Zimbabwe

Victoria Falls

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Cruising into 2014 with confidence

Cruising into 2014 with confidence

Cruising into 2014 with confidence
TOM VARLEY

The Zambezi Explorer was launched on the Zambezi River above Victoria Falls in June 2013; Zambezi Traveller catches up with marketing director Charles Chakanya.

ZT : How has this product been received in the market place?
CC: The response has been positive for a number of reasons. We have taken cruising on the Zambezi to a new level in terms of luxury, gourmet snacks and service. The industry is excited because of the show of confidence in the growth of Zimbabwean tourism that this huge investment represents.

ZT: Your strengths?
CC: We have the ability to take large groups and our galley is on board, so food is freshly prepared and served throughout the cruise. The height of the signature deck affords the most amazing views.

ZT: What are your challenges?
CC: Our main challenge is to satisfy the intricate balance between the local and international gastronomic palates. However, in the few months that we have been operating we are excited by the feedback – so whilst a challenging environment, we are very optimistic.

ZT: Has the corporate conferencing market discovered you yet?
CC: Bookings for 2014 onwards are picking up, but we need the market to understand that we are a full conference solution, not simply an activity that you can take whilst conferencing in Victoria Falls. We are an excellent product for the incentive market and a unique offering. With more than one vessel in our fleet and our beautifully lawned riverside venue, we can cater for small and large groups. We are delighted that the Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe is using our product for a luncheon cruise for 150 guests whilst conferencing in Victoria Falls.

ZT: How many delegates can you take for a conference on board? What is the biggest function you have had to date?
CC: Sixty for a conference cruise; our biggest event so far was the UNWTO ministerial luncheon.

ZT: Are you offering anything special over the festive season?
CC: Most definitely; Jacob our chef has billed a special Christmas luncheon and dinner cruises.

More on the Zambezi Explorer from the ZT blog:
The Zambezi Explorer - A perfect sunset cruise (ZT Blog, July 2013)
All aboard the Zambezi Explorer (ZT Blog, June 2013)

Zambezi Traveller Directory:
Zambezi Explorer

More from this issue:
Zambezi Traveller (December 2013)

More from the Zambezi Traveller:
Victoria Falls Destination Profile