Princess Cruises is a cruise line owned by Carnival Corporation & plc. The company is incorporated in Bermuda with its headquarters located in Santa Clarita, California.
It was previously a subsidiary of P&O Princess Cruises plc, and is part of the Holland America Group, which controls the three Carnival brands based on the West Coast of the United States; these being Seabourn Cruises, Princess Cruises and Holland America Line and in Australia, P&O Cruises Australia.
Founded by Stanley McDonald, Princess Cruises commenced operations in 1965. The Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O) acquired Princess Cruises in 1974. P&O Princess Cruises acquired Sitmar Line in 1988 and transferred all of its major tonnage to Princess, including three cruise ships then under construction.
On the 23rd October 2000, the Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O) demerged its passenger cruise division from the main P&O Group to form an independent company, P&O Princess Cruises plc.
The company subsequently merged with the Carnival Corporation on the 17th April 2003, to form the world’s largest cruise operating company in a deal worth US$5.4 billion. As a result of the merger the Carnival Corporation and P&O Princess Cruises plc were integrated to form Carnival Corporation & plc, with a portfolio of eleven cruise ship brands. It is a dual-listed company, registered in both the United States and the United Kingdom, with the former P&O Princess Cruises plc being relisted as Carnival plc, more commonly known as Carnival UK.
As an American-based company, executive control of Princess Cruises was transferred to Carnival’s American operations, with Carnival UK taking control of Southampton-based Cunard Line and P&O Cruises.