The announcement came at a ceremony at Fincantieri shipyards in Monfalcone, Italy at the keel laying ceremony for the new vessel due in spring 2014.
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"Just as Royal Princess was named after one of our iconic early vessels, Regal Princess also takes a name from our past that we think is well suited for this spectacular ship," said Alan Buckelew, president and CEO of Princess Cruises. "Today's keel laying is an exciting event as it marks a key milestone in our newbuilding program."
The Regal Princess will become the 18th ship in the fleet. Princess sailed another ship called the Regal Princess from 1991-2007. That ship was sold to P&O Cruises Australia and currently sails as the Pacific Dawn.
The keel is the bottommost part of the ship and the Regal Princess keel weighs about 500 tons. It was placed by the shipyard's crane system and marks the beginning of what will be 2 million man hours to build the 3,600-passenger, 141,000-ton ship.
As a sister ship to the Royal Princess, it will also feature an expanded atrium and the see-through, glass-enclosed walkway called the SeaWalk that juts out over the open water from 128 feet up.
Also expect private poolside cabanas that appear to be floating on the water, the Princess Live! television studio, a pastry shop, the private dining experience Chef's Table Lumiere and balconies on all outside staterooms.
The Royal Princess will debut for summer cruising in the Mediterranean before relocating to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale in October 2013 for a winter Caribbean cruising season. No home ports have been announced for the Regal Princess.