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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Al Capone's Yacht in New Panama Canal Role

April 23, 2012

Legendary gangster's rum smuggling vessel now a tourist excursion boat in Panama

Some 270 ships pass each week through the Panama Canal, but one now gives tourists the chance to experience the storied waterway on the Isla Morada, Al Capone's legendary rum-runner, says a report in the New Zealand Herald.

The wooden ship, famous for smuggling liquor for the US mobster during the prohibition era, turned 100 this year and has been refurbished for guided tours of the canal's locks and shoreline wildlife.

The 94-tonne, 96-metre-long Isla Morada began sailing in March 1912 under the name the "Santana," and has since earned the distinction of having passed through the Canal more than any other as the oldest vessel still on duty.

Capone (1899-1947) spared no expense on the original fittings of his rum-runner, giving it five luxury bedrooms, a lavish mahogany dining room, even a library.

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