Princess Cruises Changes World Cruise Itineraries

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Princess Cruises, facing geopolitical tensions in the Red Sea and surrounding regions, has announced a revision of its 2025 World Cruise itineraries. The cruise line has opted to reroute its global voyages to bypass the Middle East and Asia, instead shifting focus to Europe and Africa.

Modifications to the 2025 World Cruise are comprehensive, affecting both Island Princess and Crown Princess voyages.

Terry Thornton, chief commercial officer of Princess Cruises, emphasized the decision’s necessity, stating, “A Princess World Cruise is truly the voyage of a lifetime and after careful consideration with guidance from global security experts and government authorities, we know our guests will understand and appreciate the change to our upcoming 2025 itineraries to avoid certain areas.”

Thornton went on to explain, “These global events beyond our control have necessitated these reroutings but we are pleased to continue to ensure these world cruises retain destination-rich itineraries with incredible stops along the west Africa coast and the Mediterranean.”

The tension in the Red Sea is due to rebels, who began using armed drones and sea mines to disrupt maritime traffic while attempting hijackings and attacking ships earlier in 2024.

Multiple cruise lines, including Princess Cruises’ 2024 World Cruise, rerouted voyages in 2024 to avoid the region. As tensions have not lessened in the area, Princess Cruises will continue to avoid the region in 2025.

Princess Cruises Alters 2025 Routes

In 2025, Island Princess is offering two roundtrip World Cruise options, the first departing from Fort Lauderdale on January 5, 2025, and the second from Los Angeles on January 20, 2025. Its updated itineraries include over 36,700 nautical miles of travel and feature 46 destinations across 24 countries on six continents. 

Notably, the revised routes include first-time stops at locales like the Greek Island of Patmos and the historic city of Volos, Greece, near the Monasteries of Meteora.

Scheduled to arrive in Sydney, Australia, on February 16, the itinerary revisions occur on journeys following Sydney through April 9. During this time, Island Princess will experience 32 days at sea. Calling on Melbourne and Perth, Australia, the ship will arrive in Mauritius on March 3.

Island Princess Cruise Ship
Island Princess Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: Andres Felipe Perez)

Instead of navigating north, through the Red Sea, and to ports in the Middle East and Asia, Island Princess will head south to Cape Town, where it will have an overnight call to host embarkation and disembarkation for its next segment.

Originally scheduled to take place in Dubai, U.A.E., on March 14, passengers scheduled to depart from or sail from Dubai on the original leg will now need to disembark or join the cruise from Cape Town on March 9. 

Read Also: The Impact of Red Sea Tensions on Cruising

This change means a shortened itinerary for some passengers and longer travel distances, with direct flights between the two cities taking more than 9 hours. To compensate for the changes, Princess Cruises is refunding the amount equivalent to four days of cruise fare. Those joining early will not be charged anything additional.

All guests affected will also receive $300 onboard credit, “as a gesture of good will.” No mention of airfare compensation was announced.

The voyage will continue north along Africa’s western coast, calling in Namibia, the Cape Verde Islands, Madeira, Portugal, and Gibraltar. It will then enter the Mediterranean for calls in Italy, Greece, Turkey, Croatia, and Montenegro. As originally scheduled, the voyage will arrive in Valletta, Malta, on April 9.

Crown Princess Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Joni Hanebutt / Shutterstock.com

Similarly, Crown Princess will depart on its World Cruise from Auckland, New Zealand, on May 31, 2025, and Sydney on June 4, 2025. Its voyage will span 113 days, visit 42 destinations in 22 countries, and call on five continents.

The ship will also bypass the Red Sea and travel via Africa instead of the original Middle East and Asia itinerary. However, its new lineup is still being finalized and will be announced at a later date.

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