The deeper agents delve for cruising options that don’t necessarily fit a traditional mould, the more opportunities they will find to get clients beyond the ordinary – and earn attractive commission in doing so, a leading cruise wholesaler is reminding the trade.
Increased interest in small ships and intimate experiences is being credited for driving record breaking booking trends for Avalon Waterways, which registered its strongest booking quarter ever in Q1 2023.
Viking has released its India and Europe Grand Passage itinerary, journeying between Mumbai and Barcelona and vice versa. Sailings of the new itinerary are limited, with two departures scheduled in December 2024 and January 2025.
Kiwis keen to secure preferred voyages and stateroom categories are booking an average of 412 days ahead – leading the world in advance cruise bookings for Regent Seven Seas Cruises.
And they’re a lot more adventurous, according to Lisa Pile, vice president sales and general manager Asia Pacific with Regent, who hosted a media lunch at Auckland’s Origine restaurant this week.
Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) has released a series of destination-rich itineraries for its 2024-25 season in Asia-Pacific.
This includes 14 voyages on the refurbished Norwegian Spirit, and 12 sailings for Norwegian Sun’s first foray into the region.
With the start of the 2023-24 Antarctic cruise season just over three months away, Viva reports that some popular Antarctic operators are close to sold out on many departures.
Viva has seen massive interest in Antarctica recently, with the continent making up more than 60% of the company’s enquiries in recent months.
PONANT has a gift card incentive for travel agents who book guests on a Kimberley itinerary for 2024.
Applicable for bookings made during the month of August 2023, travel agents who place a deposit no later than 8 September will receive a $250 gift card per booked passenger.
The delivery yesterday of Norwegian Cruise Line’s second Prima Class Norwegian Viva to the 19-ship fleet will give new opportunities to the New Zealand trade when it comes to Mediterranean and later Caribbean cruising, says NCL’s managing director and VP APAC, Ben Angell.
A number of factors are combining to ensure that luxury small ship cruising is more than holding its own out of the New Zealand market, says Jason Worth, vice-president and general manager Asia Pacific at Oceania Cruises.
Viking has released its 2023-2025 Expedition brochure featuring the expedition vessels Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris. The brochure highlights Viking’s latest expansion into the Arctic region and additional departure dates on popular voyages.
Cruise World is now the exclusive representative for Scotland’s Hebridean Island Cruises.
To mark the development, Hebridean Island Cruises is offering 5% discount for 2023-24 sailings for New Zealand guests booked by the end of August.
Aurora Expeditions is combining one of its Antarctic voyages with its 10-day Patagonian Discovery Trek. When booked and deposited before September 30, 2023, travellers can save 50% off the cost of the immersive trek.
Giving the Kiwi trade a fresh perception of P&O Cruises is one of the key objectives for the line this year, says Belinda Clark, sales manager New Zealand.
The comments come as Pacific Explorer begins a five-month season of home porting in Auckland. The ship arrived from Cairns on Friday and is now on her first winter voyage out of New Zealand – taking in New Caledonia and Vanuatu.
Paul Gauguin Cruises has launched its programme for 2025, covering French Polynesia, Fiji and the South Pacific. The 26 voyages span six itineraries, offering experiences ranging from seven to 14 nights.
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd, which operates the Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands, plans to improve connectivity for guests and crew at sea by offering SpaceX’s Starlink high-speed internet on its ships.
Using advanced low earth orbit satellites, Starlink delivers broadband internet connectivity which will improve the capacity, speed and reliability of internet on board. The company is testing Starlink, beginning with Norwegian Breakaway, with the intent to have a phased rollout this technology across its entire fleet.
The New Zealand travel trade is gaining confidence in selling expedition cruising, in large part due to being able to get on and experience some of the new vessels now on offer, says Aaron Russ, commercial director of Heritage Expeditions.
The New Zealand cruise industry has seen a youthful transformation with more younger travellers booking to go on cruise ship holidays, according to Flight Centre NZ figures.
The company says cruise ship bookings for 18-30-year-olds have dramatically increased, more than doubling in just under a year.
Avalon Waterways took the opportunity to re-connect with the incentive travel market during the Destination Marketing Services (DMS) workshop in Auckland this week.
Avalon’s national sales manager Alka Thapar says she is encouraging people in the sector to think outside the box.
