by Natasha Salmon
Princess Cruises has announced 2018 will be its biggest ever season of cruises departing from the UK.
More than 40 itineraries on three Princess ships will be available between April and October out of Southampton and Dover.
In 2016 the operator’s Emerald Princess spent the summer season in Southampton.
Tony Roberts, vice president Princess Cruises UK and Europe, said: “Having seen a significant increase in popularity of Princess cruises from the UK, we are thrilled to announce that our 2018 programme will be our biggest ever season.
“We have a long history with the UK market and after a significant growth, especially with the popularity of our Emerald ex-UK sailings; we decided to grow it further.”
The Sapphire Princess will make its maiden visit to Europe sailing from Southampton to the Mediterranean and northern Europe for the full period between April and October.
Prior to this, from March, it will sail from Singapore on the Indian Ocean & Europe Grand Adventures 38-night cruise to Southampton and then return to Singapore in October.
In May 2018, Royal Princess will return to the UK offering round-Britain cruises, five years after it was launched by the Duchess of Cambridge.
Pacific Princess, the lines smaller ship, will sail a roundtrip from Dover to northern and southern Europe between June and September, including the 12-night European capitals cruise with overnight stay in Amsterdam.
Roberts said the company’s success is reliant on their work with agents.
“The thing which has made 2016 such a success for us is closely working with the trade.
“Agents are critical to the success of our presence in the UK and we will continue to work with them.”
For the first time in three years summer Caribbean cruises will return with 47 itineraries around the Caribbean and Panama Canal ranging from seven to 20-nights.
Princess will offer its largest ever Alaska deployment with seven ships sailing in the region, increasing the number of guests by 15%.
Crown Princess will offer Mediterranean cruises from Rome, Athens and Barcelona while Regal Princess will sail roundtrip from Copenhagen to Scandinavia and the Baltic.