Friday, December 22, 2017

Christmas Shines in Panama City

Christmas Shines in Panama City

The Mayor's Office of Panama, for this 2017, will be carrying out a series of activities so that all residents of the capital are filled with the Christmas spirit and for them has increased the coverage of the Christmas lighting better known as "Brilla la Navidad", and added thirteen new points.

The Francisco Arias Paredes park, located between Avenida Cuba and Avenida Peru, diagonal to the Hatillo building and eighteen points of the city have been decorated with this lighting that cost $ 2.2 million to give the capital a Christmas atmosphere.

The other points that were decorated are the Cinta Costera, Sabores del Chorrillo, Plaza Catedral, Plaza Francia, Plaza Bolívar, Plaza Herrera, Santa Ana Park, Plaza Porras, Parque Heliodoro Patiño in Juan Díaz, Avenida Manuel Espinosa Batista, Federico Boyd Avenue, Del Causeway Children's Park, Urracá Park, Costanera Avenue, Francisco Arias Paredes Park, Ecuador Avenue and entrance hall to the Casco Antiguo.

This year the snowfall returns to the park Heliodoro Patiño and Parque Porras. The lighting has LED technology with low energy consumption. For these facilities, the Mayor's Office of Panama has worked in a planned manner and taking care of all the details of the lighting so that thousands of people enjoy it.

The National Ballet of Panama will present the Christmas work El Cascanueces in Parque Urraca on Saturday, December 23 at 6:30 p.m.

By Municipio de Panama
The festivities will come to an end on Saturday, January 6 when the Magi come to the Cathedral Square in the Old Town at 6:30 p.m. for the delight of children. On Sunday 7 there will be a walk in the Cinta Costera at 8:00 a.m.

There is a lot to do during the end of the year parties, so do not miss the free activities organized by the Mayor's Office of Panama. For more information visit

Thursday, November 9, 2017

The Panama Canal records record tonnage in fiscal year 2017

The Panama Canal, driven by the additional capacity offered by the expanded highway, registered a record annual tonnage at the end of the fiscal year 2017 (FY 2017) with 403.8 million tons of CP / SUAB (volume measurement of the Universal System of Tonnage). Vessels of the Panama Canal), which represents an increase of 22.2% compared to the previous year.

Picture by Canal de Panama
With this figure, the Panama Canal exceeds the 399 million tons of CP / SUAB projected for FY 2017, as well as the tonnage of FY 2016, which closed with 330.4 million tons of CP / SUAB.

Toll revenues and other maritime services totaled B / .2,691 million, an increase of 14.3% compared to the previous year.

"It was a record year beyond expectations," said Panama Canal Administrator Jorge Luis Quijano. "This figure reflects once again the commitment of the Panama Canal to provide greater revenues to the country, with an efficient, safe and competitive operation for our customers."

In total, including the operation of the panamax and neopanamax locks, 13,548 transits were reached through the Panama Canal, that is, an increase of 3.3% in the balance with FY 2016.

Results by segment

Container ships remained the segment with the greatest impact on the interoceanic route, contributing 143 million tons during FY 2017, which includes 89.1 million tons from the expanded Canal.

In order of importance, tanker ships followed - including liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) ships - with 105 million tons, bulk carriers, with 79 million tons, and carrier carriers, with 47 million tons of tons.

Main routes and users

In FY 2017, the main routes through the Panama Canal were between Asia and the East Coast of the United States (34%), West Coast of South America and the East Coast of the United States (13%), West Coast of South America and Europe (7%), west coast Central America and the east coast of the United States (7%) and intercostal South America (5%).

68.3% of the cargo that transited the Canal originates or is destined for the United States.

The main users of the interoceanic route were: the United States, China, Chile, Japan, Mexico and Colombia.

The 2017 fiscal year of the Panama Canal began on October 1, 2016 and ended on September 30, 2017. This is the first full fiscal year with the Canal expanded in operation.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Panama ranks third in Latin America as a favorite tourist destination

Gustavo Him, Minister of Tourism, said that Panama occupies the third position in Latin America as one of the preferred tourist destinations, and at the international level it is in the 41st position.

This was stated during the first meeting of Diplomatic and Consular Officials, where he spoke about the marketing strategies and objectives developed by that entity for the promotion of the country.

The 2017 Tourism and Travel Competitiveness Index of the World Economic Fund highlights Panama as the third tourist power above Costa Rica, Chile and Argentina, due to its geographical location and favorable environment for doing business.

Him detailed that the marketing strategy is focused on positioning Panama as a tourist destination, increase hotel occupancy, strengthen the tourism brand and increase visits to 3 million tourists in 2019.

Of the total number of visitors to the country, there was an increase in the arrival of 244,053 cruise passengers from January to August 2017, compared to the same period in 2016, which was 132,002.

Meanwhile, from the entry of tourists by Tocumen Airport from target markets such as Canada, 28,735 visitors were registered from January to August 2017, compared to 2016 which was 25,800.

