The unique itineraries have been customized for the Japanese vacation market, and will launch with the most significant national holiday of Golden Week, a nine-day cruise on April 27, 2013 which includes two days in Hakata during the renowned Dontaku Festival.
“Our new Japan deployment is three times larger than that of any competitive international cruise program, with superior itineraries specifically designed for the Japanese market,” said Alan Buckelew, Princess Cruises president and chief executive officer. “It’s the very first time a global cruise line is offering a full season of cruises from April to July designed specifically for passengers from Japan. We believe that our unique itineraries and on board experience will prove extremely popular and will help to introduce cruise vacations to a growing number of Japanese vacationers.”
Approximately 18,000 passengers are expected to be carried during this first season of cruising in Japan. Highlights of some itineraries include overnight stays at cities with popular annual festivals, destinations known for their natural hot springs, northern ports of Japan, and foreign ports in Korea and Taiwan, among others. The 2013 Japan homeport program features the following cruises:
• 9-day Golden Week: Departs April 27, 2013 sailing roundtrip from Yokohama with calls at Hiroshima (overnight); Nagasaki; Busan, South Korea, and Hakata (overnight).At 77,000-tons, Sun Princess carries 2,022 passengers and features a high number of staterooms with private balconies, Lotus Spa, steakhouse, wine bar, patisserie, pizzeria, boutiques, and Internet café among other amenities.The cruise experience will be substantially the same as the Princess Cruises product offered around the world, providing an impressive array of dining and entertainment options in addition to the line’s signature innovations such as its popular Movies Under the Stars poolside theater and The Sanctuary, an exclusive top-deck retreat.
• 12-day Round Japan with Festivals: Departs May 6, 2013 sailing roundtrip from Yokohama with calls at Aomori, Busan, Kanazawa (overnight), Sakaiminato, Maizuru, and Nagoya.
• 9-day Korea and Taiwan: Departs May 18, 2013 sailing roundtrip from Yokohama and June 23, 2013 sailing from Yokohama to Kobe, with calls at Busan and Cheju, South Korea; and Kaohsiung and Taipei, Taiwan.
• 9-day Round Japan with Onsens: Departs May 27, 2013 sailing roundtrip from Yokohama with calls at Nagoya, Kobe, scenic cruising of Japan Inland Sea, Matsuyama, Busan, Kagoshima and Beppu.
• 9-day Kyushu & Korea: Departs June 5, 2013 sailing roundtrip from Yokohama with calls at Koshi, Kagoshima, Nagasaki, Cheju, Busan and Hiroshima.
• 9-day Hokkaido & Russia: Departs June 14 and July 14, 2013 sailing roundtrip from Yokohama with calls at Kushiro, scenic cruising of Shiretoko Peninsula; Korsakov, Russia; Otaru, Hakodate and Aomori.
• 12-day Round Japan: Departs July 2, 2013 sailing from Kobe (overnight) to Yokohama with scenic cruising of Japan Inland Sea and calls at Hiroshima (overnight), Busan, Sakaiminato, Maizuru, Kanazawa, Aomori and Sapporo.
However modifications will be made including introducing key passenger-facing positions which will be filled by Japanese-speaking crew members. Dining room menus will offer international Princess cuisine while additional offerings will cater to Japanese tastes, and an a la carte sushi bar will be opened. A specially designed enrichment program will include an expert lecture series on art, culture, and history. Other amenities such as the shopping selection and spa treatments will also be tailored to Japanese tastes, and onboard collateral items and stateroom information will be translated into Japanese. An extensive array of shore excursions will be available to complement the itineraries so that Sun Princess passengers can experience all the ports have to offer.
Additionally underscoring the importance of Japan in the growing worldwide cruise market, Carnival Japan, Inc. has been formed to sell the Princess Cruises brand and certain other Carnival brands in Japan. Bases in Tokyo, Carnival Japan, Inc. is part of Carnival Corporation, one of the largest vacation companies in the world.
This new season of cruises will open for sale on April 16, 2012 and the sailings, along with all other cruises sold in the Japan market for Princess’ worldwide destinations, will be sold in Japanese Yen. Additional information about Princess Cruises is available at Princess.com.
Sun Princess Image Courtesy of Princess Cruises