Cruise about launches Vir­tual Re­al­ity tech­nol­ogy

Travel Bulletin - - CRUISE REPORT -

No longer re­served for the com­puter gam­ing world or Hol­ly­wood movies, Vir­tual Re­al­ity is now be­ing used to en­hance the sell­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, with spe­cial­ist re­tailer Cruiseabout launch­ing new tech­nol­ogy in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Royal Caribbean In­ter­na­tional and Car­ni­val Cruise Lines. Her­alded as an Aus­tralian first, the in-store Sam­sung Vir­tual Re­al­ity head­sets are pro­grammed to pro­vide cus­tomers with a fully-im­mer­sive 360 de­gree nar­rated guided tour inside the Voy­ager of the Seas and Car­ni­val Spirit cruise ships ex­plor­ing ar­eas such as the din­ing rooms, cab­ins, chil­dren’s play zones and the bars. General Man­ager for Cruiseabout Jar­rod Pask said “for trav­ellers that are new to cruise and un­fa­mil­iar with ships, cabin types and the on­board ex­pe­ri­ence, this vision will be a huge as­set to their de­ci­sion mak­ing process as they have the abil­ity to get a taste for it vir­tu­ally be­fore step­ping on board in real life.” Pre­vi­ously pro­hib­i­tive to the main­stream be­cause of high devel­op­ment and pro­duc­tion costs, the tech­nol­ogy has only re­cently ad­vanced to a stage where it’s ready to be rolled out to the cruise mar­ket in a cus­tomer­friendly way. Ac­cord­ing to Pask “this will be a game changer for the cruise book­ing process that is al­ready a highly col­lab­o­ra­tive, in­ter­ac­tive process, and we see ac­cess to vir­tual re­al­ity vision as a way to en­hance the in-store ex­pe­ri­ence for our cus­tomers, while en­sur­ing all cus­tomers can ac­cess the vision via our on­line chan­nels or their mo­bile.” Ini­tially the tech­nol­ogy will be avail­able at se­lect Cruiseabout stores in each state with plans to roll it out na­tion­ally. The footage is also avail­able via web­site, mo­bile and Face­book. There are cur­rently 67 Cruiseabout stores with am­bi­tions to ex­pand this to 100 out­lets na­tion­ally in the next three years. All go­ing well, Pask in­di­cated that Cruiseabout plans to de­velop the vir­tual re­al­ity ex­pe­ri­ence across a range of ships. Pic­tured are Jar­rod Pask, general man­ager Cruiseabout; Monique van Gelder, na­tional mar­ket­ing man­ager Cruiseabout; and Car­ni­val Cruise Lines di­rec­tor of sales An­ton Loeb.

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