Princess Cruises has launched its Local Connections program in Australia to coincide with the start of the cruise line’s 2018/19 summer cruise season. A global initiative, the Australian-based program will see the development of up to 20 new shore excursions in six ports across the nation; Broome, Perth, Melbourne, Hobart, Adelaide and Brisbane.
Speaking at the 2018 Carnival Australia Partnership Summit aboard Majestic PrincessinAustralia, Princess Cruises’ Chief Commercial Officer, Deanna Austin said the line was pioneering partnerships with regional experts in response to demand for meaningful and authentic tourism experiences.
“Building on the success of New Zealand’s Local Connections program launched as part of our award-winning Across the Ditch offering, the Australian arm of the program will drive tourism to regions across the country,” said Mrs Austin.
“The expansion of our global Local Connections initiative in Australia demonstrates Princess Cruises’ commitment to sustainable tourism and how the benefit of cruise tourism can be felt well beyond the ports our ships visit. Princess will continue to invest in local experts who will deliver meaningful and bespoke, boutique experiences to our guests as it’s these local artisans and cultural leaders who bring a destination to life,” explained Mrs Austin.
Princess Cruises’ Senior Vice President Asia Pacific,Stuart Allison said the nationwide launch of Local Connections aligned with the cruise line’s preparations for their biggest Australian season in history.
“This season, four Princess Cruises ships will be based in Australia growing to five next summer for what will be our biggest season ever,” said Mr Allison.
“We will see a record number of people cruising locally on Princess ships over the 2019/2020 season
The arrival of Ruby Princess combined with news of Majestic’s return before she’s completed her maiden season here, means we’ll have 2 of the 4 latest Princess ships sailing in this region which speaks to the momentous growth of our market. With our Local Connections program launching in Australia our guests will experience the very best of the ports we visit.” explained Mr. Allison.
Local experts around Australia have partnered exclusively with Princess Cruises to develop Princess’ Local Connections tours. Each excursion features artisans and culinary leaders from each port that have been selected for their intimate knowledge of their region and craft to offer guests enriching, immersive tours. Highlights include a Narlijia Heritage and cultural tour in Broome with local expert, Bart Pigram, and in Melbourne, a full day tour that commences with a behind-the-scenes look at artisanal coffee roaster, St Ali’s Port Melbourne Roastery – hosted by founder Salvatore Malatesta.
Local Connections’ Melbourne local tourism expert Chris White said, “We are delighted to be partnering with Princess Cruises to launch Local Connections in Australia – and very much look forward to hosting guests in fabulous Melbourne.”
“While Melbourne is most famous for its coffee, the city boasts a phenomenal art and culture scene and is home to some of Australia’s best restaurants and bars. It truly is a lively, dynamic, global city – a treat for both Australian and international travellers.”
Princess Cruises’ Local Connections program will launch fleet-wide this summer season.