Princess Cruises today launched its third homeporting season in Singapore with the deployment of the Diamond Princess for the first time in this region from November 2016 to March 2017. Princess Cruises has also continued its tradition of hosting under-privileged children for a day’s outing onboard to kick off the launch of the homeporting season.
The Japanese-themed Diamond Princess will call at 13 ports in six countries in the region, offering 16 round-trip departures with 25 distinct itineraries. Guests can choose from three to 12-day voyages.
“We are also delighted to announce the extension of our fourth homeporting season in Singapore as we received tremendous response for bookings for the past homeporting seasons. As such, Sapphire Princess will return to Singapore for deployment from November 2017 to March 2018,” said Mr Farriek Tawfik, Director of Southeast Asia for Princess Cruises.
To commemorate the third homeporting season and to continue with the tradition of hosting under-privileged children for half a day’s outing, some 80 children from the ages of seven to 14 years old were treated to a series of fun activities onboard Diamond Princess such as enjoying facilities at the Youth Centre, participating in a Fashion Runway and indulging in a nice lunch.
“It is very gratifying to see the children from low income families having an enriching experience onboard as well as using this as an opportunity to bond with their parents. The children’s outing is part of our CSR programme which is in its third year, and coincides with the start of our homeporting season,” said Mr Tawfik. “We are focused on bringing memorable and rewarding experiences to our guests, and we hope to extend these family-bonding moments to those who are under-privileged to kick off their school holidays on a high note.”
Diamond Princess is deployed for the first time in Southeast Asia for this homeporting season. The luxury liner will visit many Southeast Asian destinations such as Kota Kinabalu, Sihanoukville, Penang, Bangkok, Bali, Lombok, Nha Trang and Koh Samui.
Diamond Princess carries 2,706 passengers and 1,100 crew. The world-class liner underwent a $30 million-dollar refurbishment at Sembawang Shipyard in 2014 and was fitted with an extensive new Japanese bath area in a 8,800-square-foot garden and bath complex – the largest floating bath experience at sea. Other new and refreshed facilities include a new sushi restaurant, enhanced shopping areas, revitalised dining facilities, a sports court, additional staterooms and new interior furnishings and finishes including a wedding chapel.
“The homeporting extension further demonstrates our commitment to Singapore and the region as it is an important source market for Princess Cruises, with its rising middle class and affluence as well as an increase in a younger set of people seeking new travel experiences,” said Mr Tawfik. He added that 40,000 passengers are expected to sail with Princess Cruises for each homeporting season.
Mr. Tawfik also said that Princess Cruises is also working closely with travel agents by continuing to offer them training programmes to increase their knowledge of cruise products, as well as with Singapore Tourism Board and tourism authorities in the region in joint partnerships to further promote cruise tourism.