From the jeweled palaces of Bangkok and the grandeur of China's Great Wall to the unique wildlife of Tasmania and the towering fjords of New Zealand, each year Princess passengers delight in the many unique destinations offered on cruises to Asia and Australia/New Zealand. The 2008-09 season will be no exception as the line will once again return to these exotic destinations with a full program of sailings, aboard the amenity-filled Diamond Princess. In addition, Sun Princess and Dawn Princess will be based in Australia for a series of unique voyages.
In total, Princess will now offer more than double the Australia and New Zealand capacity of any other cruise line, and will feature more capacity in Asia on voyages longer than 10 days.
The 116,000-ton Diamond Princess will offer 16 Asia and Australia/New Zealand sailings with a choice of five different itineraries traveling to some of the region's most intriguing ports. The season features more departures on the favorite Southeast Asia and China itinerary, and offers several spring sailings in addition to the traditional fall cruise options - representing a 33 percent increase in Asia capacity. A passenger favorite, Diamond Princess will be the largest and most feature-rich vessel sailing in the region, with more than 50 percent of staterooms offering a private balcony, perfect for enjoying the dramatic harbor views found on these itineraries.
Rounding out the program with new options, Sun Princess and Dawn Princess will sail between Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific and Asia, including an expanded series of cruises around the continent and new home ports in Melbourne and Perth.
"The wonder of Asia and beauty of Australia continue to delight our passengers year after year," said Jan Swartz, Princess' senior vice president of customer service and sales. "We're dedicated to providing our passengers with these rich exotic itineraries that never fail to create memories that last a lifetime."
Australia & New Zealand - Diamond Princess sails on Princess' classic 12-day Australia & New Zealand itinerary between Sydney and Auckland. The ship offers six sailings between December 12, 2008 and February 10, 2009 that visit Melbourne, Hobart (Tasmania), Dunedin, Christchurch, Tauranga and offer scenic cruising through the dramatic Fiordland National Park.
Southeast Asia & China - Diamond Princess features more sailings on this popular 16-day route between Beijing and Bangkok that includes calls at Nagasaki, Shanghai, Okinawa, Taipei, Hong Kong, Nha Trang (Vietnam), Ho Chi Minh City and Singapore. The ship offers six departures, with fall cruises sailing between October 6 and November 7, 2008, as well as spring sailings between March 14 and April 15, 2009.
Australia & Asia - Two options await passengers who want a glimpse of both the wonders of Asia and the dramatic natural attractions of Australia. The first choice, a 19-day Bangkok to Sydney route features Ho Chi Minh City, Kota Kinabalu (Borneo, Malaysia), Singapore, Darwin, Port Douglas, Airlie Beach (for the Great Barrier Reef), and Brisbane. Diamond Princess heads "Down Under" on this itinerary departing November 23, 2008. In spring, passengers can choose to sail from Sydney to Bangkok on a more southern route, featuring calls in Melbourne, Hobart, Adelaide, Perth, Exmouth, Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City, and Sihanoukville (Cambodia - for Angkor Wat). This enhanced 20-day adventure departs on February 22, 2009.
Alaska & Far East - A 15- and 16-day day voyage across the top of the Pacific, sailing between Anchorage (Whittier) and Beijing as Diamond Princess takes passengers to Kodiak Island, Sapporo (Japan), Vladivostok, Pusan (Korea), Kagoshima and Dalian (China). The ship sails from Anchorage (Whittier) on September 20, 2008, with a return sailing on a 16-day reverse itinerary departing Beijing on May 1, 2009. Both cruises can be combined with a Gulf of Alaska cruise to make a full 22- or 23-day-day journey, or even an extended 31- or 32-day sailing by adding in a Southeast Asia and China cruise as well.
Sun Princess and Dawn Princess Sail From Australia - In addition to Diamond Princess' program, Princess will also offer a series of special Australia-based cruises aboard Sun Princess and Dawn Princess. In what is Princess' largest Australia program yet, these two ships will offer 32 departures with 242 calls to 82 different ports. Sun Princess, which will make its home in Australia year-round, will be joined by Dawn Princess between October 2008 and March 2009 and together they will offer a unique line-up of cruise options including 28-day cruises around Australia, a new 13-day itinerary to New Zealand, and an eight-day voyage to Tasmania, in addition to a selection of other cruises to the South Pacific, Asia and a variety of Australian ports.
Early booking fares for the 12-day Australia/New Zealand sailings on Diamond Princess begin at $1,595 per person, based on double occupancy. Asia sailings on Diamond Princess start at $2,145 for a 16-day