Panama, April 19, 2001. During her maiden Panama Canal transit on April 12, Royal Caribbean’s Radiance of the Seas broke the standing toll record, less than a month after the Infinity became the first vessel to pay over $200,000 in tolls.
The Liberian flag Radiance of the Seas paid $202,176.76, a mere $645.07 more than the Infinity, for her Canal transit. With a length of 964.57 feet and a beam or width of 105.97 feet, the ship is slightly smaller than the Infinity. However, the Radiance of the Seas’ superstructure (i.e., the part above the main deck) has a greater passenger capacity.
The German-built Radiance of the Seas, launched on March 10, 2001, was specially made to meet the Panama Canal’s existing maximum dimensions. Her Canal transit is part of a fourteen-day tour from Miami, Florida, to Los Angeles, California, after which she will undertake voyages to Alaska’s icy waters.
To commemorate the transit, ship captain Kent Ringborn was presented with a plaque by Panama Canal Authority (ACP) Deputy Administrator Ricaurte Vasquez. Each year more than 300 cruise ships transit the Canal, laden with their international voyagers. The high season, October through May, generally shows an increase in the frequency of these transits.