Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises will start the year with aggressive pricing and highly visual campaigns that focus on ship features, rather than itineraries.GAVIN Smith, general manager, Royal Caribbean Cruises Australia, has told Cruise Weekly that the company’s two local brands are set for an exciting new direction.
“Royal and Celebrity are bringing two of the world’s best ships down here, so for the first time in Australia, I think ships will become the destination, and the ports of call will be complementary,” he said. Agents can expect to see a strong marketing push for Voyager of the Seas and Celebrity Solstice over the next few months.
“Until now we have been focused on telling the consumer about the current summer season, but in Jan/Feb we will delivering the imagery on the onboard amenities – the ship will be the hero. “We will bring the visual appeal of the ships to life during the first half of the year, and I am very confident that we can generate a lot of excitement.”
The new Voyager campaign is designed to highlight the introduction of the Dreamworks program, which was quietly announced last year.
“We haven’t wanted to confuse people who might think they would get the Dreamworks characters and parades and breakfasts on Radiance and Rhapsody, but now we will really be promoting our great family appeal.” The Solstice advertising will highlight unique features such as the Lawn Club.
Pricing for both brands will be “very genuine, to make us more relevant as a holiday option,” Smith said.
“I don’t think we can leave aggressive pricing until later in the year because those passengers will just travel with someone else.” The arrival of the two new ships will also affect the focus of others ships in the fleet next season.
“As agents will note in the summer deployments for 2012-13, our ships are spending a lot of time in Australia, and not so much time in the South Pacific, so Voyager and Solstice will become our Australia-New Zealand ships and Radiance and Rhapsody will become our South Pacific ships,” Smith said. “This is because the Royal and Celebrity model is very dependent on Americans and Europeans travelling to Australia – 35-50% of our guests are inbound – and they are most interested in coastal Australia and New Zealand.”
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