In a little-noticed announcement -- at least here at Cruise Critic -- Princess has quietly decided to reposition its 77,000-ton, 1,950-passenger Dawn Princess to Australia next year. The ship, which will offer Australia/New Zealand itineraries from October 2006 through March 2007 (the Southern Hemisphere's summer season) will be the largest ever based in the Land Down Under. Its cruises will be marketed to the Australian market.
Currently, the 30,200-ton, 680-passenger Pacific Princess -- which spends half the year serving the Australian market there, and the other half targeting North American passengers for South Pacific cruises -- is handling the job; its new assignment has not yet been revealed by Princess Cruises.
Like Pacific Princess, Dawn Princess will operate on a split deployment; for its Sydney-based cruises it will sail under the banner of P&O Australia, a sister company. Presumably, though the cruise line does not offer the info, Dawn Princess will then operate for six months under the Princess Cruises banner, which markets primarily to North Americans.
Stay tuned for more detailed itineraries, which will be released later this year.