Princess Cruises, the world-renowned cruise brand, commemorated a significant construction milestone with the float-out ceremony of its bespoke, next-generation ship – Sun Princess – at the Fincantieri Shipyard. The event was marked by a time-honoured tradition of the shipyard where a “Madrina” is named to offer blessings and best wishes for the vessel, celebrating the flow of water into the ship’s building dock. Princess Cruises Hotel General Manager, Simona Stumberger, was selected for this special role, as she epitomizes professionalism and always delivers service with a smile.
Stumberger, a native of Slovenia and a graduate of hospitality management, has been with Princess Cruises for nearly five years, serving in various roles, including guest services and food and beverage divisions. John Padgett, President of Princess Cruises, stated that Stumberger embodies all the best qualities the company has to offer, an unwavering commitment to service, hospitality, and friendliness. “Sun Princess will usher in an exciting new era for our company and the industry, and we can’t think of a better person to serve in this important role,” Padgett added.
The float-out marks the completion of the first comprehensive phase of construction for Sun Princess, which now transitions to focus on building the ship’s interiors. Gennaro Arma has been appointed captain, leading Sun Princess shipbuilding operations, readiness and delivery, and overseeing the ship’s final stages of construction, working closely with the brand’s naval architects, engineers, and shipbuilding experts, as well as the shipyard management team.
The 175,500-ton, 4,300-guest Sun Princess will feature an array of exciting new dining, entertainment and activity offerings, as well as luxurious staterooms and suites across a broad spectrum of categories. The ship’s unique design includes never-before-seen spaces such as The Dome, a transformational entertainment venue inspired by the terraces of Santorini, the next-level, brand-iconic Piazza, and the three-story Horizons Dining Room that are sure to have everyone talking.
Sun Princess has also been designed to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. Its sustainability features include the use of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) as the primary fuel, making it the first ship in the Princess fleet to be powered by LNG. This cleaner burning fuel will significantly reduce air emissions and marine gas oil to minimize the cruise line’s environmental footprint. Sun Princess will also be outfitted with two Azipod propulsions for forward and backward movements and the four largest Controllable Pitch Propellers, known as bow thrusters, on the market for sideways navigation.
In addition, the ship will have two shore power connections, also known as “cold ironing,” on both the port and starboard side, to enable the ship to turn off the engines and connect to local electric power to run all onboard services during day-long calls in various ports. Sun Princess is also equipped with custom-built electrical connection cabinets that automatically connect the ship’s electrical network to the local electrical network ashore, reducing air emissions in the ports that support shore power. Waste management on Sun Princess is also environmentally friendly, with the installation of the world’s most compact, efficient and environmentally safe technology, the Micro Auto Gasification System (MAGS), for waste disposal.
Inaugural 2024 Sun Princess cruises to the Mediterranean and Europe are currently on sale. For more information on Sun Princess, visit www.princess.com/sunprincess through a professional travel advisor.
WRITTEN BY: STEPHEN PETERS