Expanded Canal attracts bigger cruise ships
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. Cruise ships are set to become a more important part of the economy, as Panama City’s infrastructure grows.
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 until April. The ship has a capacity for 3,142 passengers and 1,200 crew members, is 290 meters long and 36 meters wide.
Augusto Terracina, manager of the Port of Colón 2000, said 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.”
A new cruise ship terminal is in development on Amador Causeway, which will be big enough to serve as a home port for ships, which should provide a big boost for both tourism and the property market. The Authority has decided to locate the cruise ship terminal on Perico island, one of the four islands that make up the Causeway.