Princess Cruises announced phase two of its so-called Across the Ditch Program.
As the leader in trans-Tasman cruises, additions to the program have been designed to further immerse guests in New Zealand culture and cuisine, the company said, in a statement.
Launching on Princess’ New Zealand cruises this summer, the program will continue to offer New Zealand experiences through a series of interactive onboard and shore activities.
Among the list of new additions, the admired Matariki Festival will be expanded to offer guests more opportunities to learn about Maori heritage and participate in traditional customs from authorized, local ambassadors.
With an updated menu, guests will be able to enjoy a traditional Hangi dinner as well as New Zealand lamb and Pavlova desert.
New Zealand beers, Speights Gold Medal Ale and Steinlager Pure will be added to the New Zealand beer and wine list.
Over the next 12 months, 50 new shore tours will be rolled out through the program. These include: a Piha bush and beach eco tour in Auckland, a Te Puia Thermal Reserve, Maori arts and Agrodome tour in Tauranga, a Canterbury Station, Mt Sunday, and Lord of the Rings sights tour in Akaroa, and an Oamaru and Moeraki Boulders tour in Port Chalmers.
“Following the success of Across the Ditch, we’ve expanded the program considerably with a more immersive offering.” said Princess Cruises Vice President Australia & New Zealand, Stuart Allison.
“Australian’s love of visiting their trans-Tasman neighbours shows no signs of weaning, with Australian tourism accounting for over 50% of international cruise arrivals at a time when New Zealand is set to enjoy a season which will see upward of 280,000 cruise ship passengers. Princess carries one in three of all Australian’s who travel to New Zealand. To put that number in perspective, if Princess Cruises was a country, it would be the 6th largest source of visitors to New Zealand, just behind Japan and accounting for more guests than Korea and Canada. With the expansion of our Across the Ditch program, these guests will now be able to enjoy an even more enriched, uniquely New Zealand experience.”