Restart of international cruising a welcome boost for kiwi winemakers

MEDIA RELEASE — August 4, 2021

The resumption of cruising in international markets is set to become a welcome boost for New Zealand wine makers hit hard by the global pandemic and a drop in exports.

Princess Cruises resumed sailings in North America last week with guests enjoying Sauvignon Blanc produced by Marlborough winemaker, Dashwood Wines.

Prior to the pandemic bringing worldwide cruising to a halt, Dashwood produced the most popular wine served on board Princess Cruises’ global fleet.

While the restart of cruising is yet to get the green light in New Zealand and Australia, Princess ships have resumed sailing in other international regions.

The resumption is welcome news for New Zealand winemakers such as Dashwood who rely on international exports including purchased by global to companies such as Princess Cruises.

Dashwood Chief Winemaker, Stu Marfell said the suspension of cruising had an impact on the company’s bottom line, but it was pleasing to see cruising restart and with it the consumption of the brand’s popular Sauvignon Blanc.

“Our Dashwood wines have a big following in the hospitality sector around the world on airlines and cruise lines alike. We saw strong order volume through to March of 2020 until sailings were abruptly put on hold,” says Marfell.

“However, with services set to begin again in the northern fall combined with consumers’ pent-up demand for travel, we look forward to Dashwood Sauvignon Blanc resuming its strong growth trend overseas.”

Princess Cruises commenced its Alaska season on July 25, with Majestic Princess setting sail from its homeport of Seattle. It will operate a total of ten cruises sailing out of Seattle through to September. Regal Princess commenced sailing on July 31 from its Southampton homeport with a season of 19 cruises around the UK and Europe through to October.

The cruise industry contributes more than NZ$500 million to the New Zealand economy each year through fees and charges, logistics, transport, shore tours, fresh food and other services.

Princess Cruises Senior Vice President Asia Pacific, Stuart Allison said Dashwood’s experience highlighted the value of cruising across a wide spectrum. Princess Cruises and Carnival Australia’s sister lines normally spend about NZ$6 million on food and beverage alone from New Zealand suppliers each year.

“It is a great combination. Dashwood’s Sauvignon Blanc is the most popular wine served across our global feet and New Zealand is Princess Cruises’ number one destination,” Mr Allison said.

“I am looking forward to when cruising to New Zealand can resume but, in the meantime, its restart in North America and the United Kingdom is again enhancing Dashwood’s international reputation for amazing New Zealand wine.”

“The global suspension of cruising also curbed its contribution to economies in our region and around the world underlining the need for New Zealand and Australia to agree on a restart plan in our market.”


About Princess Cruises: One of the best-known names in cruising, Princess Cruises is the world’s leading international premium cruise line and tour company operating a fleet of 14 modern cruise ships. The line carries two million guests each year to 380 destinations around the globe, including the Caribbean, Alaska, Panama Canal, Mexican Riviera, Europe, South America, Australia/New Zealand, the South Pacific, Hawaii, Asia, Canada/New England, Antarctica, and operates World Cruises. Continuously recognised as the ‘Best Cruise Line for Itineraries, Princess Cruises offers 170 itineraries, ranging in length from three to 111 days developed by a team of professional destination experts. In 2017 Princess Cruises, with parent company Carnival Corporation, introduced MedallionClass Vacations enabled by the OceanMedallion, the cruise industry’s most advanced wearable device, provided free to each guest sailing on a MedallionClass ship. The award-winning innovation offers the fastest way to an effortless personalised cruise holiday giving guests more time to do the things they love most. The company is part of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE:CUK).