In another first for the expanded Panama Canal, the Caribbean Princess recently became the first Neo-Panamax cruise ship to transit through the new locks.
The giant ship carried more than 3,000 passengers through the newly-opened Agua Clara locks on the Atlantic side of the expanded Canal. Cruise ships have been crossing through the new locks since last June, but this is the first of the mega-sized cruise ships to make the transit.
The Caribbean Princess is 112,894 tons and has a with a width of 118 feet.
Cruise ships are going to play an increasingly important part of the Panama City tourism industry, with construction underway on the new cruise ship port on Amador Causeway. Not only will the ships bring new tourists, many of whom will spend time in Panama before and after their trips, the cruise lines will promote Panama to a new generation of travelers.
“The widely anticipated expansion of the Panama Canal allows us to showcase this engineering spectacle to more guests than ever on our larger ships,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises, and Carnival Australia group president, in a press release.
The crossing marked the 50th anniversary since the first Princess cruise ship went through the Canal in 1967. The Caribbean Princess is scheduled to make 13 trips through the Panama Canal in its 2017-2018 season. The itineraries include round trips from both the East and West coasts, ranging from 10 to 19 nights.
Video of the crossing: