Tori Keating from xtravel has won the Viva Expeditions & Chimu Adventures Ice Ice Baby competition. Keating will be onboard Chimu’s Discover Antarctica charter cruise departing on 20 February 2019.
Cruising continues to buck any trend towards travellers booking direct, with 85% of the sector’s business still coming through travel agents. And with the increasing number of choices and innovations that percentage is likely to grow rather than decrease, according to Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). The association’s marketing manager – Australasia, Vera Pajovic, held a joint media conference in Auckland with Kevin O’Sullivan, chief executive officer of New Zealand Cruise Association, this week. ‘There are so many competing interests that if customers try to do it online, that narrows the focus a bit,’ says O’Sullivan.
Pajovic says there is still huge potential for the trade in cruising. ‘Because there is so much on offer we think customers need to go to agents. The equivalent of two precent of the New Zealand population took a cruise last year so there are still massive opportunities. In terms of age, 38% of cruisers were under the age of 50 and this is growing as well. The younger generation is getting on board. O’Sullivan says 15% of people cruising around New Zealand are Kiwis – representing another opportunity for agents here. ‘Kiwis are part of the overall increase and travel agents are selling this.’ He says the growth in visits to places like Stewart Island excite New Zealanders who often have the destination on their bucket list’. ‘Eighteen cruise ships will visit Stewart Island and Bluff will have four calls this season. A lot of Kiwis like the idea of buying a pint at the most southern pub in New Zealand (in Stewart Island).’ He says new Zealanders also buy into theme cruises like P&O’s art deco cruise that travels Auckland – Hawke’s Bay.
Viking’s Winter Wanderlust sale is well underway, with a range of offers on both river and ocean cruises. Guests can save up to A$6,300 per couple and receive free return flights on selected itineraries. All offers must be booked before 31 July 2018, unless sold out prior.
Ocean offers include: • 15-day Into the Midnight Sun from Bergen to London or vice versa is now priced from A$9,195pp, including a saving of up to A$6,300 per couple. • 15-day Far East Discovery from Hong Kong to Beijing or vice versa is now priced from A$5,995pp, including a saving of up to $6,200 per couple. • New 32-day voyage Islands of the South Pacific from Santiago to Sydney is now priced from A$13,995pp, with one-way flights for A$795pp. River offers include: • 15-day Grand European Cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest or vice versa is now priced from A$5,995pp with free return flights to Europe. • 13-day Waterways of the Tsars from St. Petersburg to Moscow or vice versa is now priced from A$7,895pp with free return flights to Russia.
All offers have extensive inclusions such as all onboard meals, wine and beer with lunch and dinner, a free shore excursion in every port and unlimited wifi. Other cruises are on sale, many with free or discounted flights. Ph 0800 447 913 (New Zealand) vikingcruises.com.au
This September, Holland America Line will begin in-depth cruises for travellers who are looking for immersive ways to see the world. Offered on the 1,258-guest Maasdam, new In-Depth Voyages explore corners of the globe on itineraries from 12 to 34 days. Each journey offers guests a variety of themes and choices to tailor their exploration: photography; science and nature; arts and culture; food, wine and spirits; history and perspective; and active exploration. From September 2018 through April 2019 onboard enrichment is guided by a resident team of subjectmatter experts. Maasdam will carry Zodiac inflatable boats, so guests have opportunities to explore less-accessible sites and wildlife. Zodiac inflatable boats, so guests have opportunities to explore less-accessible sites and wildlife.
To celebrate Bastille Day and all things French, Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours is offering five agents, three from Australia and two from New Zealand, the chance to win a place on a 13 day South of France famil departing Chalon-sur-Saône departing 19 October 2018.
P&O Cruises Australia has six new cruises to Papua New Guinea in its latest programme, calling at Alotau, Kitava Island, Rabaul, Kiriwina Island and the Conflict Islands. Among the highlights is a new 11-night round-trip voyage to one of the most remote locations in the Coral Sea, the Conflict Islands. The cruise on the Pacific Aria departs Sydney Harbour mid-November 2019 and calls at the group of 21 islands.
