NCL Cruise Ship Sets Panama Canal Size Record

By ,   May 15, 2018 ,   Cruise Industry

One of the largest cruise ships in the world, Norwegian Bliss, passed through Panama Canal for the first time on Monday, May 14. 

Unveiled by Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) in April, the 168,028 GT vessel is the 9th largest cruise ship ever constructed and by far the largest to attempt a Panama Canal transit.

Panama Canal

The 20-deck Bliss is now in the midst of an inaugural voyage from the shipyard where she was built in Germany to Seattle, where she will be homeported for the Alaskan summer.

The transit comes about 2 years after the massive expansion at Panama Canal that opened it up to the world's largest cruise ships. 

Though the canal's old locks are large enough for many of the cruise ships, they cannott handle the rapidly growing number of mega-ships. Until now, when sailing between the Atlantic and Pacific, the bigger cruisers had to travel around the tip of South America, thus adding 8,000 miles and plenty of days to their trip.