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Deal alert: These last-minute bucket-list cruises are on sale from less than $40 per day

March 22, 2023
4 min read
Panama Canal
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Would you wake up before dawn on your vacation to witness one of the world's greatest modern engineering marvels? If the answer is yes, listen up: Several cruise lines are discounting last-minute sailings through the Panama Canal.

If you can sail in the next two months, you could save big on this bucket-list destination with Norwegian Cruise Line, Holland America, Princess Cruises and more.

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When cruise ships reposition from coast to coast in the U.S., they often transit the Panama Canal to save time by avoiding a more southerly route around South America. When that happens, it can mean bargains galore for passengers — and not just on older ships.

In fact, one of the best deals is currently a sailing on Norwegian's nearly brand-new Norwegian Encore, which debuted in late 2019.

See the top Panama Canal cruise deals for spring sailings below.

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Panama Canal cruise deals

A cruise ship enters a lock on the Panama Canal. ONLYMEDHI/GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO

Here's a sampling of about a dozen available sailings that could offer great value if you've been itching to cruise the Panama Canal:

  • A 21-day Miami-to-Seattle sailing on Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Sun, leaving April 21, from $799 per person ($38 per person, per day) for an inside cabin.
  • A 16-day Miami-to-Los Angeles (San Pedro) voyage on Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Encore, departing April 16, from $689 per person ($43 per person, per day) for an inside cabin.
  • A 17-day Miami-to-Seattle itinerary on Carnival Cruise Line's Carnival Spirit, embarking April 16, from $749 per person ($44 per person, per day) for an inside cabin.
  • A 19-day Fort Lauderdale-to-Los Angeles (San Pedro) journey on Princess Cruises' Emerald Princess, setting sail April 16, from $849 per person ($45 per person, per day) for an inside cabin.
  • A 22-day Fort Lauderdale-to-Vancouver voyage on Holland America's Volendam, leaving April 15, from $1,099 per person ($50 per person, per day) for an inside cabin.
  • A 16-day Los Angeles (San Pedro)-to-Fort Lauderdale cruise on Princess Cruises' Island Princess, departing May 11, from $849 per person ($53 per person, per day) for an inside cabin.

Things to consider

There are several reasons why these sailings are so affordable, and you'll want to consider them all before booking to determine whether they still represent a good overall value to you.

Prices listed do not include taxes, fees or port charges, which can be a few hundred dollars extra per person. The fares listed are also for inside cabins, which have no windows or balconies. Upgrading to a different cabin type will increase the price. (On a Panama Canal sailing, you'll likely want a view.)

These sailings are all more than two weeks in duration, with some lasting more than three weeks. If you don't have much vacation time or can't be away that long, these aren't the cruises for you. Also, because they're repositioning sailings, the itineraries may feature more sea days than a typical cruise.

Additionally, these Panama Canal cruises don't begin and end in the same ports of call. That means you'll have to purchase open-jaw flights, which tend to be pricier. With airfare sky-high right now, that could be a setback.

Bottom line

If you're ready to travel within the next two months, and you have two or three weeks to spare, pack your bags. These deals are an affordable way to sail through the Panama Canal — an epic bucket-list destination that will leave you in awe.

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Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.