Who Owns Princess Cruises?

Many of the world’s biggest cruise lines are actually part of the same larger corporation.

It’s interesting to know who owns who in the world of cruising, but it’s also useful to note if you’re interested in buying stocks in Princess Cruises – especially since they can come with perks for sailing on other cruise lines.

This brings us to Princess Cruises… Is Princess Cruises independent, or owned by a larger group? What’s the company’s history?

Discovery Princess

Let’s answer all of these questions, and take a look at the Princess shares situation.

Who Is Princess Cruises Owned By?

Princess Cruises is an American cruise line that is owned by the Carnival Corporation & plc. As part of the Carnival Corporation, it is under the Holland America Group umbrella that consists of Princess Cruises, Seabourn, P&O Cruises Australia and Holland America Line.

Princess Cruises has been a part of the Carnival Corporation since 2003. It has its own subsidiary company as well – Princess Tours, a rail service that runs sightseeing tours in Alaska.

Who Is CEO Of Princess Cruises?

Princess Cruises does not have a CEO. It has a President instead – Jon Padgett. He was previously the Chief Experience and Innovation Office for the wider Carnival Corporation until he was appointed President of Princess Cruises in 2021.

John Padgett
John Padgett

John Padgett reports to Jan Swartz, the Group President for the Holland America Group.

Princess Cruises History

Let’s take a look at how Princess Cruises came to be…

Origins – 1965 to 1974

Princess Cruises was first founded in 1965 by Stanley McDonald, who chartered the Princess Patricia ship to run Mexican Riviera cruises out of Los Angeles.

A lack of air-conditioning meant that the ship was not well suited to the route, and so the purpose-built ship, Italia, soon took over. In 1973 the Italia returned to Costa Cruise Line, and Princess took on a charter for an ocean liner called Carla C.

Pallas Athena
Carla C, when it was named Pallas Athena
Photo: Gordon Dalzell, CC BY-SA 4.0

As Part of P&O – 1974 to 2000

In 1974, Britain’s Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O) acquired Princess Cruise Lines and gave the line its first ship to own – the Spirit of London, which was renamed as the first Sun Princess.

Over the next 25 years, the cruise line expanded and the Pacific Princess became the host of the famous TV show The Love Boat, starring Lauren Tewes as Julie McCoy. 

In 1988, P&O acquired the Italian cruise line, Sitmar Line, and transferred almost all of the ships to the Princess brand.

Throughout the 90s, the fleet modernised as Princess Cruises launched brand new ships and transferred older ones to P&O Cruises Australia. In 1998, the Grand Princess was launched, the world’s biggest cruise ship at the time.

As Part of P&O Princess Cruises – 2000 to 2003

In 2000, P&O created a spin-off company for its passenger division, named P&O Princess Cruises. The Pacific Princess then left the fleet in 2002, the last of the original fleet to leave. 

New ships were built in the Coral Class, which were built to be the maximum size able to sail the Panama Canal.

Read more: Princess Cruises Ships By Size

Coral Princess in the Panama Canal
Coral Princess in the Panama Canal

As Part of the Carnival Corporation & Plc – 2003 Onwards

In 2003, a $5.4 billion merger saw P&O Princess Cruises join with the Carnival Corporation, becoming the Carnival Corporation & plc. The company is dual-listed in both the US and the UK.

Sub-companies were created – Carnival UK owns Cunard Line and P&O Cruises, while the Holland America Group was created to include Princess Cruises, HAL and other brands.

Enchanted Princess
Enchanted Princess

Princess Cruises Net Worth

As it is a part of the wider Carnival Corporation & plc, Princess Cruises does not have a net worth published. However, the net worth of Carnival Corporation & plc was $14.76 billion in the most recent published figures.

Princess Cruises produced an estimated revenue of $4.2 billion in 2022.


See the latest Princess Cruises offers…

Does Princess Cruises Have Stock?

Princess Cruises doesn’t have its own stock – as part of the Carnival Corporation & plc, you would need to buy stock in the group. Carnival Corporation & plc stock is dual-listed on both the New York Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange.

The listing in New York is available as common stock under the symbol CCL for the Carnival Corporation, and as an ADS under the symbol CUK for Carnival plc. The London listing is for Carnival plc under the symbol CCL – a little confusing, I’ll admit.

Read more: Princess Cruise Stock Benefits

How To Buy Princess Cruises Shares

If you want to buy shares in Princess Cruises, you’ll need to instead buy Carnival Corporation stock. You can do this with the help of a stockbroker – either a platform or a person – that will facilitate the purchase for you.

There are two types of stockbroker – full service and online/discount. If you know you just want to invest in Princess Cruises then you only need an online/discount stockbroker, since you aren’t looking for the advice and expertise that a full-service stockbroker would provide.

There are many brokerage platforms available online, but do your research into them first and check the reviews to make sure you’re using a reputable company.

I can’t advise you which is the best, but I personally chose to buy my Carnival shares through an investing platform called etoro. I chose this one because it is one of the most popular platforms with 20 million registered users and has great reviews and low fees.

I’ve been very happy with my share-buying experience and found it really easy to do.

(eToro is a multi-asset investment platform. The value of your investments may go up or down. Your capital is at risk.)

My mother and I on a Princess cruise
My mother and I on a Princess cruise

If you own a minimum of 100 shares in Carnival Corporation, you will enjoy free onboard credit for every sailing on Princess Cruises (and on any of the other cruise lines as part of the group including P&O Cruises and Cunard). 

You’ll get $250 for sailings of 14 days or more, $100 for sailings of 7 to 13 days, and $50 for sailings of 6 days or less on sailings out of the US. On UK sailings, you get £ equivalents. You can check the exact amounts and see how to claim in my guide here: Princess Cruise Stock Benefits Explained.

I recently bought 100 shares in Carnival Corporation for less than $1000. I expect to make this back from the onboard credit over the coming years and hope that the shares will increase in value too. 

The share price was much higher prior to 2020 though, when 100 shares in Carnival Corporation would have cost over $5,000.

Read more: Carnival Shareholder Benefits

Since I mentioned the benefits of buying Carnival shares in my weekly email, I’ve had lots of people email me to say that they’ve also bought shares and are happy to receive the free onboard credit. Like this one…

“We took your advice and bought 100 Carnival shares which cost £550. Two Cunard trips gave us £250 each extra onboard spend and another gave us $200 (£175) total £675, also the shares have gone up £175. Best investment I’ve ever made, thankyou, keep up the good work.”

Robert and Veronica Dennehy
Island Princess

To Conclude

Princess Cruises is a well-established cruise line and a very important part of Carnival Corporation & plc, being the biggest revenue earner for the group. Its long history has seen it grow from strength to strength and it is now part of the largest cruise company in the world.

And it has enjoyed some notable moments too, including being the host of the famous TV show The Love Boat, and at one point owning the largest cruise ship in the world.

In terms of who owns Princess cruise lines, technically you could, if you bought CCL stock.

If you did want to invest then you would enjoy benefits every time you sailed on Princess Cruises, but also if you wanted to sail with Carnival, Seabourn, Holland America Line, P&O Cruises UK, P&O Cruises Australia, Cunard, Costa Cruises or AIDA Cruises.

Of course, investing in any business is a risk so always be aware of that – you might not get your money back. So make sure you only invest what you can afford to lose if things do go south.


See the latest Princess Cruises offers…

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Cruise Mummy

Jenni Fielding is the founder of Cruise Mummy. She has worked in the cruise industry since 2015 and has taken over 30 cruises. Now, she helps over 1 million people per month to plan their perfect cruise holidays.

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