Caribbean Princess. On October 26, 2017. It was the very first giant to use the “Panamax” locks. Some think the Canal constructed two new routes. They did not cut a new canal. No, they created much bigger locks at both ends. The “old” locks are still there (100+ years old!). Those locks had a maximum width for vessels entering the canal of 106 feet. The Caribbean Princess is 118 feet wide and carries 3,200 passengers.
The very first passenger ship of any kind – regardless of size – to use the new locks was the Disney Wonder. Not a real noteworthy event, since it is small enough to use the old locks.
Carnival has 13 Panama Canal crossings set for the 2017-2018 season. Some are not full coast-to-coast trips. I think that’s a bummer. Passengers only get to see either the east or west locks. On a full trip, you get to stop at the Mira Flores locks and view the Museum and operations. You can also take an excursion to a native village.
It’s easy to get a free trip through the Canal. I’ve had three. Lots of trips need speakers. We are going in December 2018 since my wife has not seen it. I’ll take fresh photos for my talks. Yes, I now give presentations on the Canal. Once you are actually ON the trip through, a real guide comes on to narrate.
Drop us a line and we’ll show you the process to snag these kind of free trips for two.