Panoramic Views of the Panama Canal
31st December 2014
The historical link connecting the Pacific Ocean with the Atlantic Ocean via Panama has attracted tourists since the beginning of the 20th century.
It is considered one of the greatest engineering achievements of the 20th century and features on a unique list of the Seven Engineering Wonders of the Modern World.
Star Clippers provide exciting opportunities to travel through the Panama Canal on board the Star Flyer, with cruises from Barbados to Panama and Panama to Cuba - both delving into the history of the region.
The selected Panama cruises also allow the chance to visit other areas, such as the Caribbean, Cuba and the Central and Southern Americas.
What can you expect to see in Panama? Well, panoramic views are just the beginning.
Balboa is where you will find the Pacific Ocean entrance to the Panama Canal and its popularity is emphasised by the sheer number of yachts you will be able to see from around the world.
The city houses an American Administrative Headquarters, which is well worth a visit, and the buildings portray the American colonial style of the early 20th century.
Ancon Hill separates Balboa from Panama City and a gentle stroll up the hill will provide superb views of the city.
Panama is much more than the world’s best short-cut and this is emphasised through the blend of Spanish and Native American influence, finely displayed through dance and music.
You may also get a taste for the local folklore, which has been handed down through generations via various festivals and dances.
Traditional wood carvings, ceremonial masks and pottery all make for great souvenirs.
In terms of food, the cuisine is influenced by hot and spicy South American flavours, but Panama’s fishing reputation means that the seafood is definitely worth a try.
It is also worth drawing reference to Panama’s swashbuckling history - the country has been influenced by pirates throughout history, particularly Captain Morgan and many places in the country still refuse to sell Captain Morgan Rum.
It is amazing to witness any large ship squeezing its way along the Panama Canal, yet the water bypass saw 14,702 vessels pass through in 2008.
Along the Canal, you will be able to catch a glimpse of the vast, green jungle areas of Panama, which host a range of creatures including sloths, snakes, turtles and crocodiles.
You will also pass under the Centennial Bridge, which is a major crossing between Panama and North America and forms the starting point of the Pan-American Highway.
There are certainly some amazing views to take in along the journey through the Panama Canal and being on board the Star Flyer makes it all the more special.
Before you know it, you’ll have travelled from the Pacific Ocean and onto the Atlantic (or vice versa).
San Blas Archipelago
Sailing beyond the Panama Canal and into the Atlantic Ocean, you will stop by the Panamaic San Blas Archipelago.
The archipelago is home to the indigenous Kuna tribe who have created an artistic heritage inspired by the colourful birds, fish and animals.
They have created a series of art works called molas, which consist of a series of colourful panels traditionally used to cover the front and back of a woman’s blouse.
These panels usually form either a pattern or create the outline of a particular animal and make for superb souvenirs.
Once you have explored the culture you can relax on a beach overlooking the beautiful Kuna Yala coast.
Sailing on the Star Clippers’ Star Flyer – you can expect a unique wind-sailing experience, whilst appreciating everything that the Panama Canal and the Caribbean has to offer.
Cruises operate regularly and range from 9 to 14 nights; travelling between Balboa in Panama and either Barbados or Cuba.