Princess Cruises

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Princess Cruises
Industry Travel Tours
Founded 1965
Headquarters Santa Clarita, California
Key people
Jan Swartz, President
Products Cruises
Number of employees
Parent Carnival Corporation & plc

Princess Cruises is a cruise line based in Santa Clarita, California, in the United States[1] and incorporated in Bermuda. Previously a subsidiary of P&O Princess Cruises, the company is now one of ten cruise ship brands owned by the world's largest cruise ship operator the American/British Carnival Corporation & plc and accounts for approximately 19% share of its revenue.[2] It is part of Holland America Group, which controls the three Carnival brands based on the West Coast of the United States. The line's ships cruise worldwide and are marketed to both American and international passengers. The company was made famous by The Love Boat TV series, in which its ship, Pacific Princess was featured. In May 2013, the brand new Royal Princess became the flagship of Princess Cruises, and was joined by her sister-ship Regal Princess in May 2014 and will be joined by Majestic Princess in the spring of 2017.


Princess Cruises headquarters in Santa Clarita

Princess Cruises began in 1965, when founder Stanley McDonald chartered Canadian Pacific Limited's Alaska cruise ship Princess Patricia for Mexican Riviera cruises from Los Angeles during a time when she would have usually been laid up for the winter.[3] However, Princess Pat, as she was fondly called, had never been designed for tropical cruising, lacking air-conditioning, and Princess ended her charter in favor of a more purpose-built cruise ship Italia.

The Italia had originally been ordered in 1963 and was one of the first to implement modern design elements, such as lifeboats mounted lower on the ship, allowing for uncluttered upperdecks, and engines placed far in the rear, allowing for spacious public rooms amidships. Gustavo Finali and Romano Boico had designed the ship's interiors, designers whose résumés included such ships as the Augustus and Raffaello (of Italian Line) and the Oceanic and Homeric (of Home Lines).

Construction proceeded slowly, and accordingly, the Italia was not launched until the spring of 1965, and during the fitting out, both the owners and the builder were declared bankrupt. The Italia was passed onto a bank who created a company to charter or sell the ship, and consequently, the company chartered the Italia to Princess.

Princess, who marketed the ship as Princess Italia, but never officially renamed her, used the ship to inaugurate their Mexican Riviera cruises out of Los Angeles and did not receive the Princess logo on her funnel until 1967.[3]

In 1969, the Princess Italia was used on Alaskan cruises from San Francisco, but by 1973, the charter was canceled, and the Italia returned to Europe on charter to Costa Cruise Line.[3]

Princess's third charter ship was none other than Costa's Carla C. Originally, Compagnie Générale Transatlantique's SS Flandre, the ship had been purchased by Costa in the late 1960s and given a major rebuilding. Almost immediately after completion, the ship was chartered to Princess, and it was on board the ship, which was marketed as, but again not officially renamed, Princess Carla, that Jeraldine Saunders wrote the first chapters of her nonfiction book The Love Boats.

Britain's Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O), which by 1960 was the world's largest shipping company, with 320 oceangoing vessels, acquired Princess Cruise Lines in 1974 and their Spirit of London (originally to have been Norwegian Cruise Line's Seaward) was transferred to the Princess fleet, becoming the first Sun Princess.[3]

The two ships that were to be featured heavily in the television series The Love Boat were built in 1971 at Nordseewerke for Flagship Cruises and originally named the Sea Venture (for the original Sea Venture, the 1609 wreck of which resulted in the settlement of Bermuda) and Island Venture. In 1974, P&O purchased them for their Princess division, and they served as the Island Princess and Pacific Princess respectively.

A part-time addition to the Princess fleet was the former Swedish transatlantic liner Kungsholm, purchased by P&O from Flagship Cruises in 1978, and then restyled and rebuilt in Bremen as the Sea Princess. She was initially based in Australia as a P&O ship until 1981 when her role there was taken over by the Oriana. After that, she alternated between P&O and Princess colours as she moved between fleets. The Sea Princess returned to the P&O UK fleet permanently and in 1995 and was renamed MV Victoria to allow a then-new Princess ship to be named Sea Princess.

