New associate member: TVG Travel
As part of the TVG Zimsen/Gara/Eimskip family with its long history in logistics, shipping, port agency etc, and with Liz Gammon as general manager, it is off to a very promising start.
The first step was to conduct an in-depth audit of Iceland as a cruise/yacht/expedition vessel destination. To seek out off-the-beaten-track smaller harbours - as yet undiscovered by the cruise and expedition industry - Gammon set off in a caravan on an eight-week ‘mapping mission’ with her husband.
“We checked on ports, zodiac landing options, talked to locals, landowners, guides, port officials etc and visited lots of museums, old and new.” Importantly they gathered a “wonderful portfolio of copyright free images”. Every cruiseline executives’ dream.
Working closely with colleagues in sister company and port agency Gara, and at their request, the couple “hiked to some pretty obscure and fabulous places” in search of hidden gems that are suitable for zodiac landings, nature hikes and exclusive expedition style touring.
Gammon was delighted with the research. “We came away with a much better understanding of how the land lies with regard to new tours and updated facilities and lots of new contacts. Iceland still has some wonderful port and tour surprises up her sleeve.
In addition: “We were able to allay some of the concerns we came across with respect to over-tourism and negative environmental impacts surrounding tourism, and specifically cruise. Talking to people directly meant we were able to answer questions and address concerns, setting the record straight and putting minds at rest.”
The trip was accompanied by the hashtag #icelandunfolds (Instagram and Twitter) for those wanting to watch the journey unfold.
TVG is now focussing on providing experiential tours that showcase the lesser visited sides of Iceland: “We are learning a lot from following the millennial lead. The emphasis really is on smaller group sizes, coupled with a penchant for adventure and a determination to really experience a given destinations in as much detail as possible.”