The Sun Class of Princess Cruises
There are three vessels in the Princess Cruises fleet that are classified as Sun Class ships. The Sun, Dawn and Sea Princess are smaller ships, nearly 100 feet shorter than Princess Grand Class ships and with a capacity for 1000 less passengers and 300 less crew. These dimensions allow Sun Class ships to embark on more diverse itineraries and are not typically pegged to one or two home ports like the larger Grand Class boats.
Built in 1995 by Fincantieri at Trieste, Italy, the Sun Princess embarked on her maiden voyage on December 2, 1995. Recently refurbished in 2010, the Sun is 261 metres or 857 feet long with a gross tonnage of 77,499. She has a capacity for 1,990 passengers and 900 crew members. There are ten passenger decks on the ship. For reference, the Ruby Princess, the newest of the Grand Class ships, is 290 metres long, has 19 passenger decks and has a capacity for 3,080 passengers and 1,200 crew.
From May, 2013 to July, 2013, the Sun Princess will be running cruises out of Toyko and Kobe, Japan. On July 30, she will journey from Hong Kong, China to Singapore. In August, the Sun will re-position from Singapore to Fremantle, Australia.
The Sun Princess will then spend the winter months down under. From September 2013 to March, 2014, she’ll take various journeys around Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. The Sun will then leave Sydney, Australia on March 30, 2014, returning to Kobe, Japan on April 29, 2014.
Like all Sun Class ships, the Dawn Princess was built by Fincantieri. Completed in 1997, she took her maiden voyage in May of that year. The Dawn was last refurbished in 2009. Slightly longer than the Sun Princess at 266 metres, or 873 feet, the Dawn shares identical gross tonnage at 77,499. Like her sister, the Dawn has a capacity for 1,990 passengers and 900 crew members with ten passenger decks on the ship.
The Dawn Princess leaves Singapore for Australia at the end of May, 2013. On July 13, she will depart Sydney, Australia on a 90 day world cruise. The world cruise consists of a return journey from Australia to the Mediterranean, turning around in Italy at Civitavecchia (Rome).
Another big journey comes in October as the Dawn embarks on a 35 day tour around the circumference of Australia and around the whole of New Zealand. She will continue to cruise between the home ports of Aukland, New Zealand and Melbourne, Australia through April, 2014.
One of just three ships in the Princess Cruises line, along with the Island Princess and Coral Princess, that have Panamax dimensions. This means the three are able to travel the entire distance of the Panama Canal from the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean.
The Sea was built by Fincantieri in 1998 and has identical dimensions to the Sun Princess, except with a slightly higher gross tonnage. The passenger capacity is slightly lower than her sisters at 1,950 but the 900 crew members required is the same. Between 2002 and 2005, the Sea Princess sailed as the P&O Adonia before returning to service with Princess Cruises.
Because of her Panamax capabilities, the Sea Princess has a very diverse year ahead of her. She departs from Dover, England for New York City in early July, 2013. The Sea then follows that up with a cruise through the Panama Canal to Los Angeles, California at end of July.
From L.A., she takes the long journey to Aukland, New Zealand, arriving at the end of August. Beyond that, the Sea Princess runs cruises out of the home ports of Sydney and Brisbane, Australia through April, 2014.