|The 51 mile Panama Canal starts near Panama City in the Pacific Ocean and travels southwest to northeast to Colon, Panama and into the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. Three sets of locks at each end of the canal raise and lower the ships 85 feet so that they can sail across the Continental Divide via Gatun Lake. The canal reduces the Pacific-Atlantic sailing distance by over 7,800 miles.
The original locks were opened in 1914. The new, larger set of locks were opened in June 2016. This was the first time our ship had passed through the Panama Canal--at a charge of about US$500,000. The charge is based on the number of beds on the cruise ship, regardless of whether or not they are occupied. The highest toll ever paid was US$1.2M for a cargo ship. The charge is $60 per empty container and $90 per full container.
FYI-The Panama hat is not made in Panama. It originated in Ecuador and was worn by the canal workers during construction. Your welcome!