Princess Panama Canal Cruise
Panama Canal | Panama
14 Dec 2018 | Fri
Day 06 of 09
Entry Through the Panama Canal into Gatun Lake
Photos below cover our early morning entry through the New Panama Canal. This new 3-lock section of the Panama Canal (Panama Canal expansion project) was opened in June 2016. This expansion doubled the capacity of the Panama Canal by adding a new lane of traffic allowing for a larger number of ships, and increasing the width and depth of the lanes and locks allowing larger ships to pass. The new ships, called New Panamax, are about one and a half times the previous Panamax size and can carry over twice as much cargo. The new locks use tugboats to position the vessels instead of electric locomotives. It takes a total of 8-10 hours to travel through the entire Panama Canal route (51 miles)
The goals of this expansion were to:
- Built two new sets of locks, one each on the Atlantic and Pacific sides, and excavated new channels to the new locks.
- Widened and deepened existing channels.
- Raise the maximum operating water level of Gatun Lake.
Interesting Trivia – Only Panama Canal Pilots working with the Panama Canal Authority are able to captain a boat through the Panama Canal. When a ship enters the canal, they are boarded by a pilot, who has full control over the boat until it exits the canal.
Traveling through (and returning) this new section of the Panama Canal was definitely the highlight of our cruise!