MAJESTIC PRINCESS rendering courtesy Princess Cruises
Princess Cruises has announced that its newest 143,000 gross ton ship, now under construction in Italy, will be named MAJESTIC PRINCESS. The new ship will be based in China year-round beginning in summer 2017 and become the first vessel purpose-built specifically for Chinese guests incorporating a unique blend of international and Chinese features. It is the first time that Princess Cruises has used that name for a member of the fleet.
The new ship is the third sister in a class that includes the ROYAL PRINCESS and REGAL PRINCESS which entered service in 2013 and 2014 respectively. In addition to her given name and befitting her dedication to the Chinese market, MAJESTIC PRINCESS will also carry a Chinese name on her bows, 盛世公主号 (Shèng Shì Gōng Zhǔ Haò) – an interpretation selected by Carnival plc’s China employees, which has the suggestive meaning of “Grand World” or “Grand Spirit.” “We’re excited that Shanghai will be welcoming this newest, most advanced addition to the Princess fleet, as it represents our brand’s long-term commitment to the continuing growth of the China market,” said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. Princess ships began home-port cruising in China just last year, with the successful inaugural season of Shanghai-based cruises aboard the 116,000 gross ton, 2,670-passenger SAPPHIRE PRINCESS. That ship operated her second China cruise season again this year from June 4th through October 2015. For 2016 it will be joined seasonally by the GOLDEN PRINCESS. Alan Buckelew, the former President & CEO of Princess Cruises, is now Chief Operations Officer of Carnival Corporation & plc, and is himself based in China.
The lines of the REGAL PRINCESS are shown in this bow view at sea. Photo courtesy of Fincantieri.
The MAJESTIC PRINCESS is currently being built at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy. The first 500 ton keel block was laid on July 10th at a very Chinese-centric ceremony complete with a traditional lion dance. “We believe this special ceremony will bring prosperity and good fortune to Princess Cruises and our guests in China,” said Cherry Wang, country director of Carnival China who traveled to Italy for the ceremony.
The ROYAL PRINCESS shows off her design as seen from the stern. Courtesy of Princess Cruises.
The new ship will be home-ported year-round in Shanghai, carrying 3,560 guests for cruises to Japan and Korea, and will offer many of the special features that have proven popular on the ROYAL and REGAL PRINCESS. These include a dramatic multi-story atrium serving as the social hub of the ship; the unique over-the-ocean SeaWalk – a glass-floor walkway extending 8 meters (28 feet) beyond the edge of the ship; the Princess Live! interactive television studio; and the special Chef’s Table Lumiere, a private dining experience that surrounds guests in a curtain of light. Additional dining experiences expected to appeal to Chinese travelers include the World Leaders Dinner and Traditional English Afternoon Tea; special culinary experiences such as the Lobster Grill, Ultimate Balcony Dining, and an ocean-view hot pot dinner option. Ballroom dancing, casino gambling and Duty-free shopping featuring leading designer brands will also be big draws. Additional details about the new ship’s features will be announced over the coming months. Princess Cruises celebrates 50 years of cruising with their Golden Anniversary on December 3rd. The MAJESTIC PRINCESS will be the 36th ship in the long history of the line and the 19th member of the current Princess fleet.
Shawn J. Dake, freelance travel writer and regular contributor to MaritimeMatters, worked in tourism and cruise industry for over 35 years. A native of Southern California, his first job was as a tour guide aboard the Queen Mary. A frequent lecturer on ship-related topics he has appeared on TV programs. Owner of Oceans Away Cruises & Travel agency, he served as President of the local Chapter of Steamship Historical Society of America. With a love of the sea, he is a veteran of 115 cruises.
Latest posts by Shawn Dake (see all)