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Apr 02

Princess Cruises Unveils 2016 Japan Cruise Program

Cruise Line’s Fourth Season Features Diamond Princess Sailing From Kobe and Tokyo to New Ports and Features UNESCO World Heritage Sites and National Cultural Festivals

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (April 2, 2015) – Carnival Corporation & plc announced today that its Princess Cruises brand, the top North American cruise line in Japan, will offer an array of Japan voyages from Tokyo and Kobe in 2016 that circumnavigate the country, visiting the top-rated ports with two new ports of call on the island of Kyushu, along with visits to Korea, Taiwan and Russia.  The voyages are designed to offer opportunities to explore the wonders of UNESCO World Heritage sites and to participate in some of Japan’s largest and most celebrated cultural festivals and special events. In addition, new Land and Sea Vacation packages will take travelers into the heart of Japanese culture in Kyoto and Tokyo.

The variety of voyages offered on Diamond Princess, ranging from four to 20 nights, include the whole of Japan on Circle Japan voyages; northern Japan on Circle Hokkaido Island voyages, with a visit to Korsakov, Russia; and southern Japan on Kyushu Island voyages featuring maiden ports of call in the beautiful southern beach port of Miyazaki and the famous castle ruins of Yatushiro, and voyages to Taiwan and the Ryukyu Islands. Grand Japan voyages ranging from 14- to 20- nights offer the greatest variety of ports and experiences; while four- and five-night getaway cruises provide a sampling of some of Japan’s not-to-be-missed destination highlights.

Princess Cruises’ 2016 Japan season runs from April to October, the only full season of voyages offered by a North American cruise line in Japan, and bookings for the new itineraries open to the public on April 16, 2015.  More details can be found at princess.com.

“Japan is steeped in tradition and lore, with ancient sites, hallowed temples and natural wonders throughout the island chain. The ideal way to explore this fascinating country is by sea and Princess offers travelers unmatched options for discovering its many jewels,” said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises.  “We visit the top-rated ports, provide local cultural entertainment and culinary experiences onboard and offer bi-lingual service to make it easy and memorable for our guests to explore all that Japan offers. We’ve been recognized as the top cruise line in Asia with the best itineraries and our 2016 voyages more than live up to this billing.”

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

The new Princess Cruises itineraries take guests to a wide variety of culturally significant sites listed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) including some of the world’s greatest attractions such as Ancient Kyoto, Okinawa’s Shurijo Castle and the majestic Shirakami Mountains from Aomori.  Other bucket list jewels include the revered 7th Century Bulguska Temple in the Korean capital of Gyeong-Ju and remote historic villages in central Japan. All Hokkaido Island cruises feature the Shiretoko Peninsula, one of the world’s richest eco-systems and one of the few places in the world where multiple species of whales, dolphins and porpoises can be spotted, among many more.

Festivals and Special Events

Spectacular summer festivals and fireworks displays are the highlight of many summer cruises ranging from seven- to 11-night itineraries.  These sailings include late evening departures from ports to allow guests time to participate in vividly colored lantern processionals, parades of giant floats, dance festivals and spectacular fireworks displays like the famous Toyohashi Fire Festival in Nagoya and the Kagoshima Summer Night Fireworks with an active volcano as the backdrop.

Guests on next year’s July 25 and August 4 voyages will experience the Nebuta Festival, Japan’s most extravagant display of brilliantly-colored floats, musicians and dancers.  Sailings on August 15, 24 and September 9 of 2016 feature some of Japan’s largest and most spectacular fireworks festivals.

Land and Sea Vacations

To further enhance the cruise line’s Japanese vacations, Princess Cruises will offer multi-day land tour package options, available for add-on with most cruises, to explore Kyoto and Tokyo.  Kyoto tours will include sightseeing at Nijo Castle, the famed Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion), and popular Japanese gardens. Tokyo tours explore this fascinating city before heading out to Mt. Fuji, Togendai and Lake Ashi.

While Diamond Princess features the cruise line’s signature innovations including its popular Movies Under the Stars poolside theater and The Sanctuary, an exclusive top-deck retreat, it also offers many unique features designed to enhance the Japanese cultural experience onboard including:

  • Traditional Izumi Japanese Bath – the largest of its kind at sea and modeled after the popular Japanese onsen experience
  • Kai Sushi restaurant – boasting made-to-order sushi and a full selection of Japanese sake
  • Noodle stations – serving up a rotating selection of ramen, soba and udon noodles
  • Tamagoyaki –  a traditional Japanese omelet available daily for breakfast
  • Unique Japanese entertainment offerings such as “rakugo” storytelling performances and origami classes
  • Unparalleled luxury brand duty-free shopping

In addition, dining room menus offer a wide variety of international cuisine including Japanese options on all menus and onboard collateral items and stateroom information is available in both English and Japanese