CruiseWise, which was the first participant in a Chilean-government program for early-stage startups, released a downloadable cruise travel guide for trip-planning and in-destination purposes.
The WiseGuide, which is free and emailed in PDF format to prospective and booked cruisers, features a selected itinerary with deck plans and cabin layouts, color photos and detail about port calls, and tips about how to plan for and enjoy the sailing.
So why did CruiseWise decide to issue WiseGuides in PDF format rather than as a mobile app? Steve Davis, co-founder and chief operating officer, explains:
We decided to release the guide as a pdf instead of as a mobile app for a couple reasons. The first was simplicity: We could release something useful immediately rather than wait weeks or months on a mobile app. The second is really about connectivity and image quality. Most cruises don't have wifi or cell phone service available at the speed or price that consumers are used to and, as a result, many cruisers never even look at their phones while they're away. So, it seemed like something printable that you could take physical notes on would be better.
Ultimately, we put together the WiseGuides for our customers, and they've indicated that a printed guide is the most usable thing for them. Once we were finished, we thought it would be nice to release it to the world so that anyone going on a cruise could use it.
The San Francisco-based cruise search and booking site was the initial participant in StartUp Chile, a government-sponsored program which brings startups to Chile and provides them with $40,000 in seed money, no strings attached.
In 2011, the program handled 87 startups from more than 30 countries and brought them to Chile under the motto: "Instead of changing the world through revolution, we can change the world through #innovation," StartUp Chile says.
Amit Aharoni, CruiseWise CEO, is a member of StartUp Chile's board of advisors.
CruiseWise offers sailings from just just six cruise lines: Carnival, Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean.
The WiseGuides can be accessed and created here.
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