Diamond Princess Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Diamond Princess

The Diamond Princess is completing its 20th year of service this month. Built by the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries shipyard in Japan, the cruise ship was delivered to Princess Cruises on Feb. 26, 2004.

After a christening ceremony at the facility – during which Yoshiko Tsukuda, the wife of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries president Kazuo Tsukuda, served as godmother – the Diamond Princess set sail to the United States for its inaugural season.

The maiden program started in early March 2004, with a seven-night cruise to the Mexican Riviera departing from Los Angeles. In addition to three days cruising at the Pacific Ocean, the voyage features visits to Mazatlán, Cabo San Lucas, and Puerto Vallarta.

Then the largest cruise ship sailing on the West Coast, the Diamond continued to sail week-long from California before repositioning to Seattle in early May.

During the summer, the 2,600-guest ship offered seven-night cruises departing from its Washington homeport.

Sailing to Alaska and Canada, the season’s regular itinerary featured visits to Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan and Victoria, in addition to scenic cruising at the Tracy Arm Fjord.

In early 2020, the ship made headlines due to a Covid outbreak onboard. With confirmed cases of the disease among its crew and guests, the vessel ended up quarantined in Japan for several weeks.

After undergoing a drydock in Singapore earlier this year, the Diamond Princess is set to continue to cruise in the Asia – Pacific region through December.

Currently offering 14-night itineraries to Southeast Asia, the ship will reposition to Japan in March for a series of cruises across the country departing from Yokohama.

In September, the vessel is set to return to Australia, for itineraries that also include visits to New Zealand, Tasmania, and the South Pacific islands.

A modified version of the company’s Grand Class, the Diamond Princess debuted a new design for the fleet.

Later followed by a sister ship, the Sapphire Princess, the vessel introduced several new features, including a larger variety of dining rooms and restaurants.

According to Princess, the 113,000-ton ship currently offers a “luxury destination in itself,” with “exceptional delights” that include Asian specialty restaurants, a “state-of-the-art theater” and a “dazzling atrium.”

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