The second in a series of posts about cruise line blogs, we explore what today’s cruise lines are doing to engage the public, utilizing social media outlets available today in their own unique ways. Catch up on this series by reading Holland America Blog, Carnival’s John Heald, Give Buyers Insight
It’s no wonder that Seabourn‘s luxury yacht-like cruise ships sailed to the top of this year’s Condé Nast Traveler‘s prestigious list of the world’s 100 best cruise ships, occupying five of the top seven spots in the magazine’s annual Readers’ Choice poll. In 2011, Seabourn completed a three-ship expansion, adding new vessels that garnered rave reviews and acclaim as “game-changers” for the luxury cruise segment. Also a game-changer for the line, is Seabourn’s networked WordPress blog, available on its website for all the latest the line has to offer, presented in a unique way.
Like other cruise lines, Seabourn’s easy-to-navigate website gives visitors a good idea of what the Seabourn experience is all about. Logical choices for pages include planning, destination and shore excursion information. Information about onboard life confirms or dispels reputations and myths about the line and a Special Offers page presents their best values.
Of interest to us here though is the Community page, featured prominently along with the forementioned , that sums up Seabourn’s social efforts on an active Facebook page, in a nice YouTube library and some Flickr photo galleries. Inviting visitors to join their community, Seabourn’s blog gives detailed accounts, rich in photographs, of places they visit, events onboard their ships and advance information in posts like What’s Cooking In The Seabourn Test Kitchen and Midnight Sun Shines on Seabourn Pride in Norway. The Seabourn blog also includes a link to the blogs of 10 different cruise lines via Carnival Corporation members of the World’s Leading Cruise Lines.
Also a member of the World’s Leading Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises set the bar high for cruise line blogs with it’s unique 50 Essential Experiences: The Travel Bucket List last year, which ushered in a top-shelf social focus that engaged fans and guests in a variety of mediums.
50 Essential Experiences The Travel Bucket List featured weekly stories by long-serving Princess employees about destinations all over the world and what they meant to them personally. The year-long project was so popular that it was made into a 328 page soft-cover collectors’ book (Amazon.com -$18.95) which quickly became a desktop reference for avid cruisers and travel agents alike. Like the 50 Essential Experiences blog, the photo-packed volume takes readers to some of the most fascinating places around the globe, following in the footsteps of some worldly travelers as they share their favorite travel memories and “must see” places.
Princess continues its intense, laser-focused (but easy to read) blogging this year with another year-long project called Inspired to Cruise which is sailing through the year, featuring reasons to cruise as told by actual Princess passengers.
Gradually sharing a total of 52 quick, inspiring passenger tales about what compelled them to take a cruise vacation, the stories add a real, personal element to an already-rich in content website
Example: A recent post featureed a woman who cruised to take her first, big adventure and ended up meeting the love of her life.
“As I boarded Pacific Princess back in 1986, I was looking for adventure in what had been a sheltered life,” begins Mary Director of Chandler, Arizona. “Well I found it, along with my true love, my husband Hal. I should have figured—after all, the Pacific Princess’ primetime alter ego was “The Love Boat”.
In the story, “Enough Adventure and Love to Last a Lifetime,” Chandler shares her story of taking her first big trip on a cruise to see the world outside of her hometown. What she didn’t know was that she’d also meet her future husband via Princess Cruises
Princess did not forget about their employee’s valuable input either. Each week the Inspired to Cruise blog also showcases a short “Escape Inspiration” video about a favorite moment at sea, introduced by a Princess employee. Accompanying the above mentioned post a short video titled Glacier Bay Mountain Scene, introduced by Donovan Metal, casino manager aboard Pacific Princess, offers viewers a majestic mountain scene in Glacier Bay, Alaska. It’s a great link to keep handy and click on when we need a little break from a hectic day.
Princess Cruises social efforts don’t end there either. The Princess Cruises Facebook page, features photos, discussions, stories, links to live bridge cams, Roll Calls where booked Princess passengers can connect (or not) with others on their cruise in advance of sailing and more. Also active on Twitter, Google+ and other social platforms, Princess engages fans and potential passengers in a friendly, open way that makes them want to sail with the line. I don’t know that we could ask for a whole lot more than that.
Catch up on this series about cruise lines and their blogs by reading Holland America Blog, Carnival’s John Heald, Give Buyers Insight and stay tuned for the next installment by leaving a comment which will bring you notification when it is posted.
Flickr photo by Maria Reyes-McDavis