The first P&O Princess Cruises purpose-built cruise ship was the Royal Princess in 1984, the largest new British passenger ship in a decade, and one of the first, if not the first, ships to completely dispense with interior cabins.[3] The ship served in P&O Cruises fleet as the Artemis until 2011. The Swan Hellenic Cruiseship Minerva II, originally built as the Renaissance Cruises R8 was renamed Royal Princess in 2007 after an extensive refit during a drydock in Gibraltar.

In 1986, P&O Princess Cruises acquired Tour Alaska, which operated on the Alaska Railroad. Based in Anchorage, Alaska, Princess Tours now operates ten luxury railcars with full-service scenic tours of Denali (formerly Mount McKinley) and can accommodate over 700 passengers per day.

P&O Princess Cruises acquired Sitmar Line in 1988 and transferred all of its major tonnage to Princess, including three cruise ships then under construction.[3] The Dawn Princess and Fair Princess were both ex-Cunard, and the former Sitmar Fairsky became Princess's Sky Princess. The first of the three new Sitmar ships came into the Princess brand in 1989 as the Star Princess, the largest British exclusively cruising ship. Two 70,000 grt cruise ships entered service in 1990 as the Crown Princess and Regal Princess, bringing Princess's fleet up to ten deluxe cruise ships.[3]

Princess Cruises was involved in litigation with General Electric in 1998 over consequential damages and lost profits resulting from a contract the two parties entered into. General Electric was to provide inspection and repair services upon the SS Sky Princess. Upon noticing surface rust on the turbine rotor, the vessel was brought ashore for cleaning and balancing, but good metal was unintentionally removed. This destabilized the rotor, forcing Princess Cruises to cancel two 10-day cruises while additional work was performed. Princess originally prevailed, being awarded nearly $4.6 million. On appeal, however, the judgement was reversed in favor of General Electric, and Princess Cruises only recovered the price of the contract, less than $232,000.[4]

On October 23, 2000, the Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O) demerged its passenger division to form an independent company, P&O Princess Cruises.[5] The company subsequently merged with Carnival Corporation on April 17, 2003, to form the world's largest cruise operating company in a deal worth US$5.4 billion.[6] As a result of the merger, Carnival Corporation and P&O Princess were integrated to form Carnival Corporation & plc, with a portfolio of eleven cruise ship brands. It is a dual-listed company, registered in both the United States and the United Kingdom, with the former P&O Princess Cruises being relisted as Carnival plc, more commonly known as Carnival UK. As an American-based company, executive control of Princess Cruises was transferred to Carnival's American operations, with Carnival UK taking control of Southampton-based Cunard Line. Princess and Cunard have offices at Carnival's head offices in both the United States and the United Kingdom.

On April 3, 2008 Micky Arison, the chairman of Carnival Corporation & plc, stated that due to the low value of the United States dollar, inflation and high shipbuilding costs, the company would not be ordering any new ships for their U.S.-based brands (Princess, Carnival Cruise Line and Holland America Line) before the economic situation improves.[7] On February 17, 2010, Carnival Corporation & plc and Fincantieri builders reached an agreement for the construction of two new cruise ships for Princess Cruises. These ships are scheduled to enter service in Summer 2013 and 2014.[8] On May 4, 2010, Carnival Corporation & plc finalized the contract for the two new ships.[9]

In 2015, Princess Cruises celebrated the 50th anniversary of the company's founding and featured a Regal Princess float in the 126th Rose Parade. The float carried the original cast members from the television series, The Love Boat, that ran for ten seasons.

Current fleet[edit]

Royal Class[edit]

Ship Built Builder Entered service
for Princess
Gross Tonnage Flag Notes Image
Royal Princess 2013 Fincantieri June 2013 141,000 tons  Bermuda Currently the largest ship built for Princess Cruises and the 10th World's Largest Passenger Ship so far, and can hold 3,600 passengers. Royal Princess side view.JPG
Regal Princess 2014 Fincantieri May 2014 141,000 tons  Bermuda Sister ship to the Royal Princess, currently the World's 11th Largest Passenger Ship.[10] Regal Princess Port Side Tallinn 9 June 2015.JPG

Grand class[edit]

