New ship Sun Princess embarks on delayed maiden cruise

New Princess Cruises ship Sun Princess has embarked on its twice-delayed maiden voyage in the Mediterranean.

The 4,300-passenger vessel’s original inaugural from Barcelona on February 8 was cancelled following a “mutual agreement” with Italian ship builder Fincantieri together with a second sailing 10 days later.

The line’s largest ship, the first to be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, finally entered service yesterday (Wednesday) from Civitavecchia, the port for Rome.   

The 177,882-ton Sun Princess is sailing on a 10-day itinerary to Naples, Crete, Kusadasi, Athens, Sicily, Majorca and Barcelona before returning to Civitaavecchia.

New features include a glass-enclosed geodesic dome, an outward and suspended Sphere Atrium, 30 restaurants and bars, family activity zone Park19, more than 1,500 cabins with balconies and cabana mini-suites with extra space.

The ship’s maiden season includes a range of seven to 12-night cruises in the Med until making a nine-night sailing from Barcelona to Southampton on September 14 before the ship repositions to Fort Lauderdale in Florida to commence its first winter Caribbean season. 

A second Sphere class ship, Star Princess, is due to join the fleet in August 2025.

Princess Cruises president John Padgett said: “This is an historic day as our new Sun Princess sets sail on her inaugural voyage, and our guests get to experience our sensational, next-level, ‘Love Boat’ first hand. 

“The ship is a magnificent showcase of advanced design, technology and craftsmanship, with elevated spaces and experiences all focused on taking the Princess vacation experience to a new level.”

Passenger Monika Best, of Nova Scotia, Canada, who is sailing for the 141st time on a Princess ship, said: “Princess is evolving and looking more toward families and generational cruises, which I think is absolutely wonderful because more and more families are cruising together.”

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