To transit the Panama Canal, a cruise ship, or container ship, must be considered to be of "Panamax" size – or, no larger than the "maximum" size to fit through the Panama Canal locks. The current size limitations for passing through the lock chambers of the Panama Canal are 965 feet in length, 106 feet in width, and 40 feet in depth.
In 2015, the Panama Canal Expansion will open with larger capacity in both size, and frequency of passage. The New Panamax ship maximums are 1,200 feet in length, 160 feet in width, and 50 feet in depth. All currently sailing cruise ships will be able to transit the new locks, opening up many more options in Panama Canal Cruises.