Princess Cruises, a unit of Carnival Corporation & plc, has announced that the ink is dry on contracts to build two 3,600-passenger ships at Italy's Fincantieri shipyard. The new ships, which each will have an all-in cost of approximately euro 155,000 per lower berth, are scheduled to enter service in spring 2013 and spring 2014. At an estimated 141,000 tons, the as-yet-unnamed ships will be the largest in the Princess Cruises fleet. The ships' design will be evolutionary, in keeping with the themes of the line's newest vessels, but with some new features and innovations. For example, all outside cabins will feature balconies, bringing the percentage of balconies on the ships to 80 percent of all staterooms. The company's signature Piazza - the ship's central atrium featuring dining, entertainment and retail - will be expanded, as will the popular Sanctuary, spa, and restaurants. Specific amenities and design elements for the new ships will be revealed over the coming months.
"We're pleased that in this challenging economic environment, the order for these new ships is a testament to the confidence in the growth potential of the Princess brand," said Alan Buckelew, president and CEO of Princess Cruises. "These new ships will include the features from our newest ships that have been so well received, and take them to the next level," he added.
Known as the star of the Love Boat television series, and one of the most widely recognized names in cruising, Princess Cruises is a global cruise and tour company operating a fleet of 17 modern ships renowned for their innovative design and wide array of choices in dining, entertainment, and amenities, all provided in an environment of exceptional customer service. A recognized leader in worldwide cruising, Princess offers its passengers the opportunity to escape completely to the top destinations around the globe, with sailings to all seven continents.