The History of Princess Cruises: A Timeline of Key Events


  • 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 transatlantic sailing (13-day Nassau-Genoa, Princess Italia)


  • First Alaska season (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


  • 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


  • 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 (debuts largest number of balcony cabins)
  • First 24-hour café debuts
  • 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 
  • 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


  • Island Princess sold
  • Company web site debuts


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


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


  • Crown Princess joins fleet
  • First Sanctuary debuts


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


  • Ruby Princess joins fleet
  • Ultimate Ship Tour debuts


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


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


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


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


  • “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


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


  • 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


  • 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


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


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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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”

Media Contacts

Contact information for members of the media

Media Relations Department, Princess Cruises
24305 Town Center Drive Santa Clarita, CA 91355

Phone: 1 661 753 1530

Not a member of the media? 

Contact us at:
1-800-PRINCESS (1-800-774-6237)
or 1-661-753-0000

More contact information is available on our Contact Us page

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