Up she rises: P&O keel lifted out of dry dock for Royal Princess repairs

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PandO_Keel.jpgA last-minute hitch is sending Royal Princess – the cruise ship that will be christened by the Duchess of Cambridge in just three weeks’ time – back into dry dock for emergency repairs, and causing an unexpected problem for P&O Cruises.
Repairs to two air conditioning compressors units damaged during the Royal’s sea trials are not expected to delay the vessel’s arrival into Southampton for the ceremony. But they bring an unprecedented embarrassment to sister company P&O – both are part of Carnival UK.
A lavish ceremony last week marked the keel-laying of their own new ship at the same yard in Monfalcone, Italy. The first 480-ton block of the as-yet unnamed vessel was blessed by a priest as it was laid in the dry dock with P&O managing director Carol Marlow and Carnival UK boss David Dingle in attendance (above). It will now have to be lifted out to make way for Royal Princess.
A Princess Cruises spokeswoman said today: “During the final stages of commissioning of Royal Princess’s air conditioning compressors two units suffered internal damage.
“The shipbuilder has decided to replace the two damaged units with completely new ones. This will require a dry-docking of the ship which will take place over the next several days at the shipyard in Monfalcone.
“We don’t expect any impact to Royal Princess’ delivery, nor any significant disruption to completion of the ship.”
A P&O spokesman added: “I can confirm that the keel of P&O’s new cruise ship, which was laid at the Fincantieri Monfalcone shipyard near Trieste on May 15, has been removed from the dry dock to allow works to take place on Royal Princess.
“The keel will be placed back in the dry dock as soon as work on Royal Princess is complete.”
The Monfalcone yard also built P&O’s Ventura and Azura. Its dry dock was emptied at the end of March when Regal Princess – sister ship to Royal – was floated out.
It would seem unlikely that the re-laying of the keel section when the dry dock is available once more will be attended with as much ceremony second time around.

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:33+00:00 23 May 2013|Cruise News|1 Comment

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

One Comment

  1. Paul Goss 23 May 2013 at 4:51 pm - Reply

    Wow! Hope all goes well. I’m booked on the sample cruise on 14th June! Will you be sailing on her at all?

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