Diamond Princess (ship)

Diamond Princess is a British-registered cruise ship owned and operated by Princess Cruises. She began operation in March 2004 and primarily cruises in Asia during the northern hemisphere summer and Australia during the southern hemisphere summer. She is a subclassed Grand-class ship, which is also known as a Gem-class ship. Diamond Princess and her sister ship, Sapphire Princess, are the widest subclass of Grand-class ships, as they have a 37.5-metre (123 ft 0 in) beam, while all other Grand-class ships have a beam of 36 metres (118 ft 1 in). Diamond Princess and Sapphire Princess were both built in Nagasaki, Japan, by Mitsubishi Industries.

Diamond Princess anchored in Toba in December 2019
[1]United Kingdom
NameDiamond Princess
Owner Carnival Corporation & plc
OperatorPrincess Cruises
Port of registry
BuilderMitsubishi Heavy Industries
CostUS$500 million
Yard number2181
Laid down2 March 2002
Launched12 April 2003
Completed26 February 2004
Maiden voyage2004
In serviceMarch 2004
StatusIn service
General characteristics
Class and typeGem-class cruise ship
Tonnage115,875 GT
Length290.2 m (952 ft 1 in)
Beam37.49 m (123 ft 0 in)
Height62.48 m (205 ft 0 in)
Draught8.53 m (28 ft 0 in)
Installed powerWärtsilä 46 series common rail engines
PropulsionTwin propellers
Speed22 knots (41 km/h; 25 mph)
Capacity2,670 passengers
Crew1,100 crew

There have been two notable outbreaks of infectious disease on the ship – an outbreak of gastroenteritis caused by norovirus in 2016 and an outbreak of COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2 in 2020. In the latter incident, the ship was quarantined for nearly a month with her passengers on board, and her passengers and crew were subject to further quarantine after disembarking. At least 712 out of the 3,711 passengers and crew were infected,[2] and by mid-April 2020 nine had died.[3][4]

Design and description edit

Diamond Princess at Yokohama in June 2014.

The diesel-electric plant of Diamond Princess has four diesel generators and a gas turbine generator. The diesel generators are Wärtsilä 46 series common rail engines, two straight 9-cylinder configuration (9L46), and two straight 8-cylinder configuration (8L46). The 8- and 9-cylinder engines can produce approximately 8,500 kW (11,400 hp) and 9,500 kW (12,700 hp), respectively. These engines are fueled with heavy fuel oil (HFO or bunker c) and marine gas oil (MGO) depending on the local regulations regarding emissions, as MGO produces much lower emissions, but is much more expensive.[citation needed]

The gas turbine generator is a General Electric LM2500, producing a peak of 25,000 kW (34,000 hp) fueled by MGO. This generator is much more expensive to run than the diesel generators, and is used mostly in areas, such as Alaska, where the emissions regulations are strict. It is also used when high speed is required to make it to a port in a shorter time period.[citation needed]

There are two propulsion electric motors, driving fixed-pitch propellers and six thrusters used during maneuvering – three at the bow and three at the stern. The propulsion electric motors (PEMs), are conventional synchronous motors made by Alstom Motors. The two motors are each rated to 20 MW and have a maximum speed of 154 rpm. (Rated speed of 0-145 rpm.)[citation needed]

In June 2017 Diamond Princess was retrofitted with a hull air lubrication system to reduce fuel consumption and related CO2 emissions.[5]

Construction and career edit

Diamond Princess was built in Japan by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the first Princess Cruises ship to be built in a Japanese shipyard. Her only sister ship is Sapphire Princess, with whom she swapped names during construction. She and her sister ship were the largest cruise ships to be built by Mitsubishi since the Crystal Harmony in 1991.

The ship was originally intended to be christened Sapphire Princess. However, construction of another ship – the one intended to be Diamond Princess (currently sailing as Sapphire Princess) – was delayed when fire swept through her decks during construction. Because completion of the damaged ship would be delayed for some time, her sister ship, which was also under construction, was renamed Diamond Princess. The name swap helped keep the delivery of Diamond Princess on time.[6] Due to the fire and name swap, both vessels would be the last Carnival Corporation & plc vessels built by Mitsubishi until the completion of AIDAprima in 2016.[7]

