Princess Cruises will introduce a distinct Kiwi flavor on its upcoming season of cruises to New Zealand, with passengers experiencing a taste of the local cuisine, entertainment and culture as they explore the North and South islands.
The new programs and menus will be featured on 18 New Zealand sailings, beginning on Sun Princess October 13 and starting on Dawn Princess December 8.
"Our goal is for passengers to feel the essence of New Zealand throughout their time onboard," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. "We hope our passengers will gain a deeper understanding of what makes New Zealand so special."
Highlights of Princess' New Zealand cultural program include:
New Zealand Cuisine – New Zealand's cuisine will be a focus on each sailing, with Kiwi dishes marked on the menu with the country's iconic silver fern. Dinner will include items such as Braised New Zealand Lamb Shanks on Lentil Ragout, while lunch menus will feature the country's Colonial influence with Fish & Chips and Shepherd's Pie. Passengers can even start their day with a new breakfast selection – famous NZ Bacon & Egg Pie.
Wine and Beers – Bars will feature local Steinlager and Rheineck beers, while the wine lists will include a selection of New Zealand's acclaimed wines.
New Zealand Island Night – This festive evening will feature a New Zealand theme, with local food (Lolly Log Cake, for instance) and drink selections (Kiwi Caipirinha among them).
Chef and Bartender Challenge – A new activity debuting on New Zealand sailings, this TV-style challenge features the ship's chef and bartender facing off in a competition to make two dishes or five drinks with a secret New Zealand ingredient in just 30 minutes.
Enrichment and Education – Destination experts will travel with each ship to give passengers information about ports of call, while a park ranger will provide narration as the ship sails through Fiordland National Park. Princess is also working with Tourism New Zealand to present an onboard exhibit where passengers can learn more about local history and culture.
In Port Cultural Programs – In select New Zealand ports, Maori cultural performers will offer afternoon presentations demonstrating aspects of their culture and heritage. Maori masters will offer workshops in Kapa Haka dance traditions, tiki warrior rituals, Waiata chants, and lessons in Maori language.
Entertainment – While the ships are in port in Tauranga and Auckland, passengers can enjoy performances from local entertainers. Maori bands and other local performers are also being added to the lineup. The ships' movie and TV screens will be showing films with a local twist, such as the Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Piano as well as NZ documentaries and sporting events.