The new MV Royal Princess
, which will enter service in April 2007, is the former MV R8
of defunct Renaissance Cruises. She is now operating as MV Minerva II
for sister line Swan Hellenic Cruises in the United Kingdom. She is a sister of MV Pacific Princess
(nee MV R3
) and MV Tahitian Princess
(nee MV R4
) also acquired from defunct Renaissance Cruises, though there are some minor differences in cabin configurations that accounts for the slight difference in capacity (684 for MV Pacific Princess
and MV Tahitian Princess
vs. 680 for the new MV Royal Princess
). The smaller ship should allow Princess Cruises to offer a slew of itineraries calling at ports that cannot accommodate larger vessels.
I think that this acquisition is good news, as it indicates that the operation of smaller vessels has been a success for Princess Cruises. Perhaps this indication of success will inspire other lines to acquire vessels of similar size for itineraries that can't support the post-panamax vessels that most lines, including Princess Cruises, are building today.
There's one error in the feature article about this ship (http://www.cruisemates.com/articles/...alprincess.cfm
) -- she displaces 30,277 tons rather than the 50,000 tons stated in the article.