Whether travelers choose to explore the beaches and colorful islands of the Caribbean, enjoy the warm welcoming culture of the Mexican Riviera, or marvel at the dramatic Panama Canal, Princess Cruises offers a wide array of options for tropical getaways to some of the most popular warm weather destinations in the fall 2010 to spring 2011 cruise season.
With the convenience of close-to-home departure points, these just-announced itineraries present many vacation options in the balmy tropics. In the Caribbean, passengers can choose a variety of itinerary options, many featuring the private beach of Princess Cays, including week-long getaways, 10-day sailings or full 14-day island explorations. Along the Mexican Riviera, passengers can sail from Los Angeles or San Francisco to some of the area’s most popular resort regions. And, those wishing to experience the engineering marvel of the Panama Canal can choose from a convenient round-trip voyage or experience the drama of a full canal transit, including extra time in Panama with a Two-Day Canal Experience.
“There are so many ways to escape the winter cold or the everyday grind and enjoy the warmth and relaxation of a tropical getaway,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “These destinations offer romance, interesting cultures, active pursuits, relaxing beaches, and even the opportunity to witness a historic feat of engineering.”
The line’s tropical getaway options include:
Caribbean – Six Princess ships will visit more than 25 ports throughout the idyllic Caribbean with 14 itinerary choices. The 135 departures include a variety of vacation options exploring the Eastern, Western and Southern Caribbean.
· Ruby Princess/Seven-Day Eastern Caribbean – Ruby Princess takes over sailings to the Eastern Caribbean, with roundtrip cruises from Fort Lauderdale on Sundays. The itinerary features calls at the line’s own Princess Cays, St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Grand Turk. Ruby Princess will offer 28 sailings between October 24, 2010 and May 1, 2011.
· Crown Princess/Seven-Day Western Caribbean – Crown Princess sails on 25 roundtrip seven-day cruises to the Western Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale, visiting Grand Cayman, Roatan, Cozumel and Princess Cays. Crown Princess’ season will run from October 30, 2010 through April 30, 2011. The ship will also offer two special itineraries – a five-day Eastern Caribbean Sampler on December 18, calling at Grand Turk and Princess Cays, and a nine-day Southern Caribbean Holiday sailing to Antigua, Barbados, Dominica, St. Thomas, and Princess Cays departing on December 30.
· Caribbean Princess/Seven-Day Southern Caribbean – Caribbean Princess sails from San Juan on two alternating seven-day itineraries. The Classic Southern Caribbean route sails to the ports of St. Thomas, Tortola, Antigua, St. Lucia and Barbados, while Southern Caribbean Explorer sailings travel to St. Thomas, Dominica, Grenada, Bonaire and Aruba. In total 27 cruises will depart between October 31, 2010 and May 1, 2011. The ship starts the season with an eight-day Bermuda & Eastern Caribbean sailing from New York to San Juan on October 23, 2010, featuring calls at Bermuda, St. Lucia, Antigua and St. Thomas.
· Emerald Princess/10-Day Eastern and Southern Caribbean – For a more in-depth island vacation with the convenience of roundtrip travel from Fort Lauderdale, Emerald Princess offers alternating 10-day roundtrip itineraries – one to the Southern Caribbean and the other to the Eastern Caribbean. The Southern Caribbean Medley itinerary calls at Princess Cays, St. Thomas, Dominica, Grenada, Bonaire and Aruba. The Eastern Caribbean Voyager itinerary offers calls at Antigua, St. Lucia, Barbados, St. Kitts, St. Thomas and Princess Cays. Emerald Princess will offer 23 sailings between September 19, 2010 and April 27, 2011.
· Grand Princess/14-Day Caribbean Collection – Grand Princess offers more islands to explore on a 14-day Caribbean Collection itinerary roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale. The ship sails to Aruba, Curaçao, Grenada, Barbados, St. Vincent, St. Kitts, St. Thomas, Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) and Grand Turk. Grand Princess will offer 15 departures between October 11, 2010 and April 25, 2011.
