In an energetic presentation broadcast live on social media networks, Princess Cruises has unveiled its next generation cruise ship, the new Sphere-class Sun Princess.
This heralds a new “sun-sational” era for Princess Cruises, as Sun Princess is the first new class of ships introduced for the popular cruise line since the debut of Royal Princess and the Royal class in 2013.
New Ship Name Announced
Announced in a live presentation broadcast directly from the pier at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the new ship, first of the Sphere class, will be named Sun Princess.
The vessel will be the third in Princess Cruises’ history to bear the name Sun Princess. The first served the cruise line from 1974-1989, while the second, a Sun-class vessel and one of the earliest new-built ships for Princess Cruises, debuted in 1995 but was retired from the line in 2020 as part of downsizing during the global pandemic.
Largest Ever for Princess Cruises
The new ship will be the largest vessel ever constructed for Princess Cruises, expected to weigh approximately 175,500 gross tons.
This is 30,000 gross tons – 20% – more than the cruise line’s current largest vessels, the three most recent Royal-class ships – Sky Princess, the Princess fleet’s current flagship; Enchanted Princess; and the line’s newest vessel, Discovery Princess.
Sun Princess will measure 1,133 feet in length, with 21 decks filled with innovations for more than 4,300 guests to enjoy on each sailing. The vessel will have 2,157 staterooms 1,500 of them with balconies, including 50 suites and 100 connecting rooms to make multi-generational travel even easier.
Among those staterooms will be the “Signature Collection” featuring exclusive access to a private restaurant, lounge, and sun deck, giving guests the ultimate experience in superior service.
The size of Sun Princess will rival the largest ships in Carnival Cruise Line, Mardi Gras and the upcoming Carnival Celebration, both of which weigh in at roughly 182,000 gross tons.
This is still well below the largest ship in the world, however, which is currently Royal Caribbean International’s Wonder of the Seas, which weighs in at 236,000 gross tons.
New Innovations on Board
It isn’t just the size of a ship that makes for an amazing experience, however. Sun Princess is expected to offer phenomenal new features for guests to enjoy, including a 9-story sphere integrated into its design with breathtaking views and an incredible sense of light and space.
Sun Princess will also feature the first-ever glass geodesic dome at sea, enclosing an indoor/outdoor pool that will transform to a brand new entertainment venue in the evening. The space is inspired by the iconic terraces of Santorini, and offers a luxurious and relaxing vibe for guests to enjoy.
The ship will include the cruise line’s iconic, heart-of-the-ship Princess Piazza, which on Sun Princess will be three stories, forming an architectural focal point offering guests an outward looking suspended space with comfortable seating to enjoy ocean views in every direction.
An impressive LED screen is also showcased in the center of the Piazza, and can be moved and configured for live entertainment performances. Adjacent to the Piazza Atrium will be a new coffee shop, Coffee Currents, Bellini’s Cocktail Bar, and Princess favorites like Crooners Bar and Alfredo’s Pizzeria.
Five years in the making, the ship represents an evolution of Princess Cruises based on guest feedback, popular features, and what 21st century cruisers want to see most on their oceangoing vacations.
“This ship defines the next era for Princess Cruises,” said John Padgett, president of Princess Cruises. “Sun Princess is a new and bespoke ship platform, designed to simultaneously embrace Princess heritage while boldly pressing into the future with iconic, elegant and pure lines unique to our brand.”
That era will be a bright one if Sun Princess is any indication, and the new ship is sure to generate great excitement among cruise travelers leading up its anticipated debut on January 31, 2024.
First Itineraries Announced
When she debuts, Sun Princess, the first Princess Cruises ship to be powered by liquified natural gas (LNG), will offer an initial spring and summer season of Mediterranean sailings.
In November 2024, the ship is expected to reposition to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale for the winter season, offering a range of Caribbean itineraries.
Bookings will open for the ship’s first sailings on Friday, September 16, 2022.
Sun Princess is currently under construction at Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy. Her as-yet-unnamed sister ship, the second of the Sphere class, is expected to debut in mid-2025.