The Carnival brands will push farther into Asia by establishing Carnival Japan.
Princess will lead the way into the expansion into the Japanese-sourced market with Sun Princess being deployed to Japan for three months April to July 2013. Sun Princess is permanently based in Australia by the Princess brand.
Carnival Japan, which will be based in Tokyo, will handle sales and marketing for Princess as well as other Carnival brands. Apparently the plan is for Princess to grow their presence in Japan, and other Carnival brands will follow with similar strategies.
The onboard product on these initial cruises will be basically Princess, but customized for the local market much as it is on ship deployed for local sourcing in Australia. While the itineraries are developed for the Japanese-sourced market, they will be available for purchase worldwide.
Itineraries for the 2013 season appear to be primarily 9- to 12-day sailings mostly from Yokohama. The programs will open for sale on April 16, 2012. At the same time Princess will launch a Japanese version of their POLAR online booking tool for travel agents in Japan. The Japanese programs and all other Princess programs worldwide will also now be priced in yen for sale in Japan.
Details and perspective appeared in the March 27, 2012, edition of Cruise News Daily.