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Grand Princess

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Grand Princess (ship, 1998) IMO 9104005, in Split, 2011-10-13.jpg
Grand Princess in Split, Croatia, showing refitted stern
NameGrand Princess
OperatorPrincess Cruises
Port of registry
Ordered8 February 1994
CostUS$450 million
Yard numberMonfalcone, 5956
Launched20 May 1998
Christened29 September 1998, by Olivia de Havilland
Maiden voyage27 May 1998
RefitMay 2011, March 2019
StatusIn service
General characteristics
Type Grand-class cruise ship
Tonnage107,517 GT
Length289.86 m (951 ft 0 in)
Beam35.97 m (118 ft 0 in)
Height61.26 m (201 ft 0 in)
Draught7.92 m (26 ft 0 in)
PropulsionTwo shafts; fixed-pitch propellers
Speed22.5 knots (41.7 km/h; 25.9 mph) (cruising)
Boats & landing
craft carried
6 tenders
  • 2,590 lower berth passengers
  • 3,100 maximum passengers

Grand Princess is a Grand-class cruise ship owned by Princess Cruises. It was built in 1998 by Fincantieri Cantieri Navali Italiani in Monfalcone, Italy, with yard number 5956, at a cost of approximately US$450 million. She was the largest and most expensive passenger ship ever built at the time. Grand Princess was the flagship in the Princess Cruises fleet until the new Royal Princess took that title in June 2013.

As of 28 April 2020, at least 122[a] people that were on Grand Princess when it was rerouted are known to have tested positive for COVID-19, and 7 people have died.


Grand Princess and Pacific Princess in Split, Croatia on 7 August 2011

Grand Princess was the first of the Grand-class cruise ships, and has a different decor scheme to her sister ships, using darker woods, and the interior decor is more similar to the smaller Sun-class ships. When Grand Princess was launched, she featured in the Princess Cruises brochures as a Sun-class ship; it was only with the subsequent launch of Golden Princess that the Grand class appeared in brochures.

She is the sister ship of Star Princess and Golden Princess. Grand Princess was the setting for a task in the second series of the UK version of the reality TV show The Apprentice.

Grand Princess has a large theater, a large central performance lounge, and an aft show lounge.

On 19 July 2009, the ship was drydocked for 14 days for refurbishments such as boosting Grand Princess's energy and environmental efficiency.[4]

In May 2011, Grand Princess completed the most extensive dry-dock in Princess Cruises history that included a refit and removal of the passengers lounge from her stern.[5] This resolved her tendency to sail bow high, and has improved her fuel economy by about 3–4%. The bow high tendency was peculiar to Grand Princess, and does not affect any of the other Grand-class ships (or the derivative classes) as unlike Grand Princess they have aluminium upper decks. In March 2019, Grand Princess underwent another dry-dock refurbishment.

Ports of call

As of August 2019, Grand Princess is based year-round in San Francisco, California, sailing on itineraries for Alaska, Hawaii, the Mexican Riviera, and the California coast.[6]


2017 whale incident

On 9 August 2017, a dead humpback whale was found stuck on the bow of the ship after it docked in Ketchikan, Alaska.[7] Princess Cruises issued a statement that said "It is unknown how or when this happened as the ship felt no impact. It is also unknown, at this time, whether the whale was alive or already deceased before becoming lodged on the bow."[8] It was the second time in two years that a whale had been carried into an Alaska port on the bow of a cruise ship.[8][9]

2020 coronavirus pandemic

California National Guard's 129th Rescue Wing delivering COVID-19 test-kits to the cruise ship Grand Princess

The Princess-owned Grand-class ship, Diamond Princess, had experienced an outbreak of the disease in February 2020, and had been quarantined for nearly a month in Yokohama, Japan; at least 712 out of the 3,711 passengers and crew had contracted the virus, and seven of them had died.[10][11][12]

In March 2020, it was reported that two passengers on the Grand Princess's cruise to Mexico of 11–21 February 2020 had contracted the COVID-19 coronavirus disease and one of them had died.[13][14] The announcement came as the ship approached San Francisco with 3,533 passengers aboard (2,422 guests and 1,111 crew members, with 54 nationalities),[15] some of whom were reporting symptoms consistent with the disease, and the ship was held offshore by authorities for quarantine and testing of some of the passengers and crew.[14]

