Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co. said its Princess Cruises business performed strongly in the third quarter with occupancy reaching 103.8 percent from 101.7 percent a year earlier. P&O Cruises (U.K.) had occupancy of 99.7 percent against 99.9 percent. Princess yields for the year to date were in line on a like-for-like basis with last year despite a 24.4 percent increase in capacity, it added. P&O said demand for cruises -- which account for some 40 percent of group operating profit -- remained high with Princess bookings for 2000 particularly strong in the Caribbean and Alaska
. P&O Cruises (U.K.) bookings for 2000 were also progressing well with yields in line. Princess Cruises includes nine ships operated from the U.S. and one in Australia. P&O Cruises covers three British-based ships and the Swan Hellenic ship Minerva.