Princess Cruises has announced a new deal with retail provider Harding. The partnership announced on September 15, will see that the now Princess-managed in-house retail operations for 14 ships will move to the cruise retailer.
Princess Cruises Sees More Commercial Possibilities
By engaging in a partnership with one of the largest cruise-ship retail providers in the world, both companies will be able to develop and realize their strategic ambitions. It is also one of the most significant operations ever to take place, or as Princess says: “a clear sign of the ambition of both companies to cleverly use the restart as an opportunity to reimagine what is possible with retail at sea.”
The plans incorporate the fourteen ships currently in the princess fleet and the three ships that are currently either under construction or planned. Harding will manage the retail operations onboard for all ships, although Princess Cruises will still be closely involved. In fact, as part of the transition, the existing Princess retail team will join the Harding business.
Kelli Coleman, Princess Cruises Vice President of Retail, added: “This feels like a new beginning. Our great industry is rising once again, with ever greater confidence and ever greater vision. These are exciting times for all of us in this industry, and I cannot wait to get started again.”
Harding Impressed With Princess Cruises Operations
Harding set the tone for the partnership between the retailer and the cruise line several months ago. According to Natalya Leahy, Princess Cruises Chief Operations Officer, the two parties both have a solid cultural bond that extends not just into the businesses but will also have a positive effect on guests, brands, and the team members involved in both companies:
“When Harding approached us several months ago, we knew they would be a partner with true vision, strong cultural alignment, and the proven ability to continue growing our retail proposition. Today’s announcement comes after extensive and detailed discussions about what is best for our guests, our teammates, and our brand partners, and we are confident Harding will carry on the great foundation built by our team.”
That message was echoed by James Prescott, the Managing Director of Harding, who said: “I could not be more delighted to welcome the Princess team to Harding to be part of a new team that delivers the best of the best. I have been incredibly impressed by the level of professionalism, ability, drive, and sheer determination of the Princess team as we’ve worked hand-in-hand on this venture.
What is Harding?
Harding is a cruise ship retail provider that has been involved in several cruise ship partnerships worldwide since the company was founded in the 1930s. Currently, the company has more than 250 shops onboard 62 cruise ships, including 22 cruise lines. The company works with Carnival Cruise Line, Seabourn, Virgin Voyages, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Regent Seven Seas, and many more.
Neil Harding, President of Harding, added: “In my 30 years of Cruise Retailing I have been fortunate to see some genuinely ground breaking changes. Today is a landmark day in so many ways. We highly value this venture with Princess and we are grateful for the trust and confidence they have placed in us.”
Princess Cruises’ restart of operations will now include the Harding retail outlets. By the end of November, the cruise line hopes to have at least eight MedallionClass ships operational, including Majestic Princess, Grand Princess, Ruby Princess, Enchanted Princess, Sky Princess, Regal Princess, Caribbean Princess and Emerald Princess.
Onboard all these ships, guests will be able to pay contactless through the Medallion wearables the cruise line introduced.