Princess to feature largest Australia and New Zealand program of any North American brand in 2012-2013

Featuring the largest Australia deployment of any North American line in the region, Princess Cruises' 2012-13 season of "Down Under" cruising offers intriguing new routes, a special solar eclipse cruise, a new cruisetour to the Outback, and more sailings to New Zealand than any other line.

In total, four ships -- Diamond Princess, Sun Princess, Dawn Princess and Sea Princess -- will sail on 40 voyages of eight different itineraries in the region. Among them are a longer 14-day Australia & New Zealand itinerary that adds two ports, Wellington and Picton, compared to previous seasons; as well as an extensive 33-day Round Australia & New Zealand route, featuring the best of the lands of kangaroos and kiwis.

Additionally, a special sailing will offer the unique opportunity to view the November 14 solar eclipse in its area of totality around northern Australia. This 11-day Queensland cruise aboard Dawn Princess includes a day at sea especially for the opportunity to view the solar eclipse.

Passengers who want to see more of Australia can opt for one of four complete land and sea cruisetours, that seamlessly combine a land itinerary with an Australia/New Zealand cruise. A new seven-night tour option debuts this season, featuring a train ride into the Outback from Adelaide aboard the historic Ghan Railway.

The Princess program includes three ships based locally for Aussie-style cruising. Featuring dining and entertainment options geared to Australian tastes, plus using Australian dollars as the onboard currency, these sailings offer a true local experience to passengers from all over.

"Australia and New Zealand are home to some of the world's great cruise destinations," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. "Whether someone wants to explore the Great Barrier Reef, sail to scenic spots in New Zealand such as the dramatic Fiordland National Park, or even circumnavigate the entire Australian continent, we offer unforgettable vacation experiences."

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