If clients are heading to Egypt it is important they do it the right way to ensure they get the most out of their experience, says Kenzie Imam, board member of Traveline Egypt which owns five ships cruising on the Nile under the Movenpick Cruising banner.
‘Going on line and winging it is the wrong way,’ says Imam.
Travel agents not only had the opportunity to look around Norwegian Spirit and enjoy lunch on board last week but also received an in-depth update from NCL business development manager Megan Porter.
The group of 24 in Auckland on Friday also heard about changing trends noticed by the line and what this can mean for trade selling NCL cruises.
After a three-year hiatus, Oceania Cruises’ Regatta returned to Auckland over the weekend, sporting all-new suites and staterooms (including 14 solo), along with restyled public spaces.
And with cuisine being an all-inclusive, core focus of the cruise line, it was fitting that a small group of travel agents got to enjoy a five-course lunch in The Grand Dining Room following a tour of the ship.
Viking has released its 2024-2025 ocean voyages season, including two new itineraries.
Viking’s new 32-day Grand Australia Circumnavigation takes in a combination of beauty and culture as it circumnavigates Australia from Sydney return, encountering iconic natural wonders and lesser-known cultural gems, as well as Indonesian highlights in Komodo and Bali.
Orient Express has unveiled what is reputed to be the world’s largest sailing ship, Orient Express Silenseas.
A French partnership between Accor and Chantiers de l’Atlantique, a globally leading shipbuilding company, this yacht will set sail in 2026.
Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), says it will pay travel advisors commission on non-commissionable fares (NCFs).
NCL is the first major contemporary cruise line to compensate travel advisors on NCFs for reservations booked outside of the 120-day window.
The New Zealand Cruise Association (NZCA) has hit back at Covid related criticism of the industry, citing international research that shows serious cases resulting in hospitalisation are considerably less than on land.
Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) is expecting new ship Norwegian Prima’s 2023 winter season out of Galveston Texas to prove popular not only with the local market but also those from further afield taking advantage of the Houston gateway.
When NCL does a Broadway show, it really wants to do the Broadway show, says the line’s senior artistic director Robert Dean Hertenstein.
PONANT has announced its 2023 sailing collaboration with Smithsonian Journeys, the travel programme of the Smithsonian Institution – the world’s largest museum, education and research complex. This is the second year PONANT and Smithsonian Journeys will offer co-branded sailings.
French Polynesian cargo cruise line Aranui Cruises is currently offering savings of up to $3,000 per cabin.
The biggest savings of $1,500 per person are on offer for Aranui 5’s final two voyages of 2022 to the Marquesas Islands, departing December 3 and 17, 2022, when New Zealand clients book a Royal, Premium or Presidential suite before 9 December 2022.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises has announced its new 2024-2025 Voyage Collection, with new itineraries and new ports of call.
Guests can pre-register their interest from today, with reservations open for sale on 25 August 2022. A low refundable deposit of 7.5% is being offered for bookings made by 31 October 2022. (Check conditions)
The spacious nature of the new Norwegian Prima and its expanded range of both onboard activities and cuisine options will resonate with New Zealanders and Australians, says Ben Angell, managing director and vice president of Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) Asia Pacific.
Prima will commence her eight-day inaugural voyage in Reykjavik on 26 August.
Viking has launched its 25th Anniversary Sale, featuring exclusive offers on all 2023 and 2024 river cruises and a selection of its most popular 2023 and 2024 ocean and expedition voyages. Offers are valid for new bookings until 31 October 2022.
Oceania Cruises has extended its OLife Ultimate package including additional 2022 and 2023 sailings, providing guests with significant benefits on their next voyage.
Incentives for trade partners in tandem with the new OLife Ultimate offer include a $200 gift voucher for each new booking made before 31 August 2022 plus the chance to win a case of wine.
Aurora Expeditions’ visit to New Zealand last week has served the double purpose of inspiring clients and educating the trade, says director of sales – Asia Pacific, Steve McLaughlin.
‘We have encouraged agents to come with their clients to sessions at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (Auckland). We know it can be hard to sell something if you don’t know it well, so we’re here to help.
Increasing air connectivity between New Zealand and North America, coinciding with Norwegian Prima’s debut season in the region, is already generating interest from the Kiwi trade, says NCL’s director of sales Australia and New Zealand, Damian Borg.
