The largest cruise ship to ever sail New Zealand waters, a new see-through kayak product and several new hotels.
It’s in the bag with Air New Zealand
Air New Zealand will soon begin rolling out new inflight amenity kits for its customers travelling in Business Premier and Premium Economy. Depending on the cabin class, the kits include Ashley & Co cosmetics, eye mask, socks, toothbrush, toothpaste and mouthwash, Eclipse mint, pen and black ear plugs.
New Princess to have big NZ presence
Princess Cruises says its latest ship – the Majestic Princess – will be based Down Under over the 2018-19 summer, offering a series of cruises between Auckland and Sydney. Carrying 3560 guests, the 143,000-tonne Majestic Princess will be the largest Princess Cruises’ ship yet to sail in local waters.
New waka product
Okeanos Aotearoa is a brand new waka (sailing canoe) experience that offers two sailing options for visitors leaving daily from Karanga Plaza, Wynyard Quarter. The waka are traditionally designed Polynesian sailing canoes built with modern materials. Visitors have the option to choose either a four-hour or two-hour experience, and depending on the sailing option with either a hangi meal (cooked underground) or light refreshments.
Clear kayaks, known as 'Clearyaks’, are a brand new way to explore New Zealand marine life up close. Kayakers can enjoy a pure, peaceful experience with the vision beneath amazingly clear and detailed. Recently launched at Goat Island Marine Reserve, the new product allows visitors to view fish, eagle rays and stingrays.
Auckland Whale and Dolphin Safari rebrand
Auckland Whale and Dolphin Safari (AWADS) have repositioned to strengthen their proposition as a sustainable tourism operator. Over the next 12 months, AWADS will engage key stakeholder groups on the ‘Discover Today – Protect for Tomorrow’ brand refresh, including the Department of Conservation and education institutions, to help develop a realistic plan that delivers outcome-based conservation solutions.
The key purpose of this rebranding exercise is to highlight how AWADS is the leading contributor to marine research in the Hauraki Gulf.
Walking by Nature
Walking by Nature is a brand new product that offers a range of guided walks, retreats and adventures for visitors wanting to take time out from their busy lives to experience the healing power of nature. These new tours are based on Waiheke Island but trips further afield on Great Barrier Island can also be offered.
Tour to Shop
Visitors can now discover the secret to shopping around Auckland and explore some of the best shopping haunts around town that most visitors (and even some locals) don’t even know about. Tour to Shop offer a range of shopping tours to suit any taste including exclusive boutiques, New Zealand designers, designer outlets, homewares and local artisan souvenirs.
The latest walking operator in Auckland, Aucky Walky, is offering a two-hour “find your feet” tour for visitors. Local guides reveal the city sights, stories, shops and eateries that can’t be missed. The tour discovers hidden laneways, art, serene parks and Auckland’s Māori heritage.
After twelve years of design and development, Auckland-based lawyers Anthony and Sandra Grant have opened their doors to the awe-inspiring Sculptureum –
Matakana's extravagant new gallery-zoo-vineyard hybrid. Scupltureum features a Nike-wearing alligator, inspiration quotes from Steve Jobs, an exotic bird aviary, an 80-seat restaurant, and a vineyard. Sculptureum is said to boast ‘not your average art gallery’.
Taupo Tandem Skydive – new summer rates
15,000 ft tandem skydive: $359
12,000 ft tandem skydive: $279
9,000 ft tandem skydive: $199
For more info: ww.taupotandemskydiving.com
Amora shuts up shop for refurbishment
Wellington’s Amora Hotel will temporarily close its doors on 27 May to undergo a multi-million dollar refurbishment of all rooms and public areas, after the November 2016 earthquake which created cosmetic damage. The refurbishment is scheduled for completion in the second quarter of 2018.
Raising the bar in the capital
After a seven-month closure and multi-million dollar refurbishment, the former Mercure Wellington officially rebranded recently as the Grand Mercure Wellington. The 114-guest rooms include a mix of superior, deluxe and executive twin rooms and seven executive suites. The Grand Mercure’s new restaurant, Forage Kitchen & Bar, aims to showcase top local produce, ‘from flower to root and nose to tail’.
CHRISTCHURCH & CANTERBURY
Christchurch is back on board NZ’s booming cruising industry
Lyttelton Port Company has released plans for the first custom-built cruise ship facility for Christchurch. The $55 million development will open for the 2019-2020 season. It will be able to accommodate cruise ships the size of the world’s largest – the 5400-passenger Oasis of the Seas.
New Ramada brand for New Zealand
Wyndham Hotel Group will introduce a new brand, Ramada ENCORE, to New Zealand. The soon-to-be Ramada ENCORE Christchurch Colombo Street is being developed under a franchise agreement with Lepdon Holdings and is slated to be completed in late 2017. Once finished, it will bring Wyndham’s portfolio in New Zealand to nine hotels and resorts spanning 446 rooms.
Canyon Fox – new morning slot
Shotover Canyon Swing and Fox have opened a morning Canyon Fox time for those early risers, at 9:30am. It is perfect for squeezing in some adrenaline in the morning and allows for more adventuring that afternoon. This also allows for another Swing & Fox Combo too!
Also check out their new promo video