The acquisition of the former MV R3 and the former MV R4 by P&O Princess Crusies Plc. (LSE: POC), the parent company of Princess Cruises, is now official. The deal requires the vessels to remain in the Pacific Ocean for two years (through 2004).
>> The former MV R3 will become MV Pacific Princess. Its operation will be split between Princess Cruises and sister line P&O Cruises Australia, spending six months of the year as part of each line. Her itineraries apparently are not yet finalized.
>> The former MV R4 will become MV Tahitian Princess and will operate as part of the Princess Cruises fleet, initially operating from Papeete, French Polynesia (island of Tahiti) on several different itineraries.
It appears that thise ships will retain the same configuration in which they operated for Renaissance cruises, which I summarized in an earlier post ([url]http://cruise-forums.com/forums/read.php?f=20&i=12405&t=12405[/urel]).
I like the fact that they plan 10 day Tahitian cruises. One thing that I didn't like about the Paul G was that they were only 7 day cruises. That's a long flight for just a 7 day cruise. Also, their starting price point sounds attractive. Let's hope that air fare costs don't make these cruises too expensive. And how do you like retaining the name of the Pacific Princess?
Here's the full press release that I saw:
PRINCESS ADDS TWO FORMER RENAISSANCE SHIPS TO FLEET
Vessels Debut as Tahitian Princess and Pacific Princess ;
Expand Line's Exotic Destinations With Year-Round
French Polynesia Sailings
Small Ships Will Offer Princess' Personal Choice Cruising Experience
and Trademark Balconies
SANTA CLARITA, CA (August 9, 2002) ? P&O Princess Cruises announced
today that two former Renaissance vessels, R3 and R4, will soon be joining
the Princess fleet, introducing Princess' trademark "big ship choice" in a
smaller, more intimate cruise environment. The ships will offer sailings
in Tahiti and the wider Pacific Ocean region.
The 688-passenger R3 will premiere as Pacific Princess, while sister
ship R4 will debut as Tahitian Princess. Both vessels, which originally
entered service in 1999, are well suited to offer many of the Personal
Choice Cruising options that have become Princess trademarks, according to
the company. This includes a wide variety of dining experiences including
a 24 hour Lido and alternative dining programs with both an Italian
restaurant and an American steakhouse; and 92 percent outside staterooms ?
with over two-thirds of these including a private balcony.
Beginning with a holiday cruise on December 24, 2002, Tahitian
Princess will sail year-round in Tahiti and the South Pacific, debuting the
only 10-day sailings in the region. Three unique itineraries, with a total
of 50 departures roundtrip from Papeete, Tahiti, each include calls at the
tropical paradises of Bora Bora, Moorea and Raiatea. Passengers can choose
one of the 34 French Polynesia/Cook Islands sailings that explore ports
like mystic Huahine and Raratonga and feature overnight stays in both
Papeete and Bora Bora; enjoy one of eight French Polynesia/Samoa cruises to
discover the dramatic beauty of Pago Pago and Apia; or travel on one of
eight French Polynesia/Marquesas voyages to unwrap the secrets of Nuku
Hiva and Hiva Oa. A full range of pre and post Tahiti packages will also be
The Pacific Princess will operate on a split deployment, sailing half
the year throughout French Polynesia and the wider Pacific region for
Princess Cruises, and the other half for the P&O Cruises Australia brand,
serving the growing Australian market in the South Pacific region. The
specific Princess itineraries for this ship are in the process of being
finalized, and are expected to be available soon.
"This announcement is exciting to us on several levels, " said Phil
Kleweno, president of Princess Cruises. "First, these smaller Princess
ships will complement our fleet of larger vessels, furthering our
commitment to provide passengers with exotic itineraries that allow them to
discover the world in their own way. Our choice of three different 10-day
French Polynesian itineraries are the most extensive in this part of the
world, and should be a must for any traveler looking to fully experience
the beauty and unique character of this fascinating region.
"Additionally, the design of these small, modern ships will enable us
to provide a 'boutique version' of our Personal Choice Cruising program,
with over two thirds of the ship's cabins having balconies and with a
variety of dining and entertainment options. At the same time the Princess
onboard staff will be providing the high levels of service that we've come
to be known for wherever we cruise. And finally, no other cruise to the
French Polynesia region is as affordable as those offered aboard these new
ships. The combination of itinerary, onboard service and affordability
will clearly differentiate Princess from the competition. "
Special promotional pricing for 10-day Tahitian Princess sailings
begins at $799 per person, double occupancy.
Princess Cruises, one of the best known names in North American
cruising, currently operates a fleet of ten ships deployed on many
different itineraries calling at more than 180 ports worldwide. Cruises
range from 7 to 32 days in length to destinations including the Caribbean,
Alaska, Europe, the Panama Canal, Mexico, the South Pacific, South America,
Hawaii, Asia, Canada, New England and Bermuda.
Location: Wisconsin....about 100 miles south of the Frozen Tundra and 70 miles east of Camp Randall
Re: Additions to Fleet
I love the fact the there will be another Pacific Princess! And that she will be dedicated to sailing in the Pacific. I am really looking forward to trying one of these ships in Tahiti - and I agree 7 days was WAY too short to travel that far, for 10 plus an extra day on each end I would definitely go for it!
Carnival Breeze with Ray Band Aerogirl 5/4/14!