“We aim to get back to our core itineraries with pretty much the same ratio of ALBDs (available lower berth days) across the trades,” Deanna Austin, chief commercial officer for Princess Cruises, told Cruise Industry News.
“With bigger ships the relative percentage of guests on our main trades in Alaska, the Caribbean, Europe and Mexico will go up because that is where our Royal class ships are deployed.”
Said Mark Barnes, vice president, deployment and market planning: “Although we have sold ships and will have 15 ships in 2023 rather than the 18 we had in 2019, the Discovery and the Enchanted Princess are larger than the ships that left.”
“Since we have six Royal class vessels, we will have three in the Atlantic, that is Europe and the Caribbean, and three in the Pacific – on the West Coast, Mexico, Australia and potentially Taiwan and Japan for the summer,” added Crystal Morgan, director, deployment planning.
The Enchanted Princess and Discovery Princess were supposed to have entered service already, but were delayed because of the pandemic. Now, the Enchanted is slated to start Nov. 10, sailing Caribbean cruises from Port Everglades throughout the winter before redeploying to Northern Europe for the summer. The Discovery starts in spring of next year, sailing Mexican Riviera cruises before transferring to Seattle and her summer program in Alaska.
“We’ll have our youngest ship sailing from Seattle, which has become a highly competitive market,” added Morgan. “That is one of the reasons we are positioning the Discovery there. And then she will remain on the West Coast, sailing California coastal cruises from Los Angeles and to the Mexican Riviera.”
According to Austin, the Discovery is the first new Princess ship to debut on the West Coast since 1994 when the Sun Princess entered service. “So, we have a brand-new ship here in our home market,” she said, “and we will also have some different classes of ships in Europe; a Royal class ship in the UK for 2022. The Regal Princess was there already for this summer and was joined by the Sky Princess, and next year we will have the Sky and Emerald Princess out of the UK.
“The Enchanted Princess will also sail in Northern Europe, and we have announced that the Island Princess will sail our connoisseur itineraries in Europe. We had to cancel those for 2020 and 2021 so that program will be new for 2022.”
For the winter of 2022 and 2023, Princess will have two Royal-class ships in Australia, according to Morgan, the Majestic and Royal Princess.
“We also have our super Grands, the Crown, Ruby, Emerald and Caribbean Princess. Over the years, we have modified them, so they are able to go through the Panama Canal locks.
“That gives us the opportunity to really focus on our core markets during the winter season as we come out of the pandemic.”
Among the highlights for the 2022-2023 winter is a new Caribbean itinerary.
“We call it the Northern Caribbean itinerary,” said Austin. “It adds variety to the Eastern Caribbean where we have been sailing to St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Princess Cays.”
Ports of call on the new itinerary will be Princess Cays, Amber Cove, Grand Turk and San Juan.
“Introducing a new itinerary gives us an opportunity to really evaluate port density as we will now have a four-port vs. a three-port itinerary,” said Morgan.
“We have also changed itineraries out of Singapore. Rather than have the Diamond Princess spend the full season in Japan, we move her to the Singapore market for the winter, and we have revamped her deployment. We have a 10-day itinerary in the Gulf of Thailand going up to Bangkok and Vietnam, and a seven-day itinerary that goes to Malacca, Penang and Langkawi.
“The cruises can be combined and give us the opportunity to cater to global as well as regional Asian markets.”
For 2023, Princess has announced 145 departures on six ships and 14 unique itineraries in Alaska, sailing from Seattle, Vancouver, Whittier and San Francisco on a variety of cruise lengths.
Princess has also announced 177 sailings in Europe for 2023 on five ships featuring 67 unique itineraries.