Panama City (Fuerte Amador, Balboa)

Cruise Port schedule, live map, terminals, news

Rating:
Panama City cruise port

Region
Hawaii - Mexico - Panama Canal

Local Time
2022-06-25 05:35

min: 70 °F (21 °C) / max: 79 °F (27 °C) 74°F
23.2°C
Wind: 332°/ 1.9 m/s  Gust: 2.8 m/sWind: 332°/ 1.9 m/s  Gust: 2.8 m/sLight breeze
1.9 m/s
Min / Max Temperature79 °F / 27 °C
70 °F / 22 °C
  Port Map

Cruise ships to Panama City dock either at Port Fuerte Amador (Cruise Terminal) or Port Balboa (locode PABLB). Both seaports are located at Panama Canal's Pacific Ocean entrance.

On December 14, 2021, NCL-Norwegian Cruise Line announced that starts seasonally to homeport a ship in Panama City (for Panama Canal roundtrips) with Norwegian Jewel (starting on March 20, 2022).

  • The homeporting was based on a multi-year contract (signed with the Panama Tourism Authority) allowing NCL to homeport a liner at two Panamese cruise terminals - Colon (Caribbean Sea) and Fuerte Amador (Pacific Ocean).
  • NCL Jewel's itineraries visit Costa Rica (Puerto Limon), Aruba (Oranjestad), Curacao (Willemstad), Bonaire (Kralendijk), and Colombia (Cartagena), ending in Colon.

Port Fuerte Amador

Port Fuerte Amador (locode USPFN) is built on a man-made peninsula. The extending peninsula is a 1,6 km (1 mi) long causeway artificially created by connecting 4 small islands with rocks excavated from Panama Canal. The port is a tender dock (anchorage port), meaning cruise ships anchor and transfer their passengers ashore via ship's tender boats. On complete Panama Canal transits, cruise ships typically arrive in Fuerte Amador in the morning, offload passengers for land tours and spend a full day anchored.

Port Fuerte Amador (Panama City) cruise port

Fuerte Amador cruise port has as infrastructure several shops, specialty stores and restaurants, all centered around the large Flamenco Resort & Marina complex. Fuerte Amador also offers a panoramic view of Panama City's skyline.

Since October 2022, the Mystic Cruises-owned subsidiary Atlas Ocean Voyager (fleet) operates with the ships World Navigator (2021-built) and World Traveller (2022-built) the 12-night "Panama Roundtrip Cruise". Departing from Fuerte Amador Marina, the itinerary visits destinations in Panama (Isla Parida), Costa Rica (Puerto Jimenez, Puerto Caldera/Puntarenas, Playa del Coco, Playa Flamingo, Curu Wildlife Reserve, Tortuga Islands, Quepos, Golfito) and Nicaragua (San Juan del Sur). Prices range between US$6400 (Veranda) and US$9300 (Navigator Suite) per person with double occupancy.

Port Balboa

Port Balboa (locode PABLB) has a drydock facility for repairs of Panamax-sized vessels. Drydock's gates are constructed similar to Panama Canal's locks. Balboa is among the largest cargo ports (especially for boxships / container carriers) in Latin America.

Port Balboa (Panama City) cruise port

Port Balboa's Pacific Terminal is a ship-to-train terminal connected (via Panama Canal Railway) directly to Port Colon (Caribbean Sea). This allows TEU-container transportation by train across the isthmus. Panama Canal Railway also runs daily passenger service (once a day), each way between Panama City and Colon.

In August 2018, China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) finished dredging works in Fuerte Amador's new terminal area and navigation canal. This was part of the new Panama Cruise Terminal project wich was scheduled for completion in 2019-Q2. By the new port development project, on Aug 15th started preparing a 7-acres/2,8-hectares land area for the new Fuerte Amador Cruise Terminal. However, due to the Coronavirus crisis, all works on the facility were delayed for almost a year.

The new terminal has berthing capacity 2 mega-liners simultaneously and max passengers 10,000. The facility has a large building plus recreational centers, bars, restaurants. IN a long-term plan, the terminal will be expanded to a docking capacity for 5 mega-liners at once.

