The reason for the moniker change? Based primarily in the South Pacific since it was acquired by Princess in 2002, Tahitian Princess is expanding to a more world-wide deployment, including a summer 2008 season in Alaska, a world cruise in early 2009 and a summer 2009 season in the North Atlantic (Canada, Iceland, Greenland, U.K., Norway, etc.). Then, at the end of 2009, the newly named ship will head to Asia for a series of sailings out of Shanghai and Bangkok.
Rational-minded Princess decided that such a specific geographically derived name no longer makes sense.
Tahitian Princess will be renamed Ocean Princess in November 2009 during a period of routine maintenance in Singapore.
Fans of the Princess' small-ship South Pacific cruises need not fret. Sister ship Pacific Princess -- which oddly enough is busy sailing the Middle East, Mediterranean, Caribbean and a world cruise in 2008 -- will offer South Pacific cruises out of Papeete, the former staging point for Tahitian Princess.
--by Dan Askin, Assistant Editor