We got out and up early today with the Sunrise at 6:32am to witness our traversing of the Panama Canal entering from Balboa on the Pacific Ocean to Cristobal at the Atlantic. There were lots of folks on deck as we navigated the 48 mile waterway and crossed the three set of locks (Miraflores, Pedro Miguel, and Gatún).
Entering from Balboa the Miraflores locks provide a two step lift of the Holland America Amsterdam.
A single step lift at Pedro Miguel locks lifts the Amsterdam from the Pacific up to the level of Gatun lake.
A triple step decent at Gatun locks lowers the Amsterdam down to the level of the Atlantic at Cristobal.
Each set of locks carried its own excitement but the Gatun locks, as billed, where the most massive and highest rise/fall. We also got the luxury of looking into the construction of the expansion locks which seemed very near complete. These locks are designed to parallel the old locks and allow for larger cargo vessels to transit the canal. Eventually we made the transition across Gatun Lake and through the Gatun locks.
Our day of running back and forth across the ship came to an eventual end. It was a fun time and made the entirety of the trip even more worthwhile.