Princess cuts first steel on new Sphere-class ship

First stage of production begins for new LNG powered vessel and Italy's largest

The shipbuilding company, Fincantieri, held an intimate ceremony at San Giorgio di Nogaro on Friday [3 September 2021] for the initial steel-cutting of the first of two LNG cruise ships for Princess Cruises.

Princess Cruises’ next-generation vessels will be the first ships to be dual-fuel powered, primarily by Liquified Natural Gas (LNG). They will be constructed at Fincantieri’s Monfalcone yard.

At 175,000 gross tons, and with a capacity of 4,300 guests, the Sphere-Class ships will not only be the largest capacity vessels in Princess Cruises’ fleet, but they’ll also be the largest to ever be built in Italy.

Credit: Fincantieri

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Announced in 2018, very little information has been revealed about Princess’ two new LNG ships, though an initial timeline for their delivery was forecast for late 2023 and the spring of 2025. The impact of the pandemic on shipyard production schedules would likely see those dates blown out.

“This revolutionary platform for next-generation, LNG-powered cruise ships will introduce innovative design and leisure experiences driven by the future vacation and lifestyle trends of our guests – further evolving the already best-in-class Princess Cruises experience we deliver today,” Princess Cruises’ President, Jan Swartz, said at the time. “We look forward to collaborating with Fincantieri to bring our vision for this next-generation premium cruise ship into service.”

Princess Cruises operates a fleet of 14 ships, including the mostly recently delivered Enchanted Princess. The cruise line’s 15th vessel, Discovery Princess, is earmarked to enter service in the spring of 2022.

Credit: Fincantieri
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