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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.

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Words: Natalie Aroyan