Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Princess Cruises' Sapphire Princess will cruise from Singapore in 2014-2015

Princess Cruises, British-American owned cruise line based in Santa Clarita, will position Sapphire Princess cruise liner in Singapore between November 2014 and February 2015. 2,670-passenger cruise ship will homeport in Singapore Marina Bay Cruise Centre and offer 15 round-trip departures. Sapphire Princess will offer cruises as short as a three-day trip from Singapore to Malaysia and as long as 11-day voyages from Singapore to Vietnam and back with stops in Brunei and Bangkok. It will also offer itineraries such as a 10-day Indonesia trip and five-day tours of Thailand. All itineraries will include shore excursions.

“Princess Cruises will be the first premium cruise line to have ships based in Singapore for an extended period,” said Alan Buckelew, the line’s president and CEO. “Our new Singapore-based deployment features superior itineraries specifically designed for the regional market which we believe will prove extremely popular and will help to introduce cruise vacations to a growing number of Southeast Asia vacationers.”

Explaining why Singapore was chosen, Jan Swartz, executive vice president for sales, marketing & customer service, Princess Cruises, said: “We see the growing awareness of cruise tourism in Singapore, which gives us an opportunity to grow.” She added that the cruises from Singapore were also expected to draw strong interest from neighbouring countries like Malaysia, India and Indonesia.

Sapphire Princess currently sails alternating Northbound & Southbound Voyage of the Glacier cruises in the summer and in the winter sails Mexico, Hawaii & California Coastal cruises. Sapphire Princess is fitted with over 700 balconies from which passengers can step out and enjoy the refreshing ocean breeze and offers   amenities such as spa, fitness centre, casino and several dining and night life locations.

Sapphire Princess will homeport in Singapore Marina Bay Cruise Centre and offer cruises to
Malaysia, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam and Indonesia.
Princess Cruises' parent company,  Carnival Cruises, already has a presence in China through its Costa Cruises brand, while Princess Cruises is setting up shop in Japan this month. "As cruise lines are being deployed into the market, the market starts to develop. Slowly at first, but then they reach a critical mass," Alan Buckelew, chief executive and president of Princess Cruises.

"Our ships move to where we believe the demand is strongest." Singapore, a regional aviation hub, has also taken steps to gain a bigger slice of the growing cruise travel market. In October, it opened a new cruise terminal capable of berthing the world's biggest luxury liners.

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