Along with getting bigger and more luxurious, many new cruise ships are experimenting with virtual reality to enhance the passenger experience. Innovations like Royal Caribbean’s Sky Pad or the laser tag arena on the new Norwegian Encore aim to blend the real world with elements of virtual reality for a unique and fun experience for all ages.
Now with passengers and cruise lines waiting for the go-ahead to sail, some lines have turned again to virtual experiences to help fill the void for those of us spending time at home. Viking, Crystal and Celebrity are just a few of the lines offering digital cruise experiences for everyone to enjoy and we hope it can foster excitement for cruising when vacation is back!
Viking Cruises Launches Web TV
One of the most well known cruise lines, Viking Cruises started Viking.TV to help fill the void and “to build community, stay connected and share positive experiences at a time when people are staying home,” according to the website’s front page. The page begins with a video message from Viking Executive Vice President Karine Hagan explaining their decision to launch the site and keep passengers engaged.
Users can watch videos from a variety of categories listed on the front page of the site including wellness, videos from the cruise line’s official dog Finse, greetings from other Viking cruisers, messages from the crew, and Tor’s Corner where visitors can watch videos from Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen.
Each day of the week is a new theme exploring some of what you’d find on board a Viking cruise. Tune into Museum Mondays or Guest Speaker Thursday and learn a thing or two about the places and history a Viking cruise is known for.
Crystal Cruises Creates Crystal@Home
Connecting with passengers is the goal of Crystal@Home from luxury river and ocean cruise operator Crystal Cruises. The new section of the Crystal website includes live streaming events, virtual conversations, podcasts, and a feed of the #CrystalFamily hashtag across the brand’s social media channels.
The content is similar to what you’d find on board a Crystal Ship, like a cooking demonstration from Longtime Crystal culinary partner, Chef Jon Ashton, stories from the influential people who have cruised with Crystal as experts in their field, Wednesday wellness instruction from Crystal trainers and Friday Night at The Galaxy with the Crystal entertainment staff.
Visitors are invited to stay connected and interact via a weekly series of live streaming events, conversations on Crystal’s social media channels, compelling stories on the Crystal Insider blog, a re-release of Crystal Storytellers, Crystal’s podcast guest lecture series, and more. The programming changes on a weekly basis to keep things fresh.
Virtual Expeditions from Lindblad NatGeo
With a promise to “explore like we did before”, the new Virtual Expeditions from Lindblad National Geographic dives into the adventure and enrichment of a cruise from the famous provider. The site features a rotating weekly program with a focus on nature, wellness, cultural enrichment, cuisine and more. Don’t forget 6pm cocktail hour daily recaps!
National Geographic photographers and instructors are even offering tips on how to capture that perfect picture. The best part is you don’t even need to have an expensive camera to get something out of the instruction.
Celebrity Apex Delivered Virtually
For the first time in industry history, the official takeover of a ship from builder to buyer occurred virtually. The team at Celebrity Cruises took control of the new Celebrity Apex via video conference with French shipyard Chantiers de l’Atlantique.
President and CEO of the cruise line Lisa Lutoff-Perlo said it was fitting for such a technologically innovative ship to be delivered in that way. Apex is the sister ship of Celebrity Edge which brought a number of unique features never before seen in cruising.
Using our digital platform here at Porthole.com is another way to keep connected with your favorite vacation and interact with people who just love to cruise. We will be continuing to spread positive messaging during this time of crisis, so that now we can continue to dream of our next vacation and plan for the future of travel.
Please join the #MyNextVacation movement and help us spread a positive outlook for the future of travel with your incredible stories of past vacations.To share any of your own cruise memories, you can leave a comment below, or you can follow Porthole Cruise Magazine on Twitter and Facebook to share your stories there. Make sure you also check out Cruise Control will Bill Panoff on YouTube!