Norwegian Gem to Traverse Panama Canal for the First Time

Norwegian, Gem, ship

Last week, Norwegian Gem embarked on her first Panama Canal cruise, calling to 10 new ports and debuting on the West Coast when she concludes her itinerary in Los Angeles.

On Jan. 10, Norwegian Gem will be the 10th ship of the modern Norwegian Cruise Line fleet to cross the Panama Canal, visiting 10 new port cities during that sailing.

Among the new ports Norwegian Gem is sailing this season is Oranjestad, Aruba; Kralendijk, Bonaire; Santa Marta and Cartagena, Colombia; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Willemstad, Curacao; Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala; Los Angeles; Manzanillo, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; and Corinto, Nicaragua.

“We are very excited to showcase another one of our incredible ships on the West Coast, offering guests there a chance to experience our fleet and enjoy the freedom and flexibility that comes with cruising Norwegian,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line.

Norwegian Gem is the final ship of the Jewel Class. She welcomes over 2,300 guests each sailing and features one of the largest suites in the fleet, the Garden Villas.

These suites are over 4,000 square feet and sleep up to eight guests. They include three spacious bedrooms, a living room and a private garden with a hot tub. The ship is also home to a kid’s aqua park, a climbing wall, an expansive casino, over 15 dining options and 14 bars and lounges.

Norwegian Bliss Becomes Largest Cruise Ship to Transit the Expanded Panama Canal

Photo: Norwegian Bliss transits the Expanded Panama Canal, May 14, 2018. Photo: Panama Canal Authority

Norwegian Cruise Lines’ Norwegian Bliss on Monday became the biggest cruise ship to transit the Expanded Panama Canal.

The 168,000 gross ton cruise ship has a total length of 325.9 m (1,069.2 ft), beam 41.4 m (135.8 ft) and draft of 8.3 m (27.2 ft).

Norwegian Bliss was delivered by German shipbuilder Meyer Werft in March and, last month, began a 15-day itinerary from Miami, Florida, through the Panama Canal and along the west coast of North and Central America to its final destination in the Port of Los Angeles, California. The vessel will this serve the Alaska region until the end of the cruise season, after which it will reposition itself in the Caribbean.


Photo: Panama Canal Authority

The Panama Canal expects to receive approximately 236 cruise ships through the Panamax and Neopanamax Locks during the 2017-2018 cruise season, which officially began in October.

In April 2017, Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Wonder became the first cruise ship to transit the Expanded Canal.

Norwegian Bliss third ship of the Breakaway Plus class of the Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) and has the passenger capacity of about 4,000.


Photo: Panama Canal Authority

Cunard to return to Alaska after 20-year absence

Image result for cunard queen elizabeth

Cunard is set to return to Alaska for the first time in more than two decades next year.

Queen Elizabeth will begin its voyage from Yokohama, Japan, on May 5, 2019, to Alaska where it will remain through June for its first season.

The 2,092-capacity vessel will offer four 10-night roundtrip Vancouver sailings throughout May and June 2019.

After completing its four voyages, the ship will sail down the west coast of the United States through the Panama Canal to New York before going on to Iceland and the UK.

Itineraries feature scenic cruising through the dramatic waterways of the famous Inside Passage as well as full days in several of the region’s highlight ports to discover the history and culture of the area.

Guests will experience the gold rush spirit of Skagway and Juneau, the native tribes of Ketchikan and the Russian charm of Sitka.

Angus Struthers, Cunard’s vice-president marketing, said: “We’re thrilled to make our return to Alaska, one of the world’s must-see destinations.

“As the majestic Queen Elizabeth undertakes her first season there, our guests can explore the region with highlights including the natural wonders of Tracy Arm Fjord and the Hubbard Glacier.”

Guests can enjoy a Britannia Balcony Stateroom booked with a Cunard Fare from £5,449 per person.