The Panama Canal  is one of the top cruising destinations in the world, though “destination” is not really the right word. More than 150,000 people transit the canal each year, but most never set foot in Panama  itself.
Panama has been trying to change that. It now has two cruise-ship ports on the Caribbean side of the isthmus near Colón . A cruise-ship terminal and other facilities have been completed at Amador on the Pacific side, though ships must bring passengers ashore by tender boats.
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (www.royalcaribbean.com ) was the first major cruise line to make Panama a home port, meaning it offers cruises that originate in Panama. It offers one-week cruises on its massive Enchantment of the Seas, departing from the Colón 2000  port.
The main Panama Canal cruise season begins in October, when ships end their Alaska cruises. They head down south and transit the canal to position themselves for their Caribbean and Panama Canal cruises. The main season lasts until the end of the dry season, around mid-April.
A canal transit takes 8–10 hours. Ships sometimes visit Panama’s islands, especially those of Kuna Yala .