Cruise Ship Launch in a Crowded Marketplace

Situation. Silversea Cruises launched the Silver Spirit, the largest and most luxurious ship in the fleet. However, it was to set sail shortly after the debut of the Seabourne Odyssey, its foremost competitor, and the highly anticipated Royal Caribbean International's Oasis of the Seas, the largest cruise ship in history - a huge media hook in itself.

Challenge
In four short months prior to the Silver Spirits debut, we needed to capture media attention in the face of formidable competition with huge budgets, in an environment flooded with cruise ship news. Moreover, we had a limited pre-launch budget in a depressed economy.

Objectives/Needs
  • Build a “buzz” in advance of the launch.
  • Position Silver Spirit as the new ultra-luxe icon, highlighting its rich, Art Deco design and its Italian heritage.
  • Create awareness among new consumer demographic.
  • Generate inquires and bookings.  [Top]
Tactics
  • Hosted an exclusive media breakfast in New York with opinion-making editors to meet one-on-one with Silversea’s senior executives announcing Silver Spirit’s debut.
  • Built a PR campaign around small luxury cruising versus large cruising (i.e. Oasis of the Seas).
  • Created news angles around unusual, signature features including its Slow Food cuisine; the “Experience Designer” for bespoke shore experiences; “Adventure Cruise” itineraries to destinations, such as Rio's Carnival,appealing to a younger demographic and first time cruisers.
  • Targeted niche interests in luxury lifestyle media (food, spa, design, etc.) to build awareness and breadth of editorial placements
  • Organized a fundraising gala dinner aboard the Art Deco flavored Silver Spirit to benefit the Wolfsonian-Florida International University, a design museum of national prominence located in Miami Beach’s historic Art Deco district, which houses the most prominent collection of cruise memorabilia. Guests include Mitchell Mart, ocean liner collector and cruise expert, and Laurence A. Miller, ocean liner archivist and historian.
  • Created an overnight stay for leading national media upon the ship’s arrival in Port Everglades, tying-in with the Silver Spirit's notable christeningceremony.
  • Worked closely with Port Everglades to capitalize on synergies and stretch marketing dollars.  [Top]
Results
  • Silver Spirit’s Mediterranean maiden voyage in December 2009 was completely sold out. Over 90% of its 91-Day Grand Inaugural Voyage was booked when the ship departed in February 2010 - 30% of which booked the entire Grand Voyage at prices starting from $42,000.
  • Successfully forged a strategic alliance between Silversea and Wolfsonian-Florida International University via a gala fundraising event that generated awareness, public   city and social cachet amongst local, luxury consumers.
  • Major features appeared in South Florida, the cruise line’s U.S. headquarters, media outlets including the Miami Herald, Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel, South Florida Business Journal, Modernluxury.com, CBS-TV, Bloomberg Radio, as well as numerous regional luxury lifestyle magazines.
  • By the launch of the Grand Inaugural Voyage, coverage appeared everywhere from the New York Times T magazine, Los Angeles Times,Robb Report, Chicago Tribune, Travel + Leisure, Sherman’s Travel and Reuters, to online outlets such as Luxist and Globorati.  [Top]

KWE Partners
1581 Brickell Avenue Suite 1103, Miami, Florida 33129
Tel: 305-476-5424  
Email: escalera@kwepr.com