Panama City, Panama – Boat ride on the Panama Canal

It is great to have friends. Although Lew had to travel abroad he asked a befriended boat captain to take us on a ride on the canal. There is a tourist boat that offers trips, but they start at about 100 $ for a short tour. The Canál de Panamá corporation uses an old crane ship, the Atlas III, for pilot training and for public relations tours with school classes, associations and others. Today a school class from Colón goes aboard in Panama City and leaves the ship after the Miraflores Locks. We kindly can join the tour. The Panama Canal Corporation is not allowed to take any money for that, but there is no way to apply for it, you have to be invited.

On the Atlas III we have the opportunity to see the locking live. What an experience and chance for photos! On our way north we are locking together with a smaller tanker and two tugboats. There are even a complimentary lunch-box and sodas available. After we dropped the school kids we head south again and share the lock chamber with a motor yacht and a working boat. Despite our boat captain Carlos is very experienced, a pilot has to be on board – nothing goes without them.

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