This summer Princess passengers in Europe have 110 new ways to enjoy their ports of call, whether they explore Stockholm by rooftop for the ultimate bird’s eye view, go on a treasure hunt through the ruins of Herculaneum or streets of Dubrovnik, take an overnight train to Moscow, or explore on their own with the help of an iPod.
These new options add to Princess’ extensive lineup of 849 Adventures Ashore® throughout Europe -- including sailings in Scandinavia and Russia, where they can go aboard a Finish icebreaker; the Mediterranean, which serves up experiences such as a three-course pasta party; and Northern Europe and the British Isles where passengers can explore one of the Concords from the era of supersonic flight. The line also introduces new iPod-guided walking tours in a number of cities, plus begins offering a series of Personalized Experience tours featuring smaller group sizes.
“We are always on the lookout for new and intriguing experiences for our passengers throughout the world, and this summer’s European season is no exception,” said Jan Swartz, Princess senior vice president. “There are some exciting new choices, with fun options for so many kinds of passengers, whether they’re active travelers, explorers, sports fans, kids or gourmets.”
Some selected highlights of the new tour options include:
New Ways to Tour – For passengers who want to set their own pace or those who enjoy a more personalized tour, two new tour options are available in several ports:
Grab an iPod and Go –The convenience of a do-it-yourself day combined with the expertise of a recorded guide. These walking tours offer the use of a pre-loaded iPod for the day as well as a customized map. Travelers can set their own pace as they listen to a detailed narration about the area’s most important points of interest, and can follow a suggested walk route or create their own adventure. Walking tours are available in Amalfi, Athens, Barcelona, Cannes, Capri, Corfu, Dubrovnik, Florence, Lisbon, Monte Carlo, Mykonos, Pisa, Portofino, Rhodes, Rome, and Sorrento.
Personalized Experiences – Visitors to Berlin, Florence/Pisa, Naples or Rome can opt for a more intimate shore excursion option with a new Personalized Experience tour, featuring smaller tour groups and the opportunity for more personal interaction with thetour’s guide. Personalized Experience tours feature Berlin of the 20th Century; Florence & Pisa; Amalfi Coastal Drive & Pompeii; and Rome, The Eternal City
Grand Overland –Overland tours offer the opportunity to go further afield to visit cities and attractions away from the port area. This new choice adds a Moscow option to select Scandinavia and Russia voyages:
Travel to Moscow (Helsinki, Finland to St. Petersburg, Russia) – PRINCESS EXCLUSIVE – This new Grand Overland Tour to Helsinki, Moscow and St. Petersburg offers the opportunity to visit three cities in one tour, including a unique chance to visit the heart of Russia in Moscow. Visitors will tour Helsinki before traveling overnight by train to Moscow, where they will spend a full day and attend a ballet performance. Another overnight train takes them meet back up with their ship in St. Petersburg with time to visit the city’s spectacular palaces and museums.
Other Grand Overland Adventures – In addition to the new Moscow trip, there are a variety of other opportunities to travel overland for a day or two to see parts of Europe and the Holy Land further away from the port. Other Grand Overland tours are available to experience Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Galilee as well as the pyramids and antiquities of Egypt.
Distinctive Options – From treasure hunting and climbing rooftops to tours through some remarkable forms of transportation, Princess carries a variety of unusual tours:
Exploring Stockholm by Rooftop (Stockholm, Sweden) – For a view of Stockholm like no other, passengers can set out on a rooftop tour to see the city from 140 feet above street level. Participants are buckled into safety harnesses before they step out onto the roof of the city’s Old Parliament Building, where they will navigate the narrow, iron-railed path of the rooftop as a guide narrates stories of Stockholm and points out the views.
Hunt for Treasure (Dubrovnik, Croatia; Naples, Italy) – Travelers in Dubrovnik and Naples can add a new twist to their touring by participating in a treasure hunt. Passengers can search for hidden treasure through the streets of Dubrovnik or the ruins of Herculaneum. Teams are given tasks in the search of clues and points that will take them to some of the area’s most famous landmarks and sights. At the end, the most successful team will win a prize.
Finnish Icebreakers (Helsinki, Finland) – PRINCESS EXCLUSIVE – Ice breakers are a neccessity to keep Finish ports open in the winter. Passengers can go behind the scenes of these unique vessels with a guided tour of one of two icebreakers – “Urho” or “Sisu.” A senior fleet officer will guide visitors through the bridge, engine room, mess hall and crews’ quarters.
The Concorde Experience (Edinburgh, Scotland) – Supersonic Concorde aircraft may no longer cross the Atlantic in record time, but passengers can still experience one of these rare planes with a visit to Scotland’s National Museum of Flight. Here, the ‘Concorde Experience’ includes exhibits and multimedia presentations that trace the history of commercial supersonic flight and chronicle the 1960s’ race to build the first SST, culminating in a tour of G-BOAA – the first British Airways Concorde to fly commercially … at over 1350 mph.
