‘Australians have the highest repeat rate for our New Zealand cruises,’ says Stuart Allison, senior vice president Asia Pacific commercial and operations at Princess Cruises who was among a Princess Cruises contingent in New Zealand recently for the NZ Cruise Association conference in Blenheim. ‘New Zealand is critical to us, it needs to offer the best and we need to evolve it to offer something new,’ says Chloe Jones, marketing manager with Princess Cruises.
Her ‘baby’ is the company’s Across the Ditch cruise programme that gives Aussies a Kiwi experience as soon as they board. ‘They eat like a local with New Zealand flavours and an expansive New Zealand wine list; and we have Maori ambassadors offering traditional cultural experiences such as haka and poi lessons,’ says Allison. ‘We also have themed movies under the stars, a port lecture series and a New Zealand park ranger experience.’
The programme will see more Kiwi food, people and environment introduced as it develops, says Jones. ‘We are working with entertainment providers to build on the already successful port lecture series, and we’ve expanded our star gazing to incorporate the spirit of Matariki. The next step is to build upon the F&B supply chain to offer smaller boutique providers.’