Panama Canal cruise season opens

pancanalcruiseThe transit of Princess Cruises' Island Princess marks the beginning of the the Panama Canal cruise-line season, which officially starts today and runs through the middle of next year. According to Jaime Castillo, international trade specialist from the Panama Canal Research and Market Analysis office, at least 205  cruise ship transits are expected this season.

Among the major companies that are considering Panama and the Canal experience as a destination are Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Line.

Smaller cruise ships, such as the Wind Star and Le Levant, also are expected to transit the Canal.  These cruises typically travel between the Caribbean Islands and the East and West Coasts of Central America.

Two Carnival cruise ships, the Carnival Inspiration, located in Tampa, Florida, and the Carnival Paradise, ,which operates from Long Beach, California, are scheduled to reposition to new homeports soon, offering very attractive 14-day trips that include the experience of transiting the Panama Canal.

The Carnival Paradise cruise will sail from Long Beach to Tampa beginning on November 28, 2011, while the Carnival Inspiration will depart on December 3, 2011, operating from Tampa to Long Beach.

Norwegian Jewel, with its 2,376-passenger capacity, will sail from New York to Los Angeles in late April 2012. This cruise has a reservation to transit the Panama Canal on May 5, 2012.

October 5, 2011

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