Royal Princess to make its UK debut

Royal Princess to make its UK debut

The 3,600-passenger Royal Princess is to make its debut in the UK next year with a maiden voyage from Southampton.

The first of two new-generation ships for Princess Cruises being built by the Fincantieri ship yard in Italy will sail from the UK port on June 16, 2013.

The seven-night Southampton to Barcelona voyage will be preceded by two three-night preview cruises from Southampton on June 10 and June 13 next year to St Peter Port in Guernsey.

The preview sailings will open for booking at a later date when the inaugural celebrations for the ship are in place, the company said.

The new vessel will then run an inaugural summer season of 12-night Grand Mediterranean cruises between Barcelona and Venice from June 23. These cruises go on sale on March 15.

The nine Grand Mediterranean sailings include calls at Toulon, Livorno, Civitavecchia, Naples, Mykonos, Istanbul, Kusadasi, Athens and an overnight stay in Venice.

Passengers on the seven-night voyage from Southampton can combine their sailing with the first Grand Mediterranean cruise for a 19-day sailing.

The ship ends the summer with an 18-day transatlantic journey from Venice to Fort Lauderdale on October 9, 2013 calling at Messina in Sicily, Naples, Civitavecchia, Cannes, Barcelona and Funchal.

The company also unveiled further details of Royal Princess including an expanded atrium which will include new features such as Bellini’s Italian cocktail bar, the Ocean Terrace seafood bar, a gelateria, and Celebrations gift shop.

Princess Cruises’ UK director Paul Ludlow said: “We are delighted that Royal Princess will be heading off on her maiden voyage from Southampton.

“This really will give British passengers the chance to be amongst the first to see the ship either on one of the three-night preview cruises or on the seven-night maiden voyage.

“This opportunity for British passengers to see Royal Princess highlights the growing popularity of Princess Cruise and the importance of the UK to the Princess Cruises brand.”

Royal Princess will feature the line’s on board favourites such as the International Café, Sabatini’s Trattoria, and Crooners martini bar which will now feature dueling piano entertainment and an ocean view.

The Bar Piazza will feature a twin tea tower with more than 300 tea and infusion combinations.

“Royal Princess will have the largest Piazza on board any of the Princess ships and therefore has given us the opportunity to really make it an even bigger feature with new bars and eateries,” said Ludlow.

Previously announced new features include SeaWalk, a top-deck glass-bottomed enclosed walkway on the ship’s starboard side extending more than 28 feet beyond the edge of the vessel, and a cantilevered SeaView bar.

Royal Princess will feature a new adults-only pool surrounded by seven private cabanas, two additional pools, a water and light show, an expanded version of the adults-only Sanctuary and Movies Under the Stars.

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