Shore Excursion Review: Scenic Drive and Walking Tour of Old Panama City
Cruise Line: Princess Port: Panama Canal, Partial Transit Price: $74.95 USD per person Duration: 6 hours
What to expect: With a partial Panama Canal transit with Princess, the only excursion options are Princess options (due to not being aware of the exact time the transit process will complete). When you are on shore, the ship transits back through the canal and docks in Cristobal, and you meet the ship there.
This tour involved being tendered from Gatun Lake to shore, and then a bus ride through the canal zone, past the Gatun Locks (the older ones on the Caribbean side), driving over the bridge that is part of the new Agua Clara locks, and then driving into Panama City. The first stop is the UNESCO site of Panamá Viejo, where you have time to visit the museum and explore the ruins (about an hour in total). On the coach, a small lunch is provided (on our tour it was a turkey and mustard sandwich, banana muffin, and a bottle of water - there was no option to specify preferences or advise of dietary restrictions). The tour then drives through the more modern section of Panama City, en route to the older, colonial section of the city.
In the colonial section of the city, you take a walking tour that highlights a few different areas, including the ruins of a church, a park, some monuments, a city wall you can walk along, and leaves you with 15-20 minutes for shopping/restrooms. The coach ride back to the ship is about an hour. There was a tent with some vendors there at the port as well for additional shopping.