[99th Cruise Report]Crossing the Panama Canal
We reached the day of the Panama Canal, a highlight of this ocean voyage! One of the world’s two great canals, along with the Suez, many participants had been looking forward to this day in anticipation. With their cameras ready, they were enthralled by the views while passing through each of the locks.
The Panama Canal stretches for 80km, connecting the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, and with a difference in height of 26 m amongst its locks. First of all, the ship passes through three locks, climbing from 0 m above sea level, to 26 m. Wires are connected to the ship, which is then guided by electric trains running by the side of the canal – actually built in Japan. Participants from Japan were happy to learn of this connection even with the Panama Canal, so far away. Those out on the deck enjoyed taking photos with the canal in the background, or filming as the ship passed through the locks.
As the water levels increase and the lock gates start to open, you can hear an exclamation from all watching. ” It is so strange that a ship this big can be moving up and down like this!” “My dream to pass both the Suez and Panama Canals has now come true!” As we were passing through a huge rainbow appeared, reminding us of how special this experience unique to ship travel is.