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TravelThousands of passengers affected as Princess Cruises delays new ship

Thousands of passengers affected as Princess Cruises delays new ship

The next new Princess Cruises ship won’t be arriving as soon as planned.

Princess on Friday pushed back the debut of the 4,300-passenger Star Princess from Aug. 2, 2025, to Oct. 4, 2025 — a two-month delay that will affect thousands of vacationers.

The delay will result in the cancellation of eight Europe sailings of nine and 10 nights that were scheduled to take place between Aug. 2, 2025, and Oct. 20, 2025. The line has also canceled a 16-night transatlantic sailing from Southampton, England, to Fort Lauderdale scheduled from Oct. 20, 2025, to Nov. 5, 2025.

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In place of some of those sailings, Princess has added a new inaugural voyage for Star Princess out of Barcelona on Oct. 4, 2025. It’ll be an 11-night trip around the Mediterranean.

The new inaugural sailing will be followed by two more new voyages: A seven-night Mediterranean trip scheduled for Oct. 15, 2025, and a 14-night transatlantic trip scheduled for Oct. 22, 2025.

All three of the new sailings will open for bookings April 30.

Princess made the announcement Friday in tandem with its shipbuilder, Fincantieri, citing construction delays. Fincantieri originally planned to deliver Star Princess to the cruise line July 29, 2025. It’ll now deliver the ship Sept. 26, 2025.

“Despite our collective dedication and relentless pursuit to deliver the ship in late July, it has become evident that additional time is required to ensure the Star Princess is delivered to the highest standards expected by our guests,” Princess president John Padgett said in a statement accompanying the announcement.

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Princess on Friday said passengers booked on the canceled Star Princess sailings can switch to any other Princess sailing. If they do, they’ll get a future cruise credit and onboard credit in an amount that varies depending on the sailing they choose.

Passengers on the canceled sailings also have the option of not switching to another Princess cruise and instead getting a full refund for the fare they paid.

When it launches, Star Princess will be the second vessel in Princess’ long-awaited new Sphere Class of ships. Under development for more than six years, the Sphere Class includes the just-unveiled Sun Princess, which also was delayed by several weeks.

The Sphere Class ships are significantly bigger than previous Princess ships and offer several notable new-for-the-line features, including suites that come with exclusive access to a private restaurant, a lounge and a sun deck.

Additionally, the Sphere Class ships have been designed with an innovative new type of “cabana cabin” along their extra-wide 10th deck that comes with access to a private deck area. Plus, the top decks of the ships have some unusual-for-Princess sizzle with the addition of a glass-dome-topped pool area that transforms into a nightspot after the sun goes down.

At 177,882 gross tons, Sun Princess is about 21% bigger than the next largest ships in the Princess fleet. It’s able to hold about 17% more passengers than the next biggest Princess ships.

Star Princess is expected to be roughly the same size.

The Sphere Class is the first new class of ships to debut at Princess in nearly 11 years.

Star Princess is being built at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, which has a long history of building cruise ships for Princess, Cunard, MSC Cruises and several other brands.

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