9 Awesome Reasons to Book a Cruise Through the Panama Canal


7. See the Bridge of the Americas and Centennial Bridge

The Bridge of the Americas, or Puente de las Américas in Spanish, was built in 1962 at a cost of $20 million USD. It was the first permanent bridge to cross the canal, and it is located right at the Pacific locks. It’s a cantilever bridge, which allows it to extend across the canal without any structures holding it up in the middle. The Centennial Bridge is a gorgeous cable-stay design, much like the Brooklyn Bridge in New York and the Jiang-Shaoxing Sea Bridge in China. The Centennial Bridge was completed in 2004, and completes the Pan-American Highway today. Reading about these two monumental bridges here is nothing compared to the thrill of sailing underneath them. The gorgeous harp design of the Centennial Bridge is simply stunning from any angle, and the Bridge of the Americas is imposingly impressive as well.

Centennial Bridge  Panama

6. Learn About the History of Such a Feat First Hand

Reading about the canal’s history on the web or in a book really leads to missing out on understanding the accomplishment of such a feat. It’s hard to understand the difficulty of cutting and blasting through tons of rocky terrain that reached 360 feet above sea level to create a water-bearing canal. Or the disaster that malaria and yellow fever presented for the workforce charged with creating this monumental achievement. Nearly 28,000 people – nearly a third of the total workforce – died creating this engineering masterpiece. Much of the Panama landscape and culture was effected by the canal as well. The builders agreed to lend a hand to create lasting infrastructure in the country, like schools and hospitals, which visitors can see in person. Visitors can also meet some of the locals and talk to them about how the canal’s history has changed Panama.

Next ➞

More on EscapeHere