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Although a few of today's largest cruise ships can not pass through the locks of the Panama Canal, most major cruise lines offer sailings that include this unique passage along with visits to several Central American and Caribbean ports of call. A day-long passage through the 51-mile-long canal transits three locks and passes through some of the region's most beautiful scenery.
Some lines operate Central American/Panama Canal cruises throughout the year, but September through April is the most popular season for these itineraries. Many Panama Canal cruises last from 10 to 25 days or more, though some are as short as a week. Repositioning voyages between the Atlantic and Caribbean waters and the Pacific and Alaska also usually go through the Panama Canal and include Central America visits, as do many world cruise itineraries.