The Amador Cruise Terminal, located on Perico Island of the Amador Causeway in Panama City, Panama, is the first cruise terminal located on Panama’s Pacific coast. Panama has another cruise terminal on Panama’s Caribbean coast in the city of Colon here.
Panama’s Amador Cruise Terminal, a 165 million dollar project, was built by the Panamanian government, led and supervised by Panama’s Maritime Authority (AMP).
Panama’s Maritime Authority announced its intention to develop the cruise terminal in late 2016. The Amador Cruise Terminal’s primary purpose is to become a home port for cruises that travel north and south along the Pacific, allowing thousands of travelers to pass through Panama en route to national and international destinations. Being a home port will promote Panama’s tourism sector and create direct and indirect employment opportunities, as well as contributing to the sustainable development of Panama.
According to data from the Panama Maritime Authority, the Norwegian Star cruise ship, belonging to the Norwegian Cruise Line, has already made the first home port reservation for October 2020
The cruise ship Island Princess, carrying over 2,000 passengers, docked at the Amador Cruise Terminal on October 2nd of this year, marking the beginning of the season.
During the 8 hours that the cruise ships are docked at the Amador Cruise Terminal, over 60% of passengers take tours of the Panama Canal, Casco Viejo, Panama Viejo and the city center, while others visit the indigenous communities of lakes Gatun and Bayno.
Construction of the Amador Cruise Terminal
The Amador Cruise Terminal project was awarded in June 2017 to the Pacific Cruises Consortium, formed by Jan De Nul (JDN) and the China Harbor Engineering Company (CHEC). Both companies have developed marine infrastructure and engineering projects worldwide.
You can see a video of work that was done below.
CHEC is a subsidiary of China Communications Construction Company, the largest contractor in Asia and the third largest in the world. CHEC won the bid shortly after Panama established diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China, and thereby severed ties with Taiwan. The People’s Republic of China refuses to recognize any nation that formally recognizes Taiwan, a core part of its One-China policy.
Previous CHEC projects in Panama include the Port of Balboa Container Terminal Phase 3, awarded in 2002, and Evergreen’s Colon Container Terminal (CCT), awarded in 2013. The diplomatic timing was auspicious for another deal, and CHEC said that the bidding for the new terminal project was highly competitive, with interest from over 40 international firms.
“The diplomatic steps we made are bringing very precise benefits to the people of Panama with projects like this, where Chinese companies are participating with efficient costs,” said Panamanian president Juan Carlos Varela.
Panama’s Amador Causeway
Panama’s Maritime Authority has ambitious plans for the Amador Causeway. The man-made breakwater, built with excavation debris from the original Panama Canal, connects four small islands called Naos, Culebra, Perico and Flamenco. The Amador Causeway, as well as the Panama Canal and all Panama Canal Zone territories, was returned to Panamanian jurisdiction in 1999, and has seen considerable development since. The causeway and its islands are now home to a marina, a convention center, a Frank Gehry-designed museum and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute’s aquarium. The Panamanian government recently invested $300 million in overhauling the area’s roads and infrastructure to support future development and tourism.