Connecting the oceans: the Panama Canal (Part 1)
Located in Central America, Panama connects the North and South Americas. The moment you step outside, the tropical moisty air wraps your body with a deep scent of green, soil and water. One of the most famous places in Panama is the Panama Canal, a keystone of the worlds global trade. When you look at it in the world maps, these canal may only seem like a small line, however it is considered one of humanity’s greatest achievements to day, something you can feel by crossing the canal. Here, I’m looking forward to meeting new people who live while preserving their culture and customs. Arriving to a place that can only be visited by ship fills my heart with a spirit of inquiry and curiosity.
Systematic Navigation Drama
The world famous Panama Canal was built to connect the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean by excavating the “isthmus,” the narrowest part of land that connects the Americas. To complement the altitude differences in between, the water from the Gatun Lake and and a lock gates system are used. The Panama Canal is becoming even more important as it’s expansion works were completed in 2016 and super-large container ships can now pass through. Today, we will pass the 80km long canal, going through locks and artificial lakes for about 8 hours, witnessing the greatness of this engineering wonder that makes full use of the power of water and electricity. To see the upcoming passage drama, a large number of people gathered on the deck of the ship.
The real pleasure of cruising
The Gatun Lake can also be visited on an optional tour during our port call. If you’re lucky, you can even see sloths, monkeys, iguanas, and crocodiles! With binoculars in one hand, you can observe themwhile talking with your friends. While fully enjoying the systematic passage scene and sightseeing in the wilderness, the ship crossed Panama and arrived at a new sea. Experience the scale of the Panama Canal slowly and inscribed in your five senses without going against time—not just “just seeing” or “just going”, but traveling on a ship that you can feel with your whole body makes you realize a lot.