(3 p.m. BST) -- Princess Cruises has revealed its longest-ever European season for 2021, with three OceanMedallion-enabled ships based in Southampton, plus a further two ships in Europe, between April and November.
Grand Princess, Island Princess and Crown Princess will all homeport in the UK, with five brand-new itineraries available out of Southampton.
The move builds on next year's deployment which sees the largest-ever number of cruise ships in Europe in 2020 -- five vessels -- three of which will be based in the UK.
Princess will base Island Princess, Crown Princess and Regal Princess in Southampton throughout summer 2020, offering 1.4 million cruise nights -- a 30 percent increase over 2019.
In 2021, Princess will base its two newest ships -- the 3,660-passenger Sky Princess and Enchanted Princess, which is set to debut in Southampton June 2020 -- in the Mediterranean.
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Princess Cruises vice president UK & Europe, Tony Roberts, said: "Europe continues to go from strength to strength as the destination of choice for UK guests and we are thrilled to be able to offer our longest season in history. We will offer more choice than ever before, with UK guests able to take advantage of a huge range of fantastic destinations sailing from right on their doorstep.
"Having five MedallionClass ships based in Europe, including our latest vessels Sky Princess and Enchanted Princess, is testament to Princess Cruises’ commitment to offering UK guests new onboard experiences, premium services and a wealth of holiday options."
The 2,600-passenger Grand Princess will offer the longest season, sailing a mix of Mediterranean, Northern Europe and Canada & New England itineraries from from April to November 2021.
The 2,200-passenger Island Princess will sail out of Southampton from June to October, offering Northern Europe and Mediterranean itineraries, with two new voyages, while the 3,080-passenger Crown Princess will offer 14 British Isles itineraries from April to October, including overnight calls in ports such as Dublin and Edinburgh.
New itineraries from Southampton include:
- A 24-day Canada & New England sailing to Boston, Bar Harbour, Halifax, Sydney (Nova Scotia), overnight in Quebec, Saguenay, Charlottetown and St. Johns (Newfoundland).
- A six-day half-term sailing, departing in May, to Guernsey, La Rochelle and Bilbao.
- An eight-day Scandinavia sailing to Kristiansand, Aarhus, Copenhagen, Gothenburg and Oslo.
- A 10-day "Oktoberfest European Capitals" itinerary to Hamburg, Gothenburg, Copenhagen, Oslo, Rotterdam and Zeebrugge for Brussels/Bruges.
- A 24-day Grand European Explorer sailing, with calls to ports in Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Israel and Malta.
Sky Princess will homeport in Copenhagen, offering Scandinavia and Russia itineraries from April to September, including overnight calls in St Petersburg.
Enchanted Princess will be based in the Mediterranean from April to October, offering sailings out of Rome, Athens and Barcelona.
All 2021 European sailings go on sale on August 14, 2019 with Princess’ Elite customers able to book from August 13, 2019 at 9am. A low £1 deposit is available to book any of the UK and Europe 2021 sailings on August 13 and 14.
All European-based ships will offer OceanMedallion technology, which is a free, wearable chip-sized disc that serves as an access point to information about you (i.e. your "digital identity") for the cruise line -- allowing Princess to customise your onboard experience. It also allows passengers to unlock their cabin door and pay for purchases, such as in the shop or at the spa.
The Medallion works in conjunction with a series of mobile phone apps, with each app offering a different function, such as checking in at embarkation, ordering food and drinks, playing games and navigating the ship.
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