SANTA CLARITA, Calif. -- Princess Cruises swapped the names of two
ships currently under construction, including the fire-damaged
The Sapphire Princess, which was slated to debut in May 2004,
has been moved up to February 2004 and renamed the Diamond
Princess. The vessel will begin sailings in Mexico in March 2004
and move to Alaska for the summer.
The Diamond Princess, severely burned in an early-October fire
at the shipyard in Japan, will take the Sapphire Princess moniker.
That ship will now be delivered in May 2004, Princess and
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries shipyard said. The vessel will sail in
As reported, the damaged Diamond Princess' 2003 season was
cancelled; Princess said it was able to accommodate many of the
Diamond's guests on the Star Princess.
Princess executive vice president Dean Brown said the yard will
use resources from other yards and commit nearly two full teams to
each ship to meet the new building schedule The sister ships are
both being constructed at the Mitsubishi shipyard in Nagasaki.