Photo of the Week
August 10, 2014

Last week I closed with a trivia question about what replaced the Presidente Porras, well, my answer was correct.  The U.S. Las Cruces was the new tour launch for the Panama Canal.  The photo above came from the August 1961 Panama Canal Review with the caption:

     The first sightseeing trip aboard the Canal's new launch Las Cruces was made by a delegation of 150 women of the General Federation of Women's Clubs, who paid a 2-day visit to the Isthmus while en route home after attending a convention in Rio de Janeiro.
     The 63-foot launch has a 23-foot beam, is fitted with double decks, and can comfortably carry 200 passengers. It was acquired by the Canal to provide a convenient method for visiting groups to view the Canal and is expected to help Panama in the development of its tourist trade.
     Arrangements for reservations to use the launch may be made by telephoning Balboa 3192. The vessel is available on a rental basis for use by Company-Government employees, religious, civic, fraternal, and similar organizations, tourist agencies, and other organized and responsible groups.

Below is a color photo taken from a newer Review in the later days of the Canal Zone era.

I posted an article back in November 2011 which has some background as to who built the Las Cruces and where it came from. (Click Here)

 I noticed that on the Smithsonian (STRI) at Barro Colorado web site, that the old launch is now called the research vessel Las Cruces.  She is still chugging along after all these years.

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