Carnival Cruise Lines (CCL) will strip away the American essence of the Carnival Spirit and “Aussify” the vessel ahead of its Australian deployment next year.
Recently appointed director of Carnival Cruise Line, Jennifer Vandekreeke, who is overseeing the launch of the brand in Australia, revealed details on the ship’s new features at an industry event in Sydney yesterday.
It also emerged that video and online marketing will take place to capture first time cruisers.
The deployment of the Spirit in Australia will be the first time a CCL ship has been based outside of the US year-round. Fares went on sale on Monday, May 2, both online and through travel agents
Vandekreeke revealed that Australian dollars will be accepted on board while restaurants and bars will offer an Australian menu, as well as local beer and wine.
Carnival also hopes to bring cafe culture on board by working with well-known Sydney baristas to train staff.
The design has also taken account Australia’s penchant for “outdoor culture” with a giant water slide, the steepest to feature on a cruise liner, Vandekreeke said.
News of the on-board features came as Vandekreeke revealed that Carnival’s head of guest operations, Mark Tamis, visited Australia with Vandekreeke and a team of US staff to examine the Australian market.
“Our research revealed Australians have an openness to cruising as an option,” Vandekreeke said. “In the US, we go after the entry line market of ‘cruise rookies’ with videos and online marketing.”
She said there is “room for growth” in Australia among those who have never cruised before, with video and online advertising used to capture that market.
The Spirit’s first Australian season will start in October 2012, with eight 12-day cruises to New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and New Zealand.
From Travel Weekly via the Newman PR Report