History of Princess Cruise Lines

The history of Princess Cruise Lines (Princess Cruises) is filled with fame, fortune, and romance. Who could forget the famous “Pacific Princess� cruise ship that was the star attraction on the 1970s hit TV show “The Love Boat?� The weekly series, along with Princess Cruise’s Pacific Princess, was responsible for introducing millions of viewers to the concept of a vacation by sea.
The show and Pacific Princess were such a hit that the company name and “its seawitch logo have remained synonymous with cruising ever since.�

Besides achieving pop culture icon status in the 1970s, Princess Cruises has also grown into one of the world’s premier cruise lines. Princess Cruises began in 1965 with a single cruise ship cruising to Mexico. Since then, the Princess Cruises fleet has grown to 17 ships and an 18th set to join the fleet sometime in 2008. Princess Cruises fleet includes: Caribbean Princess (2004), Coral Princess (2003), Crown Princess (2006), Dawn Princess (1997), Diamond Princess (2004), Emerald Princess (2007), Golden Princess (2001), Grand Princess (1998), Island Princess (2003), Pacific Princess (1999), Regal Princess (1991), Royal Princess (2007), Sapphire Princess (2004), Sea Princess (1998), Star Princess (2002), Sun Princess (1995), Tahitian Princess (1999) and Ruby Princess (2008).

While Princess Cruise Lines has it’s beginnings with sailings to Mexico, over the decades, the line has added 16 destinations representing more than 100 itineraries ranging from seven to 102 days. Princess Cruise Lines’ destinations include the Caribbean, Alaska, Panama Canal, Europe, Mexican Riviera, South America, Australia/New Zealand, South Pacific, Hawaii, Tahiti/French Polynesia, Asia, India, Africa, Canada/New England, Antarctica and world cruises. In addition, Princess Cruise Lines currently calls at approximately 280 ports around the world.

Throughout the history of Princess Cruise Lines, the company has proven to be a pioneer in several areas. Not only is it home to the first liner to star in a weekly TV series, Princess Cruise Lines has “also been the leader in building ships specifically designed to accommodate an extensive number of the most sought-after shipboard luxury — the private balcony.” Princess Cruises pioneered the concept of the affordable veranda in the mid-1980s. This had always been an exclusive feature of a ships most expensive and luxurious suites. Today, Princess Cruise Line’s fleet offers one of the highest percentages of balcony cabins in the industry — across all cabin categories.

The History of Princess Cruises: A Timeline of Key Events (*from Princess Cruises Public Relations Department)


Company founder Stanley B. McDonald charters Princess Patricia and forms Princess Cruises — first winter season of Mexico cruises starts in November


Princess Patricia returned to owners


Princess Italia chartered (one of first modern ships built specifically for cruising)
First Panama Canal cruises (company pioneered regularly scheduled Canal cruises)


Princess Carla chartered
Seawitch logo makes first appearance
Boise Cascade purchases Princess
First Alaska season (Princess Italia)
First transatlantic sailing (13-day Nassau-Genoa, Princess Italia)


Stanley McDonald repurchases Princess from Boise Cascade
Princess Carla returned to owners


Island Princess joins fleet (formerly Island Venture)
Princess Tours founded


Princess Italia returned to owners


Princess acquired by the Pennisular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O)
Pacific Princess joins fleet (formerly Sea Venture)
Sun Princess joins fleet (formerly P&O’s Spirit of London)


“The Love Boat” TV series developed by producer Aaron Spelling; Princess agrees to become backdrop for the show


“The Love Boat” begins filming


Princess Tours acquires Johansen Royal Tours


Stanley McDonald departs company


Princess begins calling at first private Caribbean island, Palm Island in Grenadines


Royal Princess joins fleet (innovative ship features all outside cabins)


Pacific Princess launches company’s first Mediterranean season
First major cruise line to base a ship in San Diego (Pacific Princess to Mexico)


Sea Princess joins fleet from P&O (formerly Kungsholm)
New “Voyage of the Glaciers” route debuts (Vancouver/Whittier on Sea Princess)
New private island, Mayreau (Grenadines), replaces Palm Island


Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge opens
First Caribbean cruises from Miami
First Asia cruises (Royal Princess)
First Northern Europe (Baltic) cruises


Princess acquires Sitmar Cruises
Dawn Princess joins fleet (formerly Fairwind)
Fair Princess joins fleet (formerly Fairsea)
Sky Princess joins fleet (formerly Fairsky)
Sun Princess sold
First Midnight Sun Express Railcars built


Star Princess joins fleet


Crown Princess joins fleet
Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge opens
Captain’s Circle loyalty program begins


Regal Princess joins fleet
Sea Princess transferred to P&O as Victoria


New private island launched (Princess Cays in Eleuthera)


Golden Princess chartered (formerly Royal Viking Sky)
Dawn Princess sold
Fairbanks Princess Hotel opens


Sun Princess joins fleet (world’s largest cruise ship)
Fair Princess transferred to P&O Australia


Golden Princess returned to owner
C.R.U.I.S.E. customer service program debuts


Dawn Princess joins fleet
Star Princess transferred to P&O becoming Arcadia
Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge opens


Grand Princess joins fleet (world’s largest cruise ship)
Sea Princess joins fleet
“Love Boat: the Next Wave” debuts
First world cruise (Island Princess — 64 days Rome/San Francisco)
Santa Clarita, California customer service center opens
Princess Cays expanded


Island Princess sold
Comprehensive company web site debuts


P&O Princess demerged from P&O
Ocean Princess joins fleet
Sky Princess transferred to P&O Australia becoming Pacific Sky
First Bermuda cruises (program ran 2000-02)
Fleet transferred to British/Bermuda registry


Golden Princess joins fleet
Princess headquarters moves to Santa Clarita, California
Use of shore power debuts in Juneau


Star Princess joins fleet
Original Pacific Princess sold
Tahitian Princess joins fleet
Crown Princess transferred to A’ROSA becoming A’ROSA Blu
Ocean Princess transferred to P&O becoming Oceana
Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge opened


Princess acquired by Carnival Corporation Coral Princess joins fleet
New Pacific Princess joins fleet (split deployment with P&O Australia
New Island Princess joins fleet
Sea Princess transferred to P&O becoming Adonia
First Antarctica cruise


Cunard Line integrated into Princess operations
Diamond Princess joins fleet
Caribbean Princess joins fleet
Sapphire Princess joins fleet
First Caribbean sailings from Galveston, Texas


Royal Princess transferred to P&O becoming Artemis
Sea Princess returns to Princess fleet
Princess Cruises celebrates 40th anniversary


Crown Princess joins fleet


Department of Romance launched
Emerald Princess joins fleet
New Royal Princess joins fleet
Regal Princess transferred to P&O Australia becoming Pacific Dawn

*Princess Cruises Public Relations Department
Princess Cruises
24305 Town Center Drive
Santa Clarita, CA 91355
For media use only: (661) 753-1530
Corporate Info: (661) 753-0000
Email for media use only:
[email protected]

Princess Cruises is part of Carnival Corporation (NYSE: CCL and CUK), one of the largest vacation companies in the world.

Leave a Comment

Skip to content