SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (April 18, 2007) – Whether travelers want to follow in the steps of “The Godfather” in Sicily, feel like a Nobel Prize winner for a day in Stockholm, or learn how wine was made in ancient Pompeii, Princess offers nearly 200 new shore excursion options to add unforgettable experiences to their European vacation.
The new additions to the line’s comprehensive Adventures AshoreÃ¯Â¿Â½ program offer distinctive options for food enthusiasts, wine and spirit lovers, historians, art aficionados, pilgrimage seekers, race car fans, movie lovers, families and explorers of all kinds. In total, Princess offers a comprehensive lineup of more than 800 intriguing tour choices throughout Europe.
“Whether they want to relax on a dazzling beach in Greece, ‘chill out’ in Stockholm’s Ice Bar or nourish their inner speed demon at the Ferrari and Lamborghini factories in Italy, our passengers may have trouble choosing between all of the wonderful tours debuting this season,” said Bruce Krumrine, Princess’ vice president of shore operations. “Our Europe cruises just keep getting richer with experiences and exploration for our passengers, and this year we’re unveiling a truly remarkable program of excursion options for our guests.”
In addition to the many new tours, this year Princess also debuts a new tool in its shore excursion booklets – a handy “Excursions at a Glance” section. This feature categorizes each port’s tours into one of four types – Explorer (full-day tours), Traveler (half-day excursions), Adventurer (for active travelers) and Elite & Overland (Elite Collection tours offer an intimate group setting, while Overland tours offer unique, multi-day experiences). Found in the front of each Europe shore excursion booklet, this chart offers an easy way for passengers to choose which tours best fit their plans for each port day.
Among the many new tours debuting this season are:
Unique Experiences – Several tours offer unusual opportunities to experience something different:
Be a Nobel Prize Winner for a Day in Stockholm – For those enchanted by the idea of winning an illustrious Nobel Prize, this private tour includes a visit to the Nobel Museum in Stockholm’s original Stock Exchange building, following the path of history for Nobel Laureates. An exclusive lunch is served in the intimate City Hall Cellar Restaurant, recreating the most recent menu presented to the Nobel prizewinners, right down to the same table settings.
Commune with Italian Racing Legends Ferrari & Lamborghini (Ravenna) – Fans of fast cars have a unique opportunity to visit the sacred ground of motor sports: the factory museums at Ferrari and Lamborghini. Visitors will explore the history of both premier automakers as well as view historic and exotic cars. In addition, lunch is served in the famous Ferrari Restaurant near the factory grounds.
Choose Your Sport in Finland (Helsinki) – Active travelers can choose their perfect sport on the triple-option Haikko Manor Sport Activity Adventure, offering a choice of hiking, Nordic walking and bicycling. No matter which they pick, passengers will set off from a dramatic 14th century monastery that has been converted to a luxurious hotel and spa.
Raise a Glass: Passengers can toast their vacation in a number of unusual settings with a variety of beverage options:
Absolut Ice Bar and the Old Town (Stockholm) – Travelers can get in the “spirit” of Sweden with a visit to the world’s first permanent ice bar, where they don fur ponchos and mittens to taste vodka served in ice glasses amidst a 23Ã¯Â¿Â½ F lounge. The 2 1/2 hour tour also includes a narrated stroll through Gamla Stan, the birthplace of Stockholm more than eight centuries ago.
Cider Museum & Historic Locronan (Brest) – Sample Brittany’s most celebrated product with a visit to the Cider Museum in Argol. Passengers will become familiar with all the stages of traditional cider production and be able to taste Breton cider and liqueurs accompanied by pancakes. Travelers will also visit Locronan with its 17th century buildings that have provided a backdrop for several films including Roman Polanski’s “Tess.”
Uncover Pompeii’s Wine Secrets (Naples/Capri) – Travelers can go back in time not only with a special visit to areas of Pompeii not often seen by visitors, but also with a taste of truly “vintage” wine. Passengers on the Unexplored Pompeii and its Wine Secrets tour will enjoy the unique opportunity to visit the Mastroberardino winery, which has a special permit to plant grapes inside the excavations of Pompeii using the same methods of 2,000 years ago. Each year they produce only 1,800 bottles of “Villa dei Misteri” wine — making it not only one of the most refined worldwide wines, but also a piece of history.
For Movie Lovers – Several new options will appeal to fans of the cinema:
Nordisk Film Studio and Carlsberg Brewery (Copenhagen) – Film buffs will love the opportunity to visit the world’s oldest movie studio, which was founded in 1906 and continues to produce films and television shows today. Passengers will also explore another local product with a visit to the nearby Carlsberg Brewery, where they can learn about the fine art of brewing and sample the results.
