Princess Announces Biggest Australian Deployment

Majestic Princess

Princess Cruises today announced its biggest Australia season ever, with five ships sailing from six homeports for the 2019-2020 Australia cruise season.

Three ships, including the Majestic Princess, will complete itineraries to and from Adelaide over the 2019-2020 Australia season.

Other highlights from Adelaide include an 18-day Fiji cruise on Golden Princess and a new 55-day Indian Ocean and South Africa Odyssey cruise on Sun Princess.

“Princess is gearing up for our largest Australian and New Zealand deployment in history, which will see a record number of people cruising on Princess ships over the 2019/2020 season,” said Senior Vice President Princess Cruises Asia Pacific, Stuart Allison

“Our largest ever deployment will feature five ships sailing from six homeports on over 125 departures across more than 60 itineraries to over 100 destinations in 30 countries. The arrival of Ruby Princess, combined with news of Majestic’s return before she’s completed her maiden season here, means we’ll have two of the four latest Princess ships sailing in this region which speaks to the momentous growth of our market.”

“The cruise industry is integral to South Australia’s $6.3 billion visitor economy,” said Rodney Harrex, Chief Executive, The South Australian Tourism Commission.

“Princess Cruises’ continued commitment to Adelaide demonstrates that South Australia is a key player in the cruise industry. We are delighted to welcome these cruise ships, passengers and crew to our State and look forward to visitors getting a taste of some our world-class experiences so easily accessible from Adelaide.”

The 2019/2020 Australian cruise season will be Princess’ largest in history. The 900+ day Australian deployment will see Princess carry more guests than ever onboard five ships on itineraries from Sydney, Perth (Fremantle), Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane and Auckland, the company said.

The season is spearheaded by the maiden arrival of the Ruby Princess and the return of the Majestic Princess. Cruising 444 cruise days out of Sydney, Majestic and Ruby will generate a combined landmark capacity of over 100,000 guests, a 25 percent increase on the 2018-2019 season, the company said.

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Princess’ Sun Princess could be sailing into the sunset

Sun Princess

The news that Princess Cruises has ordered two new ships for delivery in 2019 and 2020 will likely mean the departure from the fleet of several older ships.

In announcing the orders at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard in Italy, Carnival CEO Arnold Donald made reference to the line’s measured growth strategy, which includes “replacing less efficient ships with newer, larger and more efficient vessels over a very specific period of time.”

The oldest and presumably least efficient ship in the Princess stable is the 1995-built Sun Princess, now sailing in Australia. It doesn’t seem that long ago when the Sun Princess was the biggest, freshest ship in the Princess fleet.

In 1995 Princess was still predominantly a West Coast cruise line, but it was trying to raise its profile in the Caribbean. Its Sun class ships were part of that strategy.

Of course, that was before Carnival Corp. acquired Princess. The godmother of the Sun Princess, Lady Dorothy Sterling, was the wife of Lord Jeffrey Sterling, chairman of the line’s then-owner, the Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company.

In fact, Princess was a competitor for several of Carnival’s brands until Carnival acquired the company in 2003.

The Sun Princess came along when cruise lines were first realizing the appeal and revenue power of balcony cabins. The ship’s 372 balcony cabins gave it a big advantage in the Caribbean when it first launched.

Today, at slightly less than 2,000 passengers, the Sun Princess carries 45% fewer passengers than the ships Carnival has ordered for the future. 

The other ship that was christened at Port Everglades in the fall of 1995, Celebrity Cruises’ Century, has already left the fleet and is sailing for Celebrity’s joint venture with Ctrip in China. 

By 2020, the Sun Princess will be 25 years old. I would look for a similar exit for it sometime in the next few years.

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.