Culinary Tours -- For passengers who want to experience a true taste of their destination, the following tours are perfect for traveling gourmets:
A Taste of Bornholm (Bornholm, Denmark) – Passengers can discover why Bornholm is home to the popular TV series “New Scandinavian Cooking” with this tour of the best of the region’s food and drink. Visitors will travel to Lille Gadegaard Vineyard to sample their sparkling fruit wines. Passengers will then visit Hallegard, an 80-acre working farm noted for its fine, organic gourmet sausages. For beer lovers, a visit to Svaneke, a village brewery, offers the opportunity to try their award-winning beer that has won top honors in Denmark. To top off the day, the Siemsens Gaard Hotel offers a tasting of St. Clemens, and award-winning blue.
Bracciano Lake & Pasta Party (Rome, Italy) – Hungry passengers travel to Lake Bracciano in the heart of Etruscan Italy to explore the quaint lakeside resort of Anguillara, and then a special destination in the Tuscia wine country for a pasta-making demonstration followed by a five-course lunch (three courses of pasta!) accompanied by Tuscian wines. Participants can join in or observe as the hosts demonstrate three types of traditional Tuscian pasta – one made solely with flour and water, an egg pasta, and a potato pasta. After the demonstration participants sit down to a five-course gourmet lunch that features the three pastas accompanied by Tuscian wines.
A Taste of Cadiz – (Seville, Spain) – An opportunity to learn the secrets of sherry production at an exclusive bodega. Passnengers will view a demonstration of the blender’s art and sample a range of sherry from fino to amontillado or oloroso. And of course no visit to Andalusia would be complete without tapas to accompany with the sherry, so visitors can also try these appetizer sized ‘little plates.’
Kids, Art Lovers and Sports Fans – Entertaining options for many types of travelers:
Swedish Fairytales (Stockholm, Sweden) – A magical tour for kids – and the young at heart – featuring the Junibacken Museum, where the world of award-winning Astrid Lindgren's well-loved books for children come to life. Visitors can meet characters such as Alfie Atkins, Old Man Festus and Mercury the Cat in Storyboook Square, climb aboard the Story Train for a magical tour through Lindgren's stories, and play in Pippi Longstocking's house, the Villa Villekulla. The tour also includes a visit to Stockholm’s 17th-century warship Vasa, the oldest fully preserved ship in the world.
Venitian Churches Chorus Pass (Venice, Italy) –Passengers have the opportunity to purchase a unique “chorus pass” to 16 of the lagoon city’s most important churches -- and potentially view more than a 1,000 works of art. The Chorus Project, which offers the Chorus Pass, aims to contribute to the safeguarding, conservation and restoration of the architectural and artistic heritage of Venetian churches. Purchase of this pass supports the group’s efforts and entitles passengers to explore the history and faith of the city’s monumental churches and the precious paintings, sculptures, goldsmith’s works and fabrics preserved within them.
The Sporting Life (Dublin, Ireland; Liverpool, England) – Sports fans visiting Dublin or Liverpool can go behind the scenes at the local sport stadiums to learn more about the local sporting life. In Dublin, visit Croke Park Stadium, one of the most historic and modern sporting arenas in the world. Tours takes vistors to the dressing rooms, premium and corporate entertaining levels, service areas, and visitors can even test their own skills in hurling and gaelic football in the interactive games area. In Liverpool, fans can visit Anfield Stadium, home to the Liverpool Football Club, for a behind-the-scenes tour of that explores the player areas plus the club museum and the Champions League Trophy.
Active Tours – Travelers who want to stretch their legs and test their muscles as they tour have two new ways to explore in Finland:
Helsinki by Jopo Bike (Helsinki, Finland) – Passengers can join a Finish rage by touring Helsinki by Finland’s famed Jopo bike – the gearless, unisex red bicycle created back in the ’60s. Jopo bikes are again in fashion, and offer a great way to cycle past many of the city’s points of interest, from the main public beach to the striking Sibelius Monument. During the 10 mile tour, participants will enjoy views of the Opera House from Töölö Bay and see the icebreaker fleet at Katajanokka Island.
Nordic Walking in Finland (Helsinki, Finland) – For another unique way to tour in Helsinki, passengers can try Nordic Walking. Developed in the off-season by Finnish cross-country skiers, Nordic Walking uses specially designed poles to exercise the upper body during a fitness walk. Participants will experience Helsinki in the course of an approximately seven-mile fitness walk that travels to the heart of the city.
Shore excursions can be reserved in advance through the line’s innovative Cruise Personalizer on www.princess.com, providing passengers with the comfort of knowing they’re confirmed on their preferred tours before they sail, plus the added convenience of having their tour tickets ready and waiting in their stateroom on arrival.
Princess’ 2008 Europe season offers something for every explorer’s wish list, with six ships callings at over 115 ports throughout the continent – more than ever before. Eight new ports debut – including such untouched locales as Albania – as well as five new itineraries. Princess’ six-vessel fleet is the largest in the region, offering 87 departures of 32 unique itineraries, ranging from seven to 23 days in length. The Europe season runs through November 28, 2008.