February 5, 2001
The Far East, once a cruise destination dominated by high-end cruise ships (Silversea’s 12-night from $7376, Radisson’s 11-night from $4,370), is no longer largely off-limits to the mainstream cruiser. We’ve reported before that lines like Royal Caribbean and Princess are increasingly offering itineraries that are reasonably affordable in the $2,500 - $4,000 range for two-week trips. Last week that region got another boost when Princess announced its new 109,000 ton Star Princess will make its maiden voyage next February -- not plying the typical European to East Coast waterway -- with a 26-day Pacific Rim itinerary. The 2,600-pax ship will be the largest to call at many of its Asian ports. Star Princess will set sail from Singapore and include calls at Okinawa, Japan, and Taiwan before heading to Los Angeles. Once in L.A., where it will home port, Star Princess will offer regular Mexican Riviera itineraries.