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Princess Cruises and Fincantieri Delay Sun Princess Two Weeks Before MV




January 26 ------ Princess Cruises and Fincantieri reported that they have mutually agreed to delay the delivery of the new cruise ship Sun Princess just two weeks before the massive ship’s scheduled maiden voyage. Neither the cruise line nor the shipbuilder explained why the delivery was postponed or when the ship might enter service. 

  

A spokesperson for Princess Cruises, one of the brands owned by Carnival Corporation, told the travel agent trade Travel Weekly the ship was being delayed due to “unforeseen challenges” at Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri. The postponement Princess said has “regrettably led to the cancellation of the ship's inaugural 10-day voyage, originally set to depart from Barcelona on February 8th.” At this time, the company has only canceled one voyage but has not announced a new target date for delivery. "We understand that this news is disappointing, and we share in that disappointment,” said John Padgett, president of Princess Cruises. “We recognize the anticipation that surrounded this sailing, and we sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this cancellation causes.” 

  

The new cruise ship will be approximately 175,500 gross tons with accommodations for 4,300 passengers and 1,150 crew. At 1,133 feet in length, she was part of a two-ship order placed by Carnival Corporation in July 2018, as the largest ships for the Princess brand. The sister ships are each about 20 percent larger than the previous class of cruise ships built by Fincantieri for Princess. The sister ships will achieve several firsts, being the first LNG dual-fuel cruise ships built by Fincantieri as well as the largest cruise ships built to date in Italy. Carnival is however rumored to be negotiating with Fincantieri to build 208,000 gross ton cruise ships. 

  

The new Sun Princess, the third cruise ship to have the name, was floated out at the shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy on March 8, 2023. The ship was spotted on sea trials in November 2023 and again in a little over a week ago.  

  

Typically, the delays are due to last-minute changes or delays in completing the fitting out of the vessels. While unusual it is not unheard of especially with the shipyards working on tight schedules. Last summer, Fincantieri had a more challenging delay for the Explora I cruise ship when it was informed by a supplier that some of its fireproofing materials had failed certification. The ship for the new MSC brand Explora Journeys was delivered a few weeks later after they determined the scope of the issue and the required remediation to meet class requirements. 

  

Loyal repeaters to Princess are expressing their disappointment especially due to the short notice before the maiden voyage. Many had long been anticipating the cruise as Princess began accepting bookings for the Sun Princess in April 2023.  

  

The keel for her sister ship named Star Princess was laid down at the Monfalcone shipyard on December 11. She is due to enter service in August 2025 in the Mediterranean before repositioning to the Caribbean. 

  

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