Ovation of the Seas launch

The arrival of the Ovation of the Seas megaship in New Zealand in December 2016 was a decade in the making. It is the largest passenger ship to visit our shores at a whopping 168,666 tonnes and capacity for 6000 guests and crew – more than some of the towns she visits.

Dock Street Group devised a comprehensive media engagement campaign including creating our own visual materials, organising unique story angles, and hosting reporters on the vessel itself.

Media and local government VIPs, including the Mayor Auckland, Phil Goff, were invited in each port for a tour of the highlights of the ship, including the iFly sky diving simulator and North Star viewing platform 90 metres above the ocean.

We also collaborated with local iwi to sail a waka out to greet the ship for her first arrival to the Waitemata Harbour. Of course, we were out on the water waiting for them with drone operators to capture the whole event in stunning aerial footage.

To capitalise further on New Zealand’s beautiful scenery, a helicopter was organised to fly over the ship when she sailed in the Milford Sounds to capture footage for international promotion as well as local TV news.

We also identified local human interest stories to achieve colourful coverage including interviews with the Kiwi head chef on board, David Reihana. David’s father, Sam, worked in security at the port in Picton which made for a heart-warming father-son interview in the local Marlborough Express.

At the same time, Dock Street arranged for a Stuff.co.nz travel reporter to cruise a sector from Australia to New Zealand on the ship for a first-hand account of what it was like to sail on the biggest, most modern, and feature packed ship.

The result was saturation coverage in New Zealand media with 30.6 million media impressions across 574 media items including three TV clips, interviews on Newstalk ZB and RadioLive, and coverage in national newspapers and regional papers in port cities the ship visited, from Paihia to Dunedin.

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