Foreign cruise ship operators set sail for a piece of Japanese cruise travel market.
US-based Princess Cruises, already operating in Japan, will deploy a new liner offering year-round cruises from Japanese ports starting April 2018, a first for Japan. The company unveiled the cruise schedule during a ceremony aboard Diamond Princess, a liner docked at Port Yokohama. The event marked the 5th anniversary of the company's Japanese cruise service.
The ship will use Port Yokohama and Port Kobe as home ports. There will be 38 departure dates, with short five-day cruises over the series of holidays spanning late April to early May.
Cruise operators in Italy and Hong Kong are also set to begin services to and from Japan.
Italy-based MSC Cruises, which plies the Mediterranean, plans to send one of its largest liners to Japan in May 2018. The company will offer tours from the Port Yokohama to Kanazawa and Kagoshima. An official with the operator said that most of its passengers are Japanese, many of whom have suggested that the company provide cruises to and from Japan.
Another operator, Genting Hong Kong, will dispatch the main ship of its subsidiary Star Cruises to Japan in July. The company will provide 8-day, 7-night cruises from the Port Yokohama and other locations through November.