TripLingo today has announced a significant partnership with Celebrity Cruises, bringing the native fluency app to the high seas.
The customized app is named "CruiseLingo," and is available to guests across every continent worldwide.
The app has cruise-specific phrases added to the mix, in addition to standard phrases such as "Where is the ATM?"
Users speak the desired phrase into the phone and the translated phrase appears on-screen in the local language. Formal and slang options are provided, alongside a "flashcard" learning system and a voice-to-voice translation feature.
The app also offers a cultural "crash course," educating users about a destination's general etiquette, safety, doing business, country info, dining and travel tips, and cultural nuggets as far as local pop culture and music.
Tina Alexander, Associate VP of Web Innovations for Celebrity Cruises, spoke to Tnooz about what this means for the cruise line:
We are excited to work with a creative entrepreneur who is helping Celebrity expand the boundaries of our digital relationship with our guests. Jesse and the Trip Lingo team have gained deep insights on how to connect with global cultures through their local languages in a fun and intuitive way.
We've been able to capitalize on those insights to create an augmented cruise experience. Since Celebrity has increased our European itineraries in both 2013 and 2014, we expect and more of our American guests to broaden their international experiences with this app. Celebrity continues to deliver Europe like no other cruise line.
Celebrity is exploring many ways to enhance the guest experience through leveraging newer technologies. We are the first in the industry to deliver this level of mobile innovation, and we are investigating additional mobile and tablet solutions to make it easier to travel at sea and better experience our ships and destinations.
Our partnership with Trip Lingo taps into the talents of a young, smart team, and we intend to spend more time with nimble organizations to deliver unique, enhanced experiences, departing from the traditional large agency approach endemic to the cruise industry. We welcome partnering with more entrepreneurs who can make a Celebrity vacation even more memorable and enriching for our globetrotting and trendsetting guests.
As far as integrating the app on the ship, Celebrity has some educational integrations planned as a way to boost language proficiency in person using the app.
We provide basic instructions in the app and our marketing materials. Cruisers will be able to participate in an onboard program that teaches them languages using Cruise Lingo as their textbook. Instructors will be available to assist cruisers to get the most out of the app, including the translation tools. The entire family can enjoy this app, as it is so easy to use.
For TripLingo, this partnership not only makes sense but is also another example of how an enterprise version of a consumer software product can accelerate growth, as Tnooz had previously identified in an article about white-labeling as an important area for startups to consider.
After two years of building the consumer application, Jesse Maddox, co-founder of TripLingo, explains the importance these enterprise-level partnerships.
We constantly stress that our platform not only helps people get out of a jam when it comes to speaking the language in a foreign country, but it also creates an opportunity to have interactions and experiences abroad that wouldn't happen otherwise.
We're very happy to work with Celebrity Cruises on the first white-labeled version- both because of their leadership in pushing the bounds of the guest experience and their "modern luxury" brand that resonates with active and engaged travelers who are looking for authenticity in their travels.
We're launching this partnership at the same time as we're onboarding our early enterprise customers, and we don't expect to do many more white-labeled versions- at the most, we might do one per major travel vertical. But beyond the delight we aim to serve travelers, its also important that the experience be unique and different for our partners- for instance, its not as special if every other cruise line had something similar.
Cruisers will be able to download the app free of charge. Paid in-app upgrades will deliver full translations for 11 languages, while the free version includes 80 phrases in 11 languages, 56 cruise-specific phrases, 20 uses of the voice translator, the cultural crash course, and 2,000 dictionary words in 11 languages.
TripLingo has been downloaded over 225,000 times, and is based in Atlanta, Georgia.