Princess Cruises and Fincantieri Delay Delivery of Second LNG Ship

Princess cruise ship
The first ship of the class Sun Princess was delayed and entered service with outfitting still underway (Princess Cruises)

Published Apr 19, 2024 12:16 PM by The Maritime Executive


Princess Cruises reported today that it has agreed with Italy’s Fincantieri to delay by two months the scheduled 2025 delivery of the line’s next Sphere Class ship, the Star Princess. The companies reported it was a mutual decision. It came after the cruise line suffered an embarrassing incident putting the first ship, Sun Princess, into service before the outfitting of the passenger spaces was completed.

Following a comprehensive review of the remaining construction milestones, the cruise line said in a statement that both companies have elected to adjust the ship's delivery date from July 29, 2025, to September 26, 2025. This will result in the cancellation of the nine inaugural sailings. The ship had been scheduled to operate a series of cruises in the Mediterranean, which now begin on October 4, 2025, and will later cross the Atlantic for a winter season from Florida to the Caribbean.

“Despite our collective dedication and relentless pursuit to deliver the ship in late July, it has become evident that additional time is required to ensure the Star Princess is delivered to the highest standards expected by our guests,” said John Padgett, president of Princess Cruises.

Star Princess is the second LNG dual-fuel cruise ship being built by Fincantieri for the Carnival Corporation brand. At approximately 175,500 gross tons and with accommodations for more than 4,300 passengers, the cruise ships are the largest yet built in Italy and the Princess Cruises fleet. The ships are 20 percent larger than any of the line’s existing ships and introduce new features including a large glass dome entertainment area and a large glass-enclosed atrium with a sphere that gave its name to the class.

Assembly of the second ship began in December 2023 with the first block, a 500-ton keel section, placed in the dry dock. At the time, the companies estimated the project would entail more than two million man-hours that would ultimately go into building the cruise ship.

The first ship of the class was due to enter service on February 8, 2024, but two weeks before the maiden voyage, Princess announced that they had agreed with Fincantieri to delay delivery. Princess took delivery of the Sun Princess on February 14 but canceled the second voyage which was due to sail four days later. The ship entered service on February 28, but passengers reported that many of the passenger amenities were not completed. Some passengers reported that they were bumped from the early cruises because passenger cabins were not ready and space was still being allocated to workers completing the outfitting. The line was giving passengers onboard credits and apologizing for the issues.

Shipyards work on tight production schedules and the cruise ship projects involve many subcontractors as well as the yard employees. The pandemic and its after-effects impacted supply chains and delivery schedules for materials. Royal Caribbean International announced in February that it was delaying the launch of its still under construction cruise ship Star of the Seas two weeks in August 2025 also citing delays in the construction schedule at Meyer Turku in Finland.