Through the Panama Canal: Photo of the Day 10

Who else has been through the Panama Canal?

view from bridge cargo freighter ship through panama canal

view from the bridge as we pass through the Miraflores locks


On my RTW trip, I crossed the Panama Canal on my way down through Central America the normal way — over the bridge. But on my long, long freighter ride home from New Zealand, I got to go through it for the first time.

It was surprisingly cool to do so.

Some quick off-the-wall facts on the Panama Canal:

  • the Pacific Ocean is actually about 8 inches higher than the Atlantic side, so yes, sea level is not level.
  • 65 ships are the most that have passed through on a single day.
  • the smallest thing to cross was Richard Halliburton n August 23, 1928, paying a toll of 36 cents since his weight was 150 pounds.
  • The highest toll paid for a transit through the Panama Canal until 1995 paid by the Crown Princess on May 2, 1993; it was US$141,349.97.
  • A boat traveling from New York to San Francisco saves 7,872 miles by using the Panama Canal instead of going around Cape Horn.
  • The Hydrofoil Pegasus of the United States Navy did the fastest transit of the Canal by completing it in 2 hours and 41 minutes.

About Michael Hodson

I’m an attorney that took off on my birthday in December of 2008 to circumnavigate the globe without ever getting on an airplane. After 16 months, 6 continents and 44 countries, I made it all the way back home. Right now, I am back on the road writing about it all.

10 thoughts on “Through the Panama Canal: Photo of the Day

  • Megan

    I know pretty much nothing about the Panama Canal…am excited to go and see it in a few days even though I don’t really get what it does or how it works…!

  • Marina K. Villatoro

    I was going to be going there in September, but for some reason Panama seems to be falling through for me. It’s like the 5 time we planned a trip there and something comes up.

    Now it’s becoming a small obsession for me!

  • Greg Goodman

    Great photo! I had the pleasure of visiting the locks in 2006 and they looked pretty much the same…I would imagine it always does! 😛 I also really loved the Panama Canal Railroad tracks nearby and the trains that would pass filled with hundreds of giant containers that just passed through the Miraflor Locks.

    I also would love to invite you to check out some of my Panama photography at my site: Adventures of a GoodMan

  • The Travel Chica

    I was lucky enough to stay with my cousins in a nice sky rise condo overlooking the water during my stay in Panama City. We would sit on the balcony amazed by the number of boats off in the distance waiting in line.

  • Jennifer Reynolds

    We traveled throught the Panama Canal last fall (2010) on the Norwegian Pearl cruise ship. Our fee for the Canal crossing was the highest fee ever paid (again due to the 2,00 passenger+ cruise ship tonnage) and it was $245,000 US dollars. We also only had about 1 foot on either side of the ship to squeeze through. It was pretty amazing to see the incredible engineering feat created and carved out. Thank you for your blog – it is amazing. I wish I had the courage to travel like you, but I do the best I can. In the past year I have traveled to Mexico (5x), Grand Cayman, Belize, Roatan, Columbia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Azores, Portugal, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Russia, Estonia, Germany, Sweden, Finland and Egypt. My goal is 100 countries before I am 50 years old (I will be 47 next month). I have traveled to about 55 countries in the past 10 years, but really need to step it up to hit my goal. Wish me luck. Thank you for inspiring me!!
    Jennifer Reynolds

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