around and coming back out. Check with your TA or HAL.