The number of New Zealanders taking an ocean cruise continues to increase – and the travel trade’s revenue opportunities grow accordingly.
Travel + Leisure readers have again voted Viking to the top of its categories in the 2018 World’s Best Awards. Viking was named the number one Ocean Cruise Line for ships carrying 600–2,199 guests and one of the World’s Best River Cruise Lines. In the three years since the launch of Viking’s ocean cruises in 2015, the company has been named a number one Ocean Cruise Line every consecutive year. Viking has also been voted a World’s Best River Cruise Line every year since the award’s began in 2011. Last month the company launched its fth ocean ship, Viking Orion, and the announcement of the 245-day Viking Ultimate World Cruise, the longest-ever continuous world cruise itinerary.
To celebrate 30 years of expeditions, every passenger booked on a PONANT Kimberley 2019 or Antarctica 2018- 2020 luxury expedition, will earn agents a $500 gift card. Entry is automatic – no need to register. Plus earn a bonus 5% commission on any Antarctica or Kimberley Expedition booked.
Trade gift card incentive and bonus commission for Antarctica and Kimberley is valid on all new bookings deposited from 1 June to 31 July 2018. This offer is in addition to receiving normal commission. Contact Francis Travel Marketing for more information.
Crystal Cruises has unveiled new itineraries aboard Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity. The collection of Grand Journeys are expanded sailings of combined existing 2020 itineraries, allowing guests to curate adventures ranging from 14 to 57 days.
On International Sushi Day on 18 June, Holland America revealed the largest sushi roll at sea made by Culinary Council member Andy Matsuda, while he sailed aboard Koningsdam on a special Food & Beverage Aficionado Cruise in Norway.
Holland America’s Food & Beverage Aficionado Cruises showcase the talents of the seven members of its Culinary Council. CLICK HERE for details.
Departing 7 December 2018 a 14-day journey aboard Crystal Serenity, round-trip from LA, will take clients along the coast of California, from LA to San Francisco and Santa Barbara; the Mexican Riviera ports from Puerto Vallarta to Mazatlán, La Paz and Cabo San Lucas.
This all-inclusive luxury cruise includes two Experience of Discovery themes, the Crystal Wine & Food Festival and Crystal on Broadway. Clients who book by 30 June can choose Crystal Clear Choices savings of either US$400 o the cruise fare or US$600 Shipboard Credit per person. Fares Available from US$6534 pp. www.crystalcruises.com
Holland America Line has announced Oprah Winfrey will serve as godmother of Nieuw Statendam, celebrating its belief in the transformative power of travel. Choosing a godmother for a new vessel is a time-honored maritime tradition that is thought to bring good luck and protection to the ship and all who sail on board. The official dedication will take place in a private ceremony and is not a part of the Girls’ Getaway cruise.
Three-day Girls’ Getaway Cruise
Guests can join Oprah and O, The Oprah Magazine editors Gayle King, Lucy Kaylin, Leigh Haber, Adam Glassman and Brian Underwood, for a three-day Bahamas Girls’ Getaway on Holland America Line’s newest ship: Nieuw Statendam. There’s an appearance by Oprah Winfrey, O-themed events and a day ashore at Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line’s award-winning private island. www.francistravelmarketing.co.nz
For those who have customers looking to go to Antarctica within the next year, availability on 2018 / 2019 cruises is very limited, and the Chimu Charters are no exception with its cruises coming season almost full.
Now is the time to secure 2019/2010 early birds on charter cruises as well on Viva Expeditions list of Antarctic cruise product. There are still some spaces available for 2018/2019 but clients need to move quickly. email@example.com
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.’