Carnival plc celebrated the start of the inaugural season of Princess Cruises’ Sapphire Princess from its new summer home port of Shanghai. This marks the first China homeport cruising program for the line, and brings a new premium cruise experience called Princess Class to the expanding China cruise market.
During the four-month season, which runs through August, the line will carry approximately 70,000 guests on 24 unique cruises with itineraries ranging from three to five days. The voyages will visit cities in South Korea and Japan, including Seoul (Incheon), Busan, Jeju Island, Fukuoka (Hakata), Kagoshima, Okinawa and Nagasaki.
In preparation for the first season, Princess conducted research into what Chinese travelers value, which include a high priority on food and amenities, the shopping experience and service in their own language. As a result the line created the Princess Class experience. Delivered by the ship’s crew, many of whom are Chinese speakers, Princess Class aims to enrich the travel experience for each guest aboard Sapphire Princess by augmenting the international offerings found on Princess ships around the world, with cultural, culinary, entertainment and inspirational programs.
Special features include the World Leaders Dinner, Tai Chi at sea, ballroom dancing, Ocean View Hot Pot dinner option, “Princess Night” stateroom amenities, a selection of subtitled Hollywood movies, a variety of Chinese satellite TV channels and a luxury shopping experience. In addition to the only 24-hour buffet at sea in China, a wide variety of traditional Chinese dishes will also be offered for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Designed to appeal to multigenerational groups, a “Touch of Class” enrichment series includes the Sommelier Wine Excursion including a collection of Super Tuscan and Bordeaux wines, The Art of International Entertaining, Mixology: The Art of the Cocktail and Adventures in English, among other topics.
The 116,000-ton Sapphire Princess carries 2,670 guests and, at 952 feet long, has 18 decks and 28 premium suites, with over half of the ship’s staterooms featuring private balconies. The ship also includes five pools, a casino, duty-free shops, fitness center and spa, sports deck, children’s and teen’s centers, library, internet café, art gallery and a golf putting course, among other features.
For more information, visit www.princess.com.