April 10, 2002
Lots of comings and goings over at Princess. First, the cruise line announces its fourth Grand Princess sibling will join the fleet in spring 2004. Princess will call the 109,000-ton mega-vessel the Crown Princess, recycling, as it has done with Island Princess, the name from an earlier ship. Well, let’s not be too hasty: the current 70,000-ton Crown Princess is still part of the company’s roster, at least for a couple more weeks. Then Crown Princess departs to undergo a transformation, when it will be known as A’ROSA Blu as part of A’ROSA Cruises, P&O Princess’ German-oriented line. Meanwhile, Princess announced today another ship departure from its line, this one a tad more contemporary. The relatively new Sea Princess, a 77,000-ton ship now sailing the Mexican Riviera, will be transferred to P&O Cruises next spring. There it will replace the Arcadia, which, in yet another intercompany move, is heading over to Ocean Village, a new P&O subsidiary that will focus on contemporary, informal cruising. Already announced, of course, is the departure of 20,000-ton Pacific Princess in November; this 1970s-era ship, much beloved as the “Love Boat,” has been sold (already in fact -- the cruise line has actually been leasing it back until November). That will leave the 45,000-ton Royal Princess with the title of the fleet’s “grande dame”. Royal Princess, launched in 1984, is another much-loved ship not only for its “no-inside-cabins” but also because the vessel was christened by the late Princess Diana.