Over 100 cruise ships set to arrive next season

The cruise season in Colón will start warming up in October as ships from Celebrity Cruises, Holland America, Princess Cruises, and Pullmantur lines pull into port. 

From October 2014 to April 2015 more than 100 cruise ships are expected to arrive at the ports of Colón 2000 and Lake Gatún in the Panama Canal. Last cruise season an average of 45,000 passengers disembarked monthly at the port on the shores of the city of Colón and at Amador on the Pacific entrance to the Canal.

The cruise tourism segment recorded the arrival of 215,581 passengers and a 5.75% increase from January to May. Tourists on these cruises spend an estimated $27 million dollars. According to the Florida Caribbean Cruises Association (FCCA), a passenger who disembarks at a Caribbean port spends $125 on average.

Every Friday the cruise ship Monarch on the Pullmantur line sets sail from Terminal number 2 at Colón 2000, which serves as its Home Port, bound for Cartagena, Aruba, Curaçao, and other ports across the southern Caribbean. Thais Tuñón, from the tourism operator Aventuras 2000, notes that the new cruise season will receive the support of the residents of Colón and government entities such as ATP, Customs, Immigration, SINAPROC, Tourist Police, and the National Police. "Operating tours in buses, trains, and boats through the canal requires the support of all these entities. Every time a cruise departs Home Port, 300 people, 90% of them colonenses, are participating and working."

The Panama Canal is the main draw for tourists on cruises. They also visit tourist attractions like Portobello and Panama City. The Panama Tourism Authority (ATP) anticipates that Colón and the Amador port in Panama City will have a good season that will generate employment and tourist income for tour operators, transportation companies, restaurants, and stores.

Source: ATP