Come 2020 & Princess Cruises will be one of the biggest cruise lines to travel around Australia with an incredible SIX SHIPS based in the country – that’s a third of the entire fleet!
Princess Cruises confirmed the big news this week when it announced the return of Pacific Princess aka The Love Boat, which hasn’t visited the region in over 12 years.
Stuart Allison, Senior Vice President of Asia Pacific Commercial & Operations, told KARRYON that the decision to bring the ship down under was two-fold because it’ll meet demand for more Princess beds and the ship will be able to take Aussies to places other ships can’t.
For example, during her return season, the Aussie favourite will make Princess Cruises’ maiden visits to Madang, Wewak and Gizo Island in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. She’ll also be the first to cruise from Australia to Stewart Island in New Zealand.
“A small ship complements the range of itineraries we’re currently offering by giving us even more destination options including some places that large and mid-sized ships can’t visit.”
Stuart Allison, Princess Cruises Senior Vice President of Asia Pacific Commercial & Operations
Read on for more of our chat with Stuart:
1. Sending a sixth ship to the local market during the one season must mean demand for 2020/21 period is strong – how are forward bookings for the period?
Although I can’t speak in detail to our forward booking trends, I can say that we continue to see great demand for longer itineraries from Australia so we expect demand for Pacific Princess to be strong.
From Apr-20 to Mar-21 our program of itineraries will feature an unprecedented three world cruises and a number of other unique itineraries of a month or more.
With 200 departures featuring 175 destinations in 52 different countries from New Zealand to Norway and Hawaii to Hong Kong, Princess Cruises is the destination expert offering an unrivalled choice in destinations with the convenience of sailing roundtrip from your doorstep in Australia and offering almost 25 per cent more available beds than any other line over the 2020-21 summer.
2. Of all the ships in the line, why did Princess decide it was best to send Pacific Princess back to the local fleet?
Pacific Princess has always been a firm favourite amongst Australians, and so the opportunity to bring the ship awarded “best small-mid ship” by Cruise Critic cruisers in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 was something we were keen to see.
A small ship complements the range of itineraries we’re currently offering by giving us even more destination options including some places that large and mid-sized ships can’t visit.
For example, Pacific Princess will sail to Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands making Princess Cruises’ maiden visit to Madang, Wewak and Gizo Island.
Pacific Princess will also sail to New Zealand’s most beautiful ports including Princess’ first cruise from Australia to Stewart Island in the south.
It also meant we could add even more long voyages to our program with our three mid-sized ships – Sea, Sun and Island Princess – already offering world cruise itineraries in 2020/21.
3. Have any changes been made on board since she was last in the market?
Pacific Princess underwent a significant refurbishment in 2017.
Enhancements included the addition of the new livery hull design, Princess Luxury Beds in every stateroom to ensure gets have the best sleep at sea, refreshed staterooms including the new Club Class Mini-Suites, four refurbished dining venues and an updated Atrium and pool deck.
4. Which city will she be based in & how does this play into Princess’ growth plans in the market?
Pacific Princess will be based in Sydney and join Majestic Princess, Regal Princess, Sapphire Princess, Sun Princess and Sea Princess for the 2020-21 Summer Season.
This means we’ll have a third of the Princess fleet based Down Under over the 2020-21 summer which speaks to the incredible potential we continue to see in the Australian cruise market. Australians spend more nights on Princess ships than they do on any other cruise line so adding a sixth ship.
5. Despite ongoing issues with capacity at Australia’s, specifically Sydney’s, ports, Princess has managed to find room for more and more ships – how have you managed to achieve this?
We have an incredible team of experienced itinerary planners, and we managed to develop this deployment using slots that were available at the magnificent White Bay terminal.
6. Can we expect a seventh ship for the 2021/22 season?
We are yet to finalise our 2021/2022 season so stay tuned!
- READ: Pacific Princess returns to Aus for HUGE 20/21 season
- READ: MedallionClass cruises are coming to Australia
- READ: Wackiest & awesome cruise themes around the world
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