SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (November 14, 2006) – In a historic first for Princess Cruises, the 3,100-passenger Emerald Princess and 710-passenger Royal Princess will formally join the fleet in an unprecedented dual christening ceremony, set against the brilliant blue waters of the Greek island of Santorini. The simultaneous namings will take place on May 12, 2007 and will be the first double ship launch for Princess.
The unique naming event, featuring one of the line’s largest and smallest vessels, will underscore the range of ship choice found throughout the Princess fleet, which includes three intimately sized ships. The modern Emerald Princess, an amenity-filled sister ship to the line’s largest vessels, will offer a dramatic contrast to Royal Princess, less than a quarter of the size and offering passengers a true small-ship experience. Both ships begin sailing in Europe this April on a series of Mediterranean itineraries, featuring a variety of sought-after and unique destinations, including the Greek isles, Crimean Coast, Egypt and the Holy Land, and a number of new ports on the Adriatic Sea.
The event also marks the first cruise ship christening held in the idyllic Greek isle’s waters. Santorini, recently voted by Travel & Leisure magazine as Europe’s top island, is a featured call on five Princess itineraries. Both Emerald Princess and Royal Princess will make regular visits to this picturesque island throughout the Europe cruise season.
“These two ships represent the full scope of our fleet – from large to small – and it will be a wonderful contrast to launch them together at the same time,” said Jan Swartz, Princess’ senior vice president of customer service and sales. “And because we’re renowned for our wide-ranging worldwide itineraries to exciting places, we’re excited to celebrate this historic event in such a fabulous port.”
The two new ships will both offer passengers the best of Europe with a variety of cruise experiences and itineraries. Emerald Princess will sail to the most sought-after ports in the Mediterranean, featuring the region’s most popular and historic destinations. Royal Princess’ boutique cruise experience is the perfect complement to its series of “Elite” itineraries, taking advantage of the ship’s small size to introduce four unusual new ports to Princess’ worldwide lineup.
Emerald Princess – The 113,000-ton Emerald Princess, a sister ship to the new Crown Princess, will be the line’s first ship to begin its life cruising from Rome’s seaport, the town of Civitavecchia. Emerald Princess’ first cruise, a 12-day Greek Isles itinerary, will set sail on April 11 on a voyage to Venice taking passengers to some of the most scenic spots in the Mediterranean and Aegean. Thereafter the ship will offer a series of Greek Isles and Grand Mediterranean cruises before repositioning to Ft. Lauderdale for Caribbean sailings in the fall.
Emerald Princess will include the many new design innovations introduced aboard Crown Princess earlier this year, including a dramatic piazza-style atrium and an adults-only retreat called The Sanctuary. The ship will also feature the many hallmark features that define the Princess experience, such as the dramatic Movies Under the Stars poolside movie screen, multiple dining and entertainment options, a Lotus Spa fitness center, an extensive children and teen’s center, a wedding chapel and nearly 900 staterooms with private balconies.
Royal Princess – Princess will expand its fleet with an intimately sized sister vessel to the line’s popular Tahitian Princess and Pacific Princess. The 710-passenger Royal Princess takes the name of a much-beloved former Princess ship, and joins the fleet on April 19 with a series of unique Europe cruises. The 30,000-ton ship originally entered service in 2001 as a Renaissance vessel (named R8) and is currently cruising as Swan Hellenic’s Minerva II. After a drydock to transform the ship into a “princess,” Royal Princess will join its sisters to give passengers a cruising environment with all the hallmarks of choice for which Princess is known, including a variety of dining and entertainment options and a large number of cabins with private balconies.
Royal Princess will offer globetrotters the opportunity to add some interesting new destinations to their travels with a series of 12-day Elite Mediterranean cruises to a variety of unusual destinations. These five unique new itineraries, including Princess’ first sailings to the Holy Land in more than five years, also feature the new ports of Ravenna, Italy; Split, Croatia; Kotor, Montenegro; and Canakkale (for Troy), Turkey – all UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Other unique destinations include Corsica and Sardinia, and the Crimean coast.
Further details on this historic naming ceremony will be released in coming months. Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company’s website at www.princess.com.