The Minister of Tourism also announced the 5 most visited sites, according to a survey conducted in areas of boarding of the airports of the country to tourists who visited us in a period of 3 to 10 days that are the Panama Canal (41%), Casco Antiguo (31%), Isla Colón (15%), Cinta Costera (12%) and Amador (11%).

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Canal Expansion receives first neopanamax cruise of the season

The MS Caribbean Princess, from the Princess Cruise line, today became the first neopanamax cruise to navigate the locks of the enlarged Canal during the 2017-2018 season.

The boat, with 3,086 passengers on board (maximum capacity of 3,600), began its journey in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, where it will also culminate the crossing, passing through the ports of Bahamas, Cartagena (Colombia), Cristóbal (Panama), Limón (Costa Rica) and the Cayman Islands.

Upon arrival at the Agua Clara lock, in the Atlantic, passengers of the Caribbean Princess will take the opportunity to travel to several tourist sites in the cities of Panama and Colon. For this season has planned the transit of 236 cruise ships.

In addition, 11 of these vessels will transit the Panama Canal for the first time. They belong to the Princess Cruise, Norwegian Cruise, Carnival Cruises, Viking Ocean Cruises, Silverse Cruises, Lindblad Special Expedition and CMA CGM lines. In addition, a total of 20 transits will be added to the new Neopanamax locks of the Caribbean Princess, Carnival Freedom, Carnival Splendor, Norwegian Bliss and Disney Wonder ships. 

During this season, Norwegian Bliss, the largest passenger vessel (4,200 passengers and 164,600 tonnes) will be able to pass through the enlarged Canal on a repositioning cruise to the west coast of the United States and then start its cruise season in Alaska.

And as in previous years, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean Cruises, and Norwegian Cruise Line, among others, maintain their proposal to offer itineraries to complete transits and partial transits that include Panama, in particular the interoceanic route.

Other smaller cruises that will also cross the neopanamax locks are the Wind Star and the National Geographic Quest expeditions, which will carry out itineraries of seven and eight days, respectively, to the west coast of Central America. The MS Caribbean Princess cruiser was built in 2004, and has a capacity of 112,894 tons. It is a modified Grand Class cruiser, has 900 cabins with balcony and a terrace with mini-suites. It was the first modern cruise with an outdoor theater, which Princess announces as "Movies under the Stars".

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

This will be the fourth bridge over the Panama Canal

Photo by: La Estrella

The Ministry of Public Works (MOP) received proposals from four companies aspiring to design and build the fourth bridge over the Panama Canal, which will be ready in a 42-month period, costing more than $ 1 billion.

This work is considered the second largest in the country, after the expansion of the Panama Canal.

Photo By: La Estrella
The new bridge will benefit more than one million residents of the province of West Panama and will not affect the operation of the Panama Canal.

The fourth bridge project has an extension of 6.5 kilometers from Albrook Mall to the entrance of Panama Pacifico.

The new bridge will have a cost with barrier free toll with a portico similar to those that will be installed in the current corridors.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

235 Cruise Ships to Transit Canal

235 Cruise Ships to Transit Canal

THE BIGGEST  cruise ship scheduled to pass through the Panama  Canal during the 2017-2018  season is still under construction.

The Norwegian Bliss has a capacity for 4,200 passengers and will be one of 235 cruise ships that will pass through the expanded locks during the season says the Canal Authority (ACP).

The Island Princess, which will leave the US city of Los Angeles, will inaugurate the season.
From Newsroom Panama
The expansion of the canal, which cost more than $5.6 billion, allows the passage  of neopanamax, ships with the capacity to transport up to 14,000 containers, three times the load that passes through the century old route.

Container transport is still the main business of the waterway  route, but the new locks have allowed the canal to open to other products, such as liquefied natural gas (LNG) and  large cruise ships.

On April 29 The Disney Wonder, carrying almost 2,800 passengers, became the first cruise ship to use the new locks.

The Canal built by the United States. at the beginning of the last century was transferred to Panama on December 31 December 1999, and accounts for about 6% of world trade and connects more than 140 sea routes and 1,700 ports in 160 different countries.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

China to build Panama-David train

China to build Panama-David train

Panama seeks to evaluate with Communist China the possibility of building a train to David, revealed the vice president Isabel de Saint Malo.

China recently just released the new generation of Fuxing bullet trains, which run at 350 kilometers per hour. David is more than 400 kilometers from the capital city.

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi is due to arrive in Panama to discuss 12 priority points set out in the new bilateral agenda, including tourism, trade and security.

Critica Panama

Monday, September 11, 2017

Moody's reaffirms A2 rating of the Panama Canal Authority with a stable outlook

Moody's reaffirms A2 rating of the Panama Canal Authority with a stable outlook

These bonds were qualified under equal conditions with the $ 2.3 billion loan granted by bilateral and multilateral institutions to finance the Panama Canal expansion program.

Moody's ratings confirmed with a stable outlook; its A2 rating assigned to the 20-year, $ 450 million senior unsecured bonds issued by the Panama Canal Authority (ACP).

The bonds were issued to partially finance the construction of the third bridge over the Atlantic Oceanway.