She was the first Princess Cruises ship to be built in a Japanese shipyard, and the first to forego the controversial "wing" or "shopping cart handle" structure overhanging the stern, which houses the Skywalkers Nightclub on Caribbean Princess, Golden Princess and Star Princess, and which was originally also a feature of Grand Princess prior to her 2011 refit.[citation needed]

Prior to 2014, Diamond Princess alternated sailing north and southbound voyages of the glacier cruises during the northern summer months and in the southern summer, she sailed from Australia and New Zealand. Starting in 2014, she undertook cruises from Yokohama for Tokyo or Kobe in the northern summer season.[8]

For the 2016–17 season, she sailed round-trip cruises in the northern winter months from Singapore.[9] Kota Kinabalu was added as part of her destination along with Vietnamese port of Nha Trang in December 2016.[10] She resumed voyaging from Sydney for the 2017–18 season.[11]

After the 2018 Australia and New Zealand cruises, Diamond Princess was re-positioned into South-East Asia for most of 2018, varying between Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Vietnam, Taiwan and Malaysia.[12]

2016 gastroenteritis cases edit

In February 2016, Diamond Princess experienced a gastroenteritis outbreak, caused by norovirus sickening 158 passengers and crew on board, as confirmed after arrival in Sydney by NSW Health.[13]

Coronavirus disease 2019 edit

On 20 January 2020, an 80-year-old passenger from Hong Kong embarked in Yokohama, sailed one segment of the itinerary, and disembarked in Hong Kong on 25 January. He visited a local Hong Kong hospital, six days after leaving the ship, where he later tested positive for COVID-19 on 1 February.[14] On its next voyage, 4 February, the ship was in Japanese waters when 10 passengers were diagnosed with COVID-19 during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.[15]

The ship was quarantined on 4 February[14] in the Port of Yokohama in Japan.[16] The infected included at least 138 from India (including 132 crew and 6 passengers), 35 Filipinos, 32 Canadians, 24 Australians, 13 Americans, 4 Indonesians, 4 Malaysians,[17] and 2 Britons.[18][19][20] Home countries arranged to evacuate their citizens and quarantine them further in their own countries. As of 1 March, all on board including the crew and the Italian captain Gennaro Arma had disembarked.[21]

As of 16 March, at least 712 out of the 3,711 passengers and crew had tested positive for the virus.[22][23] As of 14 April, fourteen of those who were on board had died from the disease.[24] On 30 March, the ship was cleared to sail again after the ship was cleaned and disinfected.[25][26][27]

On 16 May, Diamond Princess departed from the Port of Yokohama.[28] Japan ended up paying 94% of the medical expenses incurred by the Diamond Princess passengers.[29] All cruises throughout 2020 remained cancelled[30] and as of March 2021 the ship was bunkering in Malaysia and the outer port limit (OPL) area of Singapore Port.[31]

Quarantine!, a book written by passenger Gay Courter on her experience on board the quarantined vessel, was released in November 2020.[32][33] The HBO documentary The Last Cruise tells the story of the voyage.[24]

Post-pandemic return to service edit

After the lay-up induced by the COVID-19, Diamond Princess was announced as returning to service in August 2022. However, the first three months of scheduled cruises had to be cancelled due to staffing issues.[34]

Diamond Princess officially returned to service in November 2022.[34]

