Australia is to get a second major new Princess Cruises ship with the announcement that the Regal Princess – sister to Majestic – will sail from Sydney in 2020/21.

Her first journey to Australia – Rome to Sydney – will go on sale next week.

The new deployment was announced by Senior Vice President Asia Pacific Australasia Stuart Allison at the World Leading Cruise Lines summit on board Majestic Princess at sea off New Zealand.

Mr Allison said the move followed the extraordinary success of Majestic Princess in her first season. Some 50% of guests are rebooking a Princess cruise while on board – a world record for repeat passengers.

The arrival of the Regal Princess and other new ships in the next five years will push capacity up 49 per cent for Princess, and follows what Mr Allison described as the most successful two years in Princess history.

Regal Princess carries 3,560 guests and 1,346 crew. She was built in 2014.

Regal Princess will offer a variety of features guests will be familiar with on sister ship, Majestic Princess, including 13 dining venues, a soaring atrium, a dramatic over-the-ocean glass walkway, the SeaWalk, extending more than eight metres beyond the edge of the ship, plush private poolside cabanas, and 1780 staterooms, with balconies on all outside staterooms.

Mr Allison revealed that Regal Princess will sail from Rome to Sydney on a voyage crossing four continents, with the itinerary on sale from November 20, 2018. A more detailed deployment for Regal Princess from Sydney will be announced in late March 2019.

With five of its 18-strong fleet cruising down under in 2019, Princess Cruises ranks Australia as its biggest market outside the United States.

The Princess fleet will get a major new addition when Ruby Princess arrives in Sydney in late October, 2019, for Australia’s summer season. Ruby Princess will offer many sailings to New Zealand, also to Pacific islands, the Great Barrier Reef, and Tasmania.

The enormous investment in new ships is a tribute to the strength of the Australian market, where Princess’s big increase in capacity amounts to an extra 24,700 passengers.

New local connections plans – similar to the Across the Ditch immersive programs in New Zealand, will also be rolled out across Australia, starting in Melbourne.

Regal Princess will also introduce the Ocean Medallion, the line’s special intelligent tracking device for passengers which means improved service and communications, to the region.

New food and other shoreside experiences are also being announced.

A special Princess experience will be offered by former wildlife expert Steve Irwin’s family in Queensland and Curtis Stone is preparing new dishes and filming an Australian wine show showcasing bottles he will be serving on the line’s Share by Curtis Stone restaurants.

Earlier, Group President Jan Swartz revealed the huge investments Carnival Corp lines are making across Australia, including helping build the new Brisbane terminal and returning to Fremantle.