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Carnival stages big send off as Sapphire Princess sets sail from Shanghai

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Carnival Corporation and Princess Cruises celebrated today’s (May 22) the inaugural season of Princess CruisesSapphire Princess from its new summer home port of Shanghai marking first China homeport cruising program for the line, and ushering in the line’s new premium Princess Class to the rapidly-expanding China cruise market.

The Sapphire will do a four-month tour of duty through August. The company will transport approximately 70,000 passengers on 24 unique cruises with itineraries ranging from three to five days stopping at famous cities in South Korea and Japan, including Seoul (Incheon), Busan, Jeju Island, Fukuoka (Hakata), Kagoshima, Okinawa and Nagasaki.

“We’re excited to be the first line to offer a genuine premium cruise option to Chinese vacationers,” said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. “We know that they are discerning travelers, and have a great desire to explore and learn through travel and unique experiences. We’re well-positioned to provide this to them aboard Sapphire Princess.”

To prepare for the inaugural season, Princess conducted extensive research into what Chinese travelers preferences discovering a high priority on food and amenities, an exceptional shopping experience, and service in their own language. And so the new Princess Class was born.

Unique cruise features on the China itineraries include the World Leaders Dinner, Tai Chi at sea, ballroom dancing, Ocean View Hot Pot dinner option, “Princess Night” stateroom amenities, a large selection of subtitled Hollywood movies, a variety of Chinese satellite TV channels, and an unparalleled shopping experience. In addition to the only 24-hour buffet at sea in China, a wide variety of traditional Chinese dishes will also be offered for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

“Princess Cruises has blazed many trails in the cruise industry, continuously evolving to meet the needs of today’s vacationers, and we’re doing so in the China market as well,” said Cherry Wang, Carnival plc country director for China. “The innovations we’ve developed for our first cruise season here are behind the already promising demand for our Shanghai-based voyages. A place on Sapphire Princess is this summer’s hot travel ticket.”

The strapping and striking 116,000-ton, 2,670-passenger Sapphire Princess sports 18 decks and 28 premium suites, with over half of the ship’s staterooms fitted with private balconies. There are also five pools, a casino, duty-free shops, fitness center and spa, sports deck, children’s and teen’s centers, library, internet café, art gallery and a golf putting course, among other features.

Check out the video we found for anyone interested in Shanhai and love the Rolling Stones.

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