LAUNCHES FIRST OVERLAND EXCURSIONS IN NEW ZEALAND’S NORTH ISLAND
PLUS EXCLUSIVE TOURS LED BY LOCAL EXPERTS IN CULTURE, ART AND CUISINE
Princess Cruises, the leaders in trans-Tasman cruising, has announced the line has significantly expanded its Across the Ditch Program ahead of the 2018/19 summer cruise season. The cruise line will take guests to places less travelled with the launch of two industry-first overland excursions in New Zealand’s North Island and over twenty exclusive shore tours this summer. Under the cruise line’s global Local Connections Program, guests will be able to experience the destination through the eyes of our local expert partner visiting their favourite local food, beverage and art establishments in every New Zealand port.
Speaking at the New Zealand Cruise Association Conference today in Blenheim, New Zealand, Princess Cruises’ Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific, Stuart Allison said,” Princess Cruises will carry more cruise passengers to New Zealand than any other cruise operator, with almost 100,000 guests to the country this season. With New Zealand attracting more repeat cruisers than any other itinerary, we’ve broadened our Across the Ditch Program this year by partnering exclusively with a number of regional experts to offer our guests a number of truly immersive and authentic tourism experiences.”
“Princess Cruises Local Connections Program will deliver meaningful and bespoke experiences across the country to our guests through the eyes of a local expert. It is these local chefs, beverage-makers and artisans, as recommended by our local expert partners, who will bring a destination to life in their own unique way',” said Mr Allison.
One such highlight under the expanded Across the Ditch Program includes an industry-first overland excursion to Great Barrier Island, one of only four Dark Sky Sanctuaries in the world, for an interstellar stargazing experience. Another highlight is a journey off the beaten track with award-winning Māori Chef, Eru Tutaki. Guests will join Chef Eru Tutaki in a forest near the port of Tauranga to harvest bush food which will then be created into a three-course degustation. Chef Eru Tutaki is renowned for illustrating the stories of his Māori heritage through the flavours of the bush. “To tell the legends of New Zealand’s origins through taste is not only a wonderful excursion for the guests of our country, it’s an investment in the preservation of our history,” said Chef Eru Tutaki.
“The expansion of the successful global Local Connections Program in New Zealand demonstrates Princess Cruises’ commitment to sustainable tourism and how the benefit of cruise tourism can be felt well beyond the ports our ships visit,” explained Mr Allison.
As an extension of the work Princess already has underway, Mr Allison said the cruise line would explore opportunities to partner with organisations to help support New Zealand’s unique landscape and its culture.
“Princess Cruises has a long association with New Zealand and the many regional communities we visit, which share in the success of cruising. We look forward to growing in partnership with communities in ways that support sustainable tourism across culture and landscape,” he said.
Guests can first experience Princess Cruises’ expanded Across the Ditch program, featuring overland excursions and Local Connections elements when the cruise line’s flagship, Majestic Princess, arrives in New Zealand in October, 2018.