By the Caribbean Journal staff
The leading cruise line in the Panama Canal is expanding its presence.
Princess Cruises has announced plans to offer its largest deployment ever to the Panama Canal for the 2019-2020 season, highlighted by the maiden season of the Emerald Princess ship sailing through the canal’s new locks.
Princess, which was the first cruise line to sail through the Panama Canal locks in 1967, carries more passengers through the canal than any other company.
Emerald Princess will be Princess Cruises’ second Neo-Panamax ship (after its Caribbean Princess ship), which will cross the canal’s new locks on both the Caribbean and Pacific sides, the company said in a statement.
Both sets of locks opened in June 2016 as part of the canal’s $5.4 billion Neo-Panamax expansion project.
There are three ways to sail Princess through the Canal; roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles or by sailing a full transit that includes the ocean between Fort Lauderdale and LA or San Francisco and Vancouver.
“Traversing the Panama Canal should be on every destination lovers’ bucket list,” said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. “I remember my first experience in the Panama Canal … I was in awe at the precise maneuvering our Captain had to execute to sail through the locks and was amazed by the world’s greatest shortcut that forever changed international trade.”
Overall, Princess Cruises will be featuring five ships offering six itineraries and a total of 36 departures through the Canal.