Panama Canal marks the start of 2022-2023 cruise ship season

   October 7, 2022 ,   Cruise Industry

On October 4, the Panama Canal announced the transit of CCL-Carnival Cruise Line’s ship Carnival Spirit, thus marking the start of cruise season 2022-2023.

The Panama Canal will facilitate 200+ cruise transits over the next months, of which 44 involve Neopanamax/large-sized passenger ships. The figure is 17 more than it anticipated during season 2019-2020 (cut short by the COVID crisis) and includes 2 transits by NCL-Norwegian's liner Norwegian Encore, the sistership of Norwegian Bliss - the largest passenger ship so far to pass through the unique watertway.

Panama Canal's cruise season runs from October through May. Season 2022 started with Carnival Spirit, which was sailing on a 16-day cruise from Seattle WA to New Orleans (Port NOLA, Louisiana). The 2001-built, Panamax-sized vessel has a length of 292 m, width of 32 m, and max passenger capacity 2680.

Panama Canal

Passenger shipping lines, such as HAL-Holland America, Princess, Royal Caribbean, CCL-Carnival and NCL-Norwegian are all expected to return to the ocean-to-ocean waterway this season, offering itineraries that feature a complete or partial (Gatun Lake) transit. They will deploy Neopanamax/large-capacity vessel that will be joined by smaller luxury boats - like Viking Star, National Geographic Quest, Seabourn Quest, and Star Legend, among others.

At least 12 liners are scheduled for inaugural Panama Canal transits during season 2022-23.