Cruise ship cylinders look sporty, but that's it

Posted: Sunday, May 18, 2003

KETCHIKAN (AP) When the new cruise ship Coral Princess pulled into Ketchikan last week, residents wanted to know about the metal tubes next to the stack.

Jet engines? Rocket propulsion? Incinerators?

None of the above, according to Princess Cruises.

The twin cylinders bolted high atop the 88,000-ton ship are for visual impact only, said Princess Cruises' director of public relations.

''They're just a distinctive design feature,'' Julie Benson told the Ketchikan Daily News.

The cylinders are intended to draw attention to a functional part of the ship, Benson said the gas turbine within the ship's funnel.

The Coral Princess propulsion and power system relies on a combination of diesel and gas turbine engines. The two diesels are Wartsilla 16V46 EnviroEngines. The single gas turbine is a General Electric LM2500+ originally designed as an aircraft engine.

While several other cruise ships have gas turbines, Princess' innovation was to install the Coral Princess turbine in the funnel.

''When they moved the turbine into the funnel, it freed up a lot of interior space,'' Benson said.

The extra space is used for more public area and amenities, she said.

Built at the Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard in France, the 1,992-passenger Coral Princess made its debut voyage in January.

A sister ship, the Island Princess, is expected to visit Ketchikan on July 14 during its maiden voyage.

The Island Princess will have the same design features as the Coral Princess, Benson said.

Since Princess began expanding its fleet in the 1980s, the company's ships have always had distinctive profiles, Benson said. The Crown Princess and Regal Princess were designed to look like dolphins, she said.

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