We have written this article and given it the title “Princess Cruise Lines” primarily to clear up a confusion. There is actually no Princess Cruise Lines – plenty of people search for it, but technically no company goes by that name – but there is a Princess Cruises, the “Love Boat” cruise line because one of its ships was used for the television show. Princess Cruises is owned by Carnival Corporation & PLC, an enormous enterprise that operates several distinct cruise lines. Perhaps people simply think Princess Cruises is called Princess Cruise Lines, or it might be that people are mixing up a single cruise line (Princess Cruises) with the company that owns it, mistakenly thinking that the cruise line conglomerate Carnival Corporation is called Princess. Whatever the confusion, we set everything straight below.
You might think it’s strange that anyone could get confused about Carnival and Princess. They are both enormous, well-known companies, and their names are not remotely alike. What is there to mix up? While this is a reasonable enough reaction to the subject matter of this article, the situation between Carnival and Princess is a bit complicated, and we presume this is where the confusion stems from.
The basic issue is that Carnival Corporation is a large, somewhat complex company. The Carnival Corporation controls about half the cruise industry and owns nine cruise lines (or ten if P&O Cruises and P&P Cruises Australia are counted separately). The flagship cruise line of Carnival Corporation is strangely called Carnival Cruise Lines (plural), despite the fact that it is a single cruise line. After Carnival Cruise Lines, the second largest cruise line owned by Carnival Corporation is Princess Cruises. The Princess Cruises brand is widely known and it is a very successful company. (Princess actually brings in more revenue than any other cruise line owned by the Carnival Corporation, including its namesake cruise line.) It is also widely known that Princess and Carnival are in some way connected.
Given all these facts, it is not surprising that people get mixed up. For one, it is confusing that “Carnival” refers to both a conglomerate and an individual cruise line. Most people think of Carnival as a cruise line and so might not even be aware of the larger company known as Carnival Corporation, and if you don’t know of this larger entity, you might think it is one of the “Princess cruise lines.” Again, Princess Cruises has a high profile, so it is not unreasonable to think Princess is the larger company that owns Carnival and not the other way around. Also, since there is a single cruise line that goes by the plural name Carnival Cruise Lines, you might think there is another single cruise line that goes by the plural name Princess Cruise Lines.
Basically, Carnival is complicated, and in fact so is the whole cruise industry thanks to the other major conglomerate, Royal Caribbean Cruise Ltd., so it is not always clear who owns what. Things become even more complicated when there are confusingly named cruise lines like Carnival Cruise Lines. “Princess Cruise Lines” is a mistake that emerges somewhere out of the mess.
So, if you are looking for Princess Cruise Lines, you are probably looking for the popular cruise line known as Princess Cruises. If not, you might have thought that Princess is the parent company of a number of different cruise lines; that is, you might have thought that Princess is like Carnival Corporation, or maybe that Princess simply is Carnival Corporation. Regardless, the bottom line is that, despite the number of people searching for it, there is no such company as Princess Cruise Lines.