Princess Cruises has partnered with Discovery and will offer Animal Planet-themed shore excursions. // © 2015 Princess Cruises and Discovery at Sea
Feature image (above): Travel agents and Holland America Line passengers can virtually filter and customize itineraries with Utrip. // © 2015 Holland America Line
Recent announcements include Princess Cruises’ partnership with Discovery Communications for Discovery at Sea, which will generate science enrichment for all ages. At a recent New York press conference, the new stargazing experience on Princess ships’ top decks was described with great enthusiasm by astrophysicist Dr. Hakeem Oluseyi, Discovery at Sea’s Science Channel ambassador, who recently cruised the Mediterranean onboard Island Princess while filming a series of lectures titled “Celestial Events; Are We Alone?”
Princess also will have activities that incorporate hit Discovery shows such as “MythBusters,” “Deadliest Catch,” and “Shark Week,” as well as Discovery- and Animal Planet-themed shore excursions. Additionally, a new Style at Sea partnership with TLC features fashion expert Stacy London on what to pack for a cruise (available before sailing).
Holland America Line (HAL)’s new brand partnerships are aimed at cruise selection and at deepening the authentic cruise experience. Afar Media will provide insider destination details on shopping, dining and more, and BBC Earth — scheduled to roll out on HAL’s fleet starting in April — will provide insight into the ocean and the natural world through concerts, films, game shows, children’s activities and themed cruises. A live concert based on the program “Frozen Planet” is being adapted for sailings in polar regions.
Additionally, HAL is utilizing a tool from content software provider Utrip. Utrip has created a simplified search method that can be used by consumers and travel agents to make personalized choices among HAL cruises — sorting itineraries by ports they wish to visit, experiences that reflect their interests and more. To generate recommendations, users can customize their profiles with interactive sliders that cover topics including history; art and culture; food and drink; nature and outdoors; and contemporary life.
Joe Slattery, senior vice president of global marketing and sales for HAL, says that in no way is the Utrip alliance intended to undercut agents or to drive direct sales. HAL intends for the information gathered to be of additional use to agents, and Slattery stresses that a client’s personal relationship with an agent is far more persuasive than an online questionnaire.