(9.40 a.m. AEST) -- Princess Cruises has announced a range of itinerary enhancements to Sapphire Princess' inaugural season in Western Australia. As part of its Greatest Hits program with 27 new voyages around the state, the line will now offer cruises in the world-famous Kimberley region, visiting some of the country's great wilderness areas.
On sale now, the expanded itineraries are set to include nine maiden calls along the west coast with calls to Albany, Broome, Exmouth, Geraldton, Kimberley Coast -- including Kuri Bay and Yampi Sound (scenic cruising) -- before sailing to Busselton (Margaret River) and Perth (Fremantle).
Michael Mihajlov, destinations director, Princess Cruises, said: "This coming winter season, we're launching two new experiences in Kuri Bay. Princess will take guests in the sky above the Kimberley with our new Local Connections tour onboard a rare 1940s Mallard ‘Flying Boat’. We'll also be offering our guests guided walking tours for the first time to give them the best vantage of the abundant wildlife and expansive landscapes of the area."
Western Australia's Tourism Minister Paul Papalia said the expanded itineraries would shine a spotlight on the unique beauty of the Kimberley region.
"We are proud of the McGowan Government's investment in making the Port of Broome accessible 24/7 for large cruise ships. It means cruise guests can more easily enjoy the region's attractions, while providing a welcome boost for the local tourism industry," he said.
Sapphire Princess will visit Broome three times during the region's special events including the Broome Cup and Staircase to the Moon. Other shore excursions include visits to Paspaley's working pearl farms.
"We’re looking forward to welcoming and introducing Princess guests to Broome's hallmark events including Broome's Cup Week which attracts visitors to its spectacular racecourse from all around Australia. Broome's natural phenomenon of the Staircase to the Moon will give guests the unique chance to see the moon's reflection across the mudflats of Roebuck Bay creating a glowing image of a stairway leading to the moon," said Cruise Broome chairman Shayne Murray.
The new itineraries include:
An eight-night Coral Coast voyage sailing from Perth (Fremantle), visiting West Australia’s coastal destinations such as Broome during Staircase to the Moon, Geraldton and Exmouth. Departing May 4, 2020, fares start from $599 per person twin share.
A 10-night Coral Coast voyage sailing from Perth (Fremantle), visiting Kuri Bay and Yampi Sound for the first time. Departing May 12, 2020, fares start from $699 per person twin share.
A 17-night Northern Explorer between Perth (Fremantle) and Sydney visiting Broome during the Broome Cup and destinations such as Geraldton and Cairns. Departing Perth (Fremantle) on August 10, 2020, fares start from $1,999 per person twin share.
Redeployed to Australia six months early, the ship will arrive in Perth (Fremantle) on May 1 to commence a 117-day deployment in WA following a multi-million dollar refurbishment. Sapphire Princess was named "Best Cruise Ship for First Timers" and "Best for Cabins" in Cruise Critic Australia's Cruisers’ Choice Awards in 2019.