When naming the exclusive streets for shopping, the list would certainly include the Upper Fifth in Manhattan, Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles, Union Square in San Francisco, the Magnificent Mile in Chicago, Champ de Elyesse in Paris, Bond Street in London, the Causeway Bay in Hong Kong, Ginza in Tokyo, Japan, Via Monte Napoleone in Milan, Italy or the French Riveria (or Cote d’azur) to name a few. Prestigious shopping districts are characterized as housing global brand retailers, high end designer shops, and a diverse offering of independent boutiques and vendors in the areas of fashion, art, antiques, interior décor, etc.
A CNN article (https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/cruise-ship-luxury-shopping/index.html) came across my news feed just recently which was intriguing for two reasons. For one, as much traveling as I have been fortunate to experience, I have yet to cross off on my bucket list to venture on a cruise ship and two, these majestic cruise ship lines offer premier, specialized, boutique shopping that would rival any well known high end shopping district. Just the ticket for luxury shopping aficionados!
Behind alcohol and gambling, the third main source of revenue for cruise liners is products and goods presented in their onboard high end shops. The top wares include fine jewelry, Swiss watches, leather goods and beauty brands. Designs of new liners and upgrades of cruise ships are more strategic in committing retail space that will service the growing appetite of high end purchasers. High end brands such as Cartier, Polo Ralph Lauren, Ferragamo and even Apple have formed collaborative partnerships to display and sell to passengers.
What is fascinating about this growing phenomenon of luxury brands courting passengers to part ways with their dollars is how much more sophisticated the methods used. The days of a cruise ship’s basic “gift shop” in providing cruisers with essentials or forgotten sundries have taken a back seat to a world of specificity and interactive experiences. As with most business to consumer industries, the experience surrounding the purchase is so very critical and cruise lines are just as committed to providing a first class customer experience. Similar to Amazon and other data driven businesses, cruise ships use technology to create profiles to track your purchases while enticing you with similar recommendations.
Cruise lines have found a way to offer high end goods based on the vision or culture of the cruise ship. For instance, Viking Ocean Cruises will offer goods in the regions where they sail. During one of their port destinations, passengers visited a textile center where Norway’s iconic woolen sweaters are woven. Smaller cruise ships with limited space may offer a bespoke tailor, a curated jewelry counter and regional products from port islands.
For first time cruisers, be aware that duty-free rules (which means good sold to travels are exempt from the payment of certain local or national taxes and duties) to purchases made on board or in port. For Americans, the duty free allowance is $800, and the next $1000 is taxed at 3%. -AJ
Share with us your Cruise Ship luxury shopping experience here in the comment section or on Twitter!
Hat Tip to CNN Travel for content Source
Beautiful Pixabay photos of Cruise Liners
Cruise Ship in Hamburg, Germany – photo by Andi_Graf
Cruise Ship – photo by ed2456
Cruise Ship docked in Venice, Italy – photo by EdiHock