On 5–6 March 2020, while the ship was near the coast of California, the California National Guard's 129th Rescue Wing dropped off and retrieved coronavirus tests.[16][17] As of 6 March, 46 people on the ship had been tested, and 21 tested positive, including 19 crew and 2 passengers. Among the other 25, one test was inconclusive and the other tests were negative.[18] Grand Princess was allowed to dock on 9 March in the industrial Port of Oakland, and some of the passengers were gradually disembarked, starting with those in acute need of medical treatment.[15][19] Crew members were held on the ship for quarantine and treatment, and all disembarking passengers were tested for the coronavirus and transferred by planes or buses to various military bases in California, Texas, and Georgia for quarantine, while a handful who were treated at hospitals and released were moved to various hotels.[15] On 10 March, Canada flew its citizen passengers to the CFB Trenton military base in Ontario for quarantine there.[20] On 11 March, it was reported that one of the repatriated Canadians had tested positive for the virus after disembarking.[19] On 16 March 2020, Grand Princess undocked from the Port of Oakland.[21]

On 1 April 2020, a crew member became the third person to die besides the two male passengers.[22] While under quarantine, the ship was anchored in San Francisco Bay for almost three weeks.[23] As of 28 April 2020, 7 people died.[b]

Of the 1,103 passengers who elected to be tested, 103 tested positive, 699 tested negative, and the remaining results were pending, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said.[2] Nearly two-thirds of the passengers quarantined at Travis Air Force Base refused to take the test, with some passengers stating that federal officials had discouraged them from doing so, and others admitting that they did not want to be tested because they wanted to be released from quarantine.[24]

On 7 April 2020, Grand Princess docked at Pier 35 in San Francisco for supplies before leaving San Francisco the next evening.[21][25]

As of 20 April 2020, neither Princess Cruises, nor the CDC, nor the HHS appeared to have made any subsequent test results public.[26] In addition, some passengers complained about waiting for weeks without getting test results back, and some passengers have not been tested at all even though they showed symptoms upon disembarkation, despite Vice President Mike Pence's earlier claim that all passengers would be tested.[26][27][28]


At least a dozen lawsuits have been filed by passengers of Grand Princess against companies responsible for the cruise ship.[29]

On 9 March 2020, a lawsuit was filed against Princess Cruise Lines by a Floridian couple that were passengers still aboard Grand Princess at the time.[30] The lawsuit alleged that Princess Cruise Lines did not screen passengers appropriately for the virus prior to boarding[c] and that the cruise line did not warn passengers that symptoms of the virus had been observed on passengers of the previous voyage.[30][31]

On 8 April 2020, a lawsuit was filed against Princess Cruise Lines, Fairline Shipping International Corporation, and Carnival Corporation by nine Northern Californians who were passengers of the Hawaii cruise.[32][33] The lawsuit alleged that the defendants did not screen passengers appropriately, did not disinfect the ship properly, and did not quarantine passengers until around 5 March 2020.[32][29] The lawsuit also alleged that the defendants did not inform passengers that coronavirus symptoms had been reported by passengers on the previous voyage, that passengers from the previous voyage who stayed aboard the ship for the Hawaii cruise had been exposed to the virus, and that a former passenger had died.[32][29] One of the plaintiffs was infected by the virus and hospitalized at an ICU.[32]

On 13 April 2020, a lawsuit was filed against Princess Cruise Lines by the widow of a retired Dallas firefighter who was a passenger that died of the virus.[34] The lawsuit alleged that Princess Cruise Lines did not warn the couple that an outbreak on board the ship had sickened passengers during its previous voyage.[34]

On 4 May 2020, a lawsuit was filed against Princess Cruise Lines and Carnival Corporation by the son of a retired Lehigh County steel worker who was a passenger that died of the virus.[35] The lawsuit alleged that passengers were not informed that passengers on the previous voyage had exhibited symptoms consistent with the virus and that there were crew members aboard that had been exposed to the virus.[35]


  1. ^ This includes 103 passengers[2] and 19 crew members.[3] It is unclear if the 2 passengers listed in the second source have been included in the first source.[2][3] In addition, this value does not include those who disembarked before the ship was rerouted.
  2. ^ See chart.
  3. ^ Specifically, the couple stated that upon boarding, the only screening procedure they encountered was that they were "simply asked to fill out a piece of paper confirming they were not sick".[30]


