‘Landmark day’: Harding takes over Princess Cruises’ retail operations

By Luke Barras-hill |

Neil Harding, President, has called the announcement a ‘landmark day’.

Cruise retailer Harding has today (14 September) announced a major agreement to run the in-house retail operations of Princess Cruises.

Harding will curate and manage the retail proposition onboard all 14 of Princess Cruises’ existing vessels, plus three upcoming ships.

In a statement, the companies point towards the strategic and commercial alignment of the partnership.

They say the scale of such a move is ‘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’.

James Prescott, Managing Director, Harding.

‘A NEW BEGINNING’

As part of the integration, the existing Princess retail team will join Harding.

“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,” commented  James Prescott, Managing Director of Harding.

“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. The values of both businesses are so similar.

“This is a true long-term partnership with mutually aligned objectives and total commitment and engagement from throughout the organisations, putting data-led, customer-centric actions at the centre.”

Detailed and extensive discussions on the tie-up followed an approach made by Harding to the Carnival-owned US cruise line several months ago, it is gathered.

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.”

Majestic Princess’ return to Seattle from Alaska on 1 August marked the first successful US voyage for Princess Cruises following the extended ‘pause’. Photo courtesy of Princess Cruises.

Princess Cruises will join a Harding cruise partner staple that includes the likes of P&O Cruises, Virgin Voyages, Cunard, Marella Cruises, Carnival, Norwegian Cruise Line, Azamara and Hurtigruten.

By 28 November, 10 of Princess Cruises’ MedallionClass vessels – Majestic Princess, Grand Princess, Ruby Princess, Enchanted Princess, Sky Princess, Regal Princess, Caribbean Princess, Island Princess, Diamond Princess and Emerald Princess – will have either returned to service or are scheduled to restart.

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