Princess Cruises ships will sail to the balmy waters of the Caribbean from both Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and Galveston, Texas during the fall 2012 to spring 2013 cruise season, plus will offer a variety of ways to cruise through one of the world's engineering wonders, the Panama Canal.
Princess' upcoming Caribbean schedule will feature five ships sailing to the Eastern, Western and Southern Caribbean, including a Western Caribbean route aboard Crown Princess that will mark the lines return to sailing from Galveston. During the fall to spring season, passengers can choose from 115 voyages sailing to 22 destinations on 10 itineraries, ranging from seven-day island getaways to relaxing 20-day sojourns.
Additionally, Princess continues to be the leader in Panama Canal cruising with two ships – Coral Princess and Island Princess – sailing in the region on eight itinerary options, including both full and partial Canal transits. The vessels, built especially for sailing through this marvel of engineering, together will offer 40 cruise departures for an up-close look at the fascinating process of moving up and down through the famous locks.
"Whether they want beautiful beaches, natural wonders, colorful culture or intriguing history, passengers will find the ports of our Caribbean and Panama Canal sailings are the perfect way to escape from the cold of winter, the stress of work or everyday routine," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president.
Princess Cruises 2012-13 Caribbean season includes:
Ruby Princess/Eastern Caribbean – Ruby Princess sails to the Eastern Caribbean, with roundtrip seven-day cruises from Ft. Lauderdale on Sundays. The itinerary features calls at the lines own Princess Cays, St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Grand Turk. Ruby Princess sails between October 28, 2012 and April 28, 2013.
Crown Princess/Western Caribbean from Galveston – Crown Princess makes Princess return to Galveston, Texas for seven-day sailings to Costa Maya, Roatán, Belize and Cozumel. Cruises depart between December 22, 2012 and April 27, 2013.
Caribbean Princess/Southern Caribbean – Caribbean Princess sails from Ft. Lauderdale on a seven-day roundtrip voyage to Princess Cays, Curaçao and Aruba. Departures run from November 10, 2012 to April 27, 2013. Caribbean Princess will also offer a special four-day Bermuda Sampler voyage to Bermuda on a roundtrip sailing from New York, departing on Oct. 27, 2012; and a 10-day Caribbean Islander voyage from New York to Ft. Lauderdale, calling at San Juan, St. Thomas, Antigua and Aruba, departing on October 31, 2012.
Grand Princess/Eastern and Southern Caribbean – Grand Princess sails on alternating seven-day voyages from Ft. Lauderdale. The ship sails to San Juan, St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Princess Cays in the Eastern Caribbean; and Princess Cays, Curaçao, and Aruba in the Southern Caribbean. Grand Princess sails between November 17, 2012 and January 19, 2013. Voyages can be combined for a longer 14-day cruise among the islands.
Emerald Princess/10-Day Eastern and Southern Caribbean – For a more in-depth island vacation with the convenience of roundtrip travel from Ft. Lauderdale, Emerald Princess offers alternating 10-day roundtrip itineraries one to the Southern Caribbean and the other to the Eastern Caribbean. The Southern Caribbean Medley itinerary calls at Aruba, Bonaire, Grenada, Dominica, St. Thomas, and Princess Cays. The Eastern Caribbean Voyager itinerary offers calls at Antigua, St. Lucia, Barbados, St. Kitts, St. Thomas, and Princess Cays. Emerald Princess sails between November 7, 2012 and April 26, 2013. Voyages can be combined into a 20-day Caribbean Grand Adventure.
Panama Canal itineraries include:
Roundtrip Panama Canal Cruises – Coral Princess and Island Princess again sail the classic 10-day roundtrip itinerary from Ft. Lauderdale, which offers a partial Panama Canal transit to Gatun Lake followed by an evening a call in Colón, plus calls in the Caribbean ports of Aruba, Cartagena, Limón (Costa Rica), and Grand Cayman or Ocho Rios. The ships sail between October 13, 2012 and April 15, 2013.
Full Panama Canal Transit Sailings – This 14-day itinerary between Ft. Lauderdale and Los Angeles offers a full Panama Canal transit plus visits to Aruba, Cartagena, Puntarenas (Costa Rica), San Juan del Sur (Nicaragua), and Cabo San Lucas. Island Princess offers four sailings on this route, with departures on November 12 and 26, 2012, plus March 8 and 22, 2013.
Panama Canal Two-Day Experience Cruises – Coral Princess and Island Princess will feature three itineraries offering Princess Two-Day Canal Experience a full Panama Canal transit combined with a full day at Fuerte Amador on the Pacific side of Panama. The 14-day itinerary sails between Ft. Lauderdale and Los Angeles with calls at Aruba, Cartagena, and Puntarenas (Costa Rica) in addition to the Two-Day Canal Experience. A 15-day option offers an additional call in Puerto Quetzal (Guatemala). And another 15-day option sails from San Francisco to Ft. Lauderdale with calls at Cabo San Lucas, Puntarenas (Costa Rica), Cartagena, and Aruba. Sailings on these itineraries depart between September 20, 2012 and May 4, 2013. Coral Princess and Island Princess also offer longer Grand Adventures of 17, 18 and 19 days, sailing to and from Vancouver.
The Panama Canal and Caribbean have been featured on the Princess Cruises blog, 50 Essential Experiences: The Travel Bucket List. Travel stories from Princess destination experts include inspiring stories about sailing through the Canal, bobsledding in Jamaica, and exploring Tulum in Mexico.