Marine pilots raise concerns over Royal Princess megaship

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JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - Southeast Alaska marine pilots are concerned about the maneuverability of one of the four megaships cruise lines are expected to bring to the state this season.

CoastAlaska reports that the Norwegian Bliss and its sister ship are expected to visit the state, along with Royal Caribbean International's Ovation of the Seas and Princess Cruises' flagship, Royal Princess.

The Southeast Alaska Pilots Association tested the limits of each of the four megaships in virtual reality.

The pilots say "overall simulations for the Royal Princess produced serious challenges in wind and current conditions common to" southeast Alaska.

Princess Cruises questioned the report's results but says it will work closely with the marine pilots to ensure safe handling of the vessels in Southeast Alaska.

The Royal Princess is scheduled to make its first visit to southeast Alaska on May 13.

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