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On the new Sun Princess, a view from the bridge with Capt. Street

Capt. Craig Street in his perch on the Sun Princess bridge
It's Princess Cruises' biggest ship, yet the captain finds Sun Princess both more maneuverable and energy-efficient.

As master for the inaugural season, Capt. Craig Street is at the helm this week, the second cruise. It is the first Love Boat to have Azipods (ABB's X2) and he 'quite enjoy[s] maneuvering.'


Capt. Street with a model of Sun Princess

Plus, the bowthrusters have 80% more power than those on the Royal-class ships (18,000 horsepower versus 10,000hp) so Sun Princess can push off a dock with ease in 40-knot winds whereas a Royal vessel would be straining a bit in winds above 25 knots.

After spending Sunday in Palma de Mallorca, Sun Princess glided away in 35-knot winds using just 50% of the thruster power and pods, Street told visitors to the bridge. 

Total power less than a Royal-class ship

And yet Sun Princess's total power is 68.78MW, less than the 62.4MW of the smaller Royal-class ships.

Sun Princess measures 177,382gt and 1,133 feet/345 meters compared to 2022's Discovery Princess at 145,281gt and 1,083 feet/330 meters.

Five engines for flexibility

The first Sphere-class ship has five Wärtsilä engines versus the four of the Royal class. Street described the engines as three sizes — two big, two medium and one small — providing more flexibility and greater efficiency.

This applies both to speed ('We set whichever combination of engines we need') and to hotel power in port, which can be met by the 6.5MW small engine, using far less power/fuel than a Royal-class ship alongside.


It's well known that the duel-fuel Sun Princess is the brand's first LNG-powered ship. When running on LNG, it generates significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions than MGO. And the cold from the LNG is recovered for cooling needs on board.


The captain's stuff

The goal is to use LNG all the time, however due to bad weather Saturday in turnaround port Barcelona, the LNG barge was unable to come alongside and bunker. So it's MGO for this trip.

Sun Princess is only approved to bunker LNG in Barcelona but the company hopes for approvals in Civitavecchia (Rome) and Marseille.

'A completely different way of thinking'

A 34-year veteran of Princess Cruises, Street has served as a captain for 15 years. The last eight were on Royal-class ships, most recently, Discovery Princess.

'Using Azipods is a completely different way of thinking,' he said.

To train, he spent eight weeks at Carnival Corp. & plc's CSMART Academy in Almere, Netherlands, and a month aboard P&O Cruises' Arvia plus a couple weeks on Holland America Line's Oosterdam.


One part of the hugely spacious bridge

On the hugely spacious Sun Princess bridge — which spans 55 meters/180.5 feet across — four screens on the floor beside each bridge wing console help when maneuvering. Two of the screens have camera feeds so the captain can see the full length of the ship.

Due to the glass Sphere that bows out at midship on each side, it's not possible to eyeball the end of Star Princess.


Sun Princess stretches 1,133 feet/345 meters in length, with the Sphere at midship