Cruise about launches Virtual Reality technology
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.