The Caribbean Princess cruise ship will visit the Agua Clara locks of the expanded Panama Canal 14 times in the next cruise ship season that begins in October.
The ship with a capacity for 3,142 passenger and 1,200 crew members, is 290 meters long and 36 meters wide cannot go through the Gatun locks and for that reason will use the new locks.
The Caribbean Princess will visit the Canal every two weeks until the month of April. This will allow that a total of 44,000 people will enjoy this new experience to transit through the new locks that do not use electric mules, but tugboats.
The cruise ship will go through the Agua Clara locks in the morning and once it arrives to Gatun Lake, the travelers can disembark in the Yacht Club so they can take different tours, one of them being Portobelo and also to go shopping in the cities of Panama and Colón.
After that stop, it will continue its transit through the same lock to dock at the Port of Colón 2000, to pick up its passengers in the afternoon.
Augusto Terracina, manager of the Port of Colón 2000, pointed out that the expanded canal is a tourist attraction that brings bigger cruise ships that in the past cannot go through. “This vessel is 36 meters wide which surpasses the size of the old locks that are 33 meters. This improved structure has created a great demand in the commercial maritime world and its new dimensions has permitted cruise ship liners to put Panama on its itinerary and the first one which did was the Princess Cruises.”
It is expected that more than 130,000 will come to Panama during the cruise ship season 2017-2018 and will bring in $16 million for the economy.
The Panama Canal is a popular cruising itinerary, with a short season that runs in late spring and again in early fall. Passengers often sail from a West Coast port, such as San Diego or San Francisco, through the Canal to a Florida port, or vice versa.