(5:30 a.m. EST) -- Princess Cruises has announced two preview cruises onboard Royal Princess, giving passengers the chance to get a taste of the new ship before the official maiden voyage on June 16.
The June 9 and June 14 cruises will sail roundtrip from Southampton on a two-night itinerary which will include a call in St. Peter Port, Guernsey.
Both cruises will go on sale on Tuesday, January 29, at 2 p.m. (GMT) to passengers already booked on the maiden voyage, and Wednesday January 30 at 2 p.m. (GMT) to all other customers. Fares start from £349pp for a balcony stateroom.
The 141,000-ton, 3,600-passenger Royal Princess is some 20 percent larger than Princess Cruises' next biggest vessels. It represents more of an evolution than a revolution for the line, but Princess has revealed a handful of novel-sounding features, which include the innovative SeaWalk, a cantilevered, glass-enclosed walkway that will extend 28 feet beyond the edge of the ship and 128 feet over the water; cruising's first "television studio"; and a fondue dining option and balconies on all outside cabins.
It will debut with a series of 12-night cruises out of Barcelona and Venice. A sister ship, Regal Princess, will arrive in spring 2014.