Major Setback: Sun Princess’s Inaugural Voyage Postponed

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Sun princess under construction and docked at the Fincantieri Shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy
  • The delivery of the Sun Princess, the largest cruise ship ever built in Italy, has been postponed, resulting in the cancellation of its inaugural 10-day voyage.
  • Princess Cruises and Fincantieri mutually agreed on the delay, but specific reasons for the postponement have not been disclosed, leading to speculation about potential operational challenges.
  • Affected customers will receive a full refund, a 50% future cruise credit for use on any Princess Cruises sailing by the end of 2025, and compensation for airline change fees, with the cruise line also protecting travel agent commissions.

The delivery of the Sun Princess has been postponed, leading to the cancellation of the ship’s highly anticipated inaugural 10-day voyage. Sun Princess’s maiden voyage was scheduled to depart from Barcelona on February 8, 2024, but it has now been canceled amid the ship’s delayed delivery.

Princess Cruises and the shipbuilder Fincantieri announced their mutual decision to delay the delivery of the Sun Princess. The new Sphere-class vessel is the largest cruise ship built in Italy and has been the subject of much anticipation.

Neither Princess Cruises nor Fincanteieri explained the delay, leading to speculation about potential factors such as supply chain issues, labor shortages, or other operational challenges.

Rendering of sun princess sphere class vessel sailing in the ocean

President John Padgett of Princess Cruises expressed his understanding of the disappointment this news brings customers. He emphasized the company’s commitment to resolving the issues causing the delay and apologized for the inconvenience caused to those who had planned to be on the inaugural voyage.

“We understand that this news is disappointing, and we share in that disappointment,” said John Padgett, president of Princess Cruises. “We recognize the anticipation that surrounded this sailing, and we sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this cancellation causes.”

Customers affected by this cancellation will receive a full refund of their cruise fare, including taxes, port fees, and any pre-paid onboard purchases. Affected passengers will obtain a 50% future cruise credit (FCC), which can be used for any future sailing with Princess Cruises. This FCC must be booked by November 30, 2024, and the cruise must be sailed by December 31, 2025.

Furthermore, guests will receive up to $200 per person for airline change fees associated with their travel plans. The cruise line is also taking steps to protect the commissions of travel agents impacted by this change.

The 175,000 gross ton Sun Princess is the first of the Sphere class and represents a significant step forward for Princess Cruises. The ship’s delay has raised questions about its future voyages, with the next planned sailing being another 10-night “Grand Mediterranean” itinerary. Passengers booked on subsequent sailings are advised to stay in close contact with Princess Cruises for updates.

As the cruise industry continues to navigate post-pandemic challenges, this delay underscores the complexities and uncertainties still facing maritime travel and leisure sectors. The Sun Princess’s postponement marks a notable event in the industry, reflecting the ongoing impact of global issues on cruise operations.

Passengers can contact Princess Cruises directly or consult their travel advisors for more information and assistance.

Marcello De Lio
Marcello De Lio

Marcello's been cruising since he was 12 years old. He loves the freedom that cruising provides, meeting new people, and exploring amazing new ships. Marcello created High Seas Cruising to share his passion for cruising and travel with readers and grow a community of passionate voyagers.

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