World cruise becomes trip of a lifetime for Bruce and Judy Shaw

David E. Dix If you are lucky enough to go on a world cruise aboard

David E. Dix

David E. Dix

If you are lucky enough to go on a world cruise aboard the Queen Victoria, take note: the Suez Canal is one lane only so ships at one end must wait for ships traveling the other direction to emerge from the canal. By contrast, the Panama Canal is two lanes so ships traveling the opposite direction do not have to wait and can pass one another side by side.

I probably will never be so fortunate to sail the world aboard the Queen Victoria, but our friends, Bruce and Judy Shaw, did earlier this year. Judy made me aware of this difference in the two canals. The 121-mile Suez Canal, openedin 1869, was constructed by a company formed by the Frenchman Ferdinand de Lesseps. It connected the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea and separated the Asian continent from Africa. Until then, ships traveling from Europe to destinations in Asia, had to travel around the tip of southern Africa.

Judy Shaw, left, Capt. Evans Hoyt, and Bruce Shaw on the bridge of Queen Victoria.

The 52-mile Panama Canal, opened in 1914, was constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Currently operated by a Panama Canal Authority under the the government of Panama, it connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and until its opening, ships traveling from North America to the Pacific had to travel around the southern tip of South America through the treacherous Strait of Magellan.