PANAMA CITY, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) on Thursday hailed the passage of the first super-sized neopanamax cruise ship to cross the expanded waterway.
Up to now, only neopanamax container carriers has made use of the larger canal to move cargo between the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans.
"Good morning from the Agua Clara floodgates, where today we welcome the first neopanamax cruise ship of the season, the Caribbean Princess," chief executive officer of the ACP, Jorge Luis Quijano, posted on Twitter.
The behemoth cruise ship is carrying 3,086 passengers, "many of whom will take advantage (of the crossing) to visit the country's tourism sites," said Quijano.
The Caribbean Princess set sail from the city of Fort Lauderdale in the U.S. state of Florida, and entered the canal on the Atlantic side, to continue its voyage to ports in the Bahamas, Colombia, Costa Rica and the Cayman Islands, as well as Panama.
Some 235 cruise ships are expected to cross the larger waterway this winter high season. The biggest cruise ship to traverse the waterway will be the Norwegian Bliss, currently under construction and designed to carry some 4,200 passengers.
The expanded canal was inaugurated in June 2016 to accommodate today's larger seafaring vessels, dubbed neopanamax in honor of the larger waterway.