Princess Cruises announces biggest ever season of ex-UK sailings

Image result for emerald princess

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.

Advertisements

Emerald Waterways to build fifth vessel

Emerald Waterways will construct a fifth river cruise ship, the 182-passenger Emerald Belle, for 2016.

The new vessel is currently under construction in the Netherlands with an expected launch in early 2016. Its debut will come on the heels of the 2015 launch of its 182-passenger Emerald Dawn and Emerald Sun.

Emerald Waterways is one of the newer lines to have come onto the river cruise scene, having been launched by Australian company Scenic Tours as a four-star, all-inclusive river cruise operator in 2014.

Like the four ships before it, the Emerald Belle will be part of Emerald’s Star Ships class of vessels and will be built in the same configuration as its four sister vessels, although the company stated that it is still deciding on possible new innovations and enhancements.

All of the Star Ships house 72 suites and 20 staterooms, including two cabins built for solo occupancy. Staterooms will feature a floor-to-ceiling panoramic window that with a push of a button drops down to create a French balcony.

Emerald Belle will feature a heated swimming pool with a retractable glass roof that transforms into a movie theater in the evening; and two restaurants — Reflections, the main dining room, and The Terrace for breakfast and lunch.

Emerald ships also feature an onboard hairdresser, massage therapy room and fitness area.

Emerald Waterways has not yet said where the Emerald Belle will sail.

Emerald Princess to sail in Australia

Princess Cruises is redeploying the Emerald Princess to Australia, giving it five ships there during the winter season.

The 3,082-passenger ship will be the largest and youngest of the five. It was built in 2007.

The Emerald Princess will be based in Sydney from November 2016 to April 2017. Currently it sails in the Caribbean. Its itineraries to New Zealand, Australia and the South Pacific will be announced in detail later this spring.

The Dawn Princess, Sea Princess and Sun Princess sail year-round from Australia. The Diamond Princess splits its time between Australia and China.