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Regal Princess


Princess cruises

Princess Cruises is a cruise line based in Santa Clarita, California, in the United States and incorporated in Bermuda. Previously a subsidiary of P&O Princess Cruises, the company is now one of ten cruise ship brands owned by the world's largest cruise ship operator the American/British Carnival Corporation & plc and accounts for approximately 19% share of its revenue. It is part of Holland America Group, which controls the three Carnival brands based on the West Coast of the United States. The line's ships cruise worldwide and are marketed to both American and international passengers. The company was made famous by The Love Boat TV series, in which its ship, Pacific Princess was featured. In May 2013, the brand new Royal Princess became the flagship of Princess Cruises, and in May 2014 was joined by her new sister-ship Regal Princess.


Princess Cruises began in 1965, when founder Stanley McDonald chartered Canadian Pacific Limited's Alaska cruise ship Princess Patricia for Mexican Riviera cruises from Los Angeles during a time when she would have usually been laid up for the winter. However, Princess Pat, as she was fondly called, had never been designed for tropical cruising, lacking air-conditioning, and Princess ended her charter in favor of a more purpose-built cruise ship Italia.

The Italia had originally been ordered in 1963 and was one of the first to implement modern design elements, such as lifeboats mounted lower on the ship, allowing for uncluttered upperdecks, and engines placed far in the rear, allowing for spacious public rooms amidships. Gustavo Finali and Romano Boico had designed the ship's interiors, designers whose résumés included such ships as the Augustus and Raffaello (of Italian Line) and the Oceanic and Homeric (of Home Lines).

Construction proceeded slowly, and accordingly, the Italia was not launched until the spring of 1965, and during the fitting out, both the owners and the builder were declared bankrupt. The Italia was passed onto a bank who created a company to charter or sell the ship, and consequently, the company chartered the Italia to Princess.

Princess, who marketed the ship as Princess Italia but never officially renamed her, used the ship to inaugurate their Mexican Riviera cruises out of Los Angeles, and did not even receive the Princess logo on her funnel until 1967.

In 1969, the Princess Italia was used on Alaskan cruises from San Francisco, but by 1973, the charter was canceled, and the Italia returned to Europe on charter to Costa Cruise Line.

Princess's third charter ship was none other than Costa's Carla C. Originally, Compagnie Générale Transatlantique's Flandre, the ship had been purchased by Costa in the late 1960s and given a major rebuilding. Almost immediately after completion, the ship was chartered to Princess, and it was on board the ship, which was marketed as, but again not officially renamed, Princess Carla, that Jeraldine Saunders wrote the first chapters of her nonfiction book The Love Boats.

Britain's Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O), which by 1960 was the world's largest shipping company, with 320 oceangoing vessels, acquired Princess Cruise Lines in 1974 and their Spirit of London (originally to have been Norwegian Cruise Line's Seaward) was transferred to the Princess fleet, becoming the first Sun Princess.

The two ships that were to be featured heavily in the television series The Love Boat were built in 1971 at Nordseewerke for Flagship Cruises and originally named the Sea Venture (for the original Sea Venture, the 1609 wreck of which resulted in the settlement of Bermuda) and Island Venture. In 1974, P&O purchased them for their Princess division, and they served as the Island Princess and Pacific Princess respectively.

A part-time addition to the Princess fleet was the former Swedish transatlantic liner Kungsholm, purchased by P&O from Flagship Cruises in 1978, and then restyled and rebuilt in Bremen as the Sea Princess. She was initially based in Australia as a P&O ship until 1981 when her role there was taken over by the Oriana. After that, she alternated between P&O and Princess colours as she moved between fleets. The Sea Princess returned to the P&O UK fleet permanently and in 1995 and was renamed Victoria to allow a then new Princess ship to be named Sea Princess.

