More exciting news for British cruise passengers – they will be the first to experience the new Royal Princess when the ship makes its debut next summer. Currently under construction in Italy, the 3,600-passenger vessel will sail two three-night preview cruises before embarking on its maiden voyage from Southampton on June 16, 2013.
The maiden season cruises will see the 141,000-ton ship plying a route between Barcelona and Venice, on itineraries slightly different from those announced for Carnival Legend earlier today.
After the advance sailings – round-trips to St Peter Port, Guernsey, leaving Southampton on June 10 and 13, Royal Princess’s maiden voyage is a seven-night cruise to Barcelona, visiting Vigo, Lisbon, Gibraltar and Malaga.
There’s no word yet from Princess about how a naming ceremony will fit into the schedule, or who is to be the godmother. But come on, Princess, we have a new Duchess who will one day be our Queen. Kate Middleton carried out her first solo Royal duty in Liverpool and she will have had plenty of practice before next June.
Throughout the summer, the ship will visit Toulon, Livorno, Civitavecchia, Naples, Mykonos, Istanbul and Athens on nine 12-night cruises before setting out on October 9 for an 18-day Transatlantic crossing from Venice to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Being built to a brand-new design at Fincantieri’s Monfalcone yard near Trieste, Royal Princess will feature an innovative glass-floored SeaWalk and SeaView bar, cantilevered over the side of the ship, 128-feet above the waves. The vessel will be Princess’s largest ever, and the first new ship to join the fleet since 2008. P&O will be getting a similar ship, built to the same basic design, in 2015.
Details of the Royal Princess’s extended central atrium and piazza were also revealed today; company president Alan Buckelew and executive vice-president Rai Caluori take a virtual visit to its bars and restaurants in this video preview.
Paul Ludlow, Princess Cruises UK director, said, “We are delighted that Royal Princess will be heading off on her maiden voyage from Southampton. This really will give British passengers the chance to be among the first to see the ship
The maiden season cruises will go on sale on March 15, although the preview cruises will not be available for booking until a later date. Are Princess hedging their bets in case of any shipyard delays?