Panama Canal Tour

 

Last time on Travel Explorations we talked about a Theodore Roosevelt-related tour. Again this week we will do so. President Theodore Roosevelt had the unusual breadth of interests and experiences as to make current travel an exciting match for his life a century ago.

The Theodore Roosevelt Association, headquartered in Oyster Bay, New York, also the location of TR’s family home Sagamore Hill, is the sponsor of a Panama Canal 100th Anniversary tour to Panama. Scheduled March 6-13, 2014, and open to the public, participants will experience the highlights of the Canal, a project for which TR was the key catalyst.

A highlight will be a briefing at the United States Embassy with Ambassador to Panama Jonathan D. Ferrar.

Participants will explore Casco Viejo, the Spanish Colonial Old City that is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. A walking tour will include the Panama Canal Museum; the Plaza Francia, dedicated to the French Canal effort; the Plaza de Independecia, and the Flat Arch, proof the Panama Canal could be built without earthquake damage.

A full transit of the Panama Canal on board the Pacific Queen will explore the Miraflores and Pedro Miguel Locks, the Gaillard Cut, and Gatun Lake, where the Chagres River flows into two oceans, and is the main source of fresh water that guarantees the operation of the Canal.

TRA enthusiasts traditionally embrace “the strenuous life,” and a trip to the Gamboa Rainforest Resort for nature and wildlife activities, including bird watching, an aerial tram and a Gatun Lake Expedition, fits in with those adventurous inclinations.

You’ll visit the Balboa neighborhood, near Ancon Hill, to see the Panama Canal Administration Building.

In this area, TRA speakers will interpret the Goethals’ Memorial and Stevens Circle.

A wreath laying ceremony will take place at the Corozal American Cemetary, where more than 5,000 American veterans who served in the armed forces or contributed to the building of the Panama Canal are interred.

The TRA 100th Anniversary of the Panama Canal Observance will take place at the Panama Canal Expansion Visitors Center including a film, and champagne luncheon. Here visitors will learn about the past, present and future of the Canal.

Experience a trip on the Historic Railway from Colon to Panama City. This 1-hour journey leads you through the jungle and along the Panama Canal. The Panama Canal Railway is one of the great train rides of the world, following a picturesque path across the Isthmus of Panama, cruising along the locks of the Panama Canal, through the historic Gaillard Cut, and over the Gatun Lake causeways. Enjoy drinks and hors d’oeuvres aboard the train.

The Director of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Center will address the group.

Enjoy an after-hours tour of the Miraflores Locks followed by dinner at the Miraflores Restaurant.

The trip features a number of unique culinary experiences including a 100th anniversary celebratory dinner at the Marriott Panama Hotel, as well as cocktails and dinner at the Melia Panama Canal, the former Ancient School of the Americas, now transformed into a 5-star hotel. The Melia is located in Colon on the banks of Lake Gatun.

Participants will take a short boat ride to the Embera Indian Village on the Chagres River, learning about the tribe’s culture and shopping for handicrafts.

A farewell dinner will take place at the recently renovated American Trade Hall in Casco Viejo , or Old Town, with a rooftop reception and dinner including folklore music and dance.

This tour is incredibly unique, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Canal, and full of history and special experiences. For more information, go to trastrenuouslifepanama.org

This is Katherine Satrom for Travel Explorations.

 



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