On one recent trip through the Panama Canal, an intrepid cruisegoer (an oxymoron, right?) perched out on top of his ship for the 10-hour trip through the 51 miles it takes to travel from one ocean to the other. If you’re wondering why it takes so long, keep in mind that Gatun Lake, near the Atlantic side, is actually 85 feet higher than the Pacific Ocean, which means you have to spend your time in 12 locks that make up the canal either raising or lowering yourself to the appropriate level.
An interesting fact is that ships are charged by weight to travel through the canal. In 2008, a record fee was levied upon a Disney cruise ship, with the bill coming to $313,200. It’s unclear whether this was based on weight or on anger that Disney built a cruise ship.
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