Princess to Offer New Alaska Railroad
Cruise Passengers Can Opt for Scenic Rail Trip in 2001
Even passengers who don't have time for a cruisetour will have an opportunity to see some of Alaska's stunning wilderness by train with a new Anchorage airport transfer option debuting for Princess's 2001 Alaska season.
Passengers on all Gulf of Alaska sailings will have the choice of taking this Grandview rail package, between their ship docked in Seward and the Anchorage airport, in place of a traditional motorcoach transfer. Cruisers using this option will also receive meet-and-greet services, baggage handling and transportation between the Anchorage rail depot and Anchorage International Airport.
"Our new rail transfer program will provide passengers with an added bonus to their Gulf of Alaska voyage, allowing them to complement their cruise experience with a glimpse of the region's scenic interior," said Dean Brown, president of Princess Tours. "This mini land tour will be a great way to begin or end the cruise adventure."
The nearly five-hour tour on Alaska Railroad's own domed rail cars will feature a wide array of dramatic scenery. River crossings, mountain lakes, canyons, cascading waterfalls and glaciers will await passengers at every turn. As the train climbs from sea level, passengerswill travel through some of the most breathtaking wilderness Alaska has to offer, some of it accessible only by rail.
To enhance the journey, tour guides will point out areas of interest and share local history. Passengers will also have the option of enjoying a meal in the newly remodeled dining car or savoring a favorite beverage while relaxing in the lounge car.
To take advantage of this option, passengers must depart Anchorage on flights after 2:30 pm for northbound travel or arrive at the airport by 11 am for southbound transfers. The tour fare is $89 per person, one way, and can be reserved at the time of cruise booking.
P&O Releases 2001 World Cruise
Aurora Sails on First Global Voyage
[ Issued on behalf of P&O Cruises (UK) Limited by Princess Cruises ]
P&O Cruises has announced the 2001 world cruise program aboard Aurora and Oriana. The line, which features classic British-style cruising, offers two around-the-world voyages to North American passengers, who can choose to join the ship for either a full three-month adventure or for travel on one or more cruise segments.
Each journey begins and ends in Southampton, England and travels to some of the world's most exciting destinations. Aurora's maiden world cruise will depart January 6 for a 90-day voyage to 27 ports in 20 countries. Oriana will set sail on January 5 for a 92-day journey to 26 ports in 22 countries. Cruise segments of four to 23 days are also available.
World cruise passengers can take advantage of a variety of pre- and post-cruise packages available in a number of cities visited on cruise segments. One- or three-night packages are available for Cape Town, Hong Kong, Mumbai, San Francisco, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo and Vancouver. The packages include hotel accommodations, transfers, baggage handling, local taxes and daily breakfast.
Princess Cruises Moves Fleet to
'Red Ensign' Signifies Commitment to Highest Maritime Standards
Following the tradition of fellow ships Pacific Princess and Royal Princess, the remainder of the Princess Cruises fleet will soon be flying a new flag, the prestigious British "Red Ensign."
With this move, Princess ships currently sailing under Liberian registry will join a long tradition of British seagoing excellence. The reflagging process began with the line's newest ship, Ocean Princess, as part of the vessel's February inaugural ceremonies, and continued recently with Sun Princess and Sea Princess.
The remainder of the fleet will be reflagged to the British registry with the exception of Grand Princess and Crown Princess, which will be registered in Bermuda and will also fly the Red Ensign, as Bermuda is affiliated with the British registry. Pacific Princess and Royal Princess already fly the British flag.
"The British flag has had a long and proud seafaring tradition, and it also represents some of the highest operating standards in the world," said Princess President Peter Ratcliffe.
"Princess has long met the highly regarded operating requirements of the U.K. flag. In light of this, along with the fact that our company will soon be part of a new international cruise group based in the U.K., it seemed sensible for us to now move our fleet to British registry."
With the reflagging, there will be no change in the nationality of the officers, which are predominantly British and Italian.
