In light of the continuing success of Princess Cruises in Europe in 2008, the line has just announced the biggest ever fleet to sail here in 2009, including its three newest superliners, and increased capacity for the UK market with the Grand Princess sailing Mediterranean cruises from Southampton.

The 2,600-passenger Grand Princess will replace the smaller Sea Princess on the popular Southampton departures to the Mediterranean, increasing capacity by over 40%. The superliner, which has over 670 balcony staterooms as well as Princess’s iconic Movies under the Stars poolside screen and famous specialty restaurant Trattoria Sabatini, will sail eight 14-night Mediterranean cruises and three 7-night cruises to Iberia and Scandinavia.

One of Princess’s newest superliners, the huge 3,110-passenger Crown Princess will also be sailing regularly from Southampton in 2009 with itineraries around the British Isles and to Iceland and the Norwegian Fjords. Princess’s newest superliner, Ruby Princess, which will join the fleet in November of this year, will sail her first summer season offering 12-night fly-cruises in the Mediterranean which combine with Princess’s exclusive direct flights from London and Manchester.

The last of this trio of sisters, the 2007-launched Emerald Princess, will be the biggest ship based in the Baltic Sea, offering thirteen 10-night cruises roundtrip from Copenhagen. Ruby Princess, Emerald Princess and Crown Princess have over 880 balcony staterooms and offer exciting innovations like the adults-only outdoor spa area The Sanctuary, the fine-dining Crown Grill and an Italian-style piazza with shops, bars and a patisserie, plus the Movies under the Stars feature.

As well as some of Europe’s biggest superliners, Princess will also position two small, intimate vessels in Europe in 2009, offering a boutique version of the line’s luxury style of cruising. The 670-passenger Royal Princess will return in 2009 with 12-night fly-cruises in the Mediterranean, visiting smaller off-the-beaten-track ports, and sister ship Tahitian Princess will come to Europe for the first time to sail a varied range of cruises in Northern Europe, including cruises from Dover to Greenland.

“This unprecedented line-up in 2009 demonstrates the confidence we have in Princess’s continuing success,” said Pieter van der Schee, Head of Brand Marketing for Princess Cruises UK. “Customer feedback from the UK has been overwhelming and Princess is seen particularly as the leader in service and choice of itineraries, as confirmed by our recent YouGov poll.”

Princess Cruises combines one of the World’s most modern and innovative fleets with a friendly and lively atmosphere onboard and high standards of service. YouGov research conducted in November 2007 asked over 6,000 cruisers and potential cruisers to rate lines for “Strive to make each and every one of its passengers feel special” and “Offer a wide range of different itineraries and durations” and Princess came top out of the eight leading cruise lines in the UK.

Princess Cruises’ Mediterranean & Scandinavia 2009 programme will go on sale in April.