Royal Princess will be one of five Princess ships that will visit New Zealand this summer

Royal Princess (Photo courtesy of Princess Cruises)The city of sails has welcomed a new royal visitor this morning, with Princess Cruises’ spectacular Royal Princess sailing into Auckland on her inaugural season of cruising in Australasian waters.

Measuring 330 metres in length, and 19 decks high, the stunning 3560-guest ship is set to become a regular sight in New Zealand ports over the next six months, as she offers three round trip cruises from Auckland as well as a series of trans-Tasman cruises from Sydney.

One of Princess Cruises’ largest and most popular ships, the 142,229-tonne Royal Princess has a strong regal connection. The ship was christened by HRH, Catherine, Princess of Wales, in the United Kingdom in 2013, while the late Princess Diana – Catherine’s mother-in-law – christened Princess Cruises’ original Royal Princess in 1984.

Princess Cruises Senior Vice President Asia Pacific, UK + Europe Stuart Allison said the cruise line is thrilled to welcome Royal Princess to its Australasian fleet this summer.

“Royal Princess set new standards for premium cruising when she was launched and continues to turn heads wherever she sails around the globe,” Mr Allison said.

“Not only is Royal Princess a fantastic looking ship, she’s packed with wonderful features for guests, from superb cuisine to world-class entertainment and facilities. We know guests will especially love the Sanctuary and Retreat areas over the summer season.”

Royal Princess’ arrival today is significant as she is one of only a handful of international ships making their maiden visits to New Zealand this summer. The ship will sail in Australasian waters with Grand Princess, which spent Tuesday (17 October) in Auckland’s harbour, as well as Coral Princess, which will visit Auckland on October 21, and Majestic Princess, arriving in Auckland on October 30.

“Royal Princess will be one of five Princess ships that will visit New Zealand this summer season bringing over 100,000 visitors and almost $150m in economic value. Overall, Princess Cruises will make a total of 186 calls to New Zealand ports over the next six months making this one of our biggest seasons on record.”

“To put those visitor numbers into perspective, if Princess was a country we’d be the 4th biggest source of visitors to New Zealand over the past 12 months.”

“This summer season, Kiwis will have the opportunity to sail roundtrip from Auckland aboard Royal Princess to see their own backyard on a number of cruises departing from December through February. We’re seeing strong interest from Kiwis keen to circumnavigate their own country!”

The inaugural vessel within the cruise line’s Royal Class, Royal Princess elevates the guest experience with an abundance of amenities including 11 restaurants, 9 bars and additional lounges, and entertainment options. Among its remarkable features is the Sea Walk, a breathtaking glass-bottomed enclosed walkway that extends nearly 9 metres beyond the ship’s edge, treating guests to awe-inspiring views while suspended 39 metres above the sea.

Other notable features include private poolside cabanas, two main pools, 8 top deck spas, the Enclave and Lotus Spa featuring Princess’ largest-ever thermal suite, and an exquisite Chef Lumiere dining option, where guests are magically surrounded by a curtain of light. Meanwhile, 80 per cent of the ship’s staterooms offer a private balcony.

In addition to the incredible amenities aboard Royal Princess, guests also enjoy personalised service found throughout the fleet. Exclusive Princess Medallion innovation takes the entire holiday back to the roots of what makes cruising special by creating a personalised, customised and simplified experience for each and every guest. The connected guest experience maximises guests’ time by delivering a host of onboard conveniences including contactless payment for anything on board; expedited embarkation; keyless stateroom entry; muster anywhere; friends and family locator; and ordering food, drinks, retail items or requesting service from their smart device or a crew member and having their order delivered directly to them…even if they move.

“We’re excited to have such an impressive regal visitor in our waters this summer and look forward to welcoming our New Zealand guests on board,” Mr Allison added.

Royal Princess’ visit to Auckland today comes towards the end of its inaugural 28-night transpacific crossing from Vancouver, Canada to Sydney, Australia. The ship will sail from Auckland at 7.00 pm this evening and is due to arrive in the Bay of Islands around 7.00am tomorrow morning. Her call to Tauranga yesterday was the first of three maiden New Zealand port visits she will make this week. Following her debut in Auckland today (Oct 19) she’ll sail to the Bay of Islands where she will make her inaugural call on Friday (October 20).

(Royal Princess will be one of five Princess ships that will visit New Zealand this summer – Princess Cruises)