More family features planned on new Princess Cruises ship class

Princess Cruises’ next ship class will have “more features” than other vessel in the fleet, according to the line’s president.

Few details are known about the new vessels slated to come into service from next year, but John Padgett told a Travel Weekly webcast that ships would appeal to families.

Padgett added that “recreational content” aimed at families would be fitted on the top deck of the first vessel in the class.

He said: “We’re going to have more features on that ship than ever before. We’re going to increase some of the family features on that ship to continue broadening the appeal of the Princess brand.

Padgett said Princess’ appeal “is already very broad”, but explained: “We want to increasingly make it broad to include that family dynamic that is so important.”

He added that the line’s design team is “really focused” on environmental features to improve fuel efficiency because operating sustainably is “important” to Princess passengers.

The central atrium area on the incoming ship class will be bigger and “more magnificent than ever before”, said Padgett who explained the design will be a mix of “modern, grounded in the Princess heritage, and the Italian flair that comes with the Princess brand”.

He also outlined how Princess wants to operate a “dynamic” fleet of “mobile devices” that can be moved around the world.

“We’re going to move with the markets and we’re going to develop new markets,” he said. “It’s very important to us.”

Padgett added that Princess wants to entice new-to-cruise passengers sourced from the drive-cruise or fly-cruise markets as well as from homeport destinations across the world. He suggested a growing need for the line to attract new customers to its ships as the Princess’ fleet expands.

“Our expectation is to maintain a global business model and in the near term [operate] in the cruise friendly open markets,” Padgett told the Webcast. “There’s no certainty in markets. We can wait [or] other times you have to make a move and go ahead and move a ship out of the market.”

Traditionally, Princess Cruises has a strong presence in far-flung destinations, such as Australia, New Zealand and Japan, all of which are currently closed to international travellers.

Padgett said it is “better” for the ship, the crew, business and the whole sector if cruise operations can be maintained in a market.

But he stressed that markets that Princess had closed due to Covid are expected to “come back stronger than ever”.

He said. “We’ll continue to cultivate those relationships [in destinations], maintain those connections, support those markets and get ships operating in those markets as soon as possible.”

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