The first P&O Princess Cruises purpose-built cruise ship was the Royal Princess in 1984, the largest new British passenger ship in a decade, and one of the first, if not the first, ships to completely dispense with interior cabins. The ship served in P&O Cruises fleet as the Artemis until 2011. The Swan Hellenic Cruiseship Minerva II, originally built as the Renaissance Cruises R8 was renamed Royal Princess in 2007 after an extensive refit during a drydock in Gibraltar.

In 1986, P&O Princess Cruises acquired Tour Alaska, which operated on the Alaska Railroad. Based in Anchorage, Alaska, Princess Tours now operates ten luxury railcars with full-service scenic tours of Mount McKinley and can accommodate over 700 passengers per day.

P&O Princess Cruises acquired Sitmar Line in 1988 and transferred all of its major tonnage to Princess, including three cruise ships then under construction. The Dawn Princess and Fair Princess were both ex-Cunarders, and the former Sitmar Fairsky became Princess's Sky Princess. The first of the three new Sitmar ships came into the Princess brand in 1989 as the Star Princess, the largest British exclusively cruising ship. Two 70,000 grt cruise ships entered service in 1990 as the Crown Princess and Regal Princess, bringing Princess's fleet up to ten deluxe cruise ships.

Princess Cruises was involved in litigation with GE in 1998 over consequential damages and lost profits resulting from a contract the two parties entered into. GE was to provide inspection and repair services upon the SS Sky Princess. Upon noticing surface rust on the rotor, the vessel was brought ashore for cleaning and balancing, but good metal was unintentionally removed. This destabilized the rotor, forcing Princess Cruises to cancel two 10-day cruises while additional work was performed. Princess originally prevailed, being awarded nearly $4.6 million. On appeal, however, the judgment was reversed in favor of GE, and Princess Cruises only recovered the price of the contract, less than $232,000.

On October 23, 2000, the Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O) demerged its passenger division to form an independent company, P&O Princess Cruises. The company subsequently merged with Carnival Corporation on April 17, 2003, to form the world's largest cruise operating company in a deal worth US$5.4 billion.

As a result of the merger, Carnival Corporation and P&O Princess were integrated to form Carnival Corporation & plc, with a portfolio of eleven cruise ship brands. It is a dual listed company, registered in both the United States and the United Kingdom, with the former P&O Princess Cruises being relisted as Carnival plc, more commonly known as Carnival UK. As an American-based company, executive control of Princess Cruises was transferred to Carnival's American operations, with Carnival UK taking control of Southampton-based Cunard Line. Princess and Cunard have offices at Carnival's head offices in both the United States and the United Kingdom.

On April 3, 2008 Micky Arison, the chairman of Carnival Corporation & plc, stated that due to the low value of the US dollar, inflation and high shipbuilding costs, the company would not be ordering any new ships for their US-based brands (Princess, Carnival Cruise Lines and Holland America Line) before the economic situation improves. On February 17, 2010, Carnival Corporation & plc and Fincantieri builders reached an agreement for the construction of 2 new cruise ships for Princess Cruises. These ships are scheduled to enter service in Summer 2013 and 2014. On May 4, 2010, Carnival Corporation & plc finalized the contract for the two new ships.

In 2015, Princess Cruises celebrated the 50th anniversary of the company's founding and featured a Regal Princess float in the 126th Tournament of Roses Parade. The float carried the original cast members from the television series, The Love Boat, that ran for ten seasons.

Current fleet

Royal Class:

Royal Princess, Regal Princess

Grand class:

Grand Princess, Golden Princess, Star Princess, Diamond Princess, Sapphire Princess, Caribbean Princess, Crown Princess, Emerald Princess, Ruby Princess

Coral class:

Coral Princess, Island Princess

These two ships each have a capacity of 1,970 passengers and 895 crew.

Sun class:

Sun Princess. Dawn Princess, Sea Princess

These three ships each have a capacity of 1,990 passengers and 924 crew.

R Class:

Pacific Princess

This ship has a capacity of 680 passengers and 373 crew.

Future fleet

Royal class:

Majestic Princess (2017), TBA (2019), TBA (2020)

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