One of the largest cruise line retail specialists has extended the contracts of all Carnival-owned cruise ships in the UK, including from P&O Cruises and Cunard Line, to 2027. It comes during an exciting time for the UK cruise market as operations will be allowed to resume from May 17, 2021. It also includes the resumption of one of the cruise company’s newest cruise ships.
Harding Rules Retail Across Two UK Fleets
Harding, Europe’s largest cruise retailer, agreed on an extended contract with two Carnival UK brands. The retailer will now be operating the onboard stores across the entire P&O Cruises and Cunard Line fleets in the UK. The extended contract spans a five-year p[period and comes after a 20-year relationship with the cruise lines.
The ships comprise P&O Cruises Ventura, Britannia, Arcadia, Aurora, Azura, and new ship Iona, which will sail her maiden voyage this summer and all three ships for Cunard – Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth, and Queen Victoria. The contract also includes P&O’s Arvia vessel, which joins the fleet in December 2022, and Cunard’s new-build that will arrive in 2023.
Harding Managing Director James Prescott said:
“This is a real milestone in the Harding history, and I am delighted to confirm our partnership with Carnival UK across both P&O Cruises and Cunard.”
“We have worked closely with the senior teams based in Carnival House, Southampton, in a total trinity approach to deliver the best products with the right experiences for the guests on board. We are delighted that these two companies have put their trust in Harding here in the UK.”
Harding is working with the cruise lines to design, manage and build entire retail environments and building on the success of what can already be found on P&O Iona. There will be a mixture of offerings onboard each ship, including fine jewelry, watches, and fashion. Stores will be fused with lifestyle and experiential activations depending on the destinations ships sail and an exclusive logo selection designed by the Harding team.
Carnival UK vice-president on board revenue Robert Palmer said:
“We are delighted to have signed this future-focused contract with Harding.
“Working with one of the leading players in cruise retail to build a strong commercial and branded retail partnership as we resume sailing and enter an exciting period of new ship launches for both our P&O Cruises and Cunard brands is an important milestone.
“Harding has shown its ability to retail at a branded and experiential level at sea which will undoubtedly continue to give our guests the best and most inspiring holiday retail experience.
“We look forward to continuing to work with the Harding team in the coming months and years.’’
Iona will be one of the largest ships Harding will run the Tax and Duty-Free stores on once the ship begins sailing later this year. Iona will have some first at sea offerings, including four exclusive stand-alone boutiques, with Mulberry also launching a first at sea, standalone store.
Harding, which is based in the UK with hubs in Miami and Sydney, has secured contracts with more than 22 cruise lines worldwide, covering 62 cruise ships and 250 stores. The cruise retail company also operates some Carnival Cruise Line ships and continues to grow.