With growing interest in Asia adventure travel, Princess Cruises
has begun North American marketing for a full season of Southeast
Asia cruises aboard the 1,200-passenger Pacific Sky, operated by
sister company P&O Cruises Australia.
Offering February through November 2006 sailings, the tours
feature a casual-style cruise experience that take passengers to
ports on both sides of the Malay Peninsula.
The season offers 38 seven-day departures or 37 sailings on a
14-day itinerary with two seven-day Southeast Asia itineraries
sailing roundtrip from Singapore and alternating itineraries that
can be combined for a 14-day exploration of the Malay Peninsula
that calls at nine ports in Malaysia and Thailand.
“We know there is growing interest in North America to visit
Asia and we think the Pacific Sky itineraries will offer passengers
a great way to explore some of the best of Southeast Asia's resort
areas, in a relaxed and fun-filled cruising environment with
Australian flair,” said Jan Swartz, Princess’ senior vice president
of customer service and sales.
The Eastern Sunsets route will visit the tropical island of Ko
Samui, tranquil Kuantan with picturesque fishing villages, and
includes an overnight stay in Bangkok. The Western Tropics
itinerary features historic Melaka, Malaysia's bustling capital of
Kuala Lumpur, the island of Langkawi with hidden coves and deserted
beaches, Asia’s most popular holiday resort Phuket, and the
colonial outpost of Penang.
The Pacific Sky dining and entertainment options include two
main dining rooms, a 600-seat Broadway-style show lounge, nine
bars, and a deckside nightclub. Additional dining options include a
24-hour pizzeria and ice cream parlor, lunchtime hamburger, hot dog
and pasta bar on deck, plus steaks and snacks at the outdoor grill.
The ship’s children’s activity center offers a youth program, a
cinema screening recent release movies, two large outdoor swimming
pools plus a special pool for children, a health center and spa,
fitness center and outdoor jogging track, Internet facilities and a
Currency used onboard will be in Australian dollars, with early
booking fares beginning at $1,995 for seven-day sailings and $2,690
for 14-day cruises and includes airfare from Los Angeles, San
Francisco, Vancouver or Honolulu.
Victoria Cruises also is beefing up its offerings in Asia on its
Yangtze River cruises, hiring Concepts By Staib Ltd., run by
internationally acclaimed chef Walter Staib, to expand its menus
for its 2006 sailing season with more Western-style specialties to
further appeal to the Western travelers.
Currently, Victoria’s dining menus feature authentic Chinese
cuisine with a mix of popular Western dishes served buffet-style
for breakfast and lunch and banquet-style for dinner. Concepts by
Staib will present a series of Western dishes that complement the
existing Chinese food.
“With the upgrading of our fleet’s physical product and
enhancing our shore excursions over the past few years, we knew
expanding our menu of excellent cuisine to include more
Western-style selections was the next natural step to advancing our
overall cruise offerings and remaining competitive,” said Benson
Wu, vice president of Victoria Cruises.
The new dining specialties that cruisers in 2006 will be able to
enjoy will be taken from a selection of dishes that include tomato
and basil salad, chicken tenderloin-wrapped shrimp, herb-roasted
chicken, roast duck with honey glaze, roast beef with herbed
crepes, ravioli Marinara and desserts from apple cake to sticky
The move comes as Victoria Cruises is set to welcome the
Victoria Anna to its lineup in April 2006, the largest ship in the
company’s fleet boasting the highest passenger capacity and the
most suites of all vessels on the Yangtze.