Travellers have been attracted to take the plunge and book a cruise for the first time thanks to the first-ever season of round-Britain cruises aimed specifically at UK residents.
As Princess Cruises nears the end of its ‘Summer Seacations’, on offer from August to the beginning of October, Tony Roberts, Vice President Princess Cruises UK and Europe, said it had been very heartening to see the large number of new-to-cruise guests sailing with the line. He continued:
“When we first opened bookings, we saw a huge amount of interest from loyal Princess fans who saw it as the opportunity to get back on a ship and also have the chance to sail on Sky Princess,”
The 3,660-passenger ship, launched in 2019, had previously homeported in America and was moved to the UK alongside sister ship Regal Princess to debut in the UK and offer scenic voyages and itineraries visiting ports including Liverpool, Greenock, Belfast and Portland.
Like all other cruise lines, Princess had to pause operations during the pandemic and the domestic cruises offered the chance for UK passengers to cruise again without the red tape and restrictions of foreign travel.
“We knew cruisers familiar with the line would want to come back and it was really good to hear reports from crew members that there were many passengers who were new to Princess or cruising for the very first time and were blown away by the experience.”
“They saw it as a great opportunity to enjoy all the facilities of a resort-like holiday in a safe environment. Covid created a new style of holiday with the seacations, and we immediately saw the demand for this type of break.”
Sky Princess is one of the line’s MedallionClass ships featuring enhanced contactless technology available through a wearable device the size of a 10p coin which replaces cabin key cards and offers other capabilities including on-demand food and drink services, the ability to connect with friends and family on board and personalised itinerary planning.
“Although developed pre-Covid many of the features remove any concerns people might have about travelling again. For example, you don’t have to queue at the bar as you can order food and drink, and have it delivered to you wherever you are in the ship.”
Sky Princess is the line’s fourth Royal-class vessel and boasts a host of new features including the Take Five live jazz venue, French restaurant Bistro La Sur Mer, the WakeView Bar and Pool, and two Sky Suites, which have the largest balconies at sea and offer 270-degree views.
“Princess is one of only two cruise lines to have two ships operating out of the UK this summer, which bears testament to our commitment and devotion to UK guests. The season marked the first sailing of Sky Princess from Southampton, her homeport for three consecutive years. We are delighted to have one of our newest ships dedicated to the UK market and we are certain guests will love everything Sky Princess has to offer.”
Through to 2023 Sky Princess will sail on a variety of itineraries from Southampton including Scandinavia, the Norwegian Fjords, Mediterranean and the Baltics.
Known as the ‘River Cruise Queen’, Jeannine Williamson is an award-winning travel writer, cruise expert and our cruise correspondent, who has clocked up thousands of nautical miles.
Photographs courtesy of Princess Cruises