Vidanta Elegant - Photo provided by Grupo Vidanta
On April 22, 2019, Theresa Norton had an opportunity to discuss Vidanta Cruise Line's plans with the company's director. Of interest are the following comments:
- Food and beverage service will be a la carte and the price of such will not be built into the price of the voyage.
- The concept will be to book a trip that includes both ground and ship board accommodations in one trip.
- Vidanta Cruise Lines does not see itself as a luxury cruise line only. Rather, the concept is to be the only resort operator that can offer both land and sea experiences to their guests.
Grupo Vidanta, a major resort developer and tourism operator in Mexico and Latin America, is launching an upscale cruise line to sail along Mexico’s coasts.
The 298-passenger Vidanta Elegant, which has been rebuilt from the hull up, is expected to start sailing in fall 2019. The company said the ship will have one crew member for every passenger.
TravelPulse asked Amado Franco, director of Vidanta Cruises, for more information about the new venture.
TravelPulse: Will the cruise use Spanish as its main language or will it be bilingual in English?
Amado Franco: Vidanta Elegant, our first vessel, is a masterpiece of privacy and exclusivity that will feature bilingual staff to provide exceptional, personalized service to all passengers.
TP: Is this considered a luxury cruise with open seating and all meals and alcohol included?
AF: Because we believe luxury is about personalized experiences, we do not offer all-inclusive settings at any of our resorts, and Vidanta Cruises will follow the same policy. Vidanta Elegant will showcase 11 gourmet restaurants and lounges with à la carte dining and drinking options. To create a dining experience that is second to none, we have selected as the signature chefs Chef Eric Pansu, named Best Chef in France, and Pastry Chef Pascal Molines, who was named Best Pastry Chef in France and World Pastry Chef Champion.
Will there be marketing in the U.S. and Canada to travel agents? Is there a commission structure for travel agents?
AF: We do not have information on this particular subject at this phase of the project. As we continue to advance, we will share updates and additional information. More information on itineraries, voyage length, destinations and cruising dates will be released as they are confirmed at VidantaCruises.com. To learn more about the ongoing projects and initiatives of our entire corporation, please visit GrupoVidanta.com
What kind of client is targeted for this cruise? First-timers or repeat cruise passengers? Primarily Mexican travelers? Luxury travelers?
AF: Vidanta Elegant is an adults-only ship featuring all of the sophistication, VIP amenities, and privacy of a yacht voyage while offering the variety and options of a high-end cruise. We’re extending Vidanta’s legacy to the open sea while utilizing our unique perspective as a Mexican company to give access to the hidden gems of the coastline and rarely offered transformative cultural experiences to local and foreign tourists alike. Vidanta Elegant will be the perfect choice for those who seek high-end luxury experiences combined with the freedom and fulfillment of a cruise vacation; no matter if they are repeat cruise passengers or first-timers, every guest will enjoy a unique, exclusive and wonderful experience.
Will Nuevo/Puerto Vallarta be the homeport since the cruise can be combined with a resort stay at Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta?
AF: While specific itineraries and many other sailing details have not been released yet, our initial voyages will feature Puerto Vallarta as our homeport. This will give our guests access to the unique benefit of experiencing the luxury of Vidanta both on land and at sea in one vacation. With just one simple check-in, our guests can seamlessly split their week between Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta and Vidanta Elegant. That means they won’t have to choose between kicking back at the beach or lounging by the top-deck pool because their trip will offer the best of both worlds.
Any other topics you’d like to address to U.S. and Canadian travel agents?
AF: Grupo Vidanta’s dream is not just to create and operate a luxury Mexican cruise line that competes internationally — our dream is to create a new milestone in the tourism industry of our country. Vidanta Cruises, Mexico’s first luxury cruise line, turns Grupo Vidanta into the first tourism developer in the country that operates both on land and at sea. Vidanta Elegant, the first of five vessels, took 30 months to be completed by international cruise design firm, London-based SMC Design, and our design team.
Vidanta Elegant will offer itineraries that will sail from the most beautiful ports in Mexico visiting the Sea of Cortez, the Pacific and the Caribbean. This means that, for the first time in history, Mexican tourists who want to embark on a luxury cruise will not have to fly out of their country.
Plus, with an investment of US $140 million, Vidanta Elegant will generate 450 direct jobs, in addition to all the indirect jobs that will be created in each destination that the ship visits, thus supporting the economic development of those communities.