Prima is about to embark on a Northern European season, with a debut cruise to Iceland, but will also have an extended Americas season September through March this year with departures from Galveston, Miami and New York.
Viva Expeditions has a new 13-day ‘VIP Antarctica’ small-ship tour with special guests onboard – Sir John Key and modern-day polar explorer Professor Mike Stroud.
Chartering the new luxury expedition vessel Ocean Albatros, Viva is taking them and up to 196 passengers to the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands in November 2023.
Aurora Expeditions has last chance deals for its upcoming Antarctica 2022-23 season, commencing in three months’ time with the South Georgia & Antarctic Odyssey on 21 October.
Up to 20% off is being offered off all Antarctica voyages for the 2022-23 season, for bookings before 31 August 2022.
Viking’s 13-day Antarctic Explorer itinerary from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia to Buenos Aires is priced from A$19,995 per person, including savings of up to A$8,000 per couple.
The client visits the La Boca barrio and Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires then heads to the glaciers, snow-covered landscapes and icebergs and an area teeming with penguins, seals, whales and other wildlife.
Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), will return to Asia for the 2023-2024 cruise season, with 12 port-rich sailings ranging from 10 to 12 days on board Norwegian Jewel. She returns to Asia for her second season in the region following a 16-day repositioning cruise from Seattle, Washington to Tokyo, via Alaska.
Viking has released several new ocean voyages and new 2024 departure dates on some of its most popular itineraries.
New voyages include the 36-day Grand Fjords & Iconic Viking Shores taking in Iceland, Greenland and the Canadian provinces of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia; plus two new itineraries combining the West Indies with the Mediterranean and the Iberian Peninsula. Viking will also be re-opening two Hawaiian voyages to the islands of Hawaii, Oahu, Maui and Kauai and traversing the South Pacific to Moorea, Bora Bora and the secluded Marquesas Islands. www.vikingcruises.com.au/
Ultimate Cruising has fly/cruise/stay packages to the Gambier Islands and Pitcairn Island with Aranui 5 in 2022 and 2023.
Departing from Papeete, guests head to Pitcairn Island, an intriguing community with an incredible history and lifestyle. Pitcairn Island is only accessible by ship with supply ships visiting once a month and taking few passengers so this opportunity to visit with Aranui Cruises is rare.
Aurora Expeditions has released its new 2023-24 Antarctica season, as well as new 2023 Arctic and British Isles voyages aboard the Sylvia Earle.
The Antarctica season has dozens of departures across both vessels in Aurora’s fleet, purpose-built expedition ships the Greg Mortimer and the new Sylvia Earle.
American Queen Voyages – known for its paddlewheeler river cruises – has launched its first expedition ship, with the new, luxury, 186-guest Ocean Victory debuting in Alaska to offer a season of 11 and 12-night nature adventures from May to September this year and also in 2023 and 2024.
Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), has announced its return to the Canary Islands for the first time since 2017 with a year-round Europe cruise offering in 2022.
Following a grand 22-day transatlantic voyage from Miami to Lisbon, Norwegian Sun will make her return to Europe offering immersive Canary Island sailings from 21 November 2022.
For the fourth year running, Regent Seven Seas Cruises has sold out its world cruise in record time, with the sailing being completely reserved prior to officially opening for bookings on 15 June 2022.
The sailing, which at 150 nights is the longest in the cruise line’s history, had fares starting at $126,030 per guest for a deluxe veranda suite, and $365,740 per guest for a master suite.
PONANT is opening sales for its 2023 Kimberley sailing expedition programme onboard the company’s three-masted sailing yacht Le Ponant.
Commencing on 7 April 2023, PONANT’s 26 new itineraries cover the Northern Kimberley, Southern Kimberley, and the Rowley Shoals.
Seabourn is marking the return of its entire fleet of ships, with the departure last week of Seabourn Sojourn from Athens, Greece.
The cruise line now has all five of its ships in operation for the first time since March 2020.
PONANT is launching sales of a new offer for 2023-2024 to discover the southern continent.
The selection includes 32 expedition sailings and 12 different itineraries aboard small luxury expedition ships Le Boreal, L’Austral and Le Lyrial, and Le Commandant Charcot, the world’s first hybrid electric LNG powered polar exploration ship.