We’ve been checking on transit times and fees for the Panama Canal the last few weeks (the photo above is from our last transit aboard Beowulf from the Atlantic).
In the past we have used Tina McBride as an agent to facilitate the paperwork. She does charge $600, and we could do this on our own or with the help of a cab driver. However, using Tina saves us several days of time, and we will be in a bit of a hurry to get to new cruising grounds.
Tina reports that there is a backlog (as of the third week in March, 2008) of 100 ships on the Atlantic side (heading for the Pacific). As yachts are low on the priority list, you have to be patient. Tina reports "….the Canal has had to delay the daily transits of yachts in both directions to accomodate the ships…the Canal is pushing around 44 ships per day through the locks and that is really pushing it! The jam is worse on the Atlantic side…but affects both coasts."
Fees are as follows for Wind Horse (83′).
- Panama Canal tolls: $1,950.00
- AIS transponder rental: 150.00
- Agency fee: 600.00
- Cruising permit: 69.00
- Consent to clear: 16.40
- Clearance: 3.00
- Visas: 20.00
- Line handlers: 260.00
- Overtime and incidentals: 60.00
- Bank wire transfer fee: 15.00
- Total: $3,143.40
In our case, since we have a transponder, the AIS fee should be waived.
We’ll keep you updated on what we find.