Diamond Princess lures Japan

Princess Cruises, part of the giant Carnival Corporation, currently have the Diamond Princess dry-docked in Singapore.

The news is Princess hope to make the Diamond more appealing to the growing Japanese cruise market, adding a bath area emulating a traditional Japanese onsen, a new sushi restaurant and more upmarket shops.

The shops onboard will include a luxury watch boutique, anchored by Omega, a fragrance bar, and boutiques with designer brands such as Burberry, Fendi and Salvatore Ferragamo.

The sushi restaurant will be an expanded version of Kai Sushi, currently on Sun Princess. It will have table seating and a sushi bar, as well as a variety of regional sakes.

Scheduled to be finished April 2 the $30 million dry-dock boasts the new Japanese bath and garden complex at 8,800 square feet, with both indoor and outdoor spaces. An uni-sex open-air hydrotherapy pool, and two indoor baths with sea views, separated by gender. Additional features include an ocean-view sauna with an open air skylight, a dry sauna, a gentle mist sauna and a stone bath with an utaseya – a cascade of hot water, often found in traditional onsens.

Other changes include updates to the ship’s buffet, Horizon Court, 14 new cabins, a sports court, a revitalised photo gallery and casino.

When the dry-dock is done, Diamond Princess will embark on its second season of sailings around Japan, home porting in Tokyo. Ports include 15 spots in Japan, as well as stops in Taiwan, South Korea and Russia. The 2,670-passenger ship will also celebrate its 10th anniversary in Nagasaki, where the she was built by mitsubishi.

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