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Brilliant Lady alterations enable Panama Canal transit

This photo of Scarlet Lady shows the Deck 7 overhang (just above the red part of the hull) that houses The Dock, a mezze-style outdoor eatery and lounge. Removing this overhang is one of the alterations to enable Brilliant Lady to transit the new Panama Canal locks
Virgin Voyages needed to make alternations to Brilliant Lady so the ship can transit the Panama Canal.

As earlier reported, the long-delayed fourth lady ship is now scheduled to enter service in September 2025 on a North American tour that includes a Panama Canal transit in March 2026.

Brilliant Lady's beam measures 38 meters so it can fit through the new Panama Canal locks. That's not the problem. 

Deck 7 aft overhang and lifeboats

Frank Weber, SVP fleet operations, explained the issue with the first three Virgin vessels is their superstructure with the overhang on Deck 7 aft (The Dock, a mezze-style outdoor eatery and lounge) and the overhang of the lifeboats, which makes them noncompliant for the Panama Canal.

'To address this [for Brilliant Lady], we designed a special davit system that will allow us to move the lifeboats further inboard when we pass through the canal,' Weber told Seatrade Cruise News. 'For this reason we also needed to modify the balconies on Deck 8 midship, hence the extra hammock of these balconies to make up for the modification. Furthermore, the overhang on Deck 7 aft was removed.'