Sun Princess forced to cancel first cruise after £20 million revamp

By Scott 0

63 Brits among passengers who had booked first voyage after 2-week drydock

Sun Princess: Stranded in Singapore after power failure
Sun Princess: Stranded in Singapore after power failure

Lemeki Lenoa

The first cruise on Sun Princess following work during a two-week, £20 million dry dock has been abruptly cancelled, leaving 2,000 passengers nowhere to go but back home.

The 14-day voyage, which should have left Singapore today, was called off at the last minute, with passengers swarming around the city's new cruise terminal.

A power failure has limited the ship's ability to operate cabin lighting and air conditioning, vacuum toilet systems, and the galley.

A statement from Princess Cruises said: "While Sun Princess was alongside at the Marina Bay Cruise Centre in Singapore, there was a malfunction to the ship’s switchboard resulting in limited onboard power hindering our ability to run all hotel operations.

"Regretfully, we've made the decision to cancel the cruise scheduled to depart today in order to carry out the necessary repairs." The ship will now resume service on September 3, the date it had originally been expected to arrive in Fremantle, Australia.

A team of Princess staff has flown to Singapore to help the passengers - mostly Australian, but including 63 from the UK - to arrange hotel accommodation and flights home paid for by the company. Those who were booked in cabins which still have power are being accommodated on board temporarily. Each passenger will also receive a full refund of their fare and a 100 per cent credit on a future cruise.

Sun Princess, built in 1995, is a sister ship to P&O's Oceana. It has been operating in Australian waters since 2007.

The dry dock enhancement carried out at Singapore's Sembawang yard was planned to bring the vessel up to date by incorporating many of the features found on the line's newer ships. New features included an atrium and specialist restaurant Kai Sushi.

The Horizon Court buffet was to be revamped and the ship's top deck hamburger grill was transformed into an al fresco barbeque venue. The Lotus Spa also received a full makeover.

Once it returns to service, the ship will sail a season of Asia and Australia cruises before beginning a second season of Japan-based cruising in April.

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