3/15/2012Princess Cruises Announces 2013 Europe and Alaska Cruise Seasons
New Royal Princess Debuts in Europe;
Grand Princess Makes West Coast Debut with First Alaska Season
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (March 15, 2012) -- Princess Cruises today opened the books on its 2013 Europe and Alaska cruise seasons. Featuring the debut of the new Royal Princess in the Mediterranean and Grand Princess' first-ever Alaska season, passengers will find a rich array of itinerary options in these popular summertime destinations.
In Europe, Princess will be sailing its youngest fleet ever in the region, with seven ships plying the waters of the Mediterranean, Baltic, and Northern Europe. The line's newest ship, Royal Princess, will sail on Princess' popular Grand Mediterranean route, while passengers can take advantage of a variety of other intriguing Europe cruise options across the fleet, including the British Isles, Holy Land, Black Sea and Scandinavia & Russia.
In Alaska, the seven-ship Princess fleet will feature the recently remodeled Grand Princess sailing on its first West Coast summer, with cruises from San Francisco. The fleet will offer the most balcony staterooms in Alaska, perfect for taking in the spectacular scenery, including Glacier Bay to which Princess will again take more passengers than any other cruise line. Alaska visitors can also choose from more than 20 Princess cruisetour options, all featuring the state's number one land attraction -- Denali National Park.
"With seven-ship fleets in both regions, passengers have an abundance of choice to explore either one of our classic summer destinations," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. "Whether they choose the variety of historic and cosmopolitan ports of Europe or the amazing wildlife and stunning glaciers of Alaska, we have the perfect itinerary to take them there."
The 2013 Europe program features seven ships sailing on 60 itineraries with 124 departures to 135 destinations:
Mediterranean -- In addition to Princess' classic itineraries -- Grand Mediterranean and Greek Isles -- Ruby Princess will debut three new seven-day Mediterranean routes sailing from Venice, Athens or Rome, that can be combined into 14- or 21-day voyages.
Holy Land -- Princess remains the leader in Holy Land departures with 13 cruises aboard Pacific Princess, including opportunities for overland exploration in Israel and Egypt.
Baltic Sea -- Three unique itineraries offer more choices than ever for sailings in the Baltic Sea, including visits to intriguing ports in Scandinavia and Russia. Emerald Princess will sail on the line's 11-day roundtrip voyage from Copenhagen, while Ocean Princess and Crown Princess will offer 14-day itineraries. Ocean Princess' Scandinavia & Russia Collection route features some unique ports of call, including Riga in Latvia and Klaipeda in Lithuania. All three options include the 2-day Experience in St. Petersburg for more time in this historic Russian city.
Northern Europe -- Ocean Princess debuts a new 14-day Iceland & Norway itinerary that visits off-the-beaten-path ports in Iceland, as well as a maiden call to Klaksvik in the Faroe Islands. Caribbean Princess and Crown Princess will also offer cruises to the northern reaches, including the Norwegian Fjords, Iceland and Greenland.
British Isles -- Princess will offer more departures on British Isles sailings with two itinerary options -- a 12-day route on Caribbean Princess from Southampton and an eight-day option from Dover aboard Ocean Princess. Six of these departures will include the opportunity to attend the famed Military Tattoo in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Black Sea -- Pacific Princess will offer more departures on the Black Sea route, for a total of three cruises on this intriguing itinerary which includes a 2-day Experience in Istanbul.
New Ports: Maiden calls for the season include Toulon, France for Provence; Bourdeaux (Le Verdon), France; Heraklion, Greece on the island of Crete; Trapani, Italy on Sicily; Milford Haven, Wales; Kirkeness, Norway; Klaksvik, Faroe Islands; and Skjolden, Norway.
Cruisetours: Princess also offers three European cruisetours which combine certain sailings with a fully-escorted land tour to explore some classic Italian destinations, Ireland's wild west and the breathtaking Ring of Kerry, the remarkable Swiss Alps and Lake Como, or the imperial treasures in Budapest, Vienna, Prague and Berlin.
Voyage of the Glaciers -- The line's signature Gulf of Alaska route between Vancouver and Whittier (for Anchorage) features two glacier-viewing experiences on every sailing, with visits to Glacier Bay National Park plus either Hubbard Glacier or College Fjord. Ships also call at Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway. Diamond Princess and the recently remodeled Sapphire Princess sail on Saturdays, Island Princess offers Monday departures and Coral Princess sails on Wednesdays for a total of 72 sailing choices between May 13 and September 18, 2013.
Inside Passage from Seattle -- Golden Princess and Star Princess offer convenient weekend departures on two different seven-day roundtrip itineraries from Seattle along the scenic Inside Passage. Both visit Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Victoria, B.C., and passengers will enjoy dramatic glacier viewing in either Glacier Bay National Park (Star Princess) or Tracy Arm (Golden Princess). The two ships will sail on 38 departures between May 11 and September 15, 2013.
Inside Passage from Vancouver -- Island Princess and Sapphire Princess each offer a sailing on this seven-day roundtrip cruise from Vancouver, taking in Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan plus glacier viewing in Glacier Bay National Park. Island Princess sails on September 16 and Sapphire Princess departs on September 21.
Inside Passage from San Francisco -- Grand Princess' first Alaska season features sailings from the "City by the Bay" on 10-day roundtrip cruises. The ship offers 13 voyages from San Francisco featuring the scenery of Glacier Bay National Park or Tracy Arm, with calls at Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan and Victoria (with some sailings substituting Haines, Sitka or Icy Strait Point). Departures sail between May 10 and September 7, 2013.
Denali Explorer -- Princess' most popular cruisetour option, Denali Explorer packages feature multiple nights at the line's Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge and/or Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, plus the exclusive Direct-to-the-Wilderness rail service between the Whittier cruise terminal and the dramatic Denali National Park area. Most also offer the opportunity to explore Fairbanks or Anchorage.
On Your Own -- An affordable option for independent-minded travelers, these tours offer a flexible way to see the Heart of Alaska. Tours do not include any pre-planned excursions, giving travelers time to create their own experience.
Off the Beaten Path -- For those who want to explore Denali and beyond, these tours offer options to the Kenai Peninsula with stays at Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge or Wrangell-St. Elias National Park with stays at Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge. Passengers can even choose to venture to the state's far north into the Arctic Circle and Prudhoe Bay.
Connoisseur -- These cruisetour options offer the services of a professional tour director and additional time for passengers to experience the Great Land. Offering the highest level of service, these tours include most meals and enhanced sightseeing options as well.
Full details of the Europe and Alaska schedules can be found in Princess' new downloadable overview brochures for Alaska, Mediterranean and Northern Europe.