Princess Cruises has unveiled its most extensive Europe season ever for 2011, with more ships, departure choices and itinerary options than in previous years. In total, seven vessels will offer 42 itinerary choices, including seven new routes, with calls at more than 135 ports.
More than half of these ports feature access to notable attractions designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These remarkable places that make up the planet’s cultural and natural heritage range from Italy’s Amalfi Coast and the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg to the birthplace of Apollo on the island of Delos (from Mykonos) and the 16th-century Suleymaniye Mosque (in Istanbul).
In addition, Princess has enhanced overnight offerings to give passengers extra time in fascinating ports throughout Europe, such as Venice, Istanbul, St. Petersburg, Alexandria, Dublin and Edinburgh on various routes.
The line’s 2011 program includes seven new itineraries, offering fresh vacation opportunities in each major cruise region. Among the new routes are an expanded 11-day Scandinavia & Russia itinerary featuring calls in ports such as Oslo, Berlin, Stockholm and a two-day stay in St. Petersburg. The season also features new seven-day Interlude voyages that can be combined for longer sailings, visiting boutique ports in the Mediterranean.
“As a leader in Europe cruises we constantly aim to design an intriguing range of vacation choices, but next year our lineup may really challenge passengers to choose among some outstanding options,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “Whether they want the amenities of a large ship or the intimate experience of a smaller vessel; a short, seven-day getaway or an extended adventure over several weeks, there’s a Princess cruise to match.”
The 2011 Europe program ships and routes:
• Ruby Princess returns with the line’s signature 12-day Grand Mediterranean itinerary and Greek Isles routes.
• Star Princess also cruises the Mediterranean, taking over the 12-day Egypt, Greek Isles and Mediterranean itineraries.
• Emerald Princess returns to Europe with a new 11-day Scandinavia & Russia itinerary including the best of the Baltic region with Princess’ signature two-day experience in St. Petersburg
• Crown Princess sails to the British Isles on two 12-day itinerary options, as well voyages to Norway and Iceland from seven to 12 days.
• Grand Princess offers three new itineraries featuring a selection of Mediterranean and Northern Europe voyages, ranging from seven to 17 days.
• The intimate Ocean Princess offers new seven-day Greek Isles and Mediterranean Interlude itineraries that can be combined into 14-day or longer voyages, giving passengers the opportunity to explore boutique ports such as Cephalonia in Greece, and Koper, Slovenia.
• Small sister ship Pacific Princess sails to the Holy Land and Black Sea, and offers experiences in classic destinations such as Egypt, Israel, Ukraine, Greece and Turkey
Overnight Calls and Two-Day Experiences – More itineraries than ever offer passengers more time to explore port highlights and enjoy a more immersive experience. All 12-day Mediterranean voyages have been enhanced to include an overnight stay in Venice, while the 12-day Black Sea & Crimean Coasts route now features an overnight stay in Istanbul. Passengers on 12-day Holy Land voyages can explore more of Egypt and Israel, with calls in two ports in each country. In Northern Europe, overnight calls in Dublin and Edinburgh are featured on select voyages, and 11-day Scandinavia & Russia sailings offer two full days in St. Petersburg on every voyage.
New ports – Princess ships will add five new European ports this season, including the charming city of Aahus, home to the tallest cathedral in Denmark; Motril (for Grenada), on Spain’s beautiful coast of Andalusia and within reach of the stunning Alhambra palace; the Mediterranean port of Sete, France; the resort city of Aghios Nikolaos on Crete (Greece), and cosmopolitan Antwerp, Belgium.
Mediterranean and Greek Isles – Princess ships offer 21 different itineraries through the storied waters of the Mediterranean, including six new routes. Both Ruby Princess and Star Princess will offer the line’s signature Grand Mediterranean and Greek Isles itineraries, as well as Egypt & Aegean sailings, giving passengers 30 different cruises to choose from in the Mediterranean. Grand Princess offers roundtrip voyages from Southampton to the Western Mediterranean, including new Canary Isles and Mediterranean & Adriatic sailings.
Seven-Day Interlude Voyages – Ocean Princess offers the small ship experience on a number of Mediterranean options, including new week-long Interlude voyages that are specially designed so they can be combined into longer 14- or 21-day sailings without repeating a port.
Holy Land and Black Sea – Pacific Princess also offers an intimate cruise experience as it sails to the unforgettable ports of the Holy Land, plus Mediterranean Collection voyages and a Black Sea & Crimean Coasts itinerary.
Scandinavia & Russia – Emerald Princess returns to the Baltic region to debut a rich new 11-day itinerary that features the best of the region with calls in Oslo, the new port of Aarhous (Denmark), Berlin, Tallinn, a two-day experience in St. Petersburg, Helsinki, and Stockholm.
Northern Europe – A selection of 14 different itinerary options throughout Northern Europe offers passengers cruise options to the British Isles, Norwegian fjords, and even Iceland and Greenland. A new seven-day Norwegian Fjords Interlude adds to a lineup that includes sailings from Southampton aboard Crown Princess, Grand Princess and Ocean Princess; plus the opportunity to travel on top-of-the-world voyages aboard Ocean Princess to explore the beauty of Iceland and Greenland, or sail on a week-long Ireland & Scotland Interlude.
Princess also offers three European cruisetours which combine certain sailings with a fully-escorted land tour to explore the Italian destinations of Rome and Florence, Ireland’s wild west and the breathtaking Ring of Kerry, or the imperial treasures in Budapest, Vienna, Prague and Berlin.
The 2011 Princess Europe season opens for bookings on March 25, 2010. Launch Fares for seven-day Europe sailings start at $1,199 per person, based on double occupancy.