Princess Cruises is bringing back the sun for the first of its new and largest class of ship when it debuts in 2024.
The third iteration of Sun Princess will take shape as a 175,500-gross-ton, 21-deck vessel that will be the debut ship in the Sphere class for the cruise line that just finished rolling out the last of six sister ships in the Royal class.
The size increase for the line is substantial, with the new Sun Princess offering 2,157 total staterooms, including 50 suites and 100 connecting rooms, for a 4,314-passenger capacity based on double occupancy.
Its last ships, 2022′s Discovery Princess, 2020′s Enchanted Princess and 2019′s Sky Princess, come in at around 145,000 gross tons with about 3,660-passenger capacities.
It’s also one of the 11 new ships being constructed for parent Carnival Corp. that will run on liquified natural gas. Carnival’s Mardi Gras that debuted in 2021 out of Port Canaveral and this year’s Carnival Celebration are two such ships, and are among the first to sail out of North America along with the new Disney Wish.
Sun Princess, though, will make its home in Port Everglades when it arrives after first testing the waters of the Mediterranean.
When it arrives, Floridians can enjoy some line firsts as part of the design.
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“Sun Princess is a new and bespoke ship platform, designed to simultaneously embrace Princess heritage while boldly pressing into the future with iconic, elegant and pure lines unique to our brand,” said line president John Padgett in a press release. “A show-stopping, first-of-its-kind Dome on the top deck and suspended-glass Piazza in the center of Sun Princess offer innovative designs showcasing expansive ocean views for incredible opportunities to connect with the sea.”
The Dome is the big change for the line, inspired by the terraces of Italian island Santorini, Padgett said. It features several levels that stair-step up adjacent a main indoor/outdoor pool feature. At night, that gets covered to become a stage for an entertainment venue with a South Beach feel that will be home for aerial performances.
The Piazza acts as the ship’s three-story atrium, a more spherical look than most, and apropos for the Sphere class. It offers views on either side of the ship to the sea plus a central LED screen that can be moved depending on what entertainment programming is in order.
Also announced were a new Signature Collection suite category for premium sailing that have access to its own restaurant, lounge and sun deck.
Club Class accommodations will now be called the Reserve Collection, mini suite staterooms that include cabana rooms, resort-style staterooms with balcony and private outdoor lounge space. This level has access to its own restaurant as well.
The ship currently under construction at the Fincantieri shipyards in Italy will debut in early 2024 sailing the Mediterranean through the summer season before beginning Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries for the fall and winter seasons from Florida. The first sailings will be available to book starting Sept. 16.
The previous iterations of Sun Princess sailed for the line from 1974-1988 and 1995-2020. A sister ship to the new Sun Princess is due to the line in spring 2025.