The History of Princess Cruises: A Timeline of Key Events

1965

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

1966

  • Princess Patricia returned to owners

1967

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

1968

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

1969

  • First Alaska season (Princess Italia)

1970

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

1972

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

1973

  • Princess Italia returned to owners

1974

  • 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)

1975

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

1976

  • "The Love Boat" begins filming

1979

  • Princess Tours acquires Johansen Royal Tours

1980

  • Stanley McDonald departs company

1981

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

1984

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

1985

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

1986

  • 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

1987

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

1988

  • P&O 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

1989

  • Star Princess joins fleet

1990

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

1991

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

1992

  • New private island launched (Princess Cays in Eleuthera)

1993

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

1995

  • Sun Princess joins fleet (debuts largest number of balcony cabins)
  • First 24-hour café debuts
  • Fair Princess transferred to P&O Australia

1996

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

1997

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

1998

  • Grand Princess joins fleet 
  • Sea Princess joins fleet
  • "Love Boat: the Next Wave" debuts
  • First world cruise (Island Princess -- 64 days Rome/San Francisco)
  • First wedding chapel and wedding program at sea
  • Santa Clarita, California customer service center opens
  • Princess Cays expanded

1999

  • Island Princess sold
  • Company web site debuts

2000

  • P&O Princess International 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

2001

  • Personal Choice Dining debuts on Grand Princess
  • Golden Princess joins fleet
  • Princess headquarters moves to Santa Clarita, California
  • Use of shore power debuts in Juneau

2002

  • 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 Cruises becoming Oceana
  • Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge opened

2003

  • P&O Princess International acquired by Carnival Corporation 
  • Coral Princess joins fleet
  • New Pacific Princess joins fleet
  • New Island Princess joins fleet
  • Sea Princess transferred to P&O Cruises becoming Adonia
  • First Antarctica cruise

2004

  • Cunard Line integrated into Princess operations
  • Diamond Princess joins fleet
  • Caribbean Princess joins fleet
  • Sapphire Princess joins fleet
  • First Movies Under the Stars screen debuts
  • First Caribbean sailings from Galveston, Texas

2005

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

2006

  • Crown Princess joins fleet
  • First Sanctuary debuts

2007

  • Emerald Princess joins fleet
  • New Royal Princess joins fleet
  • First Chef’s Table debuts
  • Regal Princess transferred to P&O Australia becoming Pacific Dawn

2008

  • Ruby Princess joins fleet
  • Ultimate Ship Tour debuts

2009

  • Shore power begins in Vancouver
  • Tahitian Princess renamed Ocean Princess
  • Royal Princess transferred to P&O Cruises to sail as Adonia

2010

  • Digital travel documents debut
  • Bon Voyage Experience program begins
  • eZAir program debuts
  • Shore Power begins in San Francisco

2011

  • Gavin MacLeod 80th birthday party on Golden Princess
  • Most significant drydock transformation – Grand Princess
  • Princess launches first blog – “50 Essential Experiences”

2012

  • “Inspired to Cruise” blog debuts
  • First Entertainer of the Year competition held onboard

2013

  • “Linked by the Sea” blog debuts
  • Japan-based cruising begins
  • New Royal Princess joins fleet (christened by The Duchess of Cambridge)
  • First "Cruising with a Cause" cruise to support U.S. veterans charities

2014

  • New Regal Princess joins fleet
  • New Princess@Sea Messenger debuts giving guests the opportunity to stay connected with fellow cruisers using mobile messenger app

2015

  • Princess Cruises celebrates 50th anniversary including the cruise line’s very first cruise ship float in the iconic annual New Year’s Day Rose Parade, along with special onboard activities and food and beverage offerings

2016

  • Princess Cruises launches “Come Back New Promise” – a $450 million, multi-year product innovation, cruise ship renovation and guest experience enhancement campaign, highlighting new partnerships with Chef Curtis Stone, Chef Ernesto Uchimura, Master Chocolatier Norman Love, award-winning composer and songwriter Stephen Schwartz, Sleep Dr. Michael Breus with the development of the Princess Luxury Bed and brand partnership with Discovery Communications “Discovery at Sea,” featuring innovative activities and shore excursions

2017

  • Princess Cruises, with parent company Carnival Corporation, introduces MedallionClass Vacations enabled by the OceanMedallion, the vacation industry’s most advanced wearable device
  • Majestic Princess joins the fleet

2018

  • Princess MedallionClass debuts onboard Caribbean Princess, along with MedallionNet, the fastest Wi-Fi at sea

2019

  • Sky Princess joins the fleet, debuting new Sky Suites
  • Princess Cruises celebrates 50 years of cruising to Alaska and opens Fannie Q’s Saloon at Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge
  • The Reef Family Splash Zone debuts onboard Caribbean Princess

2020

  • Princess breaks the  GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS  title for the  largest multi-location vow renewal  after 1,443 couples reaffirmed their love for one another during simultaneous ceremonies onboard three ships
  • Enchanted Princess joins the fleet
  • Golden Princess, Sea Princess, Star Princess and Sun Princess leave the fleet

2021

  • All 14 ships in the Princess Cruises fleet offer Princess MedallionClass Experience and Princess MedallionNet, the best Wi-Fi at sea
  • Pacific Princess leaves the fleet
  • Princess Cruises celebrates the 90th birthday of Brand Ambassador Gavin MacLeod, everyone’s favorite Captain Stubing of “The Love Boat”

More Information