In 2016 P&O became the first cruise line in the world to offer calls to the Conflict Islands. Also included are five 10-night New Guinea Island Encounter cruises departing Brisbane with an option for families to take advantage of the two Papua New Guinea cruises taking place during the school holidays. The brochure has six new one-way cruises to or from Singapore including an 18-night Australia and Southeast Asia Discovery cruise departing Adelaide in March 2019.
Avalon Waterways has announced its plans to unveil a new Suite Ship in 2019.
Avalon Envision will make its debut next year in the European spring with its maiden sailing being on the Danube River with itineraries including the 10-day Danube Dreams, 10-day Legendary Danube and 12-day Blue
Carnival Cruise Line officially took delivery of the new 133,500-ton Carnival Horizon, the 26th ship in its fleet last week.
The 3,954-passenger ship has now embarked on a 13-day voyage from Barcelona in Spain, the first of four sailings from the European port.
Carnival Cruise Line is now accepting reservations for the 133,500-ton Carnival Panorama, which kicks off its year-round seven-day Mexican Riviera schedule from Long Beach, California, on 14 December 2019, becoming the first new Carnival ship homeported on the West Coast in 20 years.
Prior to the launch of seven-day service, Carnival Panorama will offer a special one-time three-day cruise to Ensenada from Long Beach, 11-14 December, 2019.
With Japan’s cherry blossom season approaching in March and April, travellers keen to discover the country’s mix of ancient sites and modern cities can book a spot aboard Norwegian Jewel.
Guests can choose from three never before offered immersive itineraries, spanning from 11 to 15 days, with the chance to stroll through the cherry blossoms in full bloom.
A group of travellers, including a number of Kiwis, are currently on a 115-day world voyage from Auckland to London, aboard Azamara Journey.
The cruise ship will call in at 30 countries along the way, including visits to Australia, Brunei, Yangon, Myanmar, the Suez Canal, Greece and Spain to name a few.
Two of three Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings’ brands crossed paths in Sydney Harbour for the very first time this week.
Norwegian Cruise Line’s (NCL) Norwegian Jewel and Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ (RSSC) Seven Seas Voyager were both in port, representing more days in the region for NCLH ships.
Viking is inviting botanical enthusiasts to the Viking Cruises High Tea at the upcoming Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show.
The setting will be modelled on the Wintergarden venue, where High Tea is served aboard Viking’s industry-leading ocean ships.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises has announced its 77-night Grand Arctic Quest itinerary, departing London on June 18, 2019, bound for New York City aboard Seven Seas Navigator.
This new itinerary visits the British Isles, Iceland, Scandinavia, Greenland and New England, taking in coastal villages, remote islands, waterways and cities, including Reykjavik, Iceland’s cosmopolitan capital.
CroisiEurope is launching its first ever small ship, First Class Canadian cruise series combining St Lawrence River and Lake Ontario.
The ten-day cruise from Quebec to Toronto aboard the boutique 34 cabin MS Jacques Cartier will launch in August.
The 2018 dates are out for Captain Cook Cruises’ seven-night Loxton cruises onboard small ship paddle wheeler the Murray Princess.
The Mannum to Loxton cruise will depart Mannum on Friday 23rd November at 4.30pm and disembark at Loxton on Friday 30th November at 9:00 am. The Loxton to Mannum cruise will depart Loxton on Friday 30th November at 4.30pm and disembark at Mannum on Friday 7th December at 9:00 am.
Aranui Cruises first voyage to Pitcairn Island has sold out within weeks of going on sale in Australia and New Zealand.
The one-off 13-day round-trip cruise from Papeete to Pitcairn Island was released as part of Aranui’s bumper 2019 cruise program at the end of November and Aranui’s regional representative Australia New Zealand Laurent
Quark Expeditions has announced the completion of the Ocean Adventurer’s multi-million-dollar renovation.
