Unusually founded during the jet age, in 1965 Stanley McDonald noticed that the ships used for Alaskan summer sightseeing voyages weren’t being used in the Winter season. Stanley found he could rent the ships during the off season for an unbelievable price – keeping the ships on the West cost of America and sailing south to the warmer Mexican Riviera the Bookings came flooding in !
The big problem – the Alaska ships had not been built with Air Conditioning the heat of Mexico proved to be… problematic.
The very next year they introduced another ship (with Air conditioning) the “italia” on a charter from Costa Cruises Italy. The “Princess Italia” as she was nicknamed as a very popular addition to the new Princess Line and stayed with them for 6 years
Their third ship (formerly Costa cruises Carla C and the SS flandre) was named “Princess Carla” and it was on this ship that the Author Geraldine Saunders found her inspiration for the “Love Boat”.
In 1974 with much fanfare the twin sisters Island and Pacific princess joined the Princess fleet and in 1976 the Pacific Princess became the inspiration and feature for ten years of “”the love boat” The Twin sisters sailed for the line for over 28 years.
It was also in 1974 that the ongoing success of princess peaked the interest of the worlds largest shipping company (P&O) and a significant offer was made and accepted for the business. P&O transferred their new build ship “the spirit of London” directly to Princess cruises and christened her “sun princess.”
For 29 years P&O operated Princess as a subsidiary until the Carnival Corporation scooped them all up into their operation 2003. Carnival spun Princess off as an entirely separate High-Mid market brand and operated by Holland America cruises.
Significant investment into hardware with the “most expensive ship ever built” (in 1998) sparked a growth and demand for the line that thrives to this day.
As always, I love hearing your comments / feedback and suggestions for future blogs and you know where to reach me when you’re ready to book your next cruise !
Tarar for now
- The Capn’
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