These bonds were qualified under equal conditions with the $ 2.3 billion loan granted by bilateral and multilateral institutions to finance the Panama Canal expansion program.

Moody's also upgraded the ACP's Base Credit Assessment (BCA) from A3 to A2, which reflects the successful operations of the expanded Canal to one year since its opening.

According to the qualifying company, the expanded Canal has captured more transits and tonnage and has allowed the development of new businesses and investments.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

New Record Set

 Photo by: Panama America
The CMA CGM Theodore Roosevelt is the largest buyer that has passed through the new locks of the Panama Canal, completing a trip between Asia and the east coast of the United States.

As it passed through the new locks, the ship established a new record of total allowed TEUs (20-foot containers) in the Panama Canal, with a mark of 14 thousand 863.

The ship is 365.96 meters long and 48.252 meters wide. To get an idea of ​​its dimensions, its size is similar to two pyramids of Giza, four Big Ben and eight Statues of Liberty.

Others of the new capacity dossier, the vessel took advantage of the environmental efficiencies of the channel expanded the saving 29 thousand 561 tonnes of CO2, compared with those that issued and followed the alternate route of the Cape of Good Hope.

He started his trip in Shanghai and will arrive at the ports on the east coast of the United States.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Panama Canal does not foresee impact on its activity by diplomacy with China

The Panama Canal does not foresee impact on its activity by diplomacy with China

The Panama Canal does not foresee any change in transit activity after the Government established relations with China

The Panama Canal does not foresee "any change in transit activity" after the Panamanian government established diplomatic relations with China to the detriment of Taiwan, said Jorge Quijano, administrator of the interoceanic route.

"We do not see any changes necessarily in what is the transit activity, because the one that dictates the transit activity is not Panama, what dictates the transit through the Panama Canal is the demand," Quijano told reporters.

The behavior of water transit is more "related to the import that the US wants to have, which is our first user and is supplied in a large majority of China," which is the second customer of the waterway, he said.

"So trade exchange is the one we respond to here (and) we do not see that this (the relations of Panama and China) will bring any change in reality," added Quijano.

The president of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, announced on Monday the establishment of relations with China and the break with Taiwan under the argument, among others, that the Asian giant is the second most important user of the Canal and the first supplier of the Zone Free of Columbus (ZLC), the largest in the hemisphere.

Taiwan immediately expressed its "indignation" over the turn of Panama, which he called "unfair act", as well as his "condemnation and repulse" for what he considers a Chinese attack on his international space, and announced the consequent withdrawal of everything The Taiwanese staff of the Central American country and the suspension of assistance and cooperation programs.

The diplomatic turn made by the Government of Varela has been welcomed in Panama, where private sector expectations point to the achievement of benefits for the country in terms of trade and investment in fields such as technology and logistics.

Quijano stressed Thursday that ACP maintains "excellent relations with all" its customers, including Chinese and Taiwanese shipping companies, and that these have been and will continue to be commercial.

"This is a neutral channel, here pass all the ships of the world is not restricted any, What we do demand is that they comply with all international regulations in addition to the special requirements" of the ACP on security and other fields, he added.

The Panama Canal, which accounts for about 6% of world trade, connects 144 sea routes that reach 1,700 ports in 160 countries.

Photo: La Estrella

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Panama Canal Commemorates Anniversary of Expanded Canal

Panama Canal Commemorates Anniversary of Expanded Canal

On June 26, 2017 the Panama Canal commemorated the one-year anniversary of the inauguration of its Expanded Canal, one of the most significant milestones in the history of the 102-year old waterway and a defining moment for the people of Panama and the global maritime industry.

During the one-year anniversary, the vessels that have transited the Expanded Canal received commemorative plaques. The honored vessels included: Albert III, Ever Loading, Valparaiso Express, Yuhsho and CMA CGM Melisande.

“These transits are a testament to the global maritime industry’s confidence in the Expanded Canal,” said Panama Canal Administrator, Jorge L. Quijano. “The countless accomplishments set over the past year have surpassed even our own expectations for the project. We would like to thank everyone involved, from our customers to our highly-skilled employees, for their role in making this year such a great success.”

The Visitor
Over the past 12 months, the Expanded Canal’s performance has exceeded what was originally forecast, as global trade routes have been redrawn and its positive impact has been felt around the world.

The Panama Canal launched the Green Connection Environmental Recognition Program, a new initiative that recognizes customers who demonstrate excellent environmental stewardship and encourages others to implement technologies and standards that reduce emissions. This program includes the Environmental Premium Ranking and the Green Connection Award.

The Expanded Canal contributed to the reduction of 17 million tons of CO2 during its first year of operation thanks to the shorter traveling distance and larger cargo carrying capacity that it offers to customers.

Together, these activities have led to a ripple effect on local and global economies, positively impacting the international shipping industry as ports worldwide continue to invest in their infrastructure to accommodate the influx in Neopanamax traffic from the Expanded Canal. Investment has been particularly prevalent among U.S. East Coast ports, which have experienced strong growth and broken cargo records, providing a boost to their local economies.