Princess Introduces New 2008 Cruisetours

New options for cruise passengers in South America, Asia and Australia

By: Ana Figueroa

Princess Cruises will debut three new cruisetour options for the 2008-09 season. The new cruisetours in South America, Asia and Australia will take passengers beyond ports of call to exotic destinations such as the Galapagos Islands and Hangzhou, one of China's most scenic cities.

The three new tours include Galapagos Discovery, which is offered in conjunction with a South America and Panama Canal cruise; Beijing, Hangzhou and Xian, which is combined with several Asia voyages; and Tropical Highlights of Australia which is an add-on to Australia/New Zealand or Asia/Australia sailings.

"These unique cultural itineraries offer a wonderful opportunity for passengers to expand their vacation options with visits to some of the world's most memorable destinations and sites," said Jan Swartz, Princess' senior vice president of customer service. "It's a seamless way to enjoy Princess hospitality and service on an unforgettable journey beyond their cruise."

In South America, Princess will offer guests a Galapagos Discovery tour for the fist time. The tour features air travel from Guayaquil, Ecuador to the Galapagos where the M/V Galapagos Legend will be their home for three days of exploring the islands that inspired Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. Passengers will have four days to view the unique indigenous wildlife on various islands, including sea lions, iguanas, the world's largest colony of waved albatross, and the famous Blue-footed Booby.

In Asia, three China cruisetour options each offer the opportunity to visit Beijing and see the Great Wall, along with many of the country's famed attractions such as the Terra Cotta Warriors in Xian and a new destination for Princess, the historic city of Hangzhou. One of the most prosperous cities of China for much of the last 1,000 years, Hangzhou was once called "the most splendid and luxurious city in the world," by Marco Polo. Today this ancient capital is ranked as one of the ten most scenic cities in China, drawing visitors from around the world particularly for the natural beauty of West Lake and the city's historic treasures. Asia visitors can also experience the highlights of Southeast Asia with the Bangkok and Angkor Wat option, which includes a visit to Cambodia to see the celebrated temple complex a UNESCO World Heritage site plus Thailand's capital and the northern city of Chiang Mai.

In Australia, four different cruisetour options offer travelers the opportunity to visit the iconic sights of Sydney plus visit the Great Barrier Reef. In addition, some tour options include travel to the outback to see Ayers Rock, Kakadu National park and Kuranda, an aboriginal village surrounded by the World heritage Wet tropics of Queensland. New for the season, the Tropical Highlights of Australia tour features extra time for a longer visit in Queensland.

Early booking fares for Princess cruisetours begin at $3,499 per person based on double occupancy for a 20-day land and sea package.