Seatrade Cruise News is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Royal Caribbean officials tour soon-to-be-completed Panama Cruise Terminal

Royal Caribbean's Alberto Muñoz visits the Panama Cruise Terminal with Panama Maritime Authority's Flor Pitty
Royal Caribbean International executives visited the nearly completed Panama Cruise Terminal, which is set to be ready for the 2023/24 cruise season.

Panama Maritime Authority's Flor Pitty, director of Ports and Auxiliary Maritime Industries (DGPIMA), and Jonathan Guerini, head of port operations, DGPIMA, met with Royal Caribbean's Alberto Muñoz, VP Latin America and Caribbean, and Sebastien Desfresnes, head of travel partners, Latin America and Caribbean.

The Panama Cruise Terminal, located outside Panama City at Isla Perico on the Amador Causeway at the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal, is being promoted as a homeport. Two cruise ships can dock simultaneously. The pier has been handling ships since November 2021.

Rhapsody of the Seas to begin homeporting early 2024

Late this year Rhapsody of the Seas is scheduled to resume Latin America homeporting for Royal Caribbean after a nine-year absence. Departures from Panama and Colombia are planned. 

The season will be divided into two phases: first, round-trips from Colón, with select departures from Cartagena, calling at Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao.

Then, starting in February 2024, the ship will sail between Colón and Panama City with calls in Costa Rica at Puntarenas and a new port for the company, Quepos.

2022/23 season

Panama's 2022/23 cruise season, which began Oct. 29, has seen 167,669 passengers arriving on 186 calls at Colón and Panama City.

According to Panama's comptroller general, cruise tourists spend about $2.2m annually, with those on homeporting ships spending an estimated $315 and those in transit $150 per call.