Steel was cut for the sixth and last Royal-class ship, still unnamed, at Fincantieri's Castellammare di Stabia, near Naples. Once completed, the section will be transported by sea to Monfalcone for completion in 2022.
The steel-cutting was broadcast live at Monfalcone in the presence of Princess and Carnival group executives.
This was followed by the keel-laying for Enchanted Princess, the fifth unit of the Royal class, due for 2020 delivery. On hand were Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises and group president, Carnival Australia, along with Luigi Matarazzo, senior EVP Merchant Ships Business Unit of Fincantieri.
Madrina Kerry Ann Wright
Events were capped with a celebration of the earlier float-out of Sky Princess, scheduled to enter service later this year. Ceremony madrina was Kerry Ann Wright, a second officer at Princess, who was nominated for the honor by her peers, recognizing her 'Reach for the Sky' story and the career she is forging in the cruise industry.
32% capacity increase in next six years
With these ships and the pair of 175,000gt, 4,300-berth LNG-powered newbuilds due at the end of 2023 and in spring 2025 (currently a memorandum of agreement), Princess will increase its capacity by 32% over the next six years, adding to its current fleet of 17.
'The number of people enjoying cruise vacations has increased on average more than one million new cruisers every year over the last decade, an overall increase of more than 68 percent,' Swartz said. 'As we continue to grow our fleet with five new ships arriving by 2025, we’re proud to not only celebrate these three major construction milestones in the same day but also to continue to innovate our product with cutting-edge technology and elevated guest experiences that will be offered on all of these ships.'
The 143,700gt, 3,660-berth Sky Princess, Emerald Princess and the unnamed sixth ship follow Majestic Princess, Regal Princess and Royal Princess, all built at Monfalcone.