SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (March 29, 2007) — An unprecedented selection of European cruises awaits Princess passengers in 2008, presenting travelers with a delightful dilemma. Should they luxuriate among the sun-drenched shores of the Greek Islands, or lose themselves in the splendor of a czar’s palace? Do they want to walk where gladiators once marched or hike through rugged highlands? Marvel at the pyramids of Egypt or kiss the Blarney Stone? Explore the Holy Land, Black Sea or Arctic Circle?
Princess’ 2008 season offers something for every European explorer’s wish list, with six ships callings at over 115 ports throughout the continent — more than ever before. Eight new ports debut — including such untouched locales as Albania — as well as five new itineraries, including a new Classical Europe option that combines the best of Scandinavia/Russia with the Mediterranean in a single cruise — so that for the first time travelers won’t have to choose between visiting St. Petersburg or Florence.
Next year Princess features its largest fleet in the region, with six vessels — from 670 to 3,070 passengers — sailing on 87 departures of 32 unique itineraries, ranging from seven to 23 days in length. The Europe season begins April 12 and runs through November 28, 2008.
Two ships make their European debuts — Crown Princess, which brings extra capacity to favorite Scandinavia/Russia itineraries, and Pacific Princess, which offers an intimate cruise experience throughout the Mediterranean, including a significant increase in Holy Land sailings. In addition, Royal Princess returns with an all-new schedule and Emerald Princess’ sails once again throughout the Mediterranean and Greek Isles, Grand Princess showcases both Northern Europe and the Mediterranean, and Sea Princess sails on a selection of one- and two-week Mediterranean and Northern Europe itineraries from Southampton.
“Exploring Europe with Princess is the perfect way to see these dream destinations, with visits to both the marquee â€˜must see’ treasures of the continent as well as a number of unique, out-of-the-way places,” said Jan Swartz, Princess’ senior vice president. “Whether our passengers are excited to experience the glory of Rome or be the only person on their block to have visited Albania, our program offers more choices than ever for the perfect European escape.”
Eight new ports will tempt those with a yearning for adventure, including Sarande, Albania featuring the remains of the ancient Greek and Roman city of Butrint and the Ottoman town of Gjirokastra, the nation’s two UNESCO World Heritage Sites; Dartmouth, a charming seaside town at the heart of Devon in the UK; Harwich, a convenient alternative port for visits to London; Bornholm (RÃ¸nne), a scenic Danish island; and Scrabster in the very north of Scotland, a convenient jumping off point for visits to the Scottish Highlands and the charming Castle of Mey. Passengers on transatlantic sailings will also be able to explore new ports on the way to or from Europe with visits to Banjul, capital of The Gambia offering wildlife sightings, colorful markets and intriguing local villages; Horta, a small village in the Portuguese Azores Islands; and St. Anthony, Newfoundland, offering an opportunity to go whale watching or visit Viking ruins at L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site, another UNESCO site thought to be one of the earliest European settlements in North America.
Princess’ 2008 Europe season includes:
- Royal Princess Classical Europe — Royal Princess combines an intimate 710-passenger cruising experience with a schedule of three all-new itineraries, including a sailing to the best of classical Europe between Stockholm and Rome and two extended transatlantic sailings.
- Pacific Princess’ Elite Mediterranean and Holy Land — The 680-passenger Pacific Princess makes its Mediterranean debut by taking over many of Royal Princess’ itineraries to unique places such as Albania, Croatia, Montenegro and Bulgaria, and featuring the line’s most sailings ever to the Holy Land.
- Emerald Princess in the Mediterranean — Emerald Princess returns for a second season offering her 3,070 passengers the opportunity to enjoy Princess’ favorite Mediterranean and Greek Isles itineraries, including its signature Grand Mediterranean route and two different choices for luxuriating in the sunny islands of the Aegean.
- Grand Princess in Northern Europe, Mediterranean and Egypt — Offering one of the most diverse schedules, the 2,600-passenger Grand Princess not only offers cruises through the dramatic Norwegian Fjords, the remote beauty of Iceland and the charming British Isles, but it also heads for the wonders of Egypt, the lovely Greek Isles and some of the most sought-after ports in the Mediterranean.
- Crown Princess in Scandinavia & Russia — The 3,070-passenger Crown Princess makes her European debut with sailings to these favorite destinations. With two itinerary options, passengers can choose to visit Oslo or Berlin in addition to the highlights of Scandinavia and two full days in St. Petersburg.
- Sea Princess from Southampton — Sea Princess again offers her 1,950 passengers a series of different one- and two-week voyages with convenient roundtrip departures from Southampton. Travelers will visit the Mediterranean, Iberian Peninsula and Scandinavia with these popular itineraries.
Passengers can add to their European adventure with a choice of cruisetour options offered in conjunction with Grand Princess, Emerald Princess, Crown Princess and Pacific Princess sailings. These fully escorted tours include “Under the Tuscan Sun,” highlighting Florence, Siena and Milan; “Cathedrals and Castles of Imperial Europe,” featuring four capitals — Budapest, Vienna, Prague and Berlin; and the “Ring of Kerry,” with visits to Shannon, Killarney and Cork. All tours are designed to mesh seamlessly with Princess’ cruise itineraries for a complete land/sea vacation.
Early booking fares for Europe cruises start at $1,640 per person, based on double occupancy.
For full itinerary information on Princess’ 2008 Europe season, click .