Princess Cruises has announced a whopping 12 maiden ports of call for this year, complementing the 380 destinations the line currently sails to across all seven continents.
For British guests there is the opportunity to make an inaugural visit to Rockland, Maine, directly from the UK via a 24-night Canada & New England voyage sailing roundtrip from Southampton. The cruise departs in September on the 2,670-guest Sapphire Princess as part of the ship’s full Southampton season from April to October.
Two UK destinations will feature for the first time. The 3,080-guest Crown Princess will make the opening visit to Portland in Dorset in April as part of a Western Europe Passage from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Southampton. The ship will then start a five-month season of round Britain sailings before heading back to Fort Lauderdale in September via Portland once again.
Two further Portland visits will take place during the year with the first by the 2,000-guest Sea Princess in July during a world cruise. The 670-guest Pacific Princess will then visit in September for a British Isles sailing. As part of this sailing Pacific Princess will drop anchor at Portree, on the Isle of Skye, the second UK maiden destination.
Pacific Princess will also make inaugural stops to Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe, in both April and December. The December visit forms part of a 14-day Caribbean Connoisseur cruise, which will also see the ship make a maiden visit to Mayreau, the smallest inhabited island of the Grenadines, on New Year’s Eve.
Pacific Princess will make one further new stop at Jamestown, on the island of St Helena, in the South Atlantic. The April visit is part of a 111-day world cruise that sails from Los Angeles and takes in the likes of Australia, Singapore, Brazil, South Africa and Mauritius.
Finally, Japan features a total of six new ports, all on the 2,670-guest Diamond Princess. They comprise the locations of Gamagori, Himeji, Miyako, Niigata, Wakayama and Takamatsu.
The 12 maiden ports of call are:
- Rockland, Maine, USA – Originally a ship-building village, the town is now known for its lobster festival and the most photographed lighthouse in America. Guests can explore the many art museums or take a scenic tour to the coastal village of Kennebunkport, home to the Bush estate and former summer White House
- Portland – Situated along the southernmost part of the Dorset coast, this natural harbour will offer excursions to Stonehenge and Salisbury. Guests can also visit the nearby attractions of Abbotsbury Swannery, a sanctuary for 600 swans on the site of an 11th-century monastery and the 1,000-year-old ruins of Corfe Castle
- Portree, Isle of Skye – Known for its rugged landscapes and picturesque fishing villages, shore excursions include eagle watching at Ben Tianavaig, exploring the geographical contours of Kilt Rock and Mealt Falls, as well as medieval Munvegan Castle and Eilean Donan Castle on the largest and northernmost islands in the Inner Hebrides
- Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe – Situated between Antigua and Dominica, this butterfly-shaped island is known for botanical gardens on Basse-Terre and the dramatic rock formations at Castle Point. Shore-based activities extend to kayaking through the mangroves and discovering the natural sanctuary of Grand Cul-de-Sac Marin Nature Reserve
- Mayreau (Saline Bay), Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – The smallest inhabited island of the Grenadines, Mayreau is relatively untouched and includes white beaches and crystal blue seas. Guests can swim and snorkel in the clearest water imaginable at Mayreau Gardens, a coral reef formation location between Mayreau and nearby Tobago Cays
- Jamestown, Saint Helena (Overseas British Territory) – A volcanic tropical island in the South Atlantic Ocean, guests can explore the picturesque capital which includes the oldest Anglican church in the southern hemisphere, St James Church, as well the historic High Knoll Fort and Napoleon’s original tomb and his last residence, Longwood House, now a museum
- Gamagori, Japan – A city on Mikawa Bay in central Japan, guests can explore the nearby tiny uninhabited island known as Takeshima which is designated a national treasure, Okazaki Castle and Miso Brewery, as well as the Flower Lagoon at Laguna Ten Bosch
Himeji, Japan – Houses the centuries-old Himeji Castle, a UNESCO world heritage site widely considered to be Japan’s most beautiful surviving castle. Other nearby attractions include Mount Shosha, the site of Engyoji, an atmospheric temple with a history of over 1,000 years
- Miyako, Japan – Known for its beautiful coastline and the popular Jodogahama Beach, Miyako Fish Market will also appeal as it sells a wide variety of local fish and seafood. Further afield guests can explore the brilliant blue underground lakes at Ryusen-do Cave, one of Japan’s three greatest limestone caves
Niigata, Japan – The largest port on the Japan Sea coast, Niigata is known as the number one rice-producing region in Japan. Tours include the Sasaiwai brewery which has been producing sake in this area over 100 years, the 17th-century Shimizu Garden and the Yahiko Shrine at the foot of the sacred 638m Mt. Yahiko
- Wakayama, Japan – Located south of Osaka, Wakayama is home to Wakayama Castle, nestled on top of the small hill of Torafusu with beautiful surrounding gardens. The city is known throughout Japan for the region’s ramen noodles
- Takamatsu, Japan – The largest city on the island of Shikoku, Takamatsu acts as a gateway to the islands around the Seto Inland Sea and is known for Ritsurin Koen Park, one of Japan’s finest landscape gardens and regional culinary specialities include Sanuki-udon
That’s an incredible number of new ports? What do you think?
To learn more head to the Princess Cruises’ website here