With the help of China, Panama is poised to capture a bigger share of world's growing cruise tourism segment via a brand new cruise port.
More than 260 cruise ships per year cross Panama Canal, and with the full-service terminal capable of accommodating today's larger liners, more of them would dock in the port town to explore the sights.
China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) finished dredging the terminal area and navigation canal, and is currently working on preparing 7 acres of surrounding land for development.
President of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, visited the site on Wednesday, August 15, saying he was eager to see the new port operating by the middle of 2019.
In anticipation of port's opening, Panama is in talks with Miami-based Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association, gathering all leading cruise lines with Caribbean itineraries, and with MSC Cruises, which has expressed interest in the new cruise port.
Initially, Amador's terminal will accommodate 2 mega cruise ships, each able to accommodate 5,000 passengers, while the cruise port itself, including recreational centers and restaurants, will handle as many as 10,000 guests. The long-term plan is to accommodate up to 5 mega cruise ships.
Port Colon (on Panama's Caribbean coast) operates as homeport, but Amador's location is expected to strengthen country's position as cruise tourism destination.