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The Sapphire Princess in the Port of Auckland, New Zealand.
|Owner:||Carnival Corporation & plc|
|Port of registry:||22x20px Bermuda|
|Builder:||Mitsubishi Heavy Industries|
|Cost:||US $400 million|
|Christened:||June 10, 2004 in Seattle|
|Identification:||IMO number: 9228186|
|Type:||Gem class Cruise ship|
|Length:||290-metre (951 ft)|
|Beam:||37-metre (121 ft)|
|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 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.
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Its construction was delayed when a major fire swept through the ship during construction. 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.  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.)
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.  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.) 
On July 25, 2009 the ship docked at Canada Place Terminal, in Vancouver, Canada, with a dead Fin Whale lodged on its bow. The 70-foot (21 m) whale was found on top of the bulbous bow. Preliminary reports from the Fisheries and Oceans necropsy suggest the whale might have been sick.
- Sapphire Princess Joins Seattle Cruise Ship Market, from the Port of Seattle website
- "MHI Fire incident report". 2002-10-04. http://www.mhi.co.jp/en/news/sec1/e_0922.html. Retrieved 2010-04-12.
- Dead Whale Gets Stuck in Cruise Ship Bow, a July 26, 2009 Associated Press report via Fox News
- Whale wedged on cruise ship bow, a 26 July 2009 article from BBC News
- Necropsy reveals impaled whale may have been sick, a July 27, 2009 article from the Vancouver Sun
- Vancouver Sun story from 1999 whale incident, from the Vancouver Sun
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