January 2, 2002
Believe it or not, 2002 is going to be another year of mass ship christenings -- despite the tanking economy and the acknowledged overbuilding of the cruise ship industry. The newborns will include a few holdouts from 2001 -- delayed due to everything from ship-finishing processes (Residensea) to legal entanglements between cruise line and shipyard (Royal Olympic’s Olympia Explorer). SeaDream I, the refurbished Sea Goddess yacht-style ship, also pushed its debut from late last year to early 2002. Otherwise, here’s whose birthing this year: *Carnival Pride, the 88,500-ton sister to Carnival Spirit, launches this month while another sibling -- the similarly sized Carnival Legend -- debuts in August. That’s not all: Big ship Carnival Conquest, weighing in at 110,000 tons, begins sailing in December. *Celebrity’s Constellation, the fourth (and final) ship in the Millennium class, is slated for a May premiere. *Princess has two 2002 launches -- the 109,000-ton Star Princess in March and the 88,000-ton Coral Princess in December. *Over at Holland America, there’s just one newbuild coming out this year -- the 85,000-ton Zuiderdam, the line’s largest ever -- in December, but it will also launch the 38,000-ton Prinsendam (the former Seabourn Sun, refurbished) in June. *Norwegian Cruise Line’s 91,000-ton Norwegian Dawn is on track for a December unveiling. *Royal Caribbean’s 88,000-ton Brilliance of the Seas launches in July. Among the eagerly-awaited post-2002 ship launches include the gargantuan 150,000 ton Cunard Queen Mary -- delivery date December 2003 -- and Radisson Seven Seas’ Voyager, due in April 2003.