Fincantieri, builder of Princess Cruises’ new flagship, tells Passenger Ship Technology about the vessel’s innovations and energy efficiency focus
Hydrodynamic efficiency was a major focus for Sky Princess, Princess Cruises’ new flagship vessel.
Fincantieri project manager for Sky Princess, Fabio Russian says “The ship is designed with the most advanced tools for optimising hydrodynamic efficiency to reduce resistance during sailing.”
In addition, solutions are applied for energy recovery and energy saving including using LED technology for lighting, heat exchangers to recover the heat wasted by the main engines, using high efficiency systems for air conditioning generation and control, and using heat insulation.
The generation system is diesel electric and the propulsion is granted by two fixed pitch propellers moved by variable speed propulsion electric motors. Mr Russian adds “The owner normally selects, with our support, the type of propulsion and the choice is driven by considering reliability and risk in comparison with technical alternatives.”
The ship is equipped with an advanced air quality system, one for each exhaust gas line, to reduce SOx emissions. Mr Russian comments “This equipment allows the vessel to sail in environmentally protected areas.”
Despite the ship being the fourth vessel of the series, initiated in 2013 by Royal Princess and followed by Regal Princess in 2014 and Majestic Princess in 2017, Mr Russian highlights that it differs in “many details and some substantial aspects”.
“In general, all materials and colour used for interior finishing has been revised from the sister vessels to capture new trends and guest satisfaction,” he points out.
In terms of capacity, the LES has been increased from 5,600 to 5,800. The number of cabins has also been increased thanks to an additional external deck which allows it to accommodate 50 additional cabins, some of a superior standard, named Ocean View and Sanctuary Suite cabins.
Enter the Sky Suite
Mr Russian adds “The ship contains two very special suites named Sky Suites. These elite cabins are on the upper deck facing from the forward external deck to the central pool area through an exclusive private balcony.”
He says the cabins are small apartments of about 80 m2, with two bedrooms and a living and dining room.
Miami-based interior design firm Studio DADO was selected to develop and implement a more modern vision for Princess Cruise Lines, designing all guest accommodations – from staterooms to mini suites and suites, lifts, lobbies and stairs.
While initially tasked with creating the design for Sky Suites only, executives at Princess then asked DADO to carry forward their design to all accommodation categories after they started working together.
Studio DADO founding partner Jorge Mesa tells Passenger Ship Technology, “When we were approached, Princess Cruises wanted to take their brand to the next level. While staying true to their core values was important, they wanted to create an evolution of the brand for the next generation of travellers. We created a more open and modern space. The design of the Sky Suites still aims to keep within the elegance and sophistication that Princess is known for while integrating some modern touches.”
The new design concept debuted on the brand-new Sky Princess and will be carried through to future vessels.
For the Sky Suites, DADO said it sought to ensure guests have a ‘wow’ moment as they enter the two-bedroom suite. This includes suspending a dramatic contemporary chandelier within the suite’s skylight. The skylights, located at the pinnacle of the ship, are a “completely new concept for Princess and rare in shipbuilding”, said DADO. Capping off the modern design is the bed placed facing the ocean.
For a focused, cohesive look, DADO kept within the same colour palette for each of the cabin types while evolving it even further for the Sky Suites.
In the staterooms, the design team selected an updated colour story of soft blues, modern wood tones and neutral relaxing colours, while passenger corridors were refreshed with a brighter colour pallet and transitional design.
In terms of how the vision was translated across the various DADO-designed spaces on the ship, founding partner Javier Calle notes, “We stepped back and pinpointed the areas where we could make the biggest impact. We developed sophisticated carpet designs with a bit less colour, more neutral, also modern yet rich wood tones throughout, furniture with cleaner lines than they were used to, but that still felt elegant. Princess’ ships have always had a large amount of ornamental mouldings, we kept them but made them a bit more tailored and minimal.”
The first-in-class Princess Sky Suites’ design sets the benchmark for all Princess vessels moving forward.
An Ocean Medallion first
Sky Princess is the first vessel delivered with the Ocean Medallion system installed. Mr Russian explains “This goal was reached through a long process of co-operation between Fincantieri and the owner. We were able to implement and install the necessary infrastructure during ship construction. Yard flexibility, fine scheduling and job prioritising were the key to implementing the latest revision of the Ocean Medallion System.
“The system is designed to allow a full interaction between the guests and the ship. With the medallion, each passenger can access personalised information available from the Ocean system: a multimedia stream which, from the time of booking a cruise, during the stay on board and even after disembarking, keeps the passenger at the centre of their vacation.”
Ocean Medallion can facilitate passenger identification and boarding, and allows passengers to access their cabin using a keyless system, as it recognises the guest on the screens placed next to each door. The ship’s services can be customised according to the needs and experiences gained during the hospitality on board.
And the Ocean Medallion has been developed further now Princess Cruises has become the first ship operator to secure early access to a new constellation of satellites for gigabyte connectivity for passengers and crew.
O3b mPower will augment the Princess MedallionClass experience to enable passengers to use onboard wifi for internet access, social media, online gaming, media streaming and other online applications.
O3b mPower will provide gigabytes of bandwidth to cruise ships over spotbeams of Ka-band when its new satellites are launched into medium Earth orbit (MEO) during 2021-2022.
This constellation will ensure Princess MedallionClass ships are not constrained by traditional bandwidth capacity as SES will keep bandwidth ahead of demand with multi-gigabyte capabilities where and when it is required.
SES has also become a partner in Carnival’s Global Experience and Innovation unit, which is responsible for design, creation and delivery of connected guest experience innovations, technical platform development, intelligence and hybrid cloud and edge computing enablement.
Princess MedallionClass will be fully active on 11 ships by the end of 2020 with a new ship activated every 60 days.
Sky Princess principal characteristics
|Maximum speed:||2,300 knots|
|Principal machinery:||2 x 14,400 kW Wärtsilä 12V46F|
2 x 16,800 kW Wärtsilä 14V46F
|Thrusters:||3 x 2,500 kW (forward); 8,60 m 3 x 2,500 kW [aft]|
|Emergency D-G:||1,700 kW|