Princess Cruises is set to make next year’s wave season its own, with a record number of ships and itineraries and 25 per cent more beds than any other line.
“No other line has had six ships in Australia over the summer. I think having six ships sailing from six different home ports helps confirm our position as the destination leader,” Princess Cruises Vice Present Asia Pacific Stuart Allison told Cruise Passenger this week.
“Over the 12 month from April 2020 to March 2021, we’ll have 200 different cruises, 118 different destinations visiting 175 ports in 52 countries. All of that is quite incredible.”
The new Princess fleet will next year cover all options: the mighty Majestic Princess, the fleet’s newest ship, the Regal Princess, another Royal class with room for 3,500 passengers, and the smallest addition to the Australian fleet, Pacific Princess, at just 650 passengers.
These three join regulars Sapphire Princess, Sun Princess and Sea Princess to give the line its most extensive homeport coverage across Australia.
To mark the announcement and recalling that the December 2020 arrival of Pacific Princess in Sydney coincides with the 45th anniversary of Princess Cruises’ first roundtrip cruise from Australia, the line flew out TV’s Love Boat star and 80s legend Ted Lange.
Pacific Princess was the star of the Love Boat, and the line has made the series its own, playing its theme song from its fog horns.
“I’m so excited to return to Australia. I first fell in love with the country while I was filming an episode of ‘The Love Boat’ in Sydney back in the 1980s,” said Lange, who played barman Issac Washington for ten seasons.
“Australia holds a special place in our hearts. I can’t wait to show Aussies how to make my signature cocktail, The Isaac!”
“When you think about the Australian fleet, we’ve now got every kind of category of ship,” Mr Allison told Cruise Passenger.
He agreed Pacific Princess adds another dimension to the Princess offering.
“She’ll give us the opportunity to go to places we wouldn’t otherwise have been able to go to.
“She’s do NZ cruises over Christmas and New Year. But rather than following the same itineraries as Regal and Majestic, we’re going to add three new ports we’ve never done before because our ships are too big: Stewart Island, Kaikoura and New Plymouth.
“Similarly, we’ve put together a gem of a Papua New Guinea and Soloman Islands cruise which adds Wewak and Gizo. It think there will be interest in these ports not just from Australia but internationally.
“Gizo is famous for Kennedy Island where JFK got marooned in World War II. Wewak is where the Japanese surrendered. So there are stories behind these ports.”
Mr Allison is also excited by the arrival of the Ocean Medallion – the high-tech personal service device that is already hugely popular in the Caribbean and Europe.
Ruby Princess will be the first in the region to have the tech device, which allows guests to order food and drinks and turns on their cabin lights and air conditioners.
“First Ruby Princess and then the full season for Regal Princess we’re very excited to see that in this part of the world.
“I think it will take what is a great service delivery from our Princess crew to the next level,” he said.
See more at princess.com