The 6,062-ton Canadian-flag Princess Patricia was the origin of the name of Princess Cruises.
In the winters of 1965-66 and 1966-67, Canadian Pacific’s 347-berth Princess Patricia ran a number of Mexican Riviers cruises on charter to the newly-formed Princess Cruises, sailing from Los Angeles. To celebrate the line’s 50th anniversary later this year, Princess Cruises has scheduled the 680-berth Pacific Princess for a special Mexican Riviera itinerary departing Los Angeles on December 3, 2015. The Pacific Princess will sail fifty years to the day after the Princess Patricia departed on the line’s first cruise in 1965.
The Princess Patricia normally operated her in Canadian Pacific’s Alaska cruise trade by summer and was laid her up in Victoria each winter. But the original use of the name Princess Cruises actually dated back to its colloquial use in Canadian Pacific Alasks brochures as early as the 1930s.
The Pacific Princess, now the smallest ship in the Princess fleet, will operate a 14-night cruise of the same duration as that first cruise on Princess Patricia. It will include a blend of ports from the maiden itinerary, including Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Manzanillo, and add some newer destinations such as La Paz and Loreto.
Princess Patricia‘s success in this trade allowed Princess Cruises to move on to larger ships and to expand into the Alaska trade as well. The fledgling cruise line was then acquired by Britain’s P&O in 1974.
The Pacific Princess at Skagway in 2014
The 50th anniversary cruise has been on sale with fares starting at $1,699 per person, double occupancy. By way of comparison, fares on the 1965 Princess Patricia cruises began at $430. While that fare may seem high for 1965, they were less per day than her 8-night Alaska summer cruises, which started at $275. And taking into account inflation, $430 would be worth $3,204 today, meaning that in real terms the cost of a 14-night Mexican Riviera cruise has dropped by almost half in fifty years.
Now one of the best-known names in cruising, Princess Cruises’ first season offered ten cruises to Mexico between December 3 and April 8 accommodating about 3,200 cruisers. Nearly fifty years later, Princess is the third largest cruise line in the world, with seventeen ships carrying 1.7 million cruisers to destinations worldwide.
For bookings and details of these and any other special cruises please call The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. In North America call 1-800-961-5536 or e-mail email@example.com.