New Panama Canal locks handle first cruise ship


(PANAMA CITY, Panama) — Disney Wonder became the first cruise ship to use the expanded Panama Canal when it made the transit Saturday on its way west for summer service in Alaska, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

The 83,300-ton, 2,713-passenger ship was upgraded in 2016 and lengthened to 984 feet, meaning it could no longer use the canal's original locks. While the lock expansion was designed to accommodate larger cargo vessels, cruise lines with their ever-growing vessels also will be able to use it.

Princess Cruises will take advantage of the expansion when Caribbean Princess begins transits in October, and Carnival and Norwegian plan to use the new system in 2018.

Click here to read the story and to view a video of the transit.

By Professional Mariner Staff