Carnival Corporation & plc has established its position as the leader in Panama Canal cruises, with more ships sailing to and through one of the world’s greatest marvels than any other cruise provider. Six of Carnival Corporation’s global cruise line brands will sail partially or completely through the Panama Canal during its upcoming peak season, which will run from fall 2019 through spring 2020. This will be the third full cruise season since the Canal’s historic 2016 expansion.
Collectively, Carnival Corporation’s brands visiting the region – Carnival Cruise Line, Cunard, Holland America Line, P&O Cruises (UK), Princess Cruises and Seabourn – have 26 ships currently scheduled to enter the expanded locks connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, representing roughly one-quarter of the corporation’s global fleet. Just in the upcoming Panama Canal cruise season, Carnival Corporation has over 70 cruises planned to make partial or full visits.
“Cruising is all about providing our guests with extraordinary experiences at an exceptional value, and since our cruise vacations to the spectacular Panama Canal are considered the best way to appreciate such a stunning engineering phenomenon, it is no surprise we continue to earn rave reviews from our guests,” said Roger Frizzell, chief communications officer for Carnival Corporation. “We are proud to offer travelers so many options for visiting the Canal, one of the world’s fastest growing tourist destinations.”
Carnival Corporation and its brands have a rich history in the Panama Canal. The corporation’s Princess Cruises brand, the fastest growing international premium cruise line, was the first cruise line to take guests through the Panama Canal in 1967. Fifty years later, the brand marked another major milestone with the first large cruise ship, Caribbean Princess, to traverse the newly expanded “Neo-Panamax” Locks.
Carnival Corporation brands offer the largest selection of Panama Canal sailings with various lengths ranging from eight to 112 days, departing from more than a dozen ports throughout the U.S., Canada, South America and Europe, including Los Angeles; New York; Miami; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Rio de Janeiro; Southampton (England); Vancouver and more.
Carnival Cruise Line continues to expand its itinerary offerings with longer length Carnival Journeys cruises visiting some of the world’s most beautiful destinations. Carnival Journeys offer unique local culinary and entertainment experiences, as well as special activities, including photography, cooking, arts and crafts, and celestial navigation on the brand’s Panama Canal transits.
Following an extensive $200 million renovation that added a variety of dining and entertainment innovations as well as stateroom upgrades, Carnival Sunrise’s inaugural season from New York includes a 14-day Carnival Journeys Panama Canal cruise, highlighted by a partial transit of the canal along with local culinary and entertainment experiences and unique shipboard activities.
Carnival Cruise Line offers full and partial transits of the Panama Canal, departing from nine ports around the U.S., including Los Angeles; San Diego; Galveston, Texas; New Orleans; Mobile, Ala.; Tampa, Fla.; Miami; Baltimore; and New York. Each itinerary includes calls on a variety of ports, providing guests with unforgettable opportunities to take in architecture, landmarks and attractions, as well as shopping, dining and cultural experiences.
Carnival Corporation’s Cunard brand recently unveiled its Oceans of Discovery voyage program for November 2020 through May 2021, featuring Queen Victoria’s World Voyage – a westbound circumnavigation through the Panama Canal in 2021, which can be taken as a roundtrip from Hamburg or London, or a one-way voyage starting in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The Full World Voyage will feature scenic cruising through the Panama Canal, as well as calls to 34 ports in 24 countries, including overnight stays in San Francisco, Honolulu, Sydney, Hong Kong, Singapore and Cape Town.
Guests who cannot wait to sail through the Panama Canal on the iconic brand can set out this summer on a 19-night voyage aboard Queen Elizabeth, departing Los Angeles on July 5. The itinerary features ports of call in Mexico and the Caribbean before visiting Fort Lauderdale, and then arriving in New York.
Anticipating another robust Panama Canal season, Holland America Line is looking to build on the success of its previous season when the brand carried 40,500 guests through the Panama Canal. Seven ships and 32 cruise voyages are set to welcome another record-breaking season, with full transits ranging from 14 to 23 days and 10- or 11-day partial explorations. Each cruise provides more ways for guests to experience the Panama Canal.
Throughout the cruises, EXC programming brings the Panama Canal region’s local traditions, culinary tastes and cultural experiences to life onboard. Guests who want to learn more about the region can attend an EXC Talk or head to an EXC Port to Table cooking demonstration or wine pairing event. The Dining Room and Lido Market also will showcase the flavors of the region. During the transit, a local expert is on board providing commentary on the history and building of the Canal. Exclusive culinary-themed Shore EXCursions in partnership with FOOD & WINE magazine showcase the regions’ food scenes from a local perspective.
P&O Cruises (UK) offers a 99-night world tour in January 2020 that includes a Panama Canal complete transit aboard Arcadia, one of its adults-only ships, as it takes guests to 26 destinations in the Caribbean, Central America, Hawaii, South Pacific, Southeast Asia and Australia before returning to Southampton in April 2020.
Princess Cruises carries more guests across this engineering marvel than any other cruise line. This year the line offers three ways to experience the Panama Canal – roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, roundtrip from Los Angeles, or full transit options that sail between Fort Lauderdale and Los Angeles or San Francisco and Vancouver. The 2019-20 lineup – the cruise line’s largest deployment ever to the Panama Canal – features five ships, with 10- to 21-day options, also visiting culturally rich ports in the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America.
Each Princess Cruises transit of the Panama Canal includes live narration from the bridge offering a glimpse into the history and insight that went into its engineering feat, as well as a day of scenic cruising through Gatun Lake. Beyond the Canal, guests can enjoy the diverse cultures of Central and South America, the rainforests and wildlife of Panama and Costa Rica, and some of the top-rated beaches of the Caribbean.
For the upcoming 2020-21 season, five Princess Cruises ships will sail the waters of the Panama Canal, with 28 departures and nine unique itineraries. New for this season, two 15-day ocean-to-ocean voyages are offered sailing between Fort Lauderdale and the new homeport of San Diego, and Crown Princess sails on 10-day cruises roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, bringing the Princess MedallionClass vacation experience to the region.
In July, Crown Princess will have the Medallion Class experience and in 2020 the experience will expand to Emerald Princess (August 2020) and Coral Princess (October 2020), enabling three MedallionClass ship to sail in the Panama Canal next year. Powered by OceanMedallion, the most advanced wearable device in the global hospitality industry, MedallionClass ships deliver a hassle-free, personalized vacation that gives guests more time to enjoy their precious vacation time. It also features MedallionNet, the best Wi-Fi at sea offering fast, affordable, reliable and unlimited internet service to stream shows, post photos and video chat.
Carnival Corporation’s ultra-luxury Seabourn brand offers two sailings through the Panama Canal for the 2019-20 season. Seabourn Sojourn’s October itinerary departs Los Angeles and calls in Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia and Jamaica, before concluding in Miami, all centered around the daylight transit of the Panama Canal.
Additionally, during fall 2019, Seabourn Quest offers a 22-day voyage of the Panama Canal and Inca Coast from Miami to Santiago, Chile – sailing south along the western side of South American ports with overnight stays in Manta (Quito), Ecuador and Callao (Lima), Peru.