Princess Cruises has announced that its superliner Sea Princess will be based in Australia over the 2011-12 cruise season, taking the size of the locally based Princess fleet to an unprecedented four ships.
Sailing from Sydney between October 2011 and March 2012, the 77,000-ton Sea Princess will offer cruises to New Zealand, Japan and Tasmania.
She will join Dawn Princess, Sun Princess and Sapphire Princess in sailing Australian waters.
Sea Princess’ move to Sydney means that the popular Sun Princess will head north to Brisbane from September 2011 until February 2012, becoming the first Princess Cruises’ ship to be based in the Queensland capital.
Sun Princess’ cruises from Brisbane will include seven two-week sojourns to New Zealand, two 11-night South Pacific cruises to Fiji and an exciting new 41-night voyage to Asia, featuring visits to Brunei, Vietnam, Japan and China including Beijing.
Meanwhile, Dawn Princess will return to Melbourne for another summer season, offering cruises to New Zealand, around Australia and to Tahiti and Hawaii.
Announcing Princess’ expansion in Australia, Princess Cruises President Alan Buckelew said Australian interest in Princess Cruises’ ships was at an all-time high.
“Since Princess Cruises based its first superliner, Sun Princess, in Australian waters full time in late 2007, it’s been clear that Australians love the cruise line’s relaxed style of cruising as well as the exotic destinations that it offers,” Buckelew said.
“Dawn Princess debuted full time in Australia in late 2008 and has been just as successful as Sun Princess, so we think the time is right to introduce their sister ship, Sea Princess, into the Australian market.
“Meanwhile Sapphire Princess, the youngest ship to be deployed in Australian waters, attracts a large number of Australians and Americans on its trans-Tasman voyages each summer.”
A sister ship to Dawn Princess and Sun Princess, Sea Princess first debuted in the Princess fleet in 1998. She carries 1990 passengers and offers 975 staterooms, including more than 400 with private balconies. Her other features include two showlounges, four pools, two main restaurants, a steakhouse, pizzeria and 24-hour cafÃ© as well as a giant poolside moviescreen.