Princess Cruises Honored for Program
Serving Passengers with Disabilities
National Business & Disability Council Recognizes
Princess' Love Boat Access Program with Prestigious Award
Princess Cruises has been awarded the National Business & Disability Council's (NBDC) Valued Customer Silver Award of Honor in recognition of the company's programs to improve shipboard access and accommodations for all passengers. Princess is the only cruise line ever to be honored by the organization.
This prestigious award is presented to corporations that have expanded opportunities for individuals with disabilities by improving accessibility to products and services through universal design, accommodations, or media campaign.
"We are committed to continuing our rôle as a leader in the cruise industry by offering a quality vacation experience to all of our passengers," said Rick James, Princess Cruises' senior vice president of customer service and sales. "We're honored that this award is a symbol of that committment, as we strive to provide the best in onboard accommodations for those with special needs."
In 1992 Princess established Love Boat Access, a program designed to further the standards and practices regarding access to all elements of the cruise experience. The line's Grand Class ships feature the highest number of wheelchair accessible staterooms in the industry, which include roll-in showers, lowered closet bars and other special adaptations. The company also accommodates the personal needs of passengers with disabilities by welcoming service animals, featuring special gangway devices to assist guests in wheelchairs on and off the vessels, equipping elevators with Braille call buttons and audible arrival sounds, providing "all in one kits" (with TDD text telephone, visual alarm and pillow sensor), assisting with medical requirements such as dialysis and oxygen, and offering a wide range of special dietary meals.
Princess is also the first cruise line to employ a full-time professional dedicated to expanding onboard accessibility for passengers with disabilities, and is the only cruise line appointed by the U.S. Access Board to the Passenger Vessel Access Advisory Committee.
Princess Ships Serve Up Sushi
Japanese Favorites Added to Buffet Options
Princess Cruises has once again expanded its culinary offerings, this time with the debut of a sushi bar in its buffet restaurants fleetwide.
Available on sea days during the lunch hours of 11AM to 3PM, the sushi bar became a passenger favorite during a test period aboard Sea Princess and has since been added to all ships in the Princess fleet.
Passengers can choose from an array of variations on this Japanese favorite, including rolls stuffed with shrimp, crab, avocado and vegetables. The popular California Rolls are featured as well.
"This is just another example of offering the maximum amount of choice to our passengers," said Rick James, Princess' senior vice president of customer service and sales. "It was such an immediate hit we knew it would become a permanent part of our dining service." James added that passengers across Princess' nine ships are consuming an average of 3,000 pieces of sushi each day.
Princess Web Site Debuts
Unprecedented New BridgeCam Network
By Popular Demand, Seven Additional Ship Cameras Added:
Site Visitors Can Now See Live Images From Glaciers to Gondolas
Due to the overwhelming popularity of the Grand Princess BridgeCam on Princess Cruises' Web site, additional live cameras have been added to six more Princess ships and a second view added to Grand Princess.
This unprecedented Internet feature allows visitors to www.princess.com to now enjoy the view from the bridges of Sun Princess, Dawn Princess, Sea Princess, Crown Princess, Royal Princess and Sky Princess as they cruise Alaskan and European waters. The debut marks the first time a Web site has offered such a feature.
The Grand Princess camera has allowed users to view live shots of the Caribbean and now shows the sights of some of the great ports of the Mediterranean, including the spires of Istanbul and the waterways of Venice. With the new cameras, viewers this summer will also be able to view Northern European and Alaskan scenery.
Web surfers can see European ports such as Copenhagen, Helsinki and St. Petersburg, or they have the choice of cruising Alaska's Inside Passage, marveling at the beauty of Glacier Bay, Prince William Sound and College Fjord, or passing under the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
And when it's nighttime in Europe it's daytime in Alaska, so BridgeCam fans can now find something to watch from a Princess ship at any time of the day or night.
The BridgeCam aboard Grand Princess has been the favorite feature among visitors to the Web site since it debuted in March. The camera has recently received more than 77,000 views per day, with visitors spending an average of 15 minutes enjoying this unique feature.
"We were certainly surprised when the BridgeCam became such an instant hit on our Web site," said Rick James, Princess' senior vice president of customer service and sales. "Now visitors to our site can see live views from both sides of the world -- with more to come. Soon we will have live pictures from all of our ships and we are linking the images to a database that will tell viewers exactly which port they are seeing or where the ship is headed."
