Princess cancels Sun Princess inaugural sailing as delivery delayed

Princess Cruises has cancelled the inaugural sailing of new ship Sun Princess after confirming the delivery of the ship will be delayed.

A joint statement from the line and shipbuilders Fincantieri confirmed the mutually-agreed delay and the cancellation of the 10-day inaugural cruise which was due to depart from Barcelona on February 8.

The delivery of the ship is understood to have been delayed due to “unforeseen challenges” at Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri.

Heralded as the company’s largest vessel and the first to be powered by liquified natural gas (LNG), Sun Princess has a capacity to carry up to 4,300 passengers.

Passengers booked on the cruise will receive a full refund and a 50% future cruise credit, while travel agency commissions will be protected.

The shift in the date of the maiden voyage is understood to be due to unforeseen challenges and delays encountered at the shipyard, where Fincantieri faced unexpected challenges.

The yard is working to resolve the issues and expedite final preparations.

The only cruise that has been cancelled due to the delayed delivery of the ship is the departure from Barcelona on February 8.

Princess Cruises president John Padgett said: “We understand that this news is disappointing, and we share in that disappointment. We recognise the anticipation that surrounded this sailing, and we sincerely apologise for the inconvenience this cancellation causes.”

In addition to the refund and future cruise credit, passengers booked on the inaugural will receive a refund for any pre-purchased onboard services, in addition to up to $200 per person for air travel amendment fees.

Confirming agency commissions would be protected, the line said: “The delay was not caused by our travel agency partners, and they should be duly rewarded for their hard work and support, and it is only fair that we safeguard their commissions for the bookings they secured for this inaugural voyage.”

It is not known how many UK passengers were booked on the inaugural sailing.

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