MIAMI, FL. – Landry & Kling, known for planning corporate events at sea, helped set an historic precedent in Jacksonville Florida when they took on the challenge of chartering a fleet of ships for four days dockside at Super Bowl XXXIX last month.
“We may be the smallest market ever to host a Super Bowl, but we think big”, said Michael Kelly, President & COO of the Super Bowl Host Committee. “Our biggest challenge – a shortage of quality hotel rooms – sparked the creative idea of using cruise
ships as floating hotels along the St. Johns River. The ships not only brought extra housing, but extra pizzazz to the annual event. That was the key to winning the NFL’s attention for Super Bowl XXXIX.”
Overnight, five exciting resorts floated into downtown Jacksonville, adding a total of 3,617 deluxe sleeping rooms, 35 bars, 25 entertainment venues, 15 restaurants, 15 nightclubs, and five health clubs and spas to the city’s infrastructure to help meet the
NFL’s bid requirements during Super Bowl week.
“To pull off a successful Super Bowl takes teamwork on and off the field”, said Joyce Landry, President & CEO of Landry & Kling, Meetings At Sea. “We helped turn Jacksonville’s vision into reality by coordinating with over 20 different organizations including federal, city, county and state agencies; transportation companies; the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office; security companies; the Coast Guard; Jacksonville Port Authority, utility & waste management companies; and three separate cruise lines.”
Landry adds, “Any corporation who thinks their meeting requirements are too complex to use a cruise ship should come talk with us. We made the ships work for Super Bowl, so
we can tackle anything now.”
As the exclusive management company for the ship charter project, Landry & Kling successfully navigated numerous complex details to bring the five ships to Jacksonville. Not only did the ships need to have top quality rooms and service, but they also had to fit under Jacksonville’s scenic bridges. Other considerations included depth and length of the vessels, as well as the cruise lines’ flexibility to reposition vessels from their normal routes and customize their 2005 schedules to call in Jacksonville.
“Landry & Kling was instrumental in helping us narrow down the options and choose ships that would meet all of our requirements for this monumental event,” said Pat Duncan, Director of Lodging & Accommodations for the Jacksonville Super Bowl Host
Committee. “The job was enormous. It took a full year to identify, select and commit the five ships, and almost four years from start to finish on Super Bowl Sunday.”
The five ships chosen – Holland America’s Volendam, Zuiderdam and Zaandam, the Carnival Miracle, and the Radisson Seven Seas Navigator; provided an outstanding variety of accommodations, dining and entertainment options for the NFL’s corporate sponsor groups housed aboard. And, to help the Host Committee offset their charter investment, Landry & Kling negotiated with the cruise lines to offer dining and entertainment packages for sale to the general public (through the internet and on-site kiosks) so that Jacksonville residents and visitors could experience shipboard life firsthand during this unprecedented “Super Bowl on the River”.
One of Landry & Kling’s most difficult challenges was to help transform the active working cargo port at JAXPORT’S Talleyrand Marine Terminal into a temporary docking facility for three of the cruise ships, complete with a 32,000 square foot fabric building for passenger check-in and baggage handling.
“Lance Wieland, Landry & Kling’s on-site Logistics Manager, had a privotal role in the concept, design and construction of this terminal and the shuttle system required to transport guests from the terminal through the cargo areas out to the three ships docked at
Talleyrand,” said Rick Ferrin, executive director of JAXPORT.
During Super Bowl week, Landry & Kling managed a professional staff of 40 and coordinated over 1,000 volunteers on rotating assignments at three separate terminals and on board the five ships. The company also served as the cruise lines’ liaison with all of
the NFLÕs corporate sponsor groups housed aboard ship and coordinated over 60 shipboard events with their meeting planners.
About Landry & Kling Inc. — Landry & Kling was founded in 1982 as the first business-to-business resource for cruises. The Miami-based company offers a shipbroker service as well as full program management for incentive cruise programs & meetings at
sea for groups ranging in size from 50 to 15,000 people. In addition to the Jacksonville Super Bowl, Landry & Kling has organized other dockside charter programs in Boston, New Orleans and Barcelona.
For more information on Landry & Kling, the most experienced cruise resource for business events at sea, visit www.landrykling.com.