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Princess Cruises is an British-American owned cruise line, based in Santa Clarita, California in the United States[1] and incorporated in Bermuda. Previously a subsidiary of P&O Princess Cruises, the company is now one of ten cruise ship brands owned by Carnival Corporation & plc and accounts for approximately 19% share of its revenue.

 Being based in America, executive control of Princess Cruises was transferred to Carnival Corp following its acquisition of P&O Princess in 2002. The company was made famous by The Love Boat TV series, in which its ship, Pacific Princess was featured. In May 2013, the brand new Royal Princess became the flagship of Princess Cruises, and in 2014 will be joined by her new sister-ship Regal Princess.
Princess Cruises began in 1965, when founder Stanley McDonald chartered Canadian Pacific Limited's Alaska cruise ship Princess Patricia for Mexican Riviera cruises from Los Angeles during a time when she would have usually been laid up for the winter. However, Princess Pat, as she was fondly called, had never been designed for tropical cruising, lacking air-conditioning, and Princess ended her charter in favor of a more purpose-built cruise ship Italia.
The Italia had originally been ordered in 1963 and was one of the first to implement modern design elements, such as lifeboats mounted lower on the ship, allowing for uncluttered upperdecks, and engines placed far in the rear, allowing for spacious public rooms amidships. Gustavo Finali and Romano Boico had designed the ship's interiors, designers whose résumés included such ships as the Augustus and Raffaello (of Italian Line) and the Oceanic and Homeric (of Home Lines).
Construction proceeded slowly, and accordingly, the Italia was not launched until the spring of 1965, and during the fitting out, both the owners and the builder were declared bankrupt. The Italia was passed onto a bank who created a company to charter or sell the ship, and consequently, the company chartered the Italia to Princess.
Princess, who marketed the ship as Princess Italia but never officially renamed her, used the ship to inaugurate their Mexican Riviera cruises out of Los Angeles, and did not even receive the Princess logo on her funnel until 1967.
In 1969, the Princess Italia was used on Alaskan cruises from San Francisco, but by 1973, the charter was canceled, and the Italia returned to Europe on charter to Costa Cruise Line.
Princess's third charter ship was none other than Costa's Carla C. Originally, Compagnie Générale Transatlantique's Flandre, the ship had been purchased by Costa in the late 1960's and given a major rebuilding. Almost immediately after completion, the ship was chartered to Princess, and it was on board the ship, which was marketed as, but again not officially renamed, Princess Carla, that Jeraldine Saunders wrote the first chapters of her nonfiction book The Love Boats.
Britain's Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O) which by 1960 was the world's largest shipping company with 320 ocean going vessels acquired Princess Cruise Lines in 1974 and their Spirit of London (originally to have been Norwegian Cruise Line's Seaward) was transferred to the Princess fleet, becoming the first Sun Princess.
The two ships that were to be featured heavily in the television series The Love Boat were built in 1971 at Nordseewerke for Flagship Cruises and originally named the Sea Venture (for the original Sea Venture, the 1609 wreck of which resulted in the settlement of Bermuda) and Island Venture. In 1974, P&O purchased them for their Princess division, and they served as the Island Princess and Pacific Princess respectively.
A part-time addition to the Princess fleet was the former Swedish transatlantic liner Kungsholm, purchased by P&O from Flagship Cruises in 1978, and then restyled and rebuilt in Bremen as the Sea Princess. She was initially based in Australia as a P&O ship until 1981 when her role there was taken over by the Oriana. After that, she alternated between P&O and Princess colours as she moved between fleets. The Sea Princess returned to the P&O UK fleet permanently and in 1995 and was renamed Victoria to allow a then new Princess ship to be named Sea Princess.
The first P&O Princess Cruises purpose-built cruise ship was the Royal Princess in 1984, the largest new British passenger ship in a decade, and one of the first, if not the first, ships to completely dispense with interior cabins. The ship served in P&O Cruises fleet as the Artemis until 2011. The Swan Helenic Cruiseship Minerva II, originally built as the Renaissance Cruises R8 was renamed Royal Princess in 2007 after an extensive refit during a drydock in Gibraltar.
In 1986, P&O Princess Cruises acquired Tour Alaska, which operated on the Alaska Railroad. Based in Anchorage, Alaska, Princess Tours now operates ten luxury railcars with full-service scenic tours of Mount McKinley and can accommodate over 700 passengers per day.
