Princess will offer its most extensive European season to date in 2009, featuring more sailings and new opportunities for cruisers to explore everything from the romantic waters of the Mediterranean and Greek Isles to cosmopolitan capitals and the stunning scenery of the continent's northern reaches.
Ruby Princess and Tahitian Princess make their European debuts on a season that features nine new itineraries and 11 new ports of call. Travelers not only can choose to explore the historic highlights of the Mediterranean and Greek Isles aboard Ruby Princess, but can choose from a variety of new sailing options aboard the intimate Tahitian Princess, including a series of 18-day mid-summer "Top of the World" itineraries between New York and London that feature Iceland and Greenland. The season also features 50 percent more departures to the historic Holy Land.
In total, Princess' 2009 Europe program features a six-ship fleet sailing on 90 voyages of 36 different itineraries to 132 ports and destinations. Sailing choices range from seven to 31 days, during a season that runs from April 10 to November 30. Cruises open for sale on March 14, 2008.
"Whether passengers are exploring the wonders of iconic places like Rome and Venice for the first time, or a veteran traveler looking for a new discovery, Princess' Europe program has always offered a wealth of cruise choices, and our 2009 schedule is no exception," said Jan Swartz, Princess senior vice president. "Our next season offers so many exciting options, from time-tested favorites such as the brilliant Greek Isles to intriguing new destinations in far-flung reaches such as Iceland."
Princess' six-ship fleet not only offers a diverse choice of ships - ranging from 670- to 3,070-passenger options - but also a variety of destinations. In addition to the Ruby Princess and Tahitian Princess European debuts, Emerald Princess will take over the popular Scandinavia & Russia itineraries, Crown Princess will sail to Northern Europe, the British Isles and the Mediterranean. Grand Princess will cruise to the Mediterranean from London as well as the Greek Isles and Egypt, and Royal Princess will embark on journeys to the Holy Land, Mediterranean and Black Sea.
Eleven new ports debut, offering some intriguing new options for world explorers. They include Sochi, a Russian resort city on the eastern shores of the Black Sea which will be home to the 2014 Olympics; Murmansk (Russia), the largest city north of the Arctic Circle; Luleå (Sweden), the gateway to Lapland, located in the Gulf of Bothnia; Mariehamn (Finland), a charming destination on Åland Island, between Sweden and Finland; Klaipeda (Lithuania), Lithuania's primary seaport; Barrow, for visits to England's picturesque Lake District; Seydisfjordur (Iceland), noted for its picturesque community of well-preserved wooden buildings; Grundarfjordur (Iceland), known for dramatic natural beauty, particularly the impressive Snæfellsjökull Glacier; Kristiansand, a historic Norwegian seaport; Ceuta, an autonomous Spanish city in Morocco; and St. Pierre et Miquelon, a bit of France off the coast of Newfoundland in Canada.
Princess' 2009 Europe season will feature:
Mediterranean and Greek Isles - Ruby Princess makes her European debut with a season of passenger-favorite sailings through the Mediterranean. These 12-day itinerary options include Princess' classic Grand Mediterranean sailings and two Greek Isles choices that take passengers between the wonders of cities such as Rome and Venice as well as to idyllic Greeks islands such as Santorini, Mykonos and Corfu. The ship offers 13 departures for passengers wishing to explore some of the world's most historic and romantic destinations.
The ship is joined by Grand Princess, which will offer 14-day Mediterranean sailings out of London before heading to the Greek Isles and Egypt to take over the popular 12-day itineraries for the fall season. Crown Princess will also sail the Greek Isles and Mediterranean itineraries, plus a new Grand Mosaic cruise from Lisbon to Rome. Royal Princess' Mediterranean Collection itinerary will offer the opportunity to explore some of the region's smaller boutique ports, such as Portofino, Ravenna and Kotor in Montenegro.
Holy Land and Black Sea - The intimate Royal Princess will offer 12 Holy Land cruises, the most Princess has offered to this revered destination. In addition, the ship will sail on two Crimean & Aegean Coast sailings, exploring a number of Black Sea destinations, including the new port of Sochi in Russia.
Scandinavia & Russia - Emerald Princess sails for the first time on this classic 10-day route, offering two itinerary variations, both featuring two full days to explore the majesty of St. Petersburg. Passengers can choose an itinerary that visits Oslo or an alternate option visiting Berlin plus a new stop in Helsingborg, Sweden. Emerald Princess will sail on a total of 13 of these voyages, taking in the best of Scandinavia's capitals as well as visits to Estonia and Poland. In addition, Grand Princess will offer two shorter week-long Scandinavia sailings from Southampton.
Northern Europe and British Isles - Crown Princess will sail for the first time in this region with 12-day voyages to the charming British Isles, or above the Arctic Circle with cruises to the North Cape, the Norwegian Fjords and Iceland.
Tahitian Princess in Northern Europe - Tahitian Princess introduces a lineup of brand new adventures in Northern Europe and the Baltic Sea, with visits to places such as Iceland, Greenland, Scandinavia, the British Isles, Russia, Latvia and Lithuania. Choices include a new 12-day Emerald Isles & Russian Splendors itinerary between Stockholm and Dublin; an 18-day Land of the Midnight Sun journey above the Arctic Circle that includes calls in Murmansk, Russia and Spitsbergen, Norway; and a Connoisseur's Scandinavia & Russia itinerary traveling to new ports on the Gulf of Bothnia and in Lithuania. In addition, the ship will debut two new 18-day Explorer itineraries between London (Dover) and New York offering an opportunity to experience the intriguing destinations of Iceland and Greenland during the peak summer months. These sailings can be combined into a 36-day roundtrip adventure from New York. The ship also debuts a new 31-day sailing from London to West Africa.
Transatlantic Sailings - Princess offers a variety of nine- to 21-day spring and fall choices for Atlantic crossings that not only visit the highlights of the Mediterranean, Northern Europe and Western Europe, but also Africa, the Amazon and South America.
Passengers can enhance their European travels with a choice of cruisetour options offered in conjunction with many of these sailings. These fully escorted tours are designed to mesh seamlessly with Princess' cruise itineraries for a complete land/sea vacation.
Escape Fares for 10-day Europe sailings start at $1,640 per person, based on double occupancy. Princess' Europe cruises will be the first to offer Captain's Circle Launch Savings, a new discount for past passengers. This $100 per person discount is available to Captain's Circle members who make their Europe bookings by September 30, 2008, and will remain combinable with subsequent promotions.
A full list of itineraries is available at http://www.princess.com/news/article.jsp?newsArticleId=na935.