THREE CRUISE ships anchored off the Amador Causeway on Wednesday, January 10, and some 1,500 high-end passengers disembarked, each projected to spend $250 during their tour of the city.
The unusual confluence of three tour ships at the same time, with a fourth vessel arriving in the evening, is seen by the Panama travel industry as a harbinger of brighter things to come. with the construction of a harbor for cruise ships, soon to begin.
The boats that arrived on Wednesday morning were the Amsterdam of Holland America; Star Breezes of Windstar and the Azamara Quest of Azamara Club Cruises. Oceania Cruises Marina was the evening arrival
Augusto Terracina, of Aventuras 2000 said that the arrival of so many cruises in a single day is unlikely to recur.
The Amsterdam is on a world tour while the Azamara is fulfilling a 40-day itinerary.
A common strand of the four cruises is that they all serve a high-end segment of the pleasure travel industry.
The Star Breezes has a capacity for 212 passengers, and the Azamara transports a little over 700. The Amsterdam can carry 1, 380 passengers, and the Marina 1,250, reports La Prensa.
During the current season, October 6, 2017, to April 2018, it is estimated that between 25 and 30 cruisers will stop at the Amador Causeway, and about 155 at the Colón 2000 port.
Another group of cruise ships have confirmed transit through the Canal.The Canal Authority projects the passage of 235 cruises, of which 20 are of the Neopanamax type which can only transit through the new set of locks.
Giants of the seas
Among the Neopanamax vessels that have confirmed transits are the Caribbean Princess, Carnival Freedom, Carnival Splendor, Norwegian Bliss and Disney Wonder. In addition, 11 cruises will make their first transit through the Canal,
According to Terracina, this year some 350,000 passengers will disembark plus about 150,000 crew members, which will mean an important injection for the Panamanian economy, with each cruise passenger spending about $250 and each crewman $80.
The new cruise terminal in Amador will cost $165 million and will mean more passengers signing up for shore visits Currently, passengers arriving on Amador cruises are transferred ashore in small boats and a high percentage of travelers are seniors.
The new cruise terminal will be operational in the third quarter of 2019 and will be able to berth two cruise ships.