|Carnival is breaking into Saturday morning TV to promote cruising with several original TV programs including one hosted by Jeff Corwin. // Photo courtesy of Carnival Corporation|
Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest leisure travel company, is delving into the world of Saturday morning television -- and in a big way. It announced today that it's created three original TV series programs that will air on ABC, NBC and The CW beginning October 1. A fourth series is expected to air on a mid-week evening on cable in early 2017.
The new experiential content is designed to engage viewers by showcasing exciting adventures, exotic cultures and popular global destinations. The Saturday morning approach will reach viewers during the large family-oriented programming blocks -- a prime time for kids, parents and even grandparents (watching with their grand-kids) to relax and enjoy a show together.
This specific psychographic could help the company attract a younger demographic as well as younger family-focused travelers or multigenerational cruise groups. Almost 80 original episodes will rotate over a span of 12 months as Carnival Corp. tells the story of cruising and how ocean voyages connect people, places and global cultures.
“When cruising is in the media in a positive way, it is beneficial to the entire industry," stresses Vicky Garcia, COO and co-owner of Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative. "As travel agents, we love helping educate clients on the benefits and features of ocean cruising, so if these shows can do that, we are thrilled.”
Building Cruise Awareness
|Josh Garcia will host a cruise-focused show on Saturday morning on NBC. // Photo by Carnival Corp.|
"Taking cruising into families' living rooms on a regular basis will raise awareness of the adventures that cruising can provide," believes Peggy Rosenthal, franchise owner, Dream Vacations, Bella Vista, AR. "Viewers will discover that on a cruise families can venture out around the globe, immerse themselves in cultures near and far, and relax and socialize in the comfort of the ship after a day of new experiences."
Ships from all 10 of the company’s cruise line brands -- Carnival Cruise Line, Fathom, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn, AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, P&O Cruises (Australia) and P&O Cruises (UK) – serve as the platform for the programs. Each brand will be featured in at least one episode during the inaugural season.
"We are excited to launch our first original TV programs and to share compelling content and stories with millions of people,” says Arnold Donald, Carnival Corp.'s CEO. “We have taken great care to develop TV shows that we believe families and people of all ages will truly enjoy watching, with interesting stories, charismatic hosts and spectacular video, showing how much fun people have traveling the world by ocean on our fleet of more than 100 cruise ships."
Donald says the new shows will help dispel outdated myths about cruising and expose a much broader consumer audience to why cruising is the fastest growing segment of the vacation industry. “This strategy to create original content across multiple media platforms is just one of the innovative approaches we are taking to expand the market for cruise vacations," says Donald. It will also help show the "value" of a cruise vacation.
Three New TV Series
Carnival Corporation’s three original new TV series launching on Oct. 1 include:
- Ocean Treks with Jeff Corwin: This series will air Saturday morning at 9 a.m. on ABC, attracting a national audience as part of the sixth season of the Daytime Emmy-winning block Weekend Adventure; that's a three-hour programming block airing Saturday mornings on 98 percent of the country’s ABC affiliate channels. The show will follow Emmy-winning host Jeff Corwin as he embarks on such adventures as repelling down cliffs, flight-seeing to glacier landings, mountain climbing in a national park and zip lining through a rainforest.
- The Voyager with Josh Garcia: Airing on NBC at 9 a.m. on Saturday morning, this series will follow Josh Garcia, a well-known video journalist and world-traveler, as he heads off the beaten path in seaside ports to meet locals who share their rich history, life stories and exotic foods. He also will introduce viewers to the hidden beauty, cultural diversity and flavors of each destination. The program will air as part of NBC’s all-new, three-hour programming block that extends the network’s “The More You Know” brand on NBC stations throughout the country.
- Vacation Creation: Airing at 10:30 a.m. as part of The CW’s “One Magnificent Morning” Saturday morning block, this program will feature “In Living Color” star and comedian Tommy Davidson and YouTube celebrity Andrea Feczko as hosts. Going beyond the traditional travel show concept,
will personalize vacations of a lifetime for couples, individuals and families facing hardship, those in need of hope or others who simply seek much-needed time together. For example, one episode brings together three generations of women to visit Russia for the first time since their grandmother escaped during war-time. Another gives a father whose life was threatened by illness a trip to remember. Davidson and Feczko will tell inspiring stories and surprise guests with a dream vacation.
Carnival Corporation’s original TV programming will be initially distributed across major broadcast and cable networks and extended to major digital Over-The-Top (OTT) platforms to maximize audience exposure. The three initial series are being distributed by Litton Entertainment. Air times are subject to change.
The new TV shows Carnival Corp. is launching are groundbreaking for the cruise industry and very exciting for travel agents," said Drew Daly, general manager of network engagement and performance for Cruises Inc., CruiseOne and Dream Vacations. "Without a doubt, it will bring cruising to the forefront of the viewers who may not have even considered a cruise vacation in the past."
Daly suggests travel agents encourage their customers to ‘tune in’ and watch episodes so they can be more informed on cruising, destinations and the product, adding: "It also will help agents get their clients excited for their upcoming cruise adventure."
Check out the video series here.