When Renaissance Cruises built eight 30,000-gross-ton cruise ships at the turn of the century, nobody could have foreseen the events of 2001 in the USA, which contributed considerably to the company’s subsequent demise. Of those eight ships, Carnival Corporation has three (two with Princess and one with P&O), NCL’s Oceania Cruises has three, and Royal Caribbean’s Azamara Club Cruises has two.

But the balance is about to change, as Princess has indicated a move away from smaller ships. In fact, it was stated at a recent press conference that Princess Cruises did not envisage building any new ships that were smaller than the recently christened Regal Princess (142,714 gt).

In an opening move, Princess has sold Ocean Princess to Oceania Cruises, with delivery scheduled for March 2016, following which the ship will be renamed Sirena and have a $40 million refit to bring her into line with her recently refurbished sisters, Insignia, Nautica and Regatta. Sirena was built as R Four, Insignia as R One, Nautica as R Five and Regatta as R Two. So now there are just four more to collect to complete the set.

• Meanwhile on 27 November 2014, Princess Cruises’ founder, Stanley B. McDonald, passed away, aged 94.

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