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.
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.
New Zealanders who attended the World Leading Cruse Lines 2016 Summit out of Sydney last week say they like what they heard and it gives them added confidence to sell the brands showcased at the event.
Mark Smith and Debbie Christian, of Let’s Cruise, says the announcement of the 2018 World Cruise by Sea Princess was particularly timely and having new destinations in Greenland and Eastern Canada provides something to sell for the big repeat market.
‘We’ve got people queuing up for the (2018) cruise already,’ says Smith, ‘and the repeat demand that Princess Cruises talks about is for real.’
He says 75% of what Let’s Cruse sell onto process is repeat business. ‘It’s our biggest seller in the cruise industry.’
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia, has welcomed the New Zealand Government's trial of a new biosecurity accreditation scheme for cruise lines.
The trial, announced by the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries this week, will reduce the current biosecurity inspections undertaken by NZ Border Clearance Services for accredited cruise lines from November. To become accredited, cruise lines must demonstrate that they have appropriate systems in place to reduce biosecurity risk.
CLIA Australasia Chairman Steve Odell says the organisation is pleased to have worked with the New Zealand Government on the initiative. ‘The trial means cruise passengers will benefit from more efficient disembarkations and a more positive cruise experience – which will give them
Kiwis taking domestic cruises present major potential for the trade here, says Michael Mihajlov, director destination management with Carnival Australia. He says 75% of domestic bookings from New Zealand and Australia still go through the trade, meaning it is a way agents can make commissions out of their own country.
‘There is going to be a big push to engage the New Zealand trade to get more Kiwis cruising New Zealand.’ He says this year’s maiden visit to Stewart Island by P&O Cruises generated plenty of interest amongst new Zealanders. ‘A lot of New Zealanders have always wanted to go there. It can be a big ask because access is problem in terms of weather and anchorage but demand goes through the roof form the domestic sector. The idea is definitely to go to Stewart Island again.’
Carnival incorporates brands such as P&O and Princess Cruises, along with Seabourne, Holland America Line, Cunard and others.
Mihajlov says P&O in particular is targeting a sector seeking shorter cruises – people primarily in the 30 to 55 age bracket travelling as couples or groups. ‘We’ve got to give them reasons to go on short cruises – food and wine festivals, sorts events, musical and cultural festivals all work well.’