Sapphire Princess Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Sapphire Princess

Princess Cruises’ Sapphire Princess has completed its 20th year in service.

Built at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries shipyard in Japan, the cruise ship was delivered to the company on May 27, 2004.

After crossing the Pacific Ocean, the Sapphire Princess arrived in Seattle for its christening ceremony in 2024 following its delivery.

The event took place at the port on June 10, 2004, and included Nancy Murkowski, the wife of Alaska Governor Frank Murkowski, serving as godmother.

Three days later, the Sapphire Princess kicked off its inaugural season, which included a series of seven-night cruises to Alaska and Canada sailing roundtrip from Seattle.

After a fall season offering ten-night cruises to the Mexican Riviera from San Francisco, the 2,600-guest ship repositioned to Australia for the 2004-05 winter.

At the time, the ship became the newest and largest to ever sail in the region, offering itineraries to New Zealand and the South Pacific.

The Sapphire Princess continued to cruise in the Pacific Ocean during most of its career, with itineraries also visiting Southeast Asia and the Far East.

In 2014, the vessel was chosen to introduce the Princess Cruises brand to the Chinese market as the Sapphire Princess sailed from Shanghai for a four-month season that included itineraries to various destinations in South Korea.

Four years later, the ship debuted in Europe with a series of cruises departing from Southampton in England.

In recent years, the Sapphire Princess has been spending summer in Alaska before heading south for winter programs in South America and Antarctica.

In 2024, the ship is also scheduled to offer cruises in the Caribbean before heading to the South Atlantic and debuting in Brazil.

A sister to the 2004-built Diamond Princess, the Sapphire Princess project was based on Princess Cruises’ Grand class.

Slightly larger than its predecessors, the ship has undergone several refurbishments during its 20-year career.

As part of one of its most recent refits, it received new Princess Luxury beds, in addition to upgrades to public areas including its fitness center, spa and retail shops.

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