After 106 years, the Panama Canal is still working as a bridge between the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans. Through its 80 kilometers of route, the vessels go through 5 different sets of locks that function like a system of elevators; these go up and down to Gatun’s Lake, which is approximately 26 meters above sea level and flows into the other Ocean. The tour lasts a little over 8 hours (super fast if you compare it to the two weeks that means surrounding South America if you want to bypass the channel). But, there are a few things you must know before knowing how much money you need to cross the Panama Canal?
How much money do you need to transit the Panama Canal?
First, we present to you the purpose of this canal, which is to minimize the distances for maritime and commercial routes, and, thanks to this, those routes can happen for the entire world. In that order, not any boat can go through this space; the maximum size is 366 meters long by 51 meters wide, and some larger vessels such as the OOCL Hong Kong, cannot cross.
There are also special ships that are built for transit through the channel, and they can be a maximum of 950ft long, 106ft wide, and can hold the equivalent of 5000 20-foot shipping containers.
On the other hand, the maximum limit of the channel is that freighters must have a maximum capacity of 15 thousand 20-foot containers and the fee to cross the Panama Channel depends on the size of the vessel, their cargo capacity, and their weight.
In the actual time, you have to pay a fee of 90 USD for every container that you registered on the travel log, so a ship at his maximum capacity has to pay more than 1 million USD to cross the channel.
What are the rates for tourist ships?
Besides, in the case of cruise ships and tourism boats, they have to pay 138 USD for every person on board. If you have your boat or a yacht, the costs can vary from 800 USD to 3200 USD, and the boat will share the travel with other small ships since it’s not affordable for the locks to be operated for these costs.
The travel can be up to ten hours, depending on the number of ships on the lane because even when the locks are designed to afford more than one ship. The vessels can’t be in opposite directions at the same time. And, the most important, you can’t pay with a credit card: every payment is on cash at least 48 hours in advance.
There are specialist Panama Canal pilots who will go aboard with you and captain you as you cross the canal, and they have all the control until you leave.
Traveling through the Panama Canal is cheaper in terms of fuel and time compared to going to the lower part of the American continent and back up. And it is a historical experience and one of complete safety for all who do it.