Panama Canal Welcomes 1st Cruise Ship in 2017/18 Season

Image Courtesy: Panama Canal Authority

On November 7, the Caribbean Princess became the first cruise vessel of the 2017/2018 cruise season to transit the Expanded Panama Canal.

As part of its roundtrip itinerary, the Caribbean Princess, operated by Princess Cruises, did a turnaround transit through Agua Clara Locks on the Atlantic side. The cruise ship began its roundtrip 10-night itinerary from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, passing through the Bahamas, Cartagena (Colombia), Cristobal (Panama), Limon (Costa Rica) and the Cayman Islands with 3,086 passengers on board.

The 112,894 gross ton Caribbean Princess was built at Italian Fincantieri Monfalcone shipyard in 2004 and has a maximum capacity of 3,600 passengers.

The Panama Canal expects to receive approximately 236 cruise ships through the Panamax and Neopanamax locks during the upcoming 2017-2018 cruise season, which officially began on October 2, 2017.

In April 2017, Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Wonder became the first cruise ship to transit the Expanded Canal. This season, the ship will traverse the waterway again along with the Caribbean Princess, Carnival Freedom, Carnival Splendor and Norwegian Bliss.

Together, the five ships will make a total of 20 transits, and 11 new cruise ships will transit either the Canal’s Panamax or Neopanamax locks for the first time. These vessels are from the following lines: Princess Cruise, Norwegian Cruise, Carnival Cruises, Silversea Cruises, Viking Ocean Cruises, Lindblad Special Expedition and CMA CGM.

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