P&O Princess Cruises acquired Sitmar Line in 1988 and transferred all of its major tonnage to Princess, including three cruise ships then under construction.[3] The Dawn Princess and Fair Princess were both ex-Cunarders, and the former Sitmar Fairsky became Princess's Sky Princess. The first of the three new Sitmar ships came into the Princess brand in 1989 as the Star Princess, the largest British exclusively cruising ship. Two 70,000 grt cruise ships entered service in 1990 as the Crown Princess and Regal Princess, bringing Princess's fleet up to ten deluxe cruise ships.
Princess Cruises was involved in litigation with GE in 1998 over consequential damages and lost profits resulting from a contract the two parties entered into. GE was to provide inspection and repair services upon the SS Sky Princess. Upon noticing surface rust on the rotor, the vessel was brought ashore for cleaning and balancing, but good metal was unintentionally removed. This destabilized the rotor, forcing Princess Cruises to cancel two 10-day cruises while additional work was performed. Princess originally prevailed, being awarded nearly $4.6 million. On appeal, however, the judgment was reversed in favor of GE, and Princess Cruises only recovered the price of the contract, less than $232,000.
On October 23, 2000, the Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O) demerged its passenger division to form an independent company, P&O Princess Cruises. The company subsequently merged with Carnival Corporation on April 17, 2003, to form the world's largest cruise operating company in a deal worth US$5.4 billion.
As a result of the merger, Carnival Corporation and P&O Princess were integrated to form Carnival Corporation & plc, with a portfolio of eleven cruise ship brands. It is a dual listed company, registered in both the United States and the United Kingdom, with the former P&O Princess Cruises being relisted as Carnival plc, more commonly known as Carnival UK. As an American-based company, executive control of Princess Cruises was transferred to Carnival's American operations, with Carnival UK taking control of Southampton-based Cunard Line. Princess and Cunard have offices at Carnival's head offices in both the United States and the United Kingdom.
On April 3, 2008 Micky Arison, the chairman of Carnival Corporation & plc, stated that due to the low value of the US dollar, inflation and high shipbuilding costs, the company would not be ordering any new ships for their US-based brands (Princess, Carnival Cruise Lines and Holland America Line) before the economic situation improves.
On February 17, 2010, Carnival Corporation & plc and Fincantieri builders reached an agreement for the construction of 2 new cruise ships for Princess Cruises. These ships are scheduled to enter service in Summer 2013 and 2014.
On May 4, 2010, Carnival Corporation & plc finalized the contract for the two new ships.
Future ships
In early 2010, Fincantieri and Carnival Corporation & plc reached an agreement to build two ships for Princess Cruises. The agreement is subject to the execution of a definitive contract, financing and other customary conditions.
The contract was then finalized on May 4, 2010. While in the midst of Economic downturn, Princess managed to finalize the contract with the help of Italian Export Credit Companies, particularly SACE S.p.A.
The two ships are designed to have a tonnage of 141,000-GT, with a passenger capacity of 3,600. The new ships are predicted to enter service in Summer 2013 and 2014 and will be the largest newbuilds to date for Princess Cruises.[8] The ship's design will be evolutionary from the current Princess fleet, and will offer new innovations. 100% of its outside staterooms will have balconies, which will comprise 80% of all staterooms. The signature Piazza atrium will have an expansion.[9] Other innovations are expected to be unveiled in the upcoming months.
The first of the two ships will become the new Royal Princess; the former Royal Princess left the Princess fleet in May 2011 when it joined P&O Cruises as MV Adonia.
In mid-March 2011, Princess released a video of their new Royal Princess, planned to debut in spring 2013. New features include a cantilevered walkway and bar on the top deck, an enlarged Sanctuary bar, an adult-only pool and the largest Movies Under The Stars screen Princess has built so far.
It was announced on August 29, 2012 that the sister ship to the new Royal Princess will be named the Regal Princess.
On April 9, 2013, Princess announced that Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, would be godmother to Royal Princess and would attend its naming ceremony in Southampton, UK, on June 13, 2013.
On July 30, 2014, Princess announced that it has placed another order for an unnamed 3rd Royal Class cruise ship. It will debut in 2017.

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