We took a Panama Canal cruise recently and used this guide throughout our three week cruise and found it very useful. The history of the canal in this book is especially riveting when you learn of the sacrifice of so many people who perished while building the canal. The background on the engineering challenges gives a good picture of why it took so long for a canal to be built. There are over 70 pages on the history, construction and operation of the canal which, along with the numerous maps of the canal (including a huge pullout map) and dozens of archival photos, really takes you back to the time of this engineering marvel. The book also had all the ports, at least on our itinerary, we visited before and after the canal segment. Great book!