Ship Built Builder Entered service
for Princess
Gross Tonnage Flag Notes Image
Grand Princess 1998 Fincantieri 1998–Present 107,517 tons  Bermuda Largest and most expensive ship built in 1998 - Last Refurbished in May 2011 - Former flagship of Princess fleet before Royal Princess Grand Princess Leghorn.JPG
Golden Princess 2001 Fincantieri 2001–Present 108,865 tons  Bermuda Last refurbished in 2012 Golden Princess tendering in Cabo San Lucas.JPG
Star Princess 2002 Fincantieri 2002–Present 108,977 tons  Bermuda Fire swept through berths in 2006 | Last Refurbished in 2008[11] Star Princess.jpg
Diamond Princess 2004 Mitsubishi 2004–Present 115,875 tons  United Kingdom Diamond Princess in Hobart.jpg
Sapphire Princess 2004 Mitsubishi 2004–Present 115,875 tons  United Kingdom Sapphire Princess02.JPG
Caribbean Princess 2004 Fincantieri 2004–Present 112,894 tons  Bermuda Last refurbished in 2011 Caribbean Princess in 2010.JPG
Crown Princess 2006 Fincantieri 2006–Present 113,561 tons  Bermuda Major listing incident Crown Princess Piräus.JPG
Emerald Princess 2007 Fincantieri 2007–Present 113,561 tons  Bermuda Emerald-Princess-Stockholm.jpg
Ruby Princess 2008 Fincantieri 2008–Present 113,561 tons  Bermuda Last refurbished December 2015 in Vancouver, Canada. Istanbul Bosphorus Cruise ship Ruby Princess IMG 7926 1920.jpg

Coral class[edit]

These two ships each have a capacity of 1,970 passengers and 895 crew.

Ship Built Builder Entered service
for Princess
Gross Tonnage Flag Notes Image
Coral Princess 2002 Chantiers de l'Atlantique 2002–Present 91,627 tons  Bermuda Panamax-type Coral Princess (ship, 2002) 001.jpg
Island Princess 2003 Chantiers de l'Atlantique 2003–Present 91,627 tons  Bermuda Panamax-type Island Princess.JPG

Sun class[edit]

Main article: Sun-class cruise ship

These three ships each have a capacity of 1,990 passengers and 924 crew.

Ship Built Builder Entered service
for Princess
Gross Tonnage Flag Notes Image
Sun Princess 1995 Fincantieri 1995–Present 77,499 tons  Bermuda Last Refurbished in 2010[12] Sun Princess, Fremantle, 2016 (08).JPG
Dawn Princess 1997 Fincantieri 1997–Present 77,499 tons  Bermuda Will be transferred to P&O Cruises Australia in May 2017 as Pacific Explorer Dawn Princess, Fremantle, 2016 (06).JPG
Sea Princess 1998 Fincantieri 1998–2003 2005–Present 77,690 tons  Bermuda Sailed as P&O Adonia from 2003 to 2005 Sea Princess 2015.jpg

R Class[edit]

This ship has a capacity of 680 passengers and 373 crew.

Ship Built Builder Entered service
for Princess
Gross Tonnage Flag Notes Image
Pacific Princess 1999 Chantiers de l'Atlantique 2003–Present 30,277 tons  Bermuda Previously R Three. Pacific Princess, 2008 (cropped).jpg

Future fleet[edit]

Royal class[edit]

Ship Year
Will sail for
Gross Tonnage Homeport Flag Notes Image
Majestic Princess 2017 2017 143,000 GT Shanghai, China  Bermuda [13] Majestic Princess Build 2015.JPG
TBA 2019 2019 143,700 GT  Bermuda [14]
TBA 2020 2020 143,700 GT  Bermuda [15]

Former fleet[edit]

