Thursday, September 12, 2013

Princess Cruises Sapphire Princess heads to South East Asia

Sapphire Princess cruise ship will be deployed to South East Asia for a four-month cruise season from November 2014 to February 2015 as a response to vast potential of the Indonesian and Southeast Asian cruise market by bringing the Sapphire Princess to Southeast Asia for a four-month season from November 2014 to February 2015. This will enable American owned cruise line Princess Cruises to tab vast Indonesia market where the number of cruise passengers increased significantly and Princess Cruises is newly entering. According to the Ministry for Tourism and Creative Economy, 112,882 visitors came to Indonesia by 214 cruise calls in 2012. This year, the Ministry is expecting a jump in cruise calls to 308 calls and a rise of in the number of passengers to 147,134 people, and this number is forecast to increase in the future.

The total economic impact to Indonesia is expected to be considerable, based on passenger and crew spending in each port, port and other local costs as well as travel agent commissions and marketing costs.

“We are excited to have Princess Cruises sail to Indonesia. With its abundance of unique cultural and natural attractions, Indonesia offers an appealing range of destinations for cruise vacationers,” said Farriek Tawfik, Director for Southeast Asia, Princess Cruises.

Princess Cruises will offer itineraries custom-designed for the diverse Asia vacation market. Cruises will call at 7 countries and 16 ports in Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, and Brunei.

The wide range of cruise lengths will run from three to 11 days, providing passengers with a wide array of vacation experiences. The highlight for Indonesia is a 10-day sailing that visits Jakarta, Bali, Komodo Island and Lombok.

Approximately 40,000 passengers are expected to be carried during this first season of cruising. Passengers will be sourced from Indonesia and throughout Asia, in addition to international markets including North America, the United Kingdom and Australia.

These itineraries have also been designed with the option of being combined to offer passengers a choice of 25 cruises of up to 21 days in length, with a rich array of ports in one seamless experience. For example, the 10-day Indonesia cruise can be combined with the three-day Straits of Malacca cruise for a 13-day itinerary with six ports.

The 116,000-ton Sapphire Princess carries 2,670 passengers and features more than 200 suites and mini-suites with private balconies, Lotus Spa, Sterling Steakhouse, Sabatini's trattoria, wine bar, patisserie, pizzeria, boutiques, and Internet café among other amenities.

The new Princess Cruises Indonesia itineraries is to include a total of 16 ports in Cambodia, Indonesia, Lombok, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
In April 2013, Princess Cruises has announced that it will position Sapphire Princess cruise liner in Singapore between November 2014 and February 2015. The 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.

In conjunction with this new program Princess Cruises has launched a version of the on-demand, on-line training program called Princess Academy, which will enable travel agents in Indonesia and the region to become experts on cruise sales, the Princess fleet, destinations and programs. Globally, over 50,000 travel agents are active participants in Princess Academy, making it one of the largest online travel universities in the world.

“We definitely look forward a good working relationship with our partners in Indonesia such as the travel agents and authorities, especially the Ministry for Tourism and Creative Economy to bring international passengers to the shores of Indonesia,” added Mr Tawfik.

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