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A ‘Love Boat’ for Japan?

Princess Cruises is taking aim at the Japanese market with plans to send a ship to the country in 2013.

The Love Boat line today announced it would deploy the 2,022-passenger Sun Princess to Yokohama and Kobe, Japan starting in April 2013 for a series of nine cruises targeted specifically at Japanese vacationers.

The 87-day program will include voyages of nine to 12 nights in length and include trips around Japan and to Korea, Taiwan and Russia. The sailings are being customized for the Japanese market with the addition of Japanese-speaking crew members, Japanese menu items in restaurants and other changes. Still, the cruise experience will be substantially the same as what is found on other Princess ships around the world, the line says.

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Pricing will be in Japanese Yen, with starting fares at ¥124,000 per person, based on double occupancy — about $1,495 at current exchange rates.

The deployment comes as Princess’ parent company, Carnival Corp., forms a new division called Carnival Japan, Inc., to sell Princess and other Carnival-owned brands in Japan. The company is calling the Sun Princess deployment the largest ever by a global cruise line in the Japanese market.

Princess expects to carry about 18,000 passengers on the Japan-based cruises.

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