Carnival Corporation & plc, the largest cruise company in the world, has announced that the new ship currently under construction for Princess Cruises will be based in China year-round when introduced in mid-2017. Based in Shanghai, the ship will be the first year-round international luxury vessel designed and built specifically for Chinese guests.
The as-yet-unnamed ship is being built at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy, and will carry approximately 3600 guests on a variety of itineraries, to be announced at a later date. Based on the design of its highly-acclaimed ships Royal Princess and Regal Princess, the new vessel will feature a number of new innovations customised for the growing number of Chinese cruise travellers.
“Deploying our next new ship in China underscores our strong commitment to growing the China cruise market and providing discerning travellers with amazing holiday experiences at sea,” said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises.
Princess ships began homeport cruising in China just last year, with a successful inaugural season of Shanghai-based cruises aboard Sapphire Princess. Sapphire Princess is returning for a second China season which begins on June 4 and runs through October 2015.
Princess’ new ship will be based on the design of the company’s new Royal Princess and Regal Princess, which have been enthusiastically received by guests from all over the world for their luxurious and beautifully-designed spaces, array of entertainment and activity options, and multiple culinary venues.
The new ship will share many of these special features which include a dramatic multi-storey atrium serving as the social hub of the ship, an over-the-ocean SeaWalk, a top-deck glass-bottomed walkway extending 8.5 metres beyond the edge of the ship; the Princess Live! interactive studio; the largest pastry shop at sea; a special Chef’s Table Lumiere, a private dining experience that surrounds diners in a curtain of light; Princess Watercolour Fantasy, a fountain and music show; Movies Under the Stars featuring the largest outdoor screen at sea; and balconies on all outside staterooms. Accommodations will be configured to appeal to families and multi-generational travellers.
In addition, the new ship will showcase the exclusive Princess Class experience designed specifically for the Chinese market that the company introduced during its first season. Delivered by the ship’s dedicated and caring crew, Princess Class enriches the travel experience of each cruise guest, enabling them to participate in unique cultural, culinary, entertaining and inspiring programs including the World Leaders Dinner, traditional English afternoon tea, a Lobster Grill, Ultimate Balcony Dining, an ocean-view hot pot dinner option, ballroom dancing, and an unparalleled duty-free shopping experience.
Additionally guests will enjoy the international flavour of cruising with Princess, including experiencing cuisines from China, Japan, Italy, France, and North and South America among other regions; as well as an array of international festivals re-created to celebrate cultures around the world.
“And as this ship is still in the design phase we are looking forward to creating other new and exciting venues and experiences catering to the Chinese traveller, which we will reveal in the coming months,” Ms Swartz said.