Panama Canal announced it expected to receive approx 235 cruise ship transits through Panamax and Neopanamax Locks during upcoming 2017-2018 season. Beginning tomorrow, October 2, this will be the first ever full cruise season to welcome ships through the Expanded Canal.
In April, Disney Wonder became the first cruise vessel to ever transit the Expanded Canal. The ship will transit it this season again along with Caribbean Princess, Carnival Splendor, Carnival Freedom and Norwegian Bliss. The 5 ships will make 20 transits. 11 new ships will transit either Canal’s Neopanamax or Panamax Locks for the first time.
Norwegian Bliss will probably be the most visible sign of Expanded Canal's impact on the cruise ship segment this seaso, when the ship makes its repositioning through the waterway en route to the United States' West Coast to start its Alaska cruise season. Currently under construction, the vessel will hold up to 4,200 passengers, and will become the biggest capacity cruise ship to ever transit the Panama Canal.