Panama Canal Transit – Advance Planning

Published 12 years ago, updated 5 years ago

Our thanks to David Kory for these useful notes.

Posted 2 April 2012

I expect to transit the Panama Canal at the end of April and therefore have attempted to contact several Agents in advance to find out about their fees and the service they provide. Cruisers might find the responses I received useful.

First, I reviewed all the info. on Noonsite, and followed the link to the Panama Canal Authority website, which is in English and Spanish. They have all regulations, forms, and fees in pdf docs, that are easy to read and understand.

I then emailed the same inquiry to 6 of the agents listed on Noonsite, giving them my yacht info., origin, and expected arrival date on the Atlantic side, and asked for pricing and details.

1. Agencia Delfino: Did not reply.

2. Matchship: Quoted several regulations and fees incorrectly, inflated costs. $750 agency fee. When I inquired further about the fees and regulations they had quoted me, they replied rudely and said they would double my fees before answering, saying they normally deal with superyachts and big budgets.

(Note: Matchship have said that they require a copy of the Ship Registry Certificate to prove the boat actually exists before giving out too many details).

3. Tina McBride: Quoted regulations and fees correctly, did not quote agency fee. Requires scanned ships register, scanned crew list, scanned passports, scanned clearance from last port before continuing.

4. Associated Yacht Services: Quoted regulations and fees mostly correctly. Agency fee $750. Included fees and services not required, such as sanitation, fumigation, derivatization, charges fees for free items, such as entering ships info online, adds $500 for misc. $250 to rent 4 lines.

5. Roy Bravo- Emmanuel Agencies: Quoted regulations and fees correctly. Agency fee $400. Promises a fixed price, includes about $150 for tips and misc. $120 to rent 4 lines.

6. Erick Galvez – Centenario Consulting: Quoted regulations and fees correctly. Accurate, detailed info, including listing when a $10 tip to officials is helpful to the process. Says no buffer (security deposit) is required by him for southbound transits.

As I am planning ahead, I have not selected an agent yet, but will report back on my experience once I am through (see report Cruiser Recommendations for Canal Transit).

David Kory

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