The fire that broke out last month on Princess Cruises under-construction
Diamond Princess has further ramifications, according to a company
announcement, which notes that it will swap not only hulls -- but also names -- with identical sister ship Sapphire Princess.
Here's how it's going to work: work on Sapphire Princess, whose construction status was somewhat behind that of Diamond, is going to be accelerated. And renamed, as well. It will now be called Diamond Princess and will launch first, in Mexico in March 2004. Meanwhile, repairs and then regular construction will continue on Diamond Princess, which will now be called Sapphire Princess. Got that? The ship will debut in May 2004, where it will sail Alaska itineraries out of Seattle.