Princess Cruises puts destinations onboard

Princess Cruises puts destinations onboard

If cruising is all about the ports of call, why not extend the onboard experience by bringing the destination onto the ship?
That’s the theory behind Princess Cruises’ new Across the Ditch programme that was launched at the World’s Leading Cruise Lines Summit over the weekend.
Stuart Allison, vice president Australia & New Zealand with the cruise line, says Across the Ditch is starting this summer to give passengers authentic experiences onboard the ships, ranging from a greater selection of New Zealand wines to Maori content such as poi dancing and haka lessons and having park rangers from Fiordland on the ship to explain the local surroundings.

This will be supplemented by new shore excursions –such as Ecozip on Waiheke Island followed by lunch at a winery there.
Allison says the introduction of Across the Ditch follows the success of a similar programme in the United States – North to Alaska. Again, this brought more of the destination on board – mountain climbers talking about conquering local mountains, puppies destined for a life of dog mushing on the sleds, presentations from lumberjacks and more.
‘We were inspired by that and we also have a close relationship with Debbie Summers of Cruise New Zealand and with ATEED (Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development).
Gordon Ho, senior vice president global marketing and North America sales with Princess Cruises says the programmes extend the elements that guests will already find on the vessels.
‘We already have Festivals of the World, regardless of the voyage. We showcase the local festivals and the food of that destination – except in October when we find that Octoberfest is popular across
the fleet.’
He says celebrating the Matariki Festival on New Zealand cruises is nothing new. ‘But by coming up with Across the Ditch we have found an easy to remember name  and handle that travel agents can use to sell the cruise.’

ProMag