Sapphire Princess

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Sapphire Princess
The Sapphire Princess in the Port of Auckland, New Zealand.
Name: Sapphire Princess
Owner: Carnival Corporation & plc
Operator: Princess Cruises
Port of registry: 22x20px Bermuda
Builder: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
Cost: US $400 million
Christened: June 10, 2004 in Seattle
Identification: IMO number: 9228186
Status: In service
General characteristics
Type: Gem class Cruise ship
Tonnage: 116,000 GRT
Length: 290-metre (951 ft)
Beam: 37-metre (121 ft)
Decks: 18
Speed: 22-knot (41 km/h; 25 mph)
Crew: 1,100 crew, 2,670 passengers

The Sapphire Princess is a cruise ship owned by Princess Cruises which entered service in 2004. It is one of the world's largest cruise ships, with a capacity of approximately 2670 passengers and is the sixth Gem Class ship built by Princess Cruises.

The ship was christened on June 10, 2004 in Seattle; it was the first cruise ship ever to be christened in that port.[1].

The Sapphire Princess (2008) travels the Alaskan inside passage route one way from May to September, and the Mexican Riviera in the winter, with a Pacific Coast cruise during the transition weeks.


It was built in Japan by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the second Princess Cruises ship to be built in a Japanese shipyard. Its only sister ship is the Diamond Princess.

Its construction was delayed when a major fire swept through the ship during construction.[2] Faced with the resulting delay, her sister ship which was being constructed at the same time assumed the role of the Diamond. This name swap assisted in keeping the delivery date of the Sapphire Princess on time, while slightly delaying the delivery of the Diamond Princess. [3] It was the second Princess Cruises ship to be built in a Japanese shipyard and lacks the "wing" or "spoiler" across the rear (which can be seen on the Grand Princess.)

Princess Cruises has announced that Sapphire Princess will be fitted with the "Movies Under the Stars" feature sometime in 2011.[citation needed]


The diesel-electric plant consists of 4 diesel generators and a gas turbine generator. The diesel generators are Wartsilla 46 series common rail engines, two of the straight 9 cylinder configuration, and two of the straight 8 cylinder configuration. The 8 and 9 cylinder engines can produce approximately 8 1/2 and 9 1/2 MW of power respectively. These engines are fueled with Heavy Fuel oil (HFO or bunker c) and Marine Gas Oil (MGO) depending on the local regulations regarding emissions, as MGO produces much lower emissions but is much more expensive. [4] The gas turbine generator is a GE 2500, producing a peak of 25 MW of power and being fueled my MGO. This generator is much more expensive to run than the Wartsilla generators, and is used mostly in areas, such as Alaska, where the emissions regulations are strict. It is also used when top speed is required to make it to a port in a short time period. There are two propulsion electric motors which drive fixed-pitch propellers and 6 thrusters used during maneuvering; 3 bow and 3 stern. The propulsion electric motors (PEMs), are conventional synchronous motors made by Alston Motors. The two motors are each rated to 20 MW and have a maximum speed of 154 rpm. (Rated speed of 0-145 rpm.) [5]

Whale impact

On July 25, 2009 the ship docked at Canada Place Terminal, in Vancouver, Canada, with a dead Fin Whale lodged on its bow.[6] The 70-foot (21 m) whale was found on top of the bulbous bow.[7] Preliminary reports from the Fisheries and Oceans necropsy suggest the whale might have been sick.[8]

The last time that an Alaskan cruise ship docked in Vancouver with a whale on its bow was in 1999, when a dead 20-metre (66 ft) Fin whale was found on the MV Galaxy.[9]


External links

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