Princess' BridgeCams show a live view from a camera positioned on or near the ship's bridge. The image updates every 60 seconds, allowing viewers to "sail" along with the ship.
Most of the ships debuting new cameras are currently sailing on Alaska itineraries. Sun Princess, Sea Princess, Dawn Princess and Crown Princess are each sailing on Princess' famous "Voyage of the Glaciers" Gulf of Alaska itinerary, which includes the dramatic scenery between Vancouver and Seward.
Sky Princess is sailing on an 11-day round-trip Alaska itinerary from San Francisco, and Royal Princess is sailing on a series of Northern European itineraries including Scandinavia/Russia and the Norwegian Fjords.
Princess' Web site debuted as the largest cruise industry site and includes a number of innovative features, such as the largest selection of 360(degree) IPIX photos available on any cruise line site, enabling viewers to tour Princess' new Grand Class® ships. Visitors to www.princess.com can also access a wealth of information about Princess' ships, onboard experience, itineraries and destinations. Other features include video clips and slide shows of special events, a travel agent locator and "cool stuff" such as a Princess screen saver and electronic post cards.
Princess Cruises Orders Four 'Grand
Line to Double in Size by 2004
Following on the heels of the phenomenal success of Grand Princess and the line's Grand Class Cruising concept, Princess Cruises, a subsidiary of Britain's publicly held Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O), announced an order for four new ships. Combined with the three ships currently under construction, the new order will more than double the size of Princess' fleet by 2004.
The four ships will be built by Chantiers de l'Atlantique in France and, for the first time, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries of Japan. Chantiers de l'Atlantique will build two 88,000-ton, 1,950-passenger vessels, and Mitsubishi will build two 110,000-ton, 2,600-passenger ships. The ships will be delivered between October 2002 and May 2004.
All four ships will build upon Princess' tremendously successful Grand Class Cruising concept which emphasizes a "what you want, when you want" atmosphere of choice and flexibility on board, together with an innovative approach to public room layout and scale designed to create what the line calls "big ship choice, small ship feel."
"These new orders confirm our confidence in the market for Grand Class Cruising," said Princess President Peter Ratcliffe. "The introduction of our Grand Class series of ships just three years ago reinvented the traditional cruising experience, and we're going to continue to innovate with these new ships, too."
An innovation being incorporated into the ships being built by Chantiers de l'Atlantique is the choice of power generation technology, a combination of diesel engines and gas turbines, with the gas turbine placed in the ship's funnel. This configuration is not only environmentally advantageous but also frees up a great deal of space inside the ship for an even greater array and variety of passenger facilities.
Another feature of this new design is that only 10 per cent of the staterooms will be inside, and fully 80 per cent of the outside cabins will have their own private balcony -- a Princess hallmark.
Commenting on the new orders, Ratcliffe said: "We are delighted to be working now with three of the finest shipyards in the world. We already have three ships under construction with our long-time partner Fincantieri, who have produced all of our new generation of ships this past decade. And now we are very pleased to be renewing our relationship with Chantiers de l'Atlantique who built our very first superliner, Star Princess, in 1989. "Our order with Mitsubishi further cements the long-standing alliance between them and our parent company, P&O. All three yards are renowned for their quality and craftsmanship and this, together with our innovative Grand Class Cruising concept, is sure to give us a whole series of fabulous additions to the Princess fleet."
Princess also has options for two more 88,000-ton ships with Chantiers de l'Atlantique. Mitsubishi will construct the new ships at their Nagasaki yard, while Chantiers de l'Atlantique's shipyard is located in St. Nazaire.
Concurrent with the Princess order, British sister company P&O Cruises has ordered a 110,000-ton, 2,600-passenger ship from Fincantieri, adding to an 80,000-ton vessel already under construction for it in Germany. The new ship will serve the United Kingdom and possibly other European markets, and will result in a doubling of P&O Cruises' capacity by 2004.
This combined order for five ships will cost approximately $2 billion.
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Last Update: 09/23/00