The on-board environment is a crucial component in creating a hospitable, pleasant and, most importantly, enjoyable passenger experience. To this end, as owner and managing director Jan Kornman explains, Dutch company Dianthus International can be called upon to deck out cruise liners with fresh flowers and plants at any port anywhere in the world, offering a full service, from sourcing and delivery to on-board design and care.
An enterprising spirit from an early age, Jan Kornman already knew at 18 what he wanted: to explore the whole wide world. Years later, when he started his own company, Dianthus International, his talents and character traits merged - his business acumen, wanderlust and, in particular, his love of flowers.
Dianthus International supplies fresh flowers, bouquets and plants to cruise liners around the world from the company's head office in the Netherlands - from Valparaíso or Juneau to Miami or Tallinn, flowers from Dianthus are delivered to any port, anywhere in the world.
Need fresh flowers in a hurry? Dianthus International will immediately book a flight to deliver the flowers and bouquets to the port concerned. The company looks after the flowers, transport, floral arrangements and care on board.
As owner and managing director of this extremely flexible, inventive and service-oriented company, Kornman takes a personal, attentive approach: "We make it a habit to visit customers and vessels to do business. Telephone calls and email messages are not enough; I want to speak to my customers in person. For me, doing business is a matter of trust."
By carefully choosing carriers, flower wholesale companies and florists, Dianthus is assured that the transport and aftercare is in good hands. For example, its professional florists sail with the vessel to arrange and care for the fresh bouquets - and to conduct