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Princess Grows Asia Cruise Capacity by More Than 25% in 2006-07
Underscoring its leadership position in the Asia market, Princess Cruises offers its largest deployment there ever with two ships and a vast array of unique itineraries. The line will increase its Asia capacity by more than 25 percent for the 2006-07 season. Whether exploring the secrets of Angkor Wat in new port-of-call Cambodia, or soaking up the lively traditions of Beijing, Princess passengers have more options than ever before to delve into the fascinating cultures of exotic Asia.
Two ships will return to Asia, beginning May 2006 -- the intimate Pacific Princess and the choice-filled Sapphire Princess. Passengers will be able to choose from 15 departures of eight unique itineraries, including an enhanced route for the "China & Far East" cruise, now featuring a new port of Kagoshima, Japan, known for Iso Garden, beautifully designed in 1660 by the Shimazu lord of the time. Pacific Princess also debuts a "Southeast Asia & India" voyage that will feature another colorful new port, Sihanoukville, Cambodia --a gateway for an overland tour to the legendary temple of Angkor Wat.
"The lure and mystique of Asia continues to attract Princess passengers because they can visit an array of celebrated ports steeped in history, beauty and culture but have the ease of unpacking once and returning to their amenity-filled ship at the end of each day," said Jan Swartz, senior vice president of customer service and sales for Princess. "Princess' focus on amazing destinations around the globe is underscored with the announcement of our new Asia program which features two ships and sailings in summer and fall."
Early booking fares for Asia cruises begin at $1,495 for 12-day sailings.
Princess Announces 2006 Alaska Inside Passage Cruise Program
Two of Princess' most popular vessels will make their debut on the line's Seattle-based Alaska Inside Passage itinerary in 2006. Sister ships Sun Princess and Dawn Princess will take over the seven-day roundtrip voyages through some of southeastern Alaska's most dramatic scenery. They are joined once again by Regal Princess' 10-day sailings from San Francisco.
In total the line will offer 51 Inside Passage cruises on three itineraries, each featuring the convenience of departing from an easily accessible home port. The Inside Passage program also affords passengers the opportunity to add a land tour to the Canadian Rockies or take advantage of the many attractions in the ships' home ports with pre- or post-cruise stays in Seattle or San Francisco. These roundtrip cruises complement Princess' other 2006 Alaska option, the "Voyage of the Glaciers" Gulf of Alaska itinerary, available on four ships, sailing between Vancouver and Whittier.
"Sun Princess and Dawn Princess offer the perfect onboard experience for cruising through the Inside Passage," said Jan Swartz, Princess' senior vice president of customer service and sales. "With fewer passengers than ships of comparable size, these vessels offer a great combination of intimate feel and diverse onboard choices plus the ships' many balconies are perfect for viewing the spectacular scenery of Alaska."
Sun Princess and Dawn Princess From Seattle
The 1,950-passenger Sun Princess and Dawn Princess take over the line's seven-day roundtrip sailings from Seattle with an itinerary that features Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan and Victoria, plus cruise through the dramatic glaciers, rock walls and waterfalls of Tracy Arm and the twin Sawyer Glaciers. Dawn Princess will offer 19 voyages departing on Saturdays between May 13 and September 16, 2006, while Sun Princess will offer 19 voyages Sunday departures, beginning May 14 and continuing through September 17.
Regal Princess from San Francisco
The 1,590-passenger Regal Princess will again sail roundtrip from "The City by the Bay" on 13 departures between May 16 and September 13. The 10-day Inside Passage itinerary from San Francisco features calls at Victoria, Juneau and two other scenic Alaska ports that rotate between Ketchikan, Sitka, Skagway, Haines or Icy Strait Point. All voyages also offer premiere glacier viewing with cruising through Tracy Arm.
Canadian Rockies Cruisetours
Passengers who would like to add a Canadian Rockies adventure to their cruise have two tour options designed specifically to coordinate with Inside Passage cruises from Seattle. Princess' escorted itineraries take guests to the heart of these spectacular mountains with visits to Banff, Jasper, Calgary and Kamloops, along with other local highlights. These 13-night cruisetour packages feature stays at the area's premiere Fairmont resort properties such as the Chateau Lake Louise, Banff Springs Hotel, Palliser Hotel and Jasper Park Lodge.
Early booking fares for Inside Passage voyages start at $849 for cruises and $2,799 for Canadian Rockies cruisetours.
Distinctive Alaska Experiences This Summer
This summer, Princess Cruises is helping visitors to Alaska take home the ultimate vacation souvenir: bragging rights. With an extensive array of distinctive experiences, Princess Cruise passengers this season can enjoy an immersion into Alaskan culture that ranges from the traditional "must see's" to the completely unexpected.
Whether swinging down a 175-foot zip line through the treetops of the southeast Alaska rainforest, indulging in Alaskan culinary delicacies on a private balcony while sailing through majestic Glacier Bay, or stepping directly from the ship to Princess rail cars that whisk wilderness-seekers right to the heart of Denali National Park, Princess passengers can collect these and other extraordinary, one-of-a-kind memories to recount to friends and family.
