Best Videos About The Panama Canal

If you’ve transited the Panama Canal, or are planning a Panama Canal Cruise, you will definitely want to get a copy of my book PANAMA CANAL DAY.  The book is loosely based on the commentary I give from the bridge on ships transiting the Canal … but much expanded.  It’s great background, not just about the history of the Canal, but  how that history fits into the history of Panama and the Americas.

Most of the ships I’ve been on transiting the Panama Canal show old, outdated videos about the Canal, typically telling only the part of the story about the US construction, even, as in the case of the David McCullough video, questioning if Panama will be able to successfully manage the Canal! The gigantic mass-market cruise ships happily use the Canal as a sales toll to generate bookings, but once they get you onboard treat the Canal and Panama Canal day as a giant inconvenience to the main goal of getting you to spend money. Sometimes I think they forget the reason why people booked a Panama Canal Cruise in the first place.

So, first, buy my book and second watch these two great videos! The first is the best history of the Canal from the inception to the US turnover of the Canal to Panama. And the second is all about the Panama Canal Expansion program that was completed last summer, and what it means for the future of not just the Panama Canal but for worldwide shipping and the international economy. You’ll get to see behind the scenes of the construction and actually see inside the giant tunnels that feed water into the new locks.

These are the videos the cruise lines should show onboard. They are by far they far the best comprehensive videos about the Panama Canal.



This is information you won’t get on most gigantic cruise ships, but it will make your trip through the Canal so much more enjoyable!

How would you like to go through the new Agua Clara lock in the Panama Canal?

Well, climb on board and take a ride! Pilot’s eye view …

Assume GoPro!

The Past Is Prologue

Now it begins! For all that the Panama Canal has done for the world for over 100 years and a million ships, and for the booming GDP growth of Panama as a country, it’s all just beginning. That’s something to keep in mind if you are looking for a place to invest, or just park, your money … and your body … or a place to live and retire. Honestly now, is that something you can say about your home country?

I wrote the other day about the highest toll every paid to use the Panama Canal, just paid the other day to take a Neopanamax ship through the new locks: $829,468. One Neopanamax ship.

But the new locks make it possible for the huge liquefied natural gas ships to use the Canal …

So imagine this …

(Bloomberg) — Natural gas exports from the U.S. Gulf Coast will reach buyers in Asia and South America faster and at lower costs thanks to an expanded Panama Canal that could see 550 tankers a year by 2021 … The shortcut will shrink travel times for ships carrying gas from U.S. shale fields and encourage utilities and traders who have reserved liquefaction capacity to actually use those plants.

Since the U.S. became an exporter of the power plant fuel for the first time in February, 15 tankers have left Cheniere Energy Inc.’s Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana as of June. U.S. export capacity is expected to expand to 9.2 billion cubic feet a day and the country will become the world’s third-largest LNG producer after Australia and Qatar by 2020, the Energy Information Administration said in a report Thursday …

The expanded canal will give 90 percent of the world’s fleet of LNG tankers access to the shortcut, according to Victoria Zaretskaya, a Washington-based analyst with the EIA. Large tankers bound for Asia that use the canal may save as much as $3.2 million per round trip compared with travel through the Suez Canal, and $2.8 million versus the trip around Africa’s Cape of Good Hope, she said …”

And remember, Panama isn’t just a one pony show! The Canal is just a part of the Panama Miracle already being compared to Dubai and Singapore.

“What do you get when you have 500 lawyers in a room?”

018There’s a stupid pirate joke I use on the ship when giving my “Beyond Johnny Depp: The History of Piracy” lecture: what do you have when you have 500 pirates in a room? The answer: a lawyer’s convention. Actually I met a wonderful group of matrimonial lawyers when they held their Spring Continuing Education Seminar in Panama City. All the participants received a copy of my book PANAMA CANAL DAY: AN ILLUSTRATED GUIDE TO CRUISING THE PANAMA 012CANAL in advance, so that by the time they got to Panama they were all keyed up to experience the Canal.

I was able to speak to the entire group about Panama, its history, and the Canal, and Luis Ferreria, one of the chief engineers of the Canal spoke about the Expansion Project. That evening we had a wonderful dinner at Miraflores Visitor Center watching ships sail through the locks, and the next day on two chartered ferry boats, I accompanied the entire group as we transited the Canal. It was a great experience for a really great group of folks from all over the US.


“On behalf of President, Jim McLaren, our CLE Committee and myself, I want to thank you for your participation in our Panama CLE. Your presentation and wealth of information and history of the Panama Canal was exceptional and enjoyed by all! It really added to our experience when going through the Canal. I also enjoyed spending time with you and your Wife. We must share a glass of wine once again!  With kindest regards, Mitchell K. Karpf, AAML CLE Chair”


SCAN JTM letter to Mr Detrich  thanking for excellent presentation in PanamaRLS (1)


Panama is a superb place to hold a convention, or any size, or even a Summit of The Americas with 35 heads of state including the President of the United States.