The Caribbean Princess has sailed the expanded Panama Canal, the first Neopanamax cruise ship to do so.
Princess Cruises was the first cruise line to take guests through the Panama Canal in 1967. Marking the 50th anniversary in 2017, Caribbean Princess took more than 3,000 guests through the Agua Clara locks on the Atlantic side of the canal.
Previously, only vessels with a maximum width of 106 feet could enter the locks. Caribbean Princess with a width of 118 feet, 112,894 tons and carrying 3,200 guests, sailed through the expanded locks for the first of 13 scheduled crossings on October 26, during the ship's 2017-2018 Panama Canal schedule.
Caribbean Princess recently underwent a multi-million-dollar renovation that included seven new food and beverage offerings, an updated youth and teen center – Camp Discovery, more interconnecting staterooms and updated decor.
The Panama Canal expects to receive approximately 235 cruise ships through the Panamax and Neopanamax Locks during the 2017-2018 cruise season. Beginning in October, this will be the first full cruise season to welcome vessels through the Expanded Canal.
In April 2017, Disney Cruise Line's Disney Wonder became the first cruise ship to ever transit the Expanded Canal. This season it will transit again along with the Caribbean Princess, Carnival Freedom, Carnival Splendor and Norwegian Bliss. Together, the five ships will make a total of 20 transits, and 11 new cruise ships will transit either the Canal's Panamax or Neopanamax Locks for the first time from the following lines: Princess Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Carnival Cruises, Silversea Cruises, Viking Ocean Cruises, Lindblad Special Expedition and CMA CGM, with each ship making multiple transits.