Gulf of Alaska cruises and cruisetours for 2005 start at $599 for a seven-day voyage and $1,199 for 11-night cruisetours (based on select May departures).
Enhanced Mediterranean Cruise Options in 2006
From soaking up the sun on an idyllic Greek isle or exploring some of the world's most dramatic ancient marvels, the Mediterranean offers visitors a wealth of travel wonders, and Princess will offer more opportunities to explore this fascinating region in 2006.
Princess will offer an expanded Mediterranean season with a nearly 25 percent capacity increase, including four additional sailings of the line's popular Greek Isles cruises and a return to the spectacular sights of Egypt. Grand Princess, Golden Princess and Sea Princess will offer an extended April 15 to November 29 season featuring 33 Mediterranean sailings, with 11 itinerary options and a new port of call for Princess -- Elba.
"Our Europe season next year will be our largest deployment ever," said Jan Swartz, Princess' senior vice president of customer service and sales. "The Mediterranean is the heart and soul of this program, and we're very pleased to again offer passengers the opportunity to explore the pyramids of Egypt and even more options for basking in the delights of the Greek Isles."
Mediterranean Medley & Adventurer
In fall, Grand Princess transitions from Barcelona to Ft. Lauderdale with a 15-day journey that departs on October 19. Ports include Marseille, Genoa, Livorno, Rome, Lisbon and the Azores Islands (Ponta Delgada).
Early Booking Discount fares for Princess' Mediterranean cruises begin at $1,990 per person, based on double occupancy.
Princess to Name Next 'Gem' Emerald Princess
Princess Cruises' next new ship will be named Emerald Princess when she debuts in Spring 2007. Sister ship to Caribbean Princess and the upcoming Crown Princess, the 116,000-ton vessel will be constructed at Italy's Fincantieri shipyards.
"We're very pleased to be able to welcome another sparkling gem to our fleet," said Jan Swartz, Princess' senior vice president of customer service and sales. "Emerald Princess will continue the hallmark Princess features that have made our Grand Class of ships so popular among passengers."
Emerald Princess will include the many innovations that define the Princess experience, including the dramatic "Movies Under the Stars" poolside movie screen, multiple dining and entertainment options, Personal Choice Dining featuring traditional or Anytime seating, a variety of alternative restaurants, a relaxing Asian-style Lotus Spa with fitness center, an extensive children and teen's center, a wedding chapel and nearly 900 staterooms with private balconies.
Crown Princess to Debut Line's First
When Crown Princess debuts next summer, the vessel will introduce Princess' first ever roundtrip Caribbean sailings from New York. This inaugural sailing season will feature nine-day roundtrip voyages to both the Eastern and Western Caribbean and will include Princess' return to Bermuda.
Beginning June 14 and running through October 18, 2006, Crown Princess will offer 10 sailings on an Eastern Caribbean itinerary with calls at Bermuda (West End), San Juan, St. Thomas and a new port of call for Princess, Grand Turk in the Turks and Caicos Islands. In addition, the lineup includes five sailings on a Western Caribbean itinerary with stops at another new port for Princess, Port Canaveral, as well as Grand Cayman, Ocho Rios, and Grand Turk.
"Having Crown Princess sail from New York during her inaugural season is tremendously exciting and offers a brand new cruise option for our customers," said Jan Swartz, Princess' senior vice president of customer service and sales. "We're especially pleased to once again offer passengers a regular opportunity to enjoy the British flavor and pink sand beaches of Bermuda plus introduce our passengers to Grand Turk and Port Canaveral."
Princess last offered regularly scheduled calls in Bermuda in 2002. On this new itinerary, Crown Princess will call on the island during weekends, offering a less congested experience for passengers as most cruise ships make Bermuda calls during the week.
In Grand Turk, Crown Princess will be one of the first cruise ships to call upon the completion of the island's new cruise terminal and welcome center, which will offer a variety of guest services and attractions, including a recreational area with private beach and swimming pool. The terminal will serve as the gateway to an unspoiled, remote island experience featuring some dramatic diving/snorkeling opportunities. Port Canaveral calls will enable passengers to explore the nearby Kennedy Space Center and other local attractions.
The 116,000-ton Crown Princess will introduce a number of new design innovations to the Princess fleet, including a dramatic new piazza-style atrium, new casual dining venues and expansion of some favorite shipboard areas. Within the new street café environment of the atrium, passengers will find an International Café serving up fresh pastries and baked goods in the morning and assorted other offerings throughout the day, as well as a wine and seafood bar. Several signature Princess venues have been further enhanced, including an expanded Trattoria Sabatini with a new piano lounge area and the addition of pub fare to the trademark Wheelhouse Bar. A new Steak and Seafood restaurant expands on the Sterling Steakhouse concept with an open, theater-style kitchen where chefs will custom-prepare steamed shellfish and cooked-to-order steaks and chops.