Previously known as Sea Adventurer, the class 1A ice-strengthened ship is already taking passengers to Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands this season.
Viking Cruises recently hosted 13 travel agents from New Zealand and Australia on board Viking Sun, travelling on Viking’s 12-day Mid-Atlantic Crossing itinerary between Lisbon and Miami.
‘The Mid-Atlantic Crossing was the perfect cruise for introducing agents to the Viking ocean product due to the unusual number of sea days,’ says Liz Sawers, director of sales Viking Cruises Australia & New Zealand.
The House Boat or Kettuvallam cruise in Kerala, India, commencing from either from the Spice Coast boat landing or Coconut Lagoon, is available through Exotic Holidays.
The cruise takes clients across Lake Vembanad, through narrow canals heading South - passing low lying rice fields, churches temples, schools and a complete life style in a water world.
They can stop to buy fish or coconut, enjoy food off the boat men or just relax and enjoy the beauty. The boat anchors at sunset to prevent getting entangled in the fish nets.
Aranui Cruises is adding a new cruise to Pitcairn Island, as part of its bumper 2019 cruise programme.
It’s the first time the cruise line has offered a different itinerary from its regular roundtrip voyage from Papeete to the Marquesas, Society and Tuamotu islands, and marks the first new destinations added to the programme
Sanctuary Retreats has savings on Nile cruises from Aswan to Luxor in Egypt on Sanctuary Sun Boat IV.
Smaller than the average Nile cruiser, Sanctuary Sun Boat IV offers personalised service coupled with the leisurely pace of a longer cruise.
Royal Caribbean Cruises unveiled some new innovations at its Sea Beyond tech conference in New York recently.
A new app that will be made available across the company’s 48 ship fleet over the next two years, allowing guests to order drinks from anywhere in the ship and skip lines by making use of facial recognition technology.
A specific focus is on giving guests more time.
Viking Cruises is offering guests the chance to head off on its 15-day Grand European Tour in 2018 for the price of $6,745 per person inclusive of return airfares to Europe.
The 15-day itinerary takes guests through four countries including Hungary, Austria, Germany and The Netherlands.
Guests will have the opportunity to visit nine UNESCO World Heritage sites and embark on 12 guided tours.
Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas has a range of new features and experiences including laser tag, stateroom slides, ‘counterless’ mobile check in, and new venues.
Debuting in April 2018 for a first season in Europe, Symphony of the Seas will include a ten story waterslide, an aquatic amphitheatre, two FlowRider surf simulators, a zip line, two rock climbing walls, a 1400 seat theatre for live shows and movies, the Bionic Bar with robot
Carnival Cruise Line is holding two information evenings for travel agents this month, coinciding with a visit to New Zealand by the line’s UK and international sales manager Iain Baillie.
They also follow the release of Carnival’s ‘hot off the press’ 2018-19 brochure.
The functions will be held on Monday 16 October 2017 at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron in Auckland and on Tuesday 17 October at Tauranga Yacht & Power Boat Club, Tauranga.
Mega liner the Majestic Princess arrives in New Zealand in 12 months. The 143,000-tonne mega-liner will be the largest Princess ship ever to sail in NZ waters.
At 330-metres long, the ship will sail through Fiordland on Sunday 30 September before docking in Dunedin, her first NZ port on Monday 1 October. As part of a 13-night roundtrip voyage from Sydney, Majestic will travel from Dunedin through to Akaroa, Wellington, Tauranga, Auckland and Bay of
Silversea has unveiled plans for its first-ever ship lengthening.
The transformation of the company’s Silver Spirit will happen early next year at the Palermo shipyard of Fincantieri.
Starting in early March, Silver Spirit will be lengthened by inserting a prebuilt 49-foot-long midsection housing 6 Silver Suites, 26 Veranda Suites and 2 Panorama Suites.
