Sitmar Cruises is cashing in on one of the most interesting and worthwhile innovations on cruise ships recently by marketing both standard and customized videos for passengers who want to repeatedly relive their long-awaited "dream vacation."
Sea Vid Productions, which reportedly met with staunch resistence by major cruiise lines before selling the videos on all three Sitmar ships, has created a standard, 50-minute Alaska video for $60 and a 15-minute transcanal video for $40 on Sitmar and expects to soon market videos on sailings ranging from three to 12-days.
Seavid President Devon Erickson said that Seavid currently creates personalized segments for either $10 or $20 for inclusion in the standard VCR and guarantees delivery within 30 days of debarkation.
"Our standard video will include a tour of the ship, all shore excursions and virtually all passenger activities and the customized segments are for those special moments a couple wants to savor as their very own," Erickson said. "The personalized segments might have the couple saying, 'Wish you were here' before some attraction or could show the couple at dinner with the captain."
While a spokesman for Royal Viking Line said that Royal Viking has offered similar videos on "limited "special sailings" for several years, Sitmar is the first North American-based cruise line to market the videos on all of its vessels and will expand it to the 1,470-passenger FairMajesty upon delivery in early 1989.
VHS or Beta
Erickson said that the videos can be used for either VHS or Beta, but are not interchangeable, that a team of two or three cameramen film the cruise experience from beginning to end, and that the videos have narration, music and special sound effects throughout.
Seavid will splice in a travel agent's name and logo and the message that the video "is compliments of...," Erickson said, for any agency that orders 100 videos per year at a negotiable volume rate. She added that Seavid is promoting a special group rate and that group videos might include segments revolving around a group cocktail party or other group activities.
Erickson said that Seavid is currently negotiating with two additional cruise lines and hopes to expand its video operation to 10 ships by the end of the year and predicted that the concept will become "standard in the industry within about five years." She noted that sales have ranged from about 15 percent to 25 percent on each sailing thus far.