What are you doing next spring? If you didn’t say cruising through the magnificent Panama Canal aboard the Celebrity Edge, you missed out on the correct answer! The Panama Canal Cruise is an 11-day itinerary that departs March 27, 2023, departing from Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and taking you to the islands of Aruba, Bonair, and Curaçao on the way to the Panama Canal, with visits to Colon, Panama, and Cartagena, Colombia. What an adventure—and you only have to unpack once! Read on for more…
Your Chariot Awaits
Let’s start with a look at the cruise ship. Celebrity Cruises is an award-winning line that places great emphasis on a refined experience and elevated service and dining, and Celebrity Edge is the lead vessel of their revolutionary Edge class ships. A vacation on board this ship will have you enjoying some genuinely revolutionary designs, including the Magic Carpet—a platform that juts out over the sea and slides up and down, performing as a loading dock during the day, a bar with panoramic views on sea days, and an open-air space for dinner and cocktails on any given night. Then there’s the Edge Staterooms with Infinite Verandas with an entire living space that transforms into a veranda with the touch of a button, the 950-sq.ft. two-story Edge Villas with indoor/outdoor space with direct access to The Retreat Sundeck and an exclusive area for Suite Class guests, and the 1,892-sq.-ft. Penthouse Suites with panoramic views and space to host in-suite gatherings. (Note: Celebrity Edge also has single staterooms WITH A VIEW! There are only 16 onboard, however, so they go pretty fast! There are less-expensive inside cabins, but again, there are VERY few of those. Celebrity Edge is huge on being an outward-facing ship!)
Curious about food? Let’s just say there are 29 food and beverage experiences onboard—and they’re all under the aegis of a Michelin-starred chef. There’s everything you can think of, from great “comfort foods” to innovative cuisine and everything in between. We recommend a cool concoction at the Eden Bar to start off your trip and a definite visit to Le Petit Chef, where each course is presented with an animation that will blow you away–it’s extra, but worth every penny! And those are just two choices… Really, you can literally eat or drink at a different spot every day of your trip.
Afraid there might not be enough to do on the days when you’re at sea? Allow us to dispel that notion. We mentioned the Magic Carpet, but along with that, there’s the Edge Casino; the glamourous Grand Plaza for swanky gatherings, dining, and cocktails; award-winning entertainment productions; the Resort Deck with an outward-facing pool deck, the Rooftop Garden, and the adults-only Solarium; the Celebrity Shops to give your credit cards a workout; the Spa on Edge (to take off any residual “daily grind” edge—ha); and much, much more.
We’ve intentionally left stuff out because you really need to just hop on board this experience and prepare to be wowed for the entire 11 days.
Let’s check out where you’ll be going…
Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao
Each of these Caribbean islands has its own charm. Aruba, officially known as “One Happy Island,” lives up to its name with world-class beaches, fantastic weather, and a warm and welcoming culture. A small island, it’s easy to explore and enjoy both on land and in the water. Bonaire has a rich marine life just waiting for snorkelers and divers to discover and some really cool ecoadventures to explore. Curaçao’s capital of Willemstad will make its way onto your social media in a nanosecond with its beautiful colorful buildings. There are historic settlements to visit, a thriving art and culinary scene, and a ridiculous amount of gorgeous beaches.
The Panama Canal and Colon
This marvel of modern engineering is an inter-oceanic navigation path that crosses the Isthmus of Panama from the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean. Each year some 14,000 ships make the crossing bearing 300 million tons of goods—a whopping 5 percent of world trade. Daily the Canal sees anywhere between 35 and 40 ships a day.
A great way to see the canal is from the Miraflores Visitor Center in the city of Colon on the east side of the Miraflores Locks. This will allow you to watch the big ships travel the last section of the canal and its locks, which fill with water to lift and lower these massive vessels until they reach the Pacific. The Center houses a theater, three observation terraces, a restaurant with views of the canal, a gift shop, four exhibition halls, and snack bars.
However, the absolute best way to see the canal is… on a cruise, of course! The Canal is 48 miles long and is navigated by over 20 of the world’s top cruise lines, including Celebrity Cruises!
Colon is also home to one of the world’s largest duty-free ports—and you know what that means… Shopping! After stocking up on goodies, you can head out to the Gamboa Rainforest Resort and take in jaw-dropping views of Gatun Lake and the Chagres River.
Lovely Cartagena, also known as the “Jewel of the Indies,” is a beautifully restored and preserved historic city that you’ll want to take your time exploring. There are beaches, yes, but there’s tons to see and do in the city. Walk around the walled city, do a little shopping, indulge in a mojito (or several), try out the local cuisine, you can even cut a rug at any of the many places to dance!
The SkyMed Difference
Why book with SkyMed, you might ask? Well, just for starters, because SkyMed Travel has special arrangements with the cruise line, you will have access to Exclusive On Board Events only available to our SkyMed Travel Group. And never mind the extra perks, like an included Classic Beverage Package, Pre-Paid Gratuities, and Free Wi-Fi, which, by the way, is high-speed Starlink service by SpaceX.
Ready to find hop onboard? Give us a call at 800-568-8994 and ask for John—you couldn’t be in better hands than his! And remember: There is zero extra charge to you for working with a knowledgeable Travel Advisor, and should anything go wrong during your trip, you will have a fantastic advocate on your side.