"Why is is so unbelievably expensive to sail through the Panama Canal? "
Because the canal company is owned by the godless Communist Chinese Government and the People's Republic wants to make a profit off their investment. And Jimmy Carter, peanut farming schmuck that he was, fogot to FILL IT BACK IN before he gave it back to Panama, years before the US lease on it was up.
I'm an ecologist, I'd have filled it back in before the lease ran out. And then given Panama back to the neighbors as well. (The US essentially created Panama in order to build the canal, read up.)
"Seriously? Your really not kidding?"
Now, what kind of college are you in, that they didn't teach you to USE THE INTERNET AND GET THE PRICES DIRECTLY FROM THE PANAMA CANAL COMPANY?
It's not like you have to make a long distance phone call at four dollar per minute, or wait two weeks for international mail, the way most of us had to do research before the internet.