The transit of Princess Cruises’ Island Princess through the Panama waterway has marked the beginning of what is expected to be a busy cruise season at the Panama Canal.
The 92,822 ton Island Princess, which transited northbound on October 3, originated in Vancouver, Canada, and will continue on its 21-day journey to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
According to Senior International Trade Specialist, Albano G. Aguilar, the canal will facilitate around 258 transits over the next few months, including a record-breaking number by Neopanamax vessels.
“We will see about a ten percent increase in cruise ship transits at the Panama Canal this season in comparison to last year, a boost largely driven by Neopanamax vessels,” said Aguilar.
The Canal expects 29 transits by Neopanamax cruise ships this season, including at least one by the Norwegian Bliss, which remains the largest cruise ship to pass through the waterway. It will be preceded by its sister ship, the 3,883-passenger Norwegian Joy, which will pass through for the first time later this month.
Ten other vessels will also make their inaugural transits this season, including the smaller, 2,340-passenger Norwegian Dawn, as well as Ponant’s Le Dumont D’uwille, P&O Ventura Cruise, Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Glory, Regent Seven Seas Cruise’s Seven Seas Splendor, Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours’ Scenic Eclipse, Star Clipper’s Flying Clipper, Hapag Lloyd’s Hanseatic Inspiration and Hanseatic Nature, and Greg Mortimer’s Aurora Expedition.