In the Steps of the “The Godfather” (Messina) – An opportunity to go behind-the-scenes in two locations used by Francis Ford Coppola in filming “The Godfather” – Savoca, which appeared in “The Godfather, Part II” and Forza d’Agro, which was used in both the original movie and “Part III.” Passengers will also enjoy typical Sicilian refreshment at Bar Vitelli in Savoca, which also houses a small collection of photographs from the film production.
London & The Da Vinci Code (Dover) – Travelers can follow in the footsteps of Robert Langdon and Sophie Neveu on a guided walking tour of London inspired by the book and movie “The Da Vinci Code.” Guides help fans separate fact from fiction as they explore Temple Church, Westminster Abbey and the National Gallery.
Grand Personalities – Explore the lives – and houses – of many of history’s most colorful figures:
In the Steps of St. Patrick (Belfast) – Walk in the footsteps of the world’s most celebrated saint. Participants will learn more about the epic story of Ireland’s patron saint with a visit to the St. Patrick Centre, and they can pay tribute with a visit to the saint’s grave. They can also explore the oldest ecclesiastical site in Ireland, where legend has it that Patrick preached his first sermon.
Charles Dickens and Victorian London (Dover) – London was as much a character in Dickens’ novels as Nicholas Nickleby. Passengers can explore major sites from Dickens’ works as well as important places in his life with a guided walking tour that includes visits to the Dickens House Museum and lunch at Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese — believed to be the tavern described by Dickens in “A Tale of Two Cities.”
Chekhov’s House and Concert (Yalta) – Russian dramatist Anton Chekhov wrote two of his greatest plays – “The Cherry Orchard” and “Three Sisters” – while living in Yalta. This tour will take passengers inside the writer’s life with visits to sites mentioned in his works as well an opportunity to tour his house, known as the White Dacha, which still holds the original furnishings and many of his personal effects.
Grand Overland Adventures – For a more in-depth experience in select locations Princess offers multi-day Grand Overland Adventures which includes at least two full days of travel, hotel accommodations and meals. Passengers disembark the ship in one port and rejoin it in another, giving them extra time to really acquaint themselves with a destination. Two new overland tours debut this season:
The Holy Land Experience – Traveling between the ports of Asdod and Haifa, these new extended excursions give passengers an in-depth look at the major holy sites and attractions of Jerusalem, Nazareth and Bethlehem plus a visit to a kibbutz. The tour includes an overnight stay in Jerusalem.
Grand Brussels Overland – Passengers can more fully explore Belgium’s cultural and historic treasures with this two-day journey between Rotterdam and Zeebrugge. Highlights include the romantic canals of Bruges, the famous three towers of Ghent, the capital of the European Union and the battlefield where Napoleon met his Waterloo. Guests will enjoy an overnight visit to Brussels.
Family Fun – Princess adds a several new tours designed with families in mind:
Family Adventure with Boat Trip (Istanbul) – Family members will revel in this opportunity to sail along the Bosporus in a private yacht for stunning views of Istanbul, including the grand Ottoman palaces. They’ll also travel to the old city to visit the Blue Mosque and the Underground Cistern, plus enjoy refreshments at an authentic Turkish tea house and shopping in the Grand Bazaar.
Family Adventure Ephesus and Beach Club (Kusadasi) – Families can explore the remarkable ruins of ancient Ephesus together, followed by an afternoon at a private beach club. Kids and parents alike will enjoy the opportunity to sunbathe, comb the beach, or swim in the crystalline waters.
Swimming in Greece – Special family swimming outings are now available in many of Greece’s most scenic ports. All ages will enjoy the opportunity to take a dip in the blue Aegean waters and relax on some of the country’s best beaches and seaside resorts. Tour options include Swimming at Kourouta Beach (Katakolon), Swimming at Platis Yialos (Mykonos), Corfu Beach Tour, and Swimming at Tsambika Beach (Rhodes). Families can also enjoy a beach break in Italy with the Sorrento and the Lido (Naples/Capri) tour.
Princess shore excursions can be reserved in advance through the line’s innovative Cruise Personalizer on www.princess.com or by phone, providing passengers with the comfort of knowing they’re confirmed on their preferred tours before they sail, with the added convenience of having tickets ready and waiting in their stateroom on arrival.
Princess’ 2007 Europe season offers the widest variety of itineraries and ships in the industry, with 81 departures on 31 unique itineraries, calling at 110 ports. Five ships sail in Europe this season, ranging from 710 to 3,070 passengers, to destinations as varied as Iceland and Egypt. Two vessels, Royal Princess and Emerald Princess, make their Princess debuts, as do five new boutique itineraries, featuring four new European ports and Princess’ return to the Holy Land. Passengers can choose from Royal Princess’ new Elite Mediterranean itineraries, Emerald Princess’ debut in the idyllic Mediterranean, Grand Princess in northern Europe, Star Princess in the Baltic region and Sea Princess sailing a variety of one- and two-week itineraries from Southampton. The extended Europe season runs through December 3, 2007.
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.