SAPPHIRE PRINCESS, Vancouver, departing Vancouver July 25, 2009. Photo © Peter Knego

SAPPHIRE PRINCESS arrived today at the Victoria Shipyards drydock in British Columbia to begin a dramatic, four-week transformation. The drydock continues a multi-year fleet wide renovation process that has brought Princess Cruises’ signature features to most of its ships.

“It’s been an incredible process over the past few years to retrofit these popular features onto our earlier-introduced ships, but we know our passengers appreciate that they can now find their favorite amenities on virtually any vessel in our fleet,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president.

According to the release; “When SAPPHIRE PRINCESS re-enters service again on February 4, passengers will be able to enjoy a brand-new Piazza atrium with the International Café and Vines wine bar, plus the new Alfredo’s Pizzeria. On the top decks, passengers will enjoy poolside movies on the new giant Movies Under the Stars screen, and an opportunity to relax in the ship’s ‘pocket of tranquility,’ the adults-only ‘Sanctuary.'”

The reconfiguration of SAPPHIRE PRINCESS’ atrium already underway, as the space is transformed into Princess Cruises’ signature Piazza. Photo courtesy Princess Cruises.

Other changes will include: Alfredo’s Pizzeria – introduced last year aboard Grand Princess — the sit-down pizzeria Alfredo’s will expand to its second location on SAPPHIRE PRINCESS.

Movies Under the Stars –  SAPPHIRE PRINCESS will be the final Princess ship to introduce Movies Under the Stars on board. The giant poolside movie screen will showcase feature films, concerts, awards shows and sports events, and passengers can enjoy their viewing on padded loungers under warm, fleece blankets.

The Sanctuary –  SAPPHIRE PRINCESS is also the final ship to receive The Sanctuary, a tranquil retreat exclusively for adults. Added prior to drydock, the new Sanctuary space has already received an enthusiastic welcome from passengers enjoying the enhanced comforts of this peaceful oasis.

Also part of the renovation are several relocated and upgraded venues, including the Art Gallery, Internet Café and Library, and the Photo-Video Gallery. New carpet and upholstery will be installed throughout the ship, and staterooms will feature new flat-screen televisions.

The newly renovated  SAPPHIRE PRINCESS will debut on February 4 in Los Angeles when the ship will depart on a 14-day Hawaiian Islands cruise.


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