Princess Cruises’ Sun Princess reached a construction milestone on March 8, when the ship was floated out from its dry dock facility at a Fincantieri shipyard in Italy. The float-out marks a major advance in the construction of a cruise ship, as it progresses toward the completion of interior design work.
First in Sphere Class Floated Out
The 175,500 gross ton Sun Princess, the first in Princess Cruises’ new Sphere class, entered the water for the first time with her float out at the shipyard in Monfalcone. Sun Princess is the cruise line’s first ship to be dual-fuel powered, primarily by LNG, the advanced fuel technology that significantly cuts emissions and marine oil usage.
The steel-cutting for the new ship took place in September 2021 at Centro Servizi Navali, a sheet metal production specialist near Trieste, Italy. Following construction, the ship will undergo a set of sea trials before being delivered to the Carnival-owned cruise line.
“Simona is the ideal candidate to serve as Madrina of our newest ship, Sun Princess, because she embodies all the best qualities that our company has to offer – an unwavering commitment to service, hospitality and friendliness,” said John Padgett, president of Princess Cruises. “Sun Princess will usher in an exciting new era for our company and the industry, and we can’t think of a better person to serve in this important role.”
The ship, which is the largest ever built in Italy, is the first of two sister-ships the line ordered in its new Sphere class. Both ships will accommodate 4,300 guests. Sun Princess is scheduled for delivery in early 2024, while the second, as-yet-unnamed ship, is due for completion in 2025.
Princess Cruises revealed the name of the new ship in September 2022. It will be the third in the line’s history to be called Sun Princess. The first served the cruise line from 1974-1989, while the second debuted in 1995 as one of the earliest new-builds to join the Princess fleet. It was retired from the line in 2020.
Princess Cruises, a Carnival Corporation brand with 15 ships, announced that Sun Princess will sail her 10-day Inaugural Grand Mediterranean cruise from Barcelona to Rome on February 8, 2024. Port calls include Mallorca, Spain; Messina, Sicily; Athens, Greece; Kusadasi, Turkey; Santorini, Greece, and Naples, Italy. There will be three at-sea days.
Following the ship’s debut, she will operate a full season in the Mediterranean, offering 7- to 23-night itineraries from multiple departure ports, including Barcelona, Rome, Athens, and Southampton. The ship is slated to reposition to Fort Lauderdale in November 2024.
Sun Princess Brings Interior Innovations
Princess Cruises in February revealed several innovative design details planned for Sun Princess. They include the Horizons Dining Room, which will span three decks, with each deck offering different dining options and formality levels. Natural light and a central sculpture will enhance the venue’s open spaces.
The ship’s theater, the Princess Arena, will be the fleet’s most technologically impressive and will sport a curved theater-in-the-round design with movable seats able to accommodate 1,000 guests. Sun Princess also will boast the largest casino in the Princess fleet, and offer nearly 30 restaurants and bars.
Another unique space onboard the ship is The Dome, a multi-level covered deck and glass-enclosed dome. During the day, the Dome houses an indoor/outdoor pool and at night, the pool becomes a stage, and the space is used as an entertainment venue with a South Beach vibe, according to Princess.
Cruise guests will choose from six stateroom categories: Signature Sky Suite, Signature Collection Suite, Cabana Mini-Suite, Deluxe Balcony, and Premium Oceanview. Signature Sky Suites and Signature Collection Suites both provide access to exclusive areas on the ship, including the Signature Restaurant, Signature Lounge and a private area of The Sanctuary, an adults-only retreat.