MIAMI, FL (August 17, 2022) – LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton company, Starboard Cruise Services’ Luxury Division, announces a strategic alliance with Virtuoso®, the industry’s leading luxury travel network, to redefine transformative cruise travel by curating tailored-made destination retail moments with Virtuoso’s preferred luxury cruise partners. The union promises a better understanding and appreciation of destinations by enabling guests to purchase hand-made goods from artisans, gaining first-hand insight into their traditional techniques and hearing their personal stories.
“Our collaboration with Virtuoso is a natural partnership for Starboard Luxury. The alliance is rooted in shared values to preserve cultural heritage and uplift local economies through a wide range of novel and bespoke experiences,” says Lisa Bauer, President and CEO of Starboard Cruise Services. “Starboard Luxury’s proven formula for exceptional retail vacation programs has positioned us to capture a destination’s essence by introducing guests to an assortment of locally sourced goods, native brands and hosting emerging artisans on ship and on shore.”
Leading up to the program’s 2023 launch, Starboard Luxury will work jointly with Virtuoso’s On-Site partners (destination management companies) to discover native artisans and create branded retail activations that will take place onboard and on land. These exclusive offerings will be available to Virtuoso’s preferred cruise partners that are also part of Starboard Luxury’s portfolio.
“Our alliance with Starboard Luxury is one of our many solutions to the increased travel demand for more experiential, meaningful and genuine interactions with locals while cruising the world,” says Matthew D. Upchurch, Chairman and CEO of Virtuoso. “This desire for more meaningful experiences transforms the way they experience and enjoy our luxury cruise line partners. We’re excited about the great potential this collaboration brings to our network of preferred partners and operators.”
Starboard Luxury is renowned for curating luxury retail programs that bring destinations to life. Under the leadership of Stacy Shaw, Vice President, Starboard Luxury, the group has successfully executed numerous tailored-made retail programs showcasing bespoke vacation offerings and brand activations for the best-in-class luxury cruise lines. Its portfolio of cruise brands has exponentially grown over the past two years.
Starboard Luxury and Virtuoso’s collection of exclusive destination retail experiences is slated to launch in early 2023.
About Starboard Cruise Services
Starboard Cruise Services is the world’s leading luxury vacation retailer at sea, curates a vibrant world through the finest offering of coveted brands and experiences, creating moments that matter for global cruise vacationers. Starboard proudly goes above and beyond, managing retail operations for eight world-class cruise line partners including Azamara, Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Holland America, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International, Silversea and The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. The company is part of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, commonly known as LVMH, the world’s leading luxury provider. For more than 60 years, Starboard has been consistently recognized for excellence by the travel retail industry with numerous awards, including DFNI-Frontier Americas Travel Retailer of the Year; Asia/Pacific Cruise Retailer of the Year; Global Cruise Retailer of the Year; and Exceptional Achievement by a Cruise Retailer. The company is headquartered in Miami and has offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Genoa, Italy.
Maureen Gonzalez | FINN Partners
Paula Amador | Starboard Cruise Services
Virtuoso® is the leading global travel agency network specializing in luxury and experiential travel. This by-invitation-only organization comprises over 1,200 travel agency locations with more than 20,000 travel advisors in over 50 countries throughout North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. Drawing upon its preferred relationships with more than 2,200 of the world’s best hotels and resorts, cruise lines, airlines, tour companies and premier destinations, the network provides its upscale clientele with exclusive amenities, rare experiences and privileged access. Normalized annual sales of (U.S.) $25–$30 billion make Virtuoso a powerhouse in the luxury travel industry. For more information, visit www.virtuoso.com.
Misty Belles | Vice President, Global Public Relations