Yacht delays in the Panama Canal
There are minor delays for yachts looking to cross the Panama Canal, but it could continue for another 10 months…
Superyacht crossings across the Panama Canal are still available despite minor delays of a maximum of two days on an unbooked crossing, and only one if it has been prebooked. However, following an announcement from authorities today, this could potentially be the case for the next 10 months.
“Superyachts remain unaffected as of now,” Leo Waterman, Operations Manager at Pananma-based Transhipping Agents tells SuperyachtNews. “There are only one-day delays for bookings, and maybe two days for normal crossings. We have already managed several superyachts and we have not really experienced any delays.”
After an unprecedented drought that has lowered the water level, the Panama Canal will maintain restrictions on daily vessel transit and maximum that has lowered the water level.
Local authorities responded by implementing ‘Condition 3’ - reducing the daily booking slots available to 14 in total. This comprises 10 slots for super-sized vessels (tankers) and 4 slots for regular-sized yachts and ships. These are the conditions that are likely to remain throughout the year.
With no sign of water levels rising anytime soon, authorities have extended Condition 3 by 10 months. This is in a bid to the canal a greater opportunity to preserve water before the next rainy season arrives. But it could create a larger bottleneck of ships if they do not reserve ahead of passage.
There is already a significant backlog on either side of the canal, with over 100 ships waiting to cross with 20-day delays.
Authorities recommend that captains book crossings in advance to mitigate any delays.
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