By October 2021, the new Panama Cruise Terminal was ~83% completed.

Panama City cruise terminal

Most cruise ships to Panama City dock (anchor) at Port Fuerte Amador on Flamenco Island (in Panama Bay). Larger vessels may berth at Port Balboa.

Isla Flamenco is one of the 4 "causeway Islands (officially Islas Calzada de Amador) located by the Panama Canal's Pacific Ocean entrance. They are artificially linked to mainland Panama via a causeway. This causeway was made from rock extracted during the canal's excavations. Partially, the causeway also serves as a breakwater.

The connecting causeway has a 1-lane road running along to each of the 4 islands, plus a bicycle/jogging lane. Along the causeway there are port facilities, yacht marinas, shops, restaurants. The 4 islands are named Naos, Culebra, Perico, and Flamenco. From all these isles local pilots board the marine vessels (including cruise ships) entering Panama Canal.

Panama City doesn't have its own (in-town) passenger terminal facility. The port authority considered building a small terminal (incorporated into the city's master plan), but the research showed that such a project is not feasible. It would cost ~USD 70 million and would need to be near an airport.  Still, Bay County’s waterways can accommodate large passenger liners, so Amador Cruise Terminal could be eventually constructed, but not sooner than 2030.

(NEW) Fuerte Amador Cruise Terminal

In October 2017, Panama City Port Authority started expanding its cruise shipping capacity by opening a second location on East Avenue. Earlier in 2017, Jan De Nul Group (family-owned company specializing in construction and maintenance of port facilities) together with China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd (CHEC) won the USD 165 million contract to design and build a new cruise terminal on the Fuerte Amador Causeway (Perico Island).

Panama City cruise port Fuerte Amador (new cruise terminal Puerto de Cruceros)

The newly-formed joint venture "Cruceros del Pacifico" started works on the Terminal on October 18, 2017. The facility was officially opened/inaugurated on May 20, 2019. The project's construction phase generated a total of 2800 jobs (1000 direct plus 1800 indirect), as well as permanent terminal employees.

As part of the Cruceros del Pacifico consortium, Jan De Nul Panama company did all preliminary works before the Terminal's construction. These preliminary works included dredging (berth pocket, turning basin, access channel) and land reclamation (8,3 hectares land area needed the construction of terminal's land-based facilities).

Panama City cruise port Fuerte Amador (new cruise terminal Puerto de Cruceros)

Managed by Panama Maritime Authority, the new Amador Cruise Terminal allows docking in Panama City of up to 5 of the world's largest passenger liners simultaneously. These are RCI's Oasis-Class liners with GT 225,000 tons and max capacity 6300 passengers plus 1200 crew.

The new facility has berthing capacity of 2 ships at a time (1 pier with 2 berths, total length 1200 ft / 366 m) and capacity to handle up to 10,000 passengers. The Amador Terminal covers total area 8,5 hectares (21 acres) and was budgeted USD 165 million (~EUR 142M). The project included infrastructure developments, a terminal building (sized 1490 m2 / 16000 ft2) with dedicated parking, surrounding green spaces, administrative buildings. Currently, Port Colon (on Panama's Atlantic coast) handles 180+ cruise ship calls annually.

By this project, to Panama City were supplied 18x Ocean Guard Fenders (custom-made by the US-based company ShibataFenderTeam) with adjusting hardware. These foam fenders are perfect for cruise ship docking operations as their urethane skin doesn't damage the vessel's hull. Foam fenders are robust and unsinkable - even when damaged. The fenders for Fuerte Amador's Cruise Terminal were custom-designed for a wide range of tides.

Port Panama City cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Panama City, Fuerte Amador, Balboa. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.

DayShipArrivalDeparture
22 October, 2022
Saturday
Lindblad Expeditions Cruises cruise lineNational Geographic Quest
29 October, 2022
Saturday
Lindblad Expeditions Cruises cruise lineNational Geographic Quest
29 October, 2022
Saturday
Mystic Cruises Cruises cruise lineWorld Navigator18:0020:00
Booking.com

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