Princess Cruises will send more ships to Hawaii

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Princess Cruises will send more ships to Hawaii next year, welcome news in the state where the number of sailings has plunged in the last two years, along with a general drop in tourism.

By Seattle Times staff and news services
Princess Cruises will send more ships to Hawaii next year, welcome news in the state where the number of sailings has plunged in the last two years, along with a general drop in tourism.

Princess has scheduled 19 sailings for the 2010-11 season, up from about 14 or 15 previously.

The new Princess cruises (on foreign-flagged ships) will go from Los Angeles on trans-Pacific sailings to Australia or on round trips from L.A. that include a half-day stop in Mexico.

The Hawaii cruise business peaked in 2007 when Norwegian Cruise Line was operating three cruise ships on regular interisland voyages.

But Norwegian then pulled two of the ships out of Hawaii, citing falling revenue and high expenses associated with U.S. crews that are required on ships registered in the United States. (Under a federal law, ships that sail between U.S. ports without a foreign port call must be U.S.-flagged; foreign-flagged vessels, which are not bound by U.S. labor laws, can hire lower-wage workers.)