Princess Cruises is to increase capacity out of Southampton by 40% in 2009 when it will have its biggest fleet in Europe to date.
The cruiseline will replace the 2,000-passenger Sea Princess with its 2,600-passenger Grand Princess on departures out of Southampton to the Mediterranean in 2009. This will sail eight 14-night Mediterranean cruises and three seven-night cruises to Iberia and Scandinavia.
Meanwhile, its three newest superliners Crown Princess, Ruby Princess and Emerald Princess will sail in the Mediterranean next year. In total the capacity increase in Europe year on year is around 10%.
UK head of brand marketing Pieter van der Schee said: “The continuing success we’ve had has led us to increase our capacity in Europe again, particularly in the UK market. Grand Princess is quite a bit bigger than Sea Princess so replacing it represents quite a big increase year on year. We have trebled Princess Cruises in size in the UK in the last five years.”
The cruiseline is planning a promotion in March to alert agents to the changes, while its Europe brochure is out in April. There are also ship visits planned for around 500 agents. “We will be working hard to get the message out there,” he added.
Princess will also have two smaller ships, Royal Princess and Tahitian Princess, in Europe for 2009.