Princess Cruises made a major announcement regarding its future. Last week, the cruise line said they have signed final contracts with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri for the construction of two new 175,000-ton cruise ships. The new vessels are scheduled for delivery in late 2023 and in spring 2025.
Larger Vessels, New Technology
While cruise lines often announce the building of a single new vessel, it’s big news that Princess has ordered two.
Each of the new ships will accommodate approximately 4,300 guests. They will be the first Princess Cruises ships to be dual-fuel powered, primarily by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). Ships running on LNG see a reduction in emissions compared to traditional fuel. It’s considered among the most environmentally friendly marine fuel technology.
The two new ships will also be the largest in the Princess fleet. For comparison, Majestic Princess, which debuted in 2017, and Regal Princess, launched in 2014, both have a 3,560-passenger capacity.
Two more new vessels of similar size are scheduled to debut ahead of the newly announced LNG ships: Sky Princess, arriving later this year, and Enchanted Princess in 2020. Princess Cruises’ fleet currently consists of 17 ships.
As you would expect, the new ships will also have the latest technology from Princess.
Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises’ President stated, “These two ships are being designed to include our MedallionClass platform, powered by OceanMedallion, the most advanced wearable device available within the global hospitality industry.”
The MedallionClass platform includes “land-like connectivity” for its wi-fi, a wearable medallion that tracks movement so that you can order drinks to be delivered anywhere on the ship (and open your cabin door), and even the ability to find your friends and family around the ship.
MedallionClass is currently in use onboard Caribbean Princess and Regal Princess. By the end of the year, it will become available on three additional ships, Royal Princess, Crown Princess and Sky Princess.
Carnival Corporation gets Greener
The order for two new LNG-powered ships demonstrates Princess’ parent company, Carnival Corporation’s continuing commitment to green technology. Late last year, Carnival Corporation’s German brand, AIDA Cruises, will launch the first cruise ship in the world to be powered by LNG while both at sea and in port, the new 183,900-ton AIDAnova.
Carnival Cruise Line’s own first LNG-powered vessel — Mardi Gras — will debut in 2020. Construction is underway now on both that 180,000-ton ship and the new state-of-the-art terminal that will be its home at Port Canaveral. A second Carnival Cruise Line LNG ship will also begin construction in 2020.
Princess has not yet announced the names or homeports of its two new ships.