Underscoring its commitment to the growing Japanese cruise market, Carnival Corporation & plc today detailed a substantially expanded 2014 Japan cruise program for the Princess Cruises brand, which brings a second ship to the market, features sailings from three homeports and plans to significantly expand the size of the cruise market in Japan to approximately 100,000 passengers.
The Japan-built Diamond Princess will join Sun Princess for a cruise program from three homeports – Tokyo (Yokohama), Kobe, and an industry first, Otaru near Sapporo on Hokkaido. Sailing between April and October in 2014, the two ships will offer 42 departures featuring nine unique itineraries ranging from seven to nine days. The two ships will visit more than 20 ports in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Russia.
Diamond Princess will homeport in Tokyo (Yokohama) for an extended season of 9-day cruises that include visits to Taiwan, South Korea, Hokkaido, Russia and 15 Japanese ports, including five new itineraries created especially for the ship. During the popular holiday period of Golden Week, Diamond Princess will feature a special 10-day itinerary that includes opportunities to visit several festivals plus enjoy a special call to Nagasaki, home to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries where the ship was built, to celebrate Diamond Princess’ 10-year anniversary.
Sun Princess will debut several industry firsts for the Japanese market – including innovative 7-day cruises from the northern coastal town of Otaru, located outside of Sapporo, as well as two new 8-day itineraries from Kobe. These itineraries will offer cruise options to appeal to passengers looking for a week-long cruise vacation, and the northern Hokkaido itinerary will offer a refreshing summer destination. The ship will also make maiden calls in the Japanese islands of Ishigaki, and Amami Oshima, as well as Abashiri and Hualien, Taiwan.
However some changes and enhancements are being made to appeal to the local market such as Japanese-speaking crew members in key passenger-facing positions. Dining room menus will offer international Princess cuisine while additional offerings will cater to Japanese tastes, such as an a la carte sushi bar, Japanese breakfast, noodle bar, regional tea tastings, and special sake menu. A traditional kagamiwari ceremony will be held during the captain’s welcome. Specially designed enrichment programs 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 preferences, and onboard collateral items and stateroom information will be translated into Japanese.
The 2,670-passenger Diamond Princess was built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Nagasaki, Japan – the first of two Princess ships built in Japan. Diamond Princess and the 2,022-passenger Sun Princess offer passengers a wealth of amenities including Movies Under the Stars and The Sanctuary. The ships feature multiple dining rooms and entertainment venues, many staterooms with private balconies, Lotus Spa, boutiques, and an internet café among other amenities.
The 2014 Japan cruise program opens for sale today.
Source: Princess Cruises
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