Wednesday, September 14, 2016

HOT TOPIC, 230+ Cruise Ships to Transit Panama Canal 2016Fall & 2017Winter Season. You too can save, like other 460,000+ expected cruisers !

Each year, cruising the Panama Canal is another HoT ToPiC among many of my customers ‘bucket list’ !  Whether they’ve sailed through the Panama before or it’s their 1st time there.

Why is it such a popular cruise destination ?
Naturally, it gives cruisers – YOU – the opportunity to go through the locks and view how it’s actually done !  Be a part of history !

Panama Canal from Caribbean Sea to Pacific Ocean.  See uTube video

Where at the locks found ?
Locks are found on the Pacific side and Caribbean side.

What is the distance between the Pacific & Caribbean locks ?
See below, Wikipedia

Are all Panama Cruises alike ?
No.  Each offer different ports to choose from.  To include with your cruise.
See our video, Falmouth-Jamaica.
See our video, Ocho Rios-Jamaica.
See our video, Cozumel-Mexico.

How short of a cruise, can you take to see the Canal ?
Carnival offers, at select times, as short as 8N cruises (this can change from year to year).  However, note, the ship does not usually ‘sail thru’ the locks on short cruises.

Other cruise lines offer as short as 9N and ‘sail thru’ the locks.  However, again, the shorter cruises do not sail over to the Pacific side of locks. These are usually 14N-15N & longer .

See options. Currently, as low as $699 (12N).  Opportunity for amenities too !

So how to you see the locks or the Pacific locks, if your cruise does not sail thru ?
There are a variety of tours available through the cruise lines.

Reported by AnywherePanama: 
Panama is much more than a canal. This colorful country is filled with vibrant cultures and impressive landscapes.

Article, USAToday, Amy Lively.  The Panama Canal is an international waterway that links the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. After France unsuccessfully attempted to build a canal through the Isthmus of Panama in the 1800s, the United States began building the canal in 1904. The canal was completed in 1914.  More on article:

From Wikipedia.  The Panama Canal (Spanish: Canal de Panamá) is a man-made 48-mile (77 km) waterway in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean. The canal cuts across the Isthmus of Panama and is a key conduit for international maritime trade. There are locks at each end to lift ships up to Gatun Lake, an artificial lake created to reduce the amount of excavation work required for the canal, 26 metres (85 ft) above sea level. The original locks are 33.5 metres (110 ft) wide. A third, wider lane of locks was constructed between September 2007 and May 2016. The expanded canal began commercial operation on June 26, 2016. The new locks allow transit of larger, Post-Panamax ships, which have a greater cargo capacity than the previous locks were capable of handling.
For more info:

Below Insight reported by Cruise Industry News, September 13, 2016:
More than 230 cruise ships will transit the Panama Canal during the 2016-2017 cruise season, which begins on October 4, 2016 with the transit of the Coral Princess.

"We expect the major cruise lines will use the Panama Canal route during the cruise season, which lasts until April 2017," said Albano Aguilar ,international trade specialist, Vice Presidency for Planning and Business Development.

Smaller cruise ships will also transit through the waterway, including the Voyager Safari and National Geographic Sea Lion, with shorter seven- and eight-day itineraries, respectively, along the west coast of Central America.

During this season, Regent Seven Seas, Holland America Line and Noble Calidonia will have ships transiting with new itineraries through the Canal. Regent Seven Seas Explorer will transit on January 2, 2017, Holland America Line's Eurodam on April 13, 2017, and Noble Calidonia's Hebridean Sky on April 17, 2017. 

After completing more than 160 successful transits through the new locks, the Panama Canal is now accepting booking requests for Neo-panamax passenger vessels for transit dates beginning April 1, 2017. To date, 11 reservations have been made for passenger vessels to transit the Expanded Canal starting October 2017, for the 2017-2018 season.

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