The Rhapsody of the Seas cruises are scheduled from Colón, Panama City and Cartagena in late 2023 and early 2024.
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line has decided not to make guests endure multiple sea days out of Miami to visit the Panama canal.
Along with Cartagena and Colon, Panama will be used as a round trip port for the 1998 capacity ship built in 1997 and refurbished in 2012 beginning in late 2023.
Sean Treacy, SVP international, Royal Caribbean International, said, 'Latin America has a diversity of ports to create the best experiences for the whole family. With the incorporation of Rhapsody of the Seas to the Latin American market, we will have a product that will not require a US visa, offering a season with various itineraries, including the Panama Canal."
Panama Tourism Authority Administrator Iván Eskildsen, ProColombia President Flavia Santoro and Colombia Tourism Minister María Ximena Lombana welcomed the news. 'We are excited by the announcement of the new operations of Royal Caribbean with a base port in Panama, taking advantage of the only country with cruise ports in the Pacific and the Caribbean and the Panama Canal that connects both,' Eskildsen said.
'Since 2006, Royal Caribbean has been a key partner to our cruise industry, and we celebrate the fact that they continue to place a vote of confidence in Colombia, the most welcoming country in the world,' Santoro said.