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

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Panama Canal Gives Nod to New Pacific Port

Panama Canal Gives Nod to New Pacific Port

The Panama Canal Board of Directors this week formally approved the development and construction of a transshipment port in Panama’s Corozal region.

Upon completion, the port will have the capacity to handle more than five million TEUs within a 120-hectare area at the Canal’s entrance to the Pacific. The project is now awaiting the final step for approval from Panama’s National Assembly.

The two-phased port project will include the construction of a 2,081-linear-meter-dock, a container yard, offices and warehouse facilities within a 120-hectare area owned by the Panama Canal.

The project’s first phase will include 1,350 linear meters of docks, three docking positions for Post-Panamax ships, and an approximate handling capacity of three million TEUs. Currently, the Pacific side has an estimated capacity of five million TEUs. With the expanded Canal, demand on the Pacific side is expected to reach six million TEUs and by 2020, eight million TEU capacity.

The National Assembly is expected to review the bill in the coming days. If approved, the Panama Canal will move forward with the development and tender process. The Panama Canal will issue a call for bids to hire a company that will be responsible for all stages of the project. The contract will, most likely, consist of a 20-year concession, renewable once for 20 years.

”Advancing the terminal in the Corozal region is a priority. It is part of the Panama Canal’s goal to explore and develop areas, products and services that are close to our core business, and that add substantial value to our customers as a one-stop gateway with multiple services,” said Panama Canal Administrator/CEO Jorge Luis Quijano.

The new port terminal will also include the construction of port facilities capable of handling Post-Panamax vessels. With a terminal of 16.3-meter-deep access canal and a depth of 18 meters along the dock, the new facility will provide docking facilities for five Post-Panamax ships.

Clips of My Panama Canal Transit – 

https://www.youtube.com/user/wetravel2u/videos

Photos of Our Transit and More  –

https://www.flickr.com/photos/45642696@N07/sets/72157649685216732/

Work halted on Panama Canal expansion

By Tom Stieghorst

The Panama Canal Authority said almost all activity has ceased on the project to widen the canal, amid a payments dispute with the contractor.

A consortium led by Spain’s Sacyr Vallehermoso is seeking reimbursement for cost overruns of more than $1 billion.

Two weeks of negotiations have not produced a resolution, the authority said.

Canal Administrator Jorge Quijano said the authority continues to try to find a solution, but stressed that the contractor must resume normal activity, which is critical during the dry season in Panama.

The widening project had been scheduled for completion in mid-2015. Current canal passage is not affected.