SANTA CLARITA, Calif. -- Princess Cruises will operate 52 Panama
Canal voyages in their 2003-2004 season, more than twice the number
of sailings offered during the 2002-2003 season.
Princess' 88,000-ton Coral Princess and Island Princess, which
the line said were "built specifically for Panama Canal sailings"
each will offer 20 10-day cruises through the canal, with calls in
Georgetown, Grand Cayman; Limon, Costa Rica; Cozumel, Mexico; and
Cartagena, Colombia, plus a round-trip Panama Canal transit to
The line also offers 12- to 18-day repositioning cruises on the
Regal Princess, Sun Princess and Dawn Princess, with cruising along
the Pacific Coast.
But Panama Canal cruising may come at a hefty price.
As reported, Princess officials, along with the
Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association, met with officials of the
Panama Canal Authority to protest a 13% hike in canal tolls, which
Princess' vice president of Caribbean and Atlantic shore
operations, Steve Nielsen, said would cost the line $40,000 per
cruise -- and possibly force the line to reposition their ships
away from the canal.