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Princess Cruises was the first cruise line to take guests through the Panama Canal in 1967, and 50 years later they’ve marked another major milestone there. The mega-ship Caribbean Princess is the very first post-Panamax ship to traverse the newly expanded “Neo-Panamax” Locks, taking over 3,000 guests through the new Agua Clara locks. They are located on the Atlantic side of the canal, and opened in June 2016 as part of the 10-year, $5.4 billion “Neo-Panamax” expansion.
Previously, only ships with a maximum width of 106 feet could enter the locks. Caribbean Princess is 118 feet wide and was able to make the trip due to the new expanded locks. This voyage, on October 26, was the first of 13 scheduled crossings during the vessel’s 2017-18 Panama Canal schedule. During the crossing, onboard experts enlightened guests about the locks and travelers were served authentic Panamanian cuisine in the dining rooms.
Princess Cruises delivers the most itinerary options and sail dates with three ways to experience the Panama Canal – roundtrip from the East Coast on 10-day cruises, roundtrip from the West Coast on 19-day cruises, or a full transit from ocean to ocean on 15-day voyages. Caribbean Princess recently underwent a multi-million dollar renovation that included 7 new food and drink offerings, an updated youth center, more connecting cabins, and updated décor.
Watch a video of the crossing below!