Filmmaker Jean Michel Cousteau has partnered with Stella Travel Services USA to plan a set of exclusive South Pacific trips. // © 2014 Ocean Futures Society
Ocean lovers considering a trip to the South Pacific can now choose from a new selection of vacation products endorsed by famed ocean explorer and filmmaker Jean-Michel Cousteau.
Stella Travel Services USA, Inc., parent company for North American tour wholesalers Travel2 and Islands in the Sun, has partnered with Cousteau on a selection of exclusive Ocean Away Vacations itineraries to Tahiti, Fiji, the Cook Islands and Australia’s Far North Queensland.
Although the trips typically feature a range of dive excursions and underwater activities, Justine Cooper, vice president of marketing for Stella Travel, said travelers don’t have to be scuba enthusiasts to enjoy the new tour packages.
“They are for anyone who wants to have an ocean experience while on vacation,” Cooper said. “Travelers could be learning to scuba dive, or they could be experienced PADI divers — or they might just want to snorkel. Or maybe, they just fancy going for a swim or even dipping their toes in the ocean while wandering along the beach.”
The Oceans Away Vacation packages are commissionable to travel agents at 9 percent. Four percent of the total cost of each trip purchased will be donated to Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society on the consumer’s behalf, meaning travelers also contribute to preserving global marine ecosystems when booking the products. Donations are tax deductible.
“All the destinations that we sell need the oceans to be protected to sustain their tourism industries,” Cooper said. “Mr. Cousteau approves all of the vacation packages we are putting into the market that utilize his brand. We have also been very conscious while developing these programs, [ensuring]the accommodations we’re incorporating have a very light carbon footprint and are environmentally friendly.”
The trips cover a range of South Pacific destinations and distinctive ocean-related itineraries.
“There’s everything from live-aboard cruises, where they can have three to four nights in the islands of Fiji, to dive vacations off the Great Barrier Reef and the Heron and Lizard islands,” Cooper said. “And they can stay in amazing accommodations suited for all different types of travelers, from families to multigenerational travelers, right up to the luxury market.”
The company is currently working on expanding its relationship with Cousteau to include a new series of vacation products that will launch in the next six to 12 months.
“Eventually, we’ll be developing a signature series of vacations that will give customers a chance to actually go on a vacation where Mr. Cousteau will be in residence,” Cooper said. “They could be on the Paul Gauguin cruise ship, where he has a lecture series four times a year, or at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort in Fiji or Lizard Island in Far North Queensland.”