Monfalcone To Build Biggest Ever P&O Ship

Rendering of P&O newbuild, courtesy of Carnival Cruises.

June 1, 2011:  When Carnival Corporation ordered the 141,000 gross ton ROYAL PRINCESS and a future sister this spring, anyone who knows Carnival knew that more ships in the new platform would follow for other brands within the Carnival fleet.  Carnival announced today that British-based P&O Cruises will be the recipient of the third ship in the series, albeit with a number of modifications (much as P&O’s VENTURA and AZURA are modified versions of Princess CROWN class).  The largest ship ever built for P&O will sport twin, traditional funnels (not unlike Holland America’s Vista/Signature ships and Celebrity’s Solstice class) and is due to enter service in March of 2015.

The as-yet-unnamed vessel will carry 3,611 passengers and promises to meld traditional P&O cruise features with an “unprecedented number of passenger facilities (that will be announced at a later date).”  Until the official name is revealed, there will be much speculation about whether P&O will choose one of its traditional names for the ship (such as CANBERRA or CHUSAN) or if it will get a newfangled “coined” name in the mode of AZURA or ADONIA.

Although the economic slump has impacted Fincantieri, recently forcing the closure of three of its facilities (including the famed Sestri-Ponente yard), this will be a nice boon for the Monfalcone yard, which is also building the ROYAL PRINCESS.  Fincantieri CEO Giuseppe Bono stated, “This order shows that the company, even in a difficult moment as today, is resolutely continuing its commitment in a particularly depressed market in order to gain whatever orders there might be, thus holding on to its position as world leader.”

Peter Knego

Peter Knego

Having documented over 400 passenger ships and taken more than 200 cruises, MaritimeMatters’ co-editor Peter Knego is a leading freelance cruise writer, a respected ocean liner historian and frequent maritime lecturer both on land and at sea.  With his work regularly featured in cruise industry trades and consumer publications.  Knego also runs the www.midshipcentury.com website which offers MidCentury cruise ship furniture, artwork and fittings rescued from the shipbreaking yards of Alang, India.  He has produced several videos on the subject, including his latest, The Sands Of Alang and the best-selling On The Road To Alang."
Peter Knego

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