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Norwegian Cruise Line to base a ship in Panama

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) will become the first major cruise line to seasonally homeport in Panama City, this March, under a deal that provides the line with Panama Canal transit benefits.

The Norwegian Jewel will launch a series of 12 Panama Canal sailings on March 20, offering nine-day itineraries traversing the Panama Canal and visiting Puerto Limon, Costa Rica; Oranjestad, Aruba; Willemstad, Curacao; Kralendijk, Bonaire; Cartagena, Colombia; and finishing in Colon on the the Caribbean side of Panama.

NCL's parent company, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH), signed a multiyear agreement with the Panama Tourism Authority, which allows the company to seasonally homeport at the Colon Cruise Terminal as well as at Fuerte Amador Cruise Terminal on the Pacific Ocean side the country and adjacent to Panama City.

The contract provides Panama Canal transit benefits to NCLH from 2022 through 2024, while operating homeport turnarounds. In addition to the 12 homeport voyages in 2022, starting Jan. 14, 2023, the Norwegian Gem will offer a selection of Panama Canal cruises and the Norwegian Joy will offer a sailing from Panama City in December 2023.

"Part of our company's mission is to create unforgettable experiences in some of the most special places around the world," said Harry Sommer, CEO of NCL. "This new agreement enables nearly 24,000 guests to experience the beauty of Panama each year."

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