Princess Cruises’ new ship has begun her countdown to the summer 2017 debut for China year-round cruising. In July Carnival plc marked the beginning of construction of Princess Cruises’ third new generation of ships with the official keel laying ceremony at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy.
As the keel was ceremoniously lowered into position, shipyard officials celebrated the occasion with a traditional Chinese lion dance. The yet-to-be-named ship will be customised to appeal to the China market when it debuts in summer 2017. Following the lion dance and a traditional blessing by a priest, the ship’s keel, which weighs approximately 500 tonnes, was moved into position by crane onto the keel blocks.
The computer guided manoeuvre took only minutes, belying the more than two million man-hours that will ultimately go into building the vessel. The 3,600-passenger, 141,000-ton ship will remain in the building dock until float out next summer.