Monfalcone, Italy: February 2019: It’s a cruise industry first: Princess Cruises — the world’s largest international premium cruise line — is growing, and major milestones for three ships under construction at the same time were celebrated, at Fincantieri Shipyards in Italy.
The three milestones included the steel-cutting ceremony for the sixth and final Royal-Class ship, yet to be named, debuting 2022; the keel laying ceremony for Enchanted Princess launching June 2020 and the introduction of the Sky Princess crew member who was nominated by her peers to serve as Madrina and represent them celebrating the recent float out of the ship which will enter service in October 2019.
With two additional ships on order for delivery in 2023 and 2025, Princess Cruises becomes the fastest growing premium line driven by a strategic measured capacity growth over the next six years, adding to its current fleet of 17 ships.
The steel-cutting ceremony for the sixth and final Royal-class ship, was broadcast live to the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone from the builder’s yard in Naples, Italy. This ceremony marked the cutting of the first plates of steel to begin the building phase of the as yet unnamed ship.
Princess Cruises and Fincantieri executives started the countdown to the launch of Enchanted Princess as the keel – the bottom-most part of the ship – was ceremoniously lowered into position in the dry dock. Following a traditional blessing, the ship’s keel – which weighs approximately 500 tons – was lifted then lowered into position by a huge crane onto the keel blocks. Representatives and invited guests participated in a traditional coin ceremony — and for this occasion, an OceanMedallion is permanently welded into the ship. In seafaring lore, the welding of a coin into the ship’s hull is believed to bring good luck to the vessel and all who sail on her.
Ms. Kerry Ann Wright, 2nd Officer for Princess Cruises, nominated by her fellow crew members will serve as the Madrina recognizing her “Reach for the Sky” story and the career she is forging in the cruise industry. The selection of a ship’s Madrina to “bless the ship” is another nautical tradition, distinct from the role of Godmother that official names the ship. Sky Princess is nearing the final construction and interior outfitting phase before joining the fleet in October 2019.