Panama Canal Cruise In The Dark

Maybe we’re missing something here…

Windstar Cruises has a new program for sailing through the Panama Canal, at night. Yes, in the dark, or mostly in the dark. As the cruise line points out, it will give Windstar guests a chance “to experience the sights and sounds of the Panama Canal while enjoying amenities and activities that highlight the Panamanian culture.“


We always thought the idea was to SEE the Panama Canal, especially now with the long-awaited expansion closing in on completion (according to the Panama Canal website everything is between 92 and 100 per cent finished, although there is still no mention of when it will open).

Meanwhile, Windstar guests will “enjoy a cool and breezy nighttime passage through the Panama Canal, during which lights illuminate the inner workings of the waterway” while Panama Canalthey “stroll along the deck and sip on local beverages, beers, and cocktails from a mobile drink cart while listening to local festive music from various regions around the country.”

Except for what would be illuminated, this sounds like it could apply to just about any cruise, just about anywhere.

Our Panama Canal experience is one crossing. We were mesmerized. This weekend, we dined with friends who are not avid cruisers, who recently cruised through the Canal and who will probably never set foot on a cruise ship again — translation: They didn’t have a good time.

The one part of the 16-day journey that mesmerized them was the Panama Canal.

Like us, they went through during the day. Like us, they saw it. Who knows how much of it Windstar’s guests will be able to see? At least they won’t know what they’re missing, right?

In the news…

• Two Celebrity Summit passengers die, 18 are hurt, in Tortola bus crash
• Zuiderdam 7th Holland American ship this year with CDC score of 100
• Regal Princess to star in 6-part ITV documentary ‘The Cruise’ in March
• Royal Caribbean’s Jewel of the Seas to get $30-million upgrade in spring

Today at portsandbows.comPrincess plans for Europe in 2017

Holland America Oosterdam
11 night
December 28, 2015
Fort Lauderdale (return): St. Maarten, St. Lucia, Barbados, Fort-de-France, St. Kitts, St. Thomas, Half Moon Cay
Inside: $1,099
Cost per day: $99

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