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Greetings from Panama! My name is Marina Ehrman and I have been a professional tour guide and promoter for Panama Tourism and Travel Company since 2005. I love what I do and am proud to share what my country has to offer. It is filled with endless leisure and commercial attractions, friendly happy people who open their doors to all visitors. Panama is a country of incomparable natural beauty with a variety of tourist attractions, beautiful beaches in the Pacific and Caribbean. The tropical climate year round with its diversified flora, fauna and indigenous groups make it one of the most important of Ecotourism in Latin America. I invite you to know our country’s history, culture and also enjoy the cuisine, folklore and traditions that only a place in the world can provide………Panama! Contact me and I’ll organize your visit and will be happy to welcome you in Panama. For more information on Panama, follow my Facebook page and my blog. Visit

Which was the first vessel to transit the Panama Canal?


SS Ancon was an American steamship that became the first ship to officially transit the Panama Canal in 1914. The steamer began life as the SS Shawmut, built for the Boston Steamship Line in 1902. About 1910 she was purchased by the Panama Railroad Company to provide shipping required for the construction of the Panama Canal. The name was changed to Ancon after Ancon Hill and Ancon township in Panama, home to the head of the Canal Commission.

Ancon and her sister ship Cristobal played a crucial role in building the canal, bringing workers and supplies, notably massive amounts of cement, from New York to Panama for the construction project.

On August 15, 1914 Ancon made the first official transit of the canal as part the canal's opening ceremonies. (Her sister ship Cristobal had made the first unofficial transit on August 3, delivering a load of cement, while an old French crane boat Alexandre La Valley had crossed the canal from the Atlantic in stages during construction, finally reaching the Pacific on January 7.)

Ancon was acquired by the United States Navy from the US Army just after the end of World War I and fitted out as USS Ancon (ID-1467), a troop transport to return Americans home.

The Panama Railroad Company replaced SS Ancon in 1938 with a second SS Ancon, a larger steam turbine cargo liner which later saw considerable action as US Navy Transport USS Ancon in World War II.

Officially ,the SS Ancon was the first vessel to transit the Panama Canal on August 15, 1914. However, the first transit completed through the Canal was done as part of a work routine on January 7, 1914, when the crane Alexander La Valley crossed the Pacific locks without any type of ceremony

On August 15, 1914 marked the start of a revolution in global trade and transportation. It was on that day that a cargo ship called the S.S. Ancon made the first passage through the Panama Canal

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