The Colón 2000 cruise port/shopping mall is on the eastern edge of Colón, close to the Free Zone. It opened in (surprise!) 2000 and was supposed to attract fleets of cruise ships to Colón and breathe life into the local economy. This has been slow to happen.
However, since 2007 Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines has been making Colón 2000 a home port, with its Enchantment of the Seas offering cruises originating from the port. These cruises are a hit, particularly with Panamanians, Colombians, and other Latin Americans who don’t want to fool with the trouble and expense of flying to the U.S. to start a cruise. Some other cruise ships do call at the port as well. A long-planned Radisson hotel has finally opened in the port, catering to cruise passengers and those with business in the Free Zone.
Besides a handful of duty-free shops and some souvenir-trinket stores, most of which are only open during cruise season, the complex includes an enormous Super 99 grocery store, a Western Union branch, Hertz and Budget car rental offices, an ATM, and a couple of places to eat.
During the main cruise season (approximately Oct.–May), folkloric dancers perform for the tourists when a ship is in port. The place is pretty deserted when ships don’t show up, and stores are having a rough time holding on.
Note that in spoken Spanish this place is called Colón Dos Mil.
© William Friar from Moon Panama, 3rd Edition