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The cruise Norwegian Bliss, the current largest ship with a capacity to transport passengers, will transit next Monday through the new locks of the Panama Canal, said the administration of the waterway.
The Norwegian Bliss has 168,800 gross tons with a capacity to carry 5,000 passengers, "which represents a new record of transit through the new locks," the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) said in a statement.
Among the novelties of the Norwegian Bliss, the ACP detailed that it has a total length of 325.9 meters (1,069.2 feet), sleeve 41.4 meters (135.8 feet) and draft of 8.3 meters (27.2 feet).
It is also the third ship of the Breakaway Plus class of the Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL). The first two are the Norwegian Escape and the Norwegian Joy.
Built by Meyer Werft in Germany, the Breakaway Plus class boats feature innovatively designed interiors, luxurious cabins and world-class amenities that surpass NCL's existing fleet of cruisers.
The new ships are almost 10 percent larger than those of the Breakaway class, and also have innovative technology.
The cruise also has a race track for two-floor electric cars (the largest in the sea).
The Norwegian Bliss sailed from the German shipyard Meyer Werft in March, to begin a 15-day itinerary this month, sailing from Miami, Florida, then crossing the Panama Canal and along the west coast of North and Central America, until arriving to its final destination in the Port of Los Angeles, in California.
The ship will then serve the Alaska region until the end of the cruise season, after which it will re-position in the Caribbean.
Another novelty that stands out is the outdoor laser combat circuit, set in an abandoned space station, a different place aboard a cruise ship that will be open both day and night.
It also has a large pool and solarium area, as well as a water park with two multi-storey water slides.
The expansion of the Canal, which took place between 2007 and 2016, with an initial cost of 5,250 million dollars, allows the passage of Neopanamax ships with a capacity of up to 13,000 containers, almost three times those ships that go through the operational route since 1914.
Through this route and the old locks, inaugurated in 1914, about 14,000 ships pass annually around 6 percent of world trade, generating revenues of more than 2,000 million dollars a year on the route.
Almost half of this income is for the Panamanian Treasury.