In Nagasaki, Japan, the new Diamond Princess was named in a colorful ceremony which featured traditional Japanese festivities set against the state-of-the-art ship. The ship was delivered earlier in the morning to Princess Cruises by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI), builders of the 116,000-ton vessel.
Diamond Princess was named by Mrs. Yoshiko Tsukuda, wife of Kazuo Tsukuda, president of MHI. Dressed in a traditional kimono, Mrs. Tsukuda officially launched the ship in a ceremony that including such Japanese touches as a taiko drum performance, a traditional dragon dance and a Shinto-style blessing. Hundreds of guests from around Japan
and other Asian regions attended the ceremony, which also featured a spectacular fireworks display and other touches designed to bring the ship good fortune.
The 116,000-ton, 2,670-passenger Diamond Princess launches a new ship design for Princess and makes history as the first large cruise ship built in Japan in more than a decade. The vessel incorporates Princess' trademark design philosophy -- including an abundance of balcony cabins, flexibility in dining and entertainment options, Princess' renowned service and a variety of intimate spaces -- giving the ship all of the choice of a large ship with the feel of a much smaller vessel. The ship offers passengers a unique dining program with four themed dining rooms, complimenting the main dining room and Sabatini’s trattoria -- Princess’ trademark alternative restaurant; a new Princess Concierge Service; the fleet's largest Internet Café, and the debut of Club Fusion, a new high-tech dance lounge.
Diamond Princess departs
Nagasaki today on a trans-Pacific crossing as it positions to Los Angeles for its inaugural season of Mexico cruises, which begins March 13. The ship will be based in Seattle this summer for seven-day round-trip Inside Passage cruises to Alaska.