Thursday, 3 September 2009

Going Exotic with Princess

There are plenty of options for voyages that get away from the main cruise areas and offer that 'something different' factor these days. The choice for wonderful, exotic itineraries has literally never been greater.

But few lines offer as wide a variety under one roof, so to speak as Princess Cruises. Their 18-ship fleet now covers just about every corner of the globe, and their latest range of 'Exotic Cruises' is quite mind-boggling.

It features 12 of their fleet on 50 different itineraries, from a grand 108-night World Cruise (on Pacific Princess) to a 12-night Panama Canal transit on Coral Princess (which reminds me to give another plug to the forthcoming Autumn issue of World of Cruising magazine, as it features a major destination overview of the Canal).

Once again, it serves to highlight the absolutely amazing variety and quality of cruise experience on offer in the mainstream cruise world these days, something which was usually only in the preserve of a handful 10 or 15 years ago.

They have already highlighted their array of voyages around the South Pacific and Hawaii in 2010-11. So, let me put the Princess story in full, with their full 'exotic' press release:

1 September – Princess Cruises has today launched its new Exotic Cruises Worldwide programme for 2010 with new itineraries, enhanced sailings andnew ports of call.

With an impressive selection of 12 ships ranging in size from 670 to 3,110 passengers, the cruise line will offer 150 cruises across 50 itineraries. Passengers can enjoy holidays from 12 nights up to the full 108-night World Cruise, across all seven continents, proving Princess is the leader in destination cruising with itineraries designed to please first-time cruisers and experienced travellers alike.

The ships deployed on the itineraries will be equally impressive, with nine that offer ‘Movies under the Stars’, the line's trademark enormous poolside movie screen, and the adult-only oasis of ‘The Sanctuary.' All ships offer a choice of dining venues, such as Sabatini’s Trattoria, the Sterling Steakhouse and Crown Grill.

Princess Cruises also has the highest percentage of balcony cabins compared to any other cruise line sailing the far-flung corners of the globe, providing the ultimate view from which to experience these worldwide destinations.

Highlights of the new Exotic Cruises Worldwide programme are as follows:

Pacific Princess will offer a 108-night world cruise with shorter World Sectors ranging from 22-84 nights in duration and Dawn Princess will feature 12-56 night World Escapes between Sydney and Southampton. Fares start from £12,299 per person on Pacific Princess while a 51-night World Escape cruise on Dawn starts from £4,699 per person.

Increased capacity in the Far East – Ocean Princess and Diamond Princess return to sail these magical destinations, with holidays ranging from 14-26 nights between Singapore and Bangkok, Bangkok and Shanghai and Shanghai to Osaka, with the opportunity to extend the holiday by combining cruises. Fares start from £2,699 per person. Diamond Princess will also sail a NEW 26-night itinerary from Sydney to Beijing, with fares starting from £3,349 per person.

NEW! Panama Marvel – Sea Princess sails a new 25-night holiday from San Francisco to Barbados with fares from £2,149 per person. There’s also the option to enjoy further time in San Francisco with a 2 or 3-night pre-cruise hotel stay from just £99 per person.

Panama Passion – leading the way in Panama, Coral Princess, Island Princess and Sea Princess will offer five exceptional itineraries taking in 18 ports of call and nine different countries as well as a 2-day Panama Canal Experience on cruises of 15-nights or longer. Fares start from £1,829 per person for a full-transit 12-nights on Coral Princess.

South American Sizzle – Star Princess returns for another series of cruises around South America, the Andes and Cape Horn, ranging from 16-22 nights. Fares for a 16-night Cape Horn route to Rio start from £2,299 per person.

‘Fall’ in love with Canada – Crown Princess sails the 11-night Classic Canada and New England itinerary and the 14-night Canada and Colonial America itinerary from Quebec to Fort Lauderdale, with the option to extend the holiday with a 5-day Maple Explorer deluxe pre or post-cruise land tour. Fares for an 11-night fly-cruise start from £1,399 per person.
My good friend Pieter van der Schee, head of Brand Marketing for Princess, puts the case for their Exotic programme, insisting: “Princess Cruises offer many incredible ways to escape the winter months and enjoy the warmth and relaxation of a tropical getaway. These exotic itineraries offer romance, insight into diverse cultures, active pursuits, stunning beaches and even the opportunity to witness a historic marvel ofengineering.”

Oh, and don't forget you can get some pretty good deals on all Princess cruises from The Cruise Line!