With the announcement that two of their Fantasy-class ships will swap year-round homeport deployments for fall 2011, the big news here is that Carnival Cruise Lines will offer a 14-day Panama Canal voyage on each that will provide highly attractive longer length “Fun Ship” cruise options, as well as the unforgettable experience of transiting the Panama Canal.
The homeport exchange will see the 2,052-passenger Carnival Inspiration repositioning to Long Beach, California, for 3- and 4-day Baja departures and the 2,052-passenger Carnival Paradise to Tampa, Florida, on 4- and 5-day Caribbean voyages. Carnival Inspiration is currently based in Tampa while Carnival Paradise operates from Long Beach.
To reposition the ships, Carnival Paradise will sail a Panama Canal cruise from Long Beach to Tampa departing Nov. 28, 2011, while the Carnival Inspiration Panama Canal voyage will depart Dec. 3, 2011, and operate from Tampa to Long Beach.
These voyages will be highlighted by the transit of the Panama Canal, one of the great technological achievements of the 20th century, where ships are raised 85 feet in the air via a series of three locks and then gently lowered back again. The transit also includes the crossing of 163-square-mile Gatun Lake, the world’s largest man-made lake, which is surrounded by a variety of native tropical foliage and interesting sites. Each voyage will also feature visits to five ports of call: Cabo San Lucas and Acapulco, Mexico; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Cartagena, Colombia; and George Town, Grand Cayman.
Reservations are currently being accepted for the new schedules of the Carnival Inspiration and Carnival Paradise as well as the 14-day Panama Canal cruises. For additional information, visit Carnival.com.