· Sea Princess/14-Day Sailings from Barbados – Sea Princess will offer a series of alternating 14-day Caribbean voyages from Barbados. The Grand Caribbean Islander route feature calls at Tobago, Grenada, Bonaire, Aruba, Grand Cayman, Ocho Rios, Tortola, Antigua, St. Kitts and Dominica. The ship will also offer a Grand Caribbean Adventurer itinerary that features stops at Grenada, Bonaire, Curaçao, Grand Turk, Tortola, St. Maarten, Antigua, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Trinidad. To begin her season, Sea Princess offers a seven-day Southern Caribbean sailing from Fort Lauderdale to Barbados featuring calls at Princess Cays, Tortola, St. Maarten, Martinique and St. Lucia. In spring the ship sails back to Fort Lauderdale from Barbados with a seven-day sailing to Martinique, Dominica, St. Kitts, Tortola and Princess Cays. Sea Princess will sail on 14 departures between October 25, 2010 and April 18, 2011.
Mexican Riviera – Three ships will head “South of the Border” to the fun-filled Mexican Riviera. Cruisers can choose from 37 departures from either Los Angeles or San Francisco.
· Sapphire Princess – Sapphire Princess returns to the sunny Mexican Riviera with 33 departures from the Port of Los Angeles. This popular seven-day roundtrip route takes in favorite Mexico ports with calls in Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlán and Cabo San Lucas. The Sapphire Princess Mexican Riviera season runs from September 25, 2010 to April 30, 2011. The ship will also offer two Baja Sampler sailings, with a four-day cruise to Santa Barbara and Ensenada on December 18, 2010 and a three-day voyage with a call in Ensenada departing on January 5, 2011.
· Sea Princess – Sea Princess will offer one roundtrip sailing from the “City by the Bay,” San Francisco, with a 10-day cruise to Catalina, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlán, Cabo San Lucas and San Diego, departing on September 29, 2010.
· Star Princess – Star Princess sails on 11-day roundtrip Mexican Riviera voyages from San Francisco featuring calls at Acapulco, Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas. The ship offers three departures on April 8, 19 and 30, 2011.
Panama Canal – One of the world’s greatest wonders, the Panama Canal changed shipping routes forever when it first connected the Atlantic and Pacific oceans in 1914. One of the pioneers of Canal cruising, Princess offers a variety of different ways to experience this “must see” feat of engineering. Passengers can choose a convenient 10-day round-trip voyage, a 10-day full transit cruise or an extended 15-day sailing featuring the line’s Two-Day Canal Experience – a full Canal transit plus a day with the ship anchored at Fuerte Amador, on the Canal’s Pacific side. Passengers can take advantage of this extra day in Panama to enjoy a variety of shore excursion options including the Panama Canal Railway, Panama City, Soberania National Park Rainforest or a visit to an authentic Embera Indian Village.
· Panama Canal with Two-Day Experience – Coral Princess, Island Princess and Sea Princess will give passengers additional time to explore Panama with 15-day sailings between Fort Lauderdale and Los Angeles or San Francisco. In addition to the Canal transit and additional Panama call at Fuerte Amador, the ships visit Cabo San Lucas, Acapulco, Huatulco, Puntarenas (Costa Rica), Cartagena and Aruba. A total of 13 sailings run between Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale, while five similar sailings travel between San Francisco and Fort Lauderdale (one 16-day sailing also includes a call in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua). Departures are offered between September 21, 2010 and May 4, 2011.
· Full Transit Sailings – The 10-day Panama Canal Adventurer route between Fort Lauderdale and Acapulco offers a full Canal transit plus visits to Ocho Rios, Fuerte Amador or Cristobal, Costa Rica (Puntarenas), Nicaragua (San Juan del Sur) and Huatulco. Coral Princess offers six sailings on this route, with departures between October 6, 2010 and April 24, 2011.
· Roundtrip Panama Canal – Coral Princess and Island Princess will sail on this classic 10-day itinerary from Fort Lauderdale, which offers a partial Panama Canal transit to Gatun Lake followed by a call in Cristobal, plus calls in the Caribbean ports of Aruba, Cartagena, Limon (Costa Rica) and Ocho Rios. The ships offer 16 departures between October 26, 2010 and April 4, 2011.
Panama Canal sailings are currently open for booking, and Caribbean and Mexican Riviera cruises will be available starting June 11, 2009. Launch Fares for seven-day Caribbean and Mexican Riviera sailings start at $569 per person, and 10-day Panama Canal cruise fares begin at $1,199 per person, based on double occupancy.