Flight Centre’s Travel Expos reached Auckland this weekend after successful events in Christchurch and Wellington.
A big turnout of trade partners to a ship inspection and function on Explorer Dream on Sunday was testament to the interest the ship’s New Zealand season has generated in the industry, the company says. A moment’s silence for the victims of the White Island tragedy was a sombre and thoughtful start to proceedings. Dream Cruises then showcased its entertainment options, dining creations by chef Mark Best and other special features of the mid-sized ship to 116 travel agents / brokers; 27 media and 10 industry VIPs. Explorer Dream has 928 cabins (passenger capacity 1856) and includes The Palace, described as a luxury ship within a ship.
Dream Cruises is ‘days away’ from releasing its 2021-2022 itineraries for this part of the world, agents who checked out Explorer Dream in her debut visit to New Zealand over the weekend were told.
With Explorer Dream heading downunder for its inaugural Australasian season this month, Dream Cruises has taken the opportunity to showcase the kind of experience Kiwi cruisers can expect when she arrives.
It was a highly spirited event at The Hunting Lodge in Auckland last week when Dream Cruises hosted more than 60 agents to a lunch that included dishes from the cruise line’s celebrity chef, Mark Best.
Dream Cruises is celebrating a stellar launch of Explorer Dream in this market. A recent flash sale sold out by 1pm on the day it was launched and more inventory had to be released to keep up with demand.
Heading downunder for its inaugural season later this year, including New Zealand itineraries over Christmas, Explorer Dream is confirmed for a second season here in 2020-21.
Explorer Dream will bring its Market to Table cooking experiences to Australia and New Zealand when it sails here this summer. Developed by the line’s executive chef, Mark Best, the interactive experiences are ‘based around giving guests insight into the culture of the ports we are in,’ says Best. ‘We tend to make the traditional dishes of the destination.’
The small group activity starts with an excursion to the local food market and includes lunch. The ingredients are prepared for lunch on-board the next day during a cooking class/demonstration. On Explorer Dream’s 27 October Sydney to Brisbane itinerary, the Market to Table excursion is to Mooloolaba’s Seafood Market. The 8 December Sydney to Auckland itinerary has the Market to Table excursion at markets in Gisborne, and in March 2020, an interactive cooking class is available in Darwin.
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Additional destinations and a new ship are on the horizon for Dream Cruises, but this week the focus was more on a thank you for key New Zealand trade partners – in the form of a winery tour around Waiheke.