Princess Cruises and its shipbuilder, Fincantieri, have mutually decided to delay the delivery of Sun Princess, according to a joint statement issued by the companies on Jan. 24.
Currently under construction at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy, the 175,500-ton, 4,300-guest Sun Princess is the largest vessel ever constructed in Italy and the first ship of a new platform designed exclusively for the Princess brand.
The postponement has “regrettably” led to the cancellation of the ship's inaugural 10-day voyage, originally set to depart from Barcelona on Feb. 8, the companies said.
"We understand that this news is disappointing, and we share in that disappointment. We recognize the anticipation that surrounded this sailing, and we sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this cancellation causes," said John Padgett, president of Princess Cruises, in a statement.
The companies did not give a reason for the delay, which will affect thousands of passengers booked on its first voyage.
Guests who were booked on the inaugural voyage will receive a full refund of the cruise fare along with any additional onboard services that were pre-purchased, as well as a 50 per cent future cruise credit (FCC) that can be used on a future Princess voyage, the cruise line says.
The FCC must be booked by Nov. 30, 2024 and sailed by Dec. 31, 2025. Guests also receive up to $200 per person for change fees related to air travel plans.
Princess says it is also protecting travel agent commissions.
Sun Princess is set to be the brand’s first Sphere-class cruise ship (and Princess' largest), promising new features for the line, including multi-story dining rooms, a dedicated suite category with its own restaurant and lounge, panoramic Piazza atrium space, and a glass-enclosed geodesic dome at sea, which covers an indoor-outdoor space that is part pool deck, part entertainment venue.