The cruise line has committed a second ship to the market, with Japan-built Diamond Princess joining Sun Princess in a series of cruises out of Tokyo (Yokohama), Kobe and, in an industry first, Otaru.
Expected to increase the cruise market in Japan to approximately 100,000 passengers, Princess Cruises president and CEO Alan Buckelew anticipates the economic impact locally to be in excess of 11 billion yen.
“We believe there is substantial untapped demand for cruise vacations here,” Mr Buckelew said.
Princess Cruises was the first cruise line to offer a full season of voyages in Japan designed specifically for the local market and this expansion will see her two Japan-based ships enhanced specifically for the deployment.
Japanese-speaking front of house crewmembers will be employed, additional dining options including an a la carte sushi bar, Japanese breakfast, noodle bar, regional tea tastings and special sake menu will be added, a traditional kagamiwari ceremony will be held during the captain’s welcome and specially designed art, culture and history enrichment programs will be offered.
Shopping and spa treatments will also be tailored to the local market while Japanese translations will be available on all onboard collateral.
The 2,670-passenger Diamond Princess will homeport in Tokyo (Yokohama) where she will offer a series of nine-day voyages calling into: Taiwan; South Korea; Hokkaido; Russia; and 15 Japanese ports.
Words: Natalie Aroyan