'The company's approach is closely aligned with our Sustainable Tourism Master Plan, as they seek sustainable and unique experiences that connect with nature and authentic cultures, elements in which Panama maintains important competitive advantages,' Panama Tourism Authority Administrator Iván Eskildsen said.
Eskildsen met with Atlas President Alberto Aliberti at the line's Fort Lauderdale office on Tuesday.
In exchange for its turnaround calls, Atlas will benefit from Panama’s incentive to refund canal transit fees.
World Navigator is scheduled to make its maiden Panama calls in October, at the end of a nine-night Caribbean voyage, stopping at San Blas Island Oct. 26 then ending at Colón Oct. 27.
That same day, passengers will embark for a Panama and Costa Rica voyage that transits the Panama Canal to Panama City, with an overnight at the new Panama Cruise Terminal at Fuerte Amador Oct. 29 then continues to Costa Rica with calls at Puntarenas, Quepos and Golfito, before ending at Panama City Nov. 5.
New Pacific Zodiac landing sites
According to an Atlas spokesman, Panama Tourism is bringing online a few new beach sites on the Pacific side, where future visits by World Navigator and World Traveller will be able to tender passengers ashore via Zodiacs.
'The Zodiac tendering at these new landing sites will be adventurous bookends for Panama shore excursions that will immerse guests the natural splendor of the destination,' Atlas spokesman Harrison Liu said.
'High interest' from Azamara
Eskildsen also tweeted that a meeting with Azamara yielded 'high interest' in starting homeport operations in Panama by 2024.
Panama is featured in 'Central America Outlook' in the current issue of Seatrade Cruise Review