Princess Announces 2019 Japan Cruise Program

Diamond Princess

Princess Cruises announced its 2019 program in Japan, featuring the Japanese-built Diamond Princess returning for her sixth season, sailing roundtrip from Tokyo (Yokohama) and Kobe.

The March-November 2019 season features 60 departures on 40 unique itineraries, visiting 41 destinations in seven countries, more ports than ever before.

“Japan is a culturally rich country with an abundance of local entertainment, historical sites and culinary experiences for our guests to embrace,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises and Carnival Australia group president. “Cruising is the best way to explore this island nation and Princess has been recognized the number one international cruise line in Japan.”

Deployment includes first-time port calls at Gamagori, Himeji, Matsuyama, Niigata, Miyako and Takamatsu as well as nine departures during the popular Spring Flowers season, visiting many top cherry blossom and spring flowers sites throughout all of Japan.

Seven departures provide access to some of the most popular summer festivals in Japan including the Aomori Nebuta Festival, Kochi Yosakoi Dance Festival and Akita Kanto Festival, Princess said.

Three voyages include viewing of the Kumano Grand Fireworks Festival visible from the decks of the Diamond Princess, a display of over 10,000 fireworks

There are five voyages with late-night stays in Aomori during the Aomori Nebuta Festival, which features Nebuta float figures, traditional music, and many vibrant dancers, easily accessible on foot from the port.

And their voyages provide access to many August festivals including Akita Kanto Festival, Kochi Yosakoi Dance Festival and Tokushima Awa Dance Festival.

Variety of Southern Islands cruises allowing guests to experience a different climate and culture, with calls to the isles of Okinawa and Ishigaki or Miyakojima, and to Taipei (Keelung), Taiwan.

There are multiple circles Hokkaido cruises including late-night stays in Hakodate, home to the Mt. Hakodate cable car.

There is also a nine-day circle Japan or Sea of Japan voyages circumnavigating the country.

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Cunard to return to Alaska after 20-year absence

Image result for cunard queen elizabeth

Cunard is set to return to Alaska for the first time in more than two decades next year.

Queen Elizabeth will begin its voyage from Yokohama, Japan, on May 5, 2019, to Alaska where it will remain through June for its first season.

The 2,092-capacity vessel will offer four 10-night roundtrip Vancouver sailings throughout May and June 2019.

After completing its four voyages, the ship will sail down the west coast of the United States through the Panama Canal to New York before going on to Iceland and the UK.

Itineraries feature scenic cruising through the dramatic waterways of the famous Inside Passage as well as full days in several of the region’s highlight ports to discover the history and culture of the area.

Guests will experience the gold rush spirit of Skagway and Juneau, the native tribes of Ketchikan and the Russian charm of Sitka.

Angus Struthers, Cunard’s vice-president marketing, said: “We’re thrilled to make our return to Alaska, one of the world’s must-see destinations.

“As the majestic Queen Elizabeth undertakes her first season there, our guests can explore the region with highlights including the natural wonders of Tracy Arm Fjord and the Hubbard Glacier.”

Guests can enjoy a Britannia Balcony Stateroom booked with a Cunard Fare from £5,449 per person.

AIDAperla Kisses Nagasaki

Above image of the AIDAperla, the twelfth ship in AIDA Cruises’ fleet, which has undergone a paint job at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ (MHI) shipyard in Nagasaki, Japan.

Following the completion of the works on the 300-meter long hull of AIDAperla, the newbuilding vessel has now received the mouth and the eyes, the symbols gracing AIDA Cruises’ fleet.

The bow design of the AIDAperla is 261 meters long, according to AIDA Cruises.

Finishing touches to the new ship will follow in the spring of 2017, the company said.

Once completed, the new cruise ship will be able to accommodate 3,300 passengers and 900 crew members.

The AIDAperla is expected to start voyages from September 1, 2017, sailing on four different routes in the Mediterranean Sea.

Palma de Mallorca and Barcelona will be the first and the last ports of call for seven-day voyages.

Apart from Mallorca and Barcelona, the AIDAperla will also visit Corsica, Florence/Livorno and Rome/Civitavecchia.

Image Courtesy: AIDA Cruises