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If you're talking best, David, then Conde Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure are both good sources for high-end recommendation about cruise lines plying the canal. T+L recommends Crystal Cruises as its favorite line in this recent article from June 2011 (http://bit.ly/A92nGF). Meanwhile. Conde Nast plumps for Lindblad's "Costa Rica and Panama Canal" itinerary, info about which you can find here: http://bit.ly/azkf7R. Obviously, this is a multi-country affair so maybe not ideal for you. In fact, if you just want to cruise the canal, you may be better off booking a private yacht charter as many of the larger cruise lines turn around halfway in. The Lindblad/NG Expeditions ship, the National Geographic Sea Lion, is the only passenger ship that's allowed to sail to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute on the Canal's Barro Colorado Island. You also get to sail the canal at night, when everything is illuminated. Talking of the Smithsonian, Smithsonian Journeys also offers a multi-country itinerary between Costa Rica and Panama that takes in the canal (http://bit.ly/zNqltr).
answered this on February 17, 2012 at 12:33 PM
Answer David's question