Scheduled to enter into service in summer 2017, construction on the new Princess Cruises ship has started this week. Designed for the growing Chinese cruise market, the as-yet-unnamed ship’s keel-laying ceremony had a distinctly Chinese theme with a traditional lion dance and blessing.
The laying of the keel took only a few minutes as the lowest-most part of the ship was placed using a computer in the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy. This is just the start of a huge engineering and construction feat which will see more than two million man-hours put into the completion of the vessel.
The ship will become the third member of Princess Cruises’ Royal Class, following the huge success of the Royal Princess and Regal Princess since they entered into service in 2013 and 2014 respectively.
Anthony Kaufman, Princess Cruises’ senior vice president of Asia operations, enthused: “We’re incredibly excited to mark this step in the ship’s construction. We’re very pleased to be working with our long-term partner, Fincantieri, on our newest ship and we appreciate their partnership and collaboration to customise and tailor the ship for the Chinese market.”
Alongside features already showcased on Royal Class ships, the new vessel will include amenities designed exclusively for the Chinese market, delivered by the caring and conscientious crew. Princess Cruises and parent company, Carnival PLC, are being careful to ensure that all cultural, culinary and entertainment additions are appealing to their target demographic.
The lion dance at the keel-laying ceremony was just the first step of producing a cruise ship experience which retains a Chinese personality. Country director of Carnival China, attending the event, Cherry Wang, explained:
“The lion dance has been part of the Chinese culture for thousands of years and is performed on various auspicious occasions and celebrations. According to traditional Chinese belief, the lion signifies courage, wisdom, and good fortune and brings happiness, longevity, and good luck. We believe this special ceremony will bring prosperity and good fortune to Princess Cruises and our guests in China.”
We will continue to keep you updated of the progress made by the new Princess Cruises ship and all other ships currently in construction.
Images sourced via Princess Cruises and Flickr Creative Commons. Credit: EDDIE