Viking Cruises has announced two new ocean cruises in the northern hemisphere spring and summer months of 2019, highlighting Iceland and Russia.
The Iceland’s Majestic Landscapes 13-day exploration overnights in Bergen and Reykjavík. In Norway, guests view the contrast of Ålesund and Geiranger’s. Guests will meet the people who live on the water’s edge of the Faroe archipelago, while in Iceland’s north they encounter polar fox, tern, eider ducks and whales. They can also soak in the mineral rich waters of Iceland’s Blue Lagoon, and view the landscapes as they tour the ‘Island of Fire and Ice.’ Clients can sail from
The Australian-based arm of international luxury cruise line, Viking Cruises, has been accepted as a Virtuoso partner, which includes a group of more than 1700 suppliers hand picked to provide high-end Virtuoso clients with exclusive benefits with the best products in the luxury travel market.
Ensuring that new and innovative cruise tourism products and attractions are developed and regionally dispersed is one of the key strategies of the New Zealand Cruise Association over the next three years.
Deputy chair Karen Thompson-Smith presented the organisation’s three year strategic plan at its AGM last night and says cruise is ideal for getting people into regional destinations. ‘We also want to make sure passenger satisfaction ratings remain high for all our prts through sharing of best practice.’
The New Zealand cruise industry is on the cusp of losing business as a direct result of lacking infrastructure, the sector’s leading body heard recently.
Debbie Summers, chair of what was until last week known as Cruise New Zealand, accepts that port infrastructure is not a new issue.
‘But now it is time to get it done. We’ve got everyone sitting in the same room so here is our opportunity. Without doubt it is our most pressing issue, with wins to be celebrated and challenges to be conquered.’
Tahitian cruise line Aranui Cruises will include a call to the Marquesas Festival this year. Held every two years in the Marquesas Islands, the festival alternates between a mini and main arts festival. The 2017 mini festival will be four days of Polynesian music and dance from 18-21 December 2017, at Tahuata, the smallest of the inhabited Marquesas Islands. To coincide, Aranui Cruises’ ship Aranui 5 will make an extended visit to Tahuata on 20 December so guests can participate in cultural festivity and feast.
Seven Seas Mariner’s guests will touch on 30 countries in six continents as they circumnavigate the globe, visiting 36 UNESCO World Heritage sites among a total of 66 ports, 13 in which are overnight stays. The all-suite, all-balcony Seven Seas Mariner will host Regent’s new 2020 Navigate the World cruise, a 131-night itinerary, departing 24 January 2020, round-trip from San Francisco, to islands of the South Pacic and ancient cultures of sub continental India and around the Arabian Peninsula, and then plying the Mediterranean in springtime and cruising the Caribbean and Central America in early summer.
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, is entering the luxury yachting and cruise sector – bringing the brand’s service and style to sea.
Named The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, this venture represents a foray into the cruise industry for a luxury hotel operator.
The first of three cruising yachts in this series is scheduled to take to sea in the fourth quarter of 2019.
UnCruise Adventures is launching an enhanced and expanded range of small ship cruises for 2018.
The itineraries range from Alaska to South America, World Journeys report.
As part of a new itinerary on the Columbia and Snake rivers, the 88-guest SS Legacy has been transformed into an adventure-equipped ship to offer activities such as kayaking, paddle boarding, skiff excursions and whitewater rafting.
UN Messenger of Peace Malala Yousafzai has been named as the godmother of Celebrity Cruises newest ship, Celebrity Edge, which will debut late 2018.
Yousafzai is a 19-year-old Pakistani woman who received the Nobel Peace Prize for her advocacy of girls’ education. She came to prominence in 2012 when she was shot by a Taliban gunman for her campaign.
News Lyttelton is back in the cruise-sector game has been met with sound applause from the industry.