  1. ^ a b "Grand Princess Vessel Details and Current Position". Marine Traffic. 2012. Retrieved 29 April 2012.
  2. ^ a b c Hines, Morgan & Mandell, Andrea (25 March 2020). "Two Grand Princess cruise passengers with coronavirus die; 103 have tested positive for COVID-19". USA Today. Archived from the original on 27 March 2020. Retrieved 27 March 2020 – via Yahoo News.
  3. ^ a b Vice President Pence and Members of the Coronavirus Task Force Hold a Press Briefing Youtube
  4. ^ "Energy focus for Grand Princess retrofit". Riviera.
  5. ^ Peter Knego (10 February 2011). "Grand Princess To Lose Her 'Handle'". MaritimeMatters. Retrieved 29 April 2012.
  6. ^ "2019 Cruise Schedule at the Port of San Francisco" (PDF).
  7. ^ Joling, Dan (9 August 2017). "Dead whale found on bow of cruise ship entering Alaska port". The Canadian Press. Archived from the original on 10 August 2017. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  8. ^ a b "How did a dead whale get stuck to the bow of this cruise ship?". New York Post. Associated Press. 10 August 2017. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  9. ^ "Passenger shock: Cruise ship arrives in port with massive whale carcass on bow". Associated Press. 10 August 2017. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  10. ^ "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). Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  11. ^ "COVID-19 Coronavirus Outbreak". Worldometers. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  12. ^ "クルーズ船感染者数696人に訂正 厚労省". 産経ニュース [Sankei Digital, Inc.]. 5 March 2020.
  13. ^ "Report: Two former guests form a U.S. based cruise ship have COVID-19". The Maritime Executive. 3 March 2020. Retrieved 3 March 2020.
  14. ^ a b "Coronavirus: What happens when cruise ship with exposed passengers reaches San Francisco?". The Mercury News. 5 March 2020. Retrieved 7 March 2020.
  15. ^ a b c Rodriguez, Tristi; Thorn, Dan (7 March 2020). "Grand Princess cruise ship will dock at Port of Oakland". KRON 4.
  16. ^ "Video: See Air National Guard members board a cruise ship with coronavirus test kits". MilitaryTimes. 6 March 2020. Retrieved 7 March 2020.
  17. ^ Rodriguez, Olga R. (7 March 2020). "21 positive for coronavirus on cruise ship off California". Anchorage Daily News. Retrieved 7 March 2020.
  18. ^ Fuller, Thomas; Mervosh, Sarah; Arango, Tim & Gross, Jenny (6 March 2020). "21 Coronavirus Cases on Cruise Ship Near California". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  19. ^ a b Hines, Morgan & Oliver, David (11 March 2020). "Coronavirus: More than 1,000 passengers await their turn to leave Grand Princess, begin quarantine". USA Today. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  20. ^ "Canada to repatriate citizens on coronavirus-hit cruise ship in California". CBC News. 8 March 2020. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  21. ^ a b "Live coronavirus updates: Grand Princess cruise ship heads back to sea after restocking supplies in San Francisco - ABC30 Fresno". Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  22. ^ "Grand Princess crew ends quarantine; ship to sail out to sea". AP NEWS. 4 April 2020. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  23. ^ "Grand Princess Crew Quarantine Ends, Ship to Set Sail". NBC Bay Area. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  24. ^ Most Grand Princess passengers in quarantine refused coronavirus tests —often at federal officials’ urging San Francisco Chronicle 19 March 2020
  25. ^ Coronavirus Bay Area live updates: UCSF offering free COVID-19 testing to all 58 California counties ABC7 News 18 April 2020
  26. ^ a b Tate, Curtis. "Some Grand Princess cruise passengers waited weeks for coronavirus test results, or never got tested". USA TODAY.
  27. ^ "Most Grand Princess passengers in quarantine refused coronavirus tests -often at federal officials' urging". 19 March 2020.
  28. ^ "Grand Princess passengers were quarantined on bases. How many actually have coronavirus will remain a mystery". Washington Post.
  29. ^ a b c "Grand Princess Passengers File Lawsuit, Claim Negligence In Coronavirus Response – CBS San Francisco". 9 April 2020. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  30. ^ a b c "Quarantined Grand Princess couple sues Princess Cruises for $1 million". The Washington Post. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  31. ^ "Ronald Weissberger et al v. Princess Cruise Lines Ltd". Justia Dockets & Filings.
  32. ^ a b c d "Grand Princess passengers sue cruise line, alleging negligence in coronavirus handling". Sacramento Bee. 9 April 2020.
  33. ^ "Archer et al v. Carnival Corporation & PLC et al". Justia Dockets & Filings.
  34. ^ a b "Lawsuit over death of retired Dallas firefighter says cruise line failed to warn of outbreak". Dallas News. 15 April 2020.
  35. ^ a b, Pamela Sroka-Holzmann | For (5 May 2020). "Family of Whitehall man files COVID-19 wrongful death suit against cruise line". lehighvalleylive.


External links