WATCH: The Panama Canal Expansion Nears Completion
Photo by Jason Leppert
Nine years in the making, the Panama Canal expansion for a third set of larger locks is nearing completion. After delays, the new facility is scheduled to now open on June 26, 2016. While not all of the biggest cruise ships will be able to be accommodated through the entire passage, like Royal Caribbean International’s new Harmony of the seas unfortunately, the new locks will let larger cruise ships sail though than in the past.
As the inaugural date approaches and cruise lines consider new itinerary opportunities, the official Canal de Panama website has released an interesting infographic (seen below) detailing many of the stages that have been completed to get here.
Plus, a number of great videos are available on the canal’s official YouTube channel providing additional detailed updates like one for this month (showing a Celebrity Cruises Millennium-class ship and Princess Cruises’ Coral-class ship) and even what a passage will look like through the third set of locks one they do open. The focus is primarily on cargo ships which account for the majority of the canal’s traffic, but you can still imagine what it would look like to see a cruise ship make the journey.
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