The Panama Canal is a shipping canal that connects the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. The canal reduces the time taken to travel between the west and east coast of the Americas as the previous route required sailing around Cape Horn at the southern tip of South America (the canal saves about 5000 miles of sea travel). The canal was completed in 1914 after 34 years of construction and it is still considered to be one of the most difficult engineering projects that has ever been attempted in history. Many improvements have been made since the opening of the canal and it now sees an average of more than 14,000 vessels and 300 tons of shipping traffic each year! If you have ever wanted to know the distance from one side of the canal to the other, keep reading to find out.
What is the length of the Panama Canal?
The Panama Canal is approximately 82 km (51 mi) in length, although some estimates estimate the actual length is 77.1 km (47.9 mi). Including the time taken to pass through the system of locks in the canal, it takes about 8-12 hours to travel the length of the canal and this depends on the size of the ship. The Panama Canal runs from northeast (Atlantic side) to southeast (Pacific side).
Did you know?
Every ship that enters the canal is piloted by a canal captain, who must have a minimum of 9 years training.
The cost for using the canal varies depending on the type and size of the vessel along with the type of cargo being carried. Extra fees may also apply for priority passage. The average toll is $54,000.