Slated for launch in the northern spring of 2014, the 3,600-passenger, 141,000-tonne ship will be the sister of Royal Princess, which launches next June.
She will feature many of the same innovations including an expanded atrium, over-water SeaWalk, glass-bottomed walkway extending more than eight metres over the side of the ship and the ‘Chef’s Table Lumiere’ the private dining options that will surround guests with a curtain of light.
“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,” Princess Cruises president and CEO Alan Buckelew said at the ceremony.
“Today’s keel laying is an exciting event as it marks a key milestone in our new building program.”
The almost 500-tonne keel was moved into position by a crane onto the keel blocks at the shipyard following a traditional blessing by a priest.
It signifies the commencement of more than two million man-hours of construction on the vessel.