Construction has officially started on the first next-generation Princess cruise ship by Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri. The new vessel will be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and the first of two 175,000 gross-ton cruise ships.
First Sphere-Class for Princess Cruises
Even though Princess Cruises and parent company Carnival Corporation has been heavily hit by the suspension of operations, the cruise line continues to move forward with new ships. It’s a major milestone on September 3 as the first steel cutting took place at the San Giorgio di Nogaro (Udine) facility at Centro Servizi Navali. It’s not the shipyard as this is the company specializing in sheet metal production for Fincantieri.
It does now mean that physical construction has now started rather than just the design and planning stage. The ship will be the first Sphere-class for Princess Cruises and take the cruise line into a new era of ship design powered by LNG, the marine industry’s most environmentally friendly fuel technology, and the world’s cleanest fossil fuel.
Other Carnival cruise brands, including AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, P&O Cruises, and Carnival Cruise Line, already operate new LNG-powered cruise ships, a new trend across the industry as new ships are constructed.
So the yet-to-be-named Sphere-class vessel will be 175,000 gross tons and will have a guest capacity of 4,300. The cruise line has yet revealed no other details. The new ship is currently scheduled to be completed in November 2023. A second identical vessel will also be completed in 2025.
Princess Cruises operates 14 cruise ships currently, including the newest ship in the fleet, Enchanted Princess, which joined the fleet in 2020. Five Royal-class ships are currently the newest class in the fleet, but they are not powered by LNG and have a gross tonnage of around 145,000 depending on the ship.
The cruise line was forced to sell two of its older vessels due to the global pandemic that hit the cruise industry hard. Sun Princess and Sea Princess were both sold in 2020 and are not operated under new owners.
Cruise Hive will keep readers updated as Princess Cruises reveals more details about its first new Sphere-class cruise ship, including first renders, itineraries, and ship features.