Crystal Cruises Hobbiton Gala Function Case Study

Crystal Cruises opted to celebrate its 25th Anniversary World Cruise with a magical evening at the Hobbiton Movie Set. More than 650 guests were transported by coach from the ship Crystal Serenity at Tauranga to Hobbiton for a unique, Middle Earth-themed evening. The spectacular event highlighted the venue’s new capability for one-of-a-kind events for large groups.

Crystal Cruises 25th Anniversary - Hobbiton, New Zealand

The Event

Featuring New Zealand actors from The Hobbit movies, costumed guides, roaming entertainment, and themed food and beverages, guests were immersed in the atmosphere of The Shire. After a guided tour of the Hobbiton Movie Set, they arrived at the site’s new Marketplace venue, enjoying themed stalls serving ‘Hobbit fare’, from artisan breads to NZ cheeses, cured meats and seafood, complete with Hobbiton’s special ale. Following drinks and a feast at The Green Dragon Inn, guests were treated to a never-seen-before sound, water and light show on the shores of Hobbiton Lake, featuring footage from the Middle Earth movies. As the lights and chimneys of Hobbiton glowed in the night, guests were escorted back to their coaches by fire breathers and entertainers.

Hobbiton’s capacity to host large groups for night events has been made possible by the creation of new road access, expanded catering and hosting facilities, and the installation of a full lighting system. The site now offers three dedicated function spaces, including The Green Dragon Inn and the themed Party Marquee, as well as several large outdoor sites which can host temporary venues. Demand is growing, with 10 large evening events of 300-plus guests already booked in the next 12 months.

The Outcome

John Stoll, Vice President - Land Programs at Crystal Cruises, says the experience at Hobbiton would compete with any event world-wide: “Our guests raved about the outstanding service and the delicious food and were mesmerised by the incredible Hobbiton venue and the spectacular water show finale. These guests have been around the world and are accustomed to six-star service onboard. They are calling this World Cruise event THE highlight of their 108-day adventure thus far and the best World Cruise event ever.”