Ship In service for
Current Status Image
Princess Patricia (1965–1966) First Princess ship in the fleet. Built 1949, scrapped in Taiwan, 1995.
Princess Italia (1967–1973) Between 2002 and 2010, sailed for Louis Cruise Lines as the MS Sapphire. She was sold for scrap in 2012. "Italia" - Piraeus, 1980.jpg
Princess Carla (1968–1970) Former SS Flandre of the French Line. Owned by Costa Cruises and marketed as the Princess Carla while under charter to Princess, though never formally renamed. Later sold by Costa to Epirotiki Lines and renamed Pallas Athena. She was sold for scrap after being destroyed by a fire in 1994. Paquebot "Flandre".jpg
Island Princess (1972–1999) Sailed for Voyages of Discovery between 2002 and 2013 as MV Discovery; Operated with Cruise & Maritime Voyages under the same name, before being scrapped in 2014. Island Princess 1986.jpg
Sun Princess (1974–1989) Since 2012, sailed for Runfeng Ocean (Hong Kong) Deluxe Cruises Limited as the Ocean Dream. Capsized and sunk in February 2016 Launching 1972.jpg
Pacific Princess (1975–2002) Since 2008, sailing for Quail Cruises as Pacific; She was scrapped in 2013. Known for being featured on the TV show The Love Boat. Pacific Princess 1987.jpg
Sea Princess (1979–1995) Since 2008, sailing for Lord Nelson Seereisen as MS Mona Lisa; as of 2012 she is known as the Veronica and is a hotel ship in Oman. Beached for scrap in Alang, in March 2016 Sea Princess Venice 1986.jpg
Royal Princess (1984–2005) From 2005 to 2011, sailed for P&O Cruises as the Artemis. Since 2011, transferred to Phoenix Reisen and sails as the MV Artania. "Royal Princess" - 1987.jpg
Fair Princess (1988–1997) Originally built for the Cunard Line as the RMS Carinthia in 1956, scrapped in Alang, India, 2005. "China Sea Discovery" - Kaohsiung, 2002.jpg
Dawn Princess (1988–1993) First sailed as the RMS Sylvania for Cunard Line in 1957. Scrapped in Alang, India, 2004. "Fairwind" - Southampton, 1969.jpg
Sky Princess (1988–2000) Last sailed for Pullmantur Cruises in 2011, as the Atlantic Star; she was scrapped at Aliaga, Turkey in 2013. MS Sky Princess (4490014483) (cropped).jpg
Star Princess (1989–1997) Sailed for Ocean Village as the Ocean Village. In 2010, transferred to P&O Cruises Australia and sails as the MV Pacific Pearl. Pacific Pearl Darling Harbour.jpg
Crown Princess (1990–2002) Between 2004 and 2009, sailed for Ocean Village as the Ocean Village Two. In 2009, transferred to P&O Cruises Australia and sails as the Pacific Jewel. Crownprincess skagwayalaska (4305490969) (cropped).jpg
Regal Princess (1991–2007) Since 2007, sailing for P&O Cruises Australia as Pacific Dawn. MS Regal Princess (4172014792).jpg
Golden Princess (1993–1996) Since 2005, sailing for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines as MV Boudicca. Boudicca departing Tallinn 7th September 2013.JPG
Ocean Princess (2000–2002) Since 2002, sailing for P&O Cruises as the MV Oceana. P&O Cruises Oceana 02 IMO 9169550 @chesi.JPG
Royal Princess (2007–2011) Since 2011, sailing for Fathom Cruise Lines as the MV Adonia. Royal Princess.jpg
Ocean Princess (2002–2016) Previously R Four and Tahitian Princess. Transferred to Oceania Cruises In March 2016 to become the Sirena.[16][17] Ocean Princess departing Tallinn 23 June 2013.JPG


  1. ^ "Contact Us". Princess Cruises. Retrieved on January 20, 2010.
  2. ^ "2012 World Wide Market Share". Cruise Market Watch. 2011-11-20. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Princess Cruises timeline
  4. ^ Princess Cruises v. GE, 143 F.3d 828 (1998)
  5. ^ P&O plan to demerge its cruise division
  6. ^ Carnival cruises to P&O deal
  7. ^ "No newbuildings for Carnival's US brands at current dollar-euro rate - Arison". Cruise Business Review. Cruise Media Oy Ltd. 2008-04-04. Archived from the original on September 22, 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-03. 
  8. ^ "Fincantieri to build two prototype ships for Princess Cruises". Cruise Industry News. 17 February 2010. Retrieved 17 February 2010. 
  9. ^ "Carnival Corp. finalizes contracts for two new Princess ships". Cruise Industry News. 4 May 2010. Retrieved 4 May 2010. 
  10. ^ "Princess Cruises Announces Name of Next New Ship Will Be Regal Princess - Cruise Industry News | Cruise News". Cruise Industry News. 2012-08-28. Retrieved 2013-03-02. 
  11. ^ [1] Archived October 21, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.‹The template Wayback is being considered for merging.› 
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Carnival Corporation Finalizes Contracts with Fincantieri to Build Five New Cruise Ships". Retrieved 2016-04-01. 
  16. ^
  17. ^

External links[edit]