Deputy Canal Administrator Manuel Benítez, stated:

The Panama Canal is proud to welcome the Norwegian Bliss and recognizes that this distinct milestone is made possible by the Canal Expansion, as well as the experience and efforts gained in the two years since its inauguration.

The Norwegian Bliss left Germany’s Meyer Werft shipyard in March to begin a 15-day itinerary this month, sailing from Miami, Florida through the Panama Canal and up along the west coast of Central and North America before reaching its final destination at the Port of Los Angeles in California. The ship will then service the Alaska region until the end of the cruise season, after which it will be repositioned in the Caribbean.

In April, the Canal set a new milestone with the transit of three LNG carriers on the same day.

The 24th of May marks the unofficial end to the 2017-18 cruise season, when it will transit the Pacific Princess, operated by Princess Cruises, as part of a 17-day voyage from Los Angeles, California to its final destination at the port of Fort Lauderdale. The Canal’s international trade specialist Albano Aguilar informed:

By the end of its cruise season, the Panama Canal will have transited a total 248 passenger ships with a total of 312,304 passengers onboard. Of this, a total of 20 cruises will be Neopanamax vessels, including the Caribbean Princess, Carnival Freedom, Carnival Splendor, Norwegian Bliss and Disney Wonder – all able to transit the waterway thanks to the Expansion of the Canal.

To take further advantage of the new locks, the Panama Canal Authority announced earlier in May the increase of the maximum allowable beam for commercial and non-commercial vessels passing through the Neopanamax Locks, as well as the increase of its daily Neopanamax reservations to eight.