References edit

  1. ^ a b c "Advanced Masterdata for the Vessel Diamond Princess". VesselTracker. 2012. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  2. ^ Feuer, William (28 March 2020). "CDC says coronavirus RNA found in Princess Cruise ship cabins up to 17 days after passengers left". CNBC. Retrieved 19 April 2020.
  3. ^ Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare (14 April 2020). "横浜港で検疫を行ったクルーズ船に関連した患者の死亡について (About death of patient associated with cruise ship quarantined in Yokohama Port)" (in Japanese).{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ "How Dangerous is Covid-19?". 25 August 2020.
  5. ^ "Air lubrication system". Seatrade-cruise. 14 August 2018. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  6. ^ "Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Cruise Ship Sapphire Princess To Be Delivered to Princess Cruises" (Press release). Hideo Ikuno, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. 26 May 2004. Archived from the original on 18 March 2014.
  7. ^ "AIDAprima headed for Europe after Mitsubishi HI delivery". Seatrade Cruise News. Seatrade. 14 March 2016. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
  8. ^ "Princess Cruises Unveils 2015 Japan Cruise Program". Princess Cruises. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  9. ^ "Princess Cruises Debuts 2016–2017 Exotics Sailings". Princess Cruises. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  10. ^ Elliott, Mark (2 December 2016). "Princess Cruises adds Kota Kinabalu to Asian season". Travel Asia Daily. Archived from the original on 26 February 2018. Retrieved 3 December 2016.
  11. ^ "Emerald Princess cruise ship to debut in Sydney: Another cruise giant to call Australia home". Traveller. 7 January 2015. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  12. ^ "Cruise Search Results:Princess Cruises". www.princess.com. Retrieved 15 September 2018.
  13. ^ Brown, Michelle (4 February 2016). "Cruise ship hit by norovirus gastroenteritis docks in Sydney". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  14. ^ a b "Updates on Diamond Princess". Princess. Archived from the original on 2 March 2020. Entries from 1 to 27 February 2020
  15. ^ Peel, Charlie; Snowden, Angelica (6 February 2020). "Coronavirus: Cases double on Diamond Princess overnight, still in lockdown". The Australian. Retrieved 6 February 2020.
  16. ^ Thompson, Julia; Yasharoff, Hannah. "Coronavirus cases on Diamond Princess soar past 500, site of most infections outside China". USA Today. Retrieved 18 February 2020.
  17. ^ Perimbanayagam, Kalbana (18 February 2020). "Dr Dzulkefly: Only four Malaysians on board Diamond Princess". New Straits Times. Archived from the original on 28 February 2020. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  18. ^ Fraser, Ted (17 February 2020). "Number of Canadians on Diamond Princess testing positive for COVID-19 virus rises to 32". The Toronto Star. Retrieved 18 February 2020.
  19. ^ Bangkok, Justin McCurry Rebecca Ratcliffe in (18 February 2020). "British couple on Diamond Princess question positive coronavirus test". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 18 February 2020.
  20. ^ Allman, Daniel; Silverman, Hollie; Toropin, Konstantin (17 February 2020). "13 Americans moved to Omaha facility from evacuation flights, US officials say". CNN. Retrieved 18 February 2020.
  21. ^ "All crew members have left virus-hit ship in Japan: Minister". News24. Agence France-Presse. 1 March 2020. Archived from the original on 2 March 2020. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  22. ^ "新型コロナウイルス感染症の現在の状況と厚生労働省の対応について(令和2年3月17日版)". Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (in Japanese). 17 March 2020. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  23. ^ "クルーズ船感染者数696人に訂正 厚労省". Sankei Digital, Inc. (in Japanese). 5 March 2020.
  24. ^ a b Hannah Sampson (1 April 2021). "'Afraid we would never see our families again': HBO documentary highlights agony of Diamond Princess crew". The Washington Post.
  25. ^ Clarke, Patrick (1 April 2020). "Diamond Princess Cleared to Sail Following Thorough Cleaning". travelpulse.com. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  26. ^ "横浜港で検疫を行ったクルーズ船に関連した患者の死亡について". www.mhlw.go.jp (in Japanese). 10 April 2020. Retrieved 12 March 2021.
  27. ^ "横浜港で検疫を行ったクルーズ船に関連した患者の死亡について". www.mhlw.go.jp (in Japanese). 15 April 2020. Retrieved 12 March 2021.
  28. ^ "「ダイヤモンド・プリンセス」が横浜港を出港 マレーシアへ". NHK. 16 May 2020. Archived from the original on 16 May 2020. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  29. ^ "Japan paid 94% of medical costs for foreign passengers on coronavirus-hit cruise ship". The Japan News. 12 November 2020. Archived from the original on 13 November 2020. Retrieved 12 March 2021.
  30. ^ "Carnival's North American Brands Cancel Sailings Until 2021". TravelPulse. Retrieved 12 March 2021.
  31. ^ "DIAMOND PRINCESS, Passenger (Cruise) Ship - Details and current position - IMO 9228198 MMSI 235103359 - VesselFinder". www.vesselfinder.com. Retrieved 12 March 2021.
  32. ^ Arradondo, Briona (12 November 2020). "Author details first months of pandemic spent on cruise ship, in quarantine". FOX 13 News. Retrieved 12 March 2021.
  33. ^ Courter, Gay (11 November 2020). "New book relives Diamond Princess Covid catastrophe". Asia Times. Retrieved 12 March 2021.
  34. ^ a b "Diamond Princess, known for its COVID outbreak, returns to service for first time since 2020".

External links edit