The latest addition to the Princess Cruises fleet was named Regal Princess in an official keel laying ceremony on 28 August, marking the start of the vessel’s construction.
Cruise line representatives and officials from the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, where the Regal Princess is being built, attended the event.
Following a traditional blessing, the 500-ton keel was shifted onto the keel blocks by crane, the computer-guided manoeuvre taking minutes to complete.
Cruises president and CEO Alan Buckelew said: “Just as Royal Princess was named after one of our iconic early vessels, Regal Princess also takes a name from our past that we think is well suited for this spectacular ship. Today’s keel laying is an exciting event as it marks a key milestone in our newbuilding program.”
More than two million man-hours will go into building the 3,600-passenger, 141,000-ton ship, which will remain in the building dock until float-out during summer 2013.
Regal Princess, the second new generation ship for the cruise line, will debut in spring 2014. She follows Royal Princess who will enter service in June 2013.
Regal Princess will offer similar features to her sister ship including an expanded atrium, over-water SeaWalk, a top-deck glass-bottomed walkway extending more than 28 feet beyond the edge of the vessel, private poolside cabanas that appear to float on water, a pastry shop, a special chef’s table lumiere which is a private dining experience that surrounds diners in a curtain of light, and balconies on all outside staterooms.
Schedules and itineraries for the new vessel are to be announced in 2013.