The ship will also feature the many hallmark features that define the Princess experience, including the dramatic "Movies Under the Stars" poolside movie screen, multiple dining and entertainment options, Personal Choice Dining featuring traditional or Anytime seating, a two-story Lotus Spa with fitness center, an extensive children and teen's center, a wedding chapel and nearly 900 staterooms with private balconies.
Princess Cruises to Crown a New Ship
Reprising the name of a former Princess ship, the line will name the next new vessel to join its fleet Crown Princess. A sister ship to the highly praised Caribbean Princess, it will debut in May 2006. Like her sibling, Crown Princess will also offer a year-round Caribbean deployment.
But Crown Princess will not be an identical twin. Similar to Caribbean Princess, Crown Princess will feature a number of innovations designed for cruising in the balmy Caribbean waters, but the ship will also offer a number of new design evolutions to create additional options for passengers, including a piazza-style atrium, even more dining venues and redesigned public spaces. New choices include several new eateries -- an International Café, Wine and Seafood Bar, pub fare in the Wheelhouse Bar, and a Steak and Seafood House -- as well as a redesigned Skywalkers nightclub and larger space on the top deck for the line's trademark Italian trattoria, Sabatini's.
Among the ship's signature spaces will be the ship's atrium area, which will take on a new flare and offer some tasty added options with an open piazza-style design. Within this street café environment, passengers will find a new International Café serving up fresh pastries and baked goods in the morning and assorted other offerings throughout the day, as well as a wine and seafood bar to tempt passengers with an assortment of fine wine and a bar featuring chilled seafood "cocktails." The ship's Internet Café will be housed in the atrium as well as the Travel Café -- a place to plan future travels.
The 113,000-ton ship takes over the name of a Princess vessel that left the fleet in 2002. The original Crown Princess, which debuted in 1990, was the first ship built for Princess by the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy, and construction of her successor ship is soon to be underway at the same yard. The first Crown Princess became the A'Rosa Blu for sister company Aida Cruises, a brand serving the German market.
"Crown Princess is clearly the perfect name for a Princess ship, and this seemed like the appropriate opportunity to bring this moniker back into our fleet," said Jan Swartz, Princess' senior vice president of customer service and sales. "More importantly, her debut will further our growth in the region and our goal of providing one of the best cruise experiences in the Caribbean."
Crown Princess' public areas on decks six and seven will also offer new or redesigned spaces. Meeting planners will appreciate the new conference center, available to the many onboard groups. The ship's casino will now feature a private cocktail lounge for those who want to indulge in cigars and spirits. Princess' signature Wheelhouse bar will be expanded and moved forward (as on Diamond Princess), offering a club-like atmosphere with the addition of a menu of traditional pub fare and draft ale. The line's popular martini bar, Crooners, will move its menu of 50 specialty martinis to an intimate location on the port side of the vessel.
An evolution from previous ships' Sterling Steakhouse concept, a new Steak and Seafood house will move into the area traditionally held by Sabatini's and the Wheelhouse Bar. This showplace eatery will feature an open, theater-style kitchen where chefs will custom-prepare steamed shellfish -- such as lobster, scallops, clams and mussels -- and cooked-to-order steaks and chops. Passengers can choose to sit at the kitchen's eat-up counter and watch the show as they dine. Larger than the Sterling Steakhouse venues, this 180-seat restaurant will feature the privacy of booths as well as tables and counter seating.
Up on the top decks other changes are afoot. The ship's profile will more resemble that of Diamond Princess with the signature Skywalkers nightclub moved forward towards the ship's funnel. A sports court will crown the top of this trademark disco and observation lounge. And the company's Lotus Spa will grow to a two-story space. New to the top decks is Trattoria Sabatini, which will offer additional space for diners to enjoy this eight-course Italian extravaganza. The space will also offer a lounge area where Sabatini diners can enjoy a convenient pre-dinner cocktail. The stunning venue offers views on three sides with dramatic vistas over the ship.
Of course Crown Princess will offer many of the special features than passengers have come to love on her sister ship. The vessel will sport the dramatic "Movies Under the Stars" poolside screen, featuring outdoor viewing of first run movies and special events complete with reserved padded lounge chairs, drink specials and movie nibbles. Café Caribe will continue to serve up tasty Caribbean specialties in a deluxe buffet setting, with a focus on a different island or region each night.
Princess passengers will also enjoy the many Personal Choice options they know from the line's other vessels. Princess continues to be the only line offering a choice in the ships' main dining rooms between Traditional seating and the restaurant-style Anytime Dining. Crown Princess will offer multiple show lounges and main dining rooms, as well as a variety of intimately designed public spaces for the "big ship choice, small ship feel" atmosphere that defines the line. Other ship features include a wedding chapel with Internet wedding cam, and an extensive children and teen's center with splash pool and outdoor play area, sports and fitness facilities, a wide array of educational ScholarShip@Sea classes, and a Princess trademark -- nearly 900 staterooms with private balconies.
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