Lyttelton Port Company has released plans for the first custom-built cruise ship facility for Christchurch. The $55 million development will open for the 2019-2020 season.
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia has expanded this year’s Cruise360 Australasia conference to include interactive discussions and workshops as well as a range of keynote addresses from international cruise executives.
The event this year is being held at the Hyatt Regency Sydney on 25 August, and will be followed by an inspection of the latest addition to P&O Cruises’ fleet, Pacific Explorer, the following day.
Managing director Joel Katz says delegates will now have a choice of educational breakout sessions, designed to help boost their business.
First Travel Group is not ruling out more niche travel brands under its YOU Travel banner.
The group’s general manager retail, John Willson, hints at new developments, saying ‘watch this space’.
‘We feel the future of retail travel is a niche product with trained staff providing the service and expertise clients require.
The trend towards longer cruises, back-to-back cruise itineraries and the resulting open jaw flights this can result in, is all falling in favour of travel agents, says the vice president sales Australia and New Zealand for Oceania Cruises, Steve McLaughlin.
‘The travel agent is an integral part of relatively complicated, high value cruising now,’ says McLaughlin.
New Zealand agents will have their biggest opportunity yet to learn about the high end Aqua Expeditions journeys in Peru and on the Mekong when the company holds a trade information night early next month.
GSA (general sales agent) for Aqua Expeditions, Tony Smith of Francis Travel Marketing, says agents who don’t properly acquaint themselves with this sort of product are definitely missing opportunities.
First Travel Group expects its YOU Cruise brand, launched this week, to expand steadily and eventually be joined by all existing 35 YOU Travel retail members.
YOU Cruise currently encompasses 27 stores: Bon Voyage Cruise & Travel, Capital Travel, Stars Travel & YOU Travel New Plymouth, and YOU Travel stores in Bethlehem, Birkenhead, Fielding, Ferrymead, Helensville, Katikati, Mairangi Bay, Manly, Manukau, Mount Manganui, Napier, New Lynn, Newmarket, Orewa, Southern (Invercargill), Takapuna, Taupo, Tauranga, Waiheke, Westgate, Whangarei, Whitianga, CBD – Auckland, and Wellington.
If you think Celebrity Cruise’s newest ship, the ultra modern Caribbean-bound Celebrity Edge, is out of reach of most
Kiwi pockets, then think again – the ship was selling here days before its industry launch on Thursday.
Infinity Holidays’ Adrian Cooper, who was among trade who attended Celebrity Edge’s big reveal at Soul Bar in Auckland, says he booked two back-to-back cruises aboard the new vessel for March 2019 when
Ovation of the Seas well-trumpeted arrival into New Zealand waters has more than doubled Kiwi sales for RCL Cruises’ three brands this season.
Mark Kinchley, RCL sales manager New Zealand, says sales have risen to ‘new heights’ year on year since the company set up here with only one ship seven years ago.
But the impact Royal Caribbean’s 348m-long mega ship has had on sales across the six vessels it now has in its stable has been nothing short of ‘incredible’, Kinchley says.
An initiative by Takapuna Beach Business Association to expand its visitor horizons has seen the beachside region on Auckland’s North Shore welcoming cruise visitors to its shores since the season began
Takapuna Beach Business Association chief executive Terry Holt says he is always looking for ways to share the Takapuna experience. He approached inbound tour operator ID New Zealand with the concept of including day visits to Takapuna as part of the shore excursion offerings for visiting cruise ships. It seemed like a new experience for visitors and a way to deliver an additional retail market opportunity for Takapuna Beach businesses, he says.
Emerald Princess made a rousing maiden entry into Auckland yesterday, announcing Kiwi sales far outstrip its cruising peers across the ditch.
The 3200-guest superliner is the biggest Princess Cruises ship to visit New Zealand this summer.
The arrival of Emerald Princess, stretching to 290 metres, headlines a record cruise season for the country that will see an unprecedented 33 cruise ships arrive in New Zealand waters.