Princess Cruises’ next vessel Regal Princess is to come into service two weeks earlier than expected.

Princess initially said the ship would make her maiden voyage on June 2, but because the building process is ahead of schedule it will now be on May 20.

Two additional week-long Mediterranean sailings will now be offered for May, travelling between Venice and Athens.

The first – a Venice to Athens sailing – will start on May 20, with stops in Corfu, Mykonos and an overnight call in Istanbul. The second – a six day cruise from Athens to Venice – will be on May 27 and will stop in Kusadasi, Santorini, Katakolon and Dubrovnik.

To ensure the passengers previously booked on Regal Princess’ maiden voyage continue to have the option to sail on the ship’s first cruise, each will automatically receive a duplicate booking on the new May 20 voyage. They have until November 15 to decide if they want to take the new cruise instead of, or in addition to their existing reservation.

Paul Ludlow, UK director, said: “The construction of Regal Princess has been progressing very well and we’re delighted the ship will be ready to welcome passengers even earlier than originally planned. We know that this beautiful new ship will impress passengers just as much as her sister ship Royal Princess has this year.”

The 3,560 passengers ship will feature similar features to Royal Princess, included the glass-bottomed SeaWalk, the Princess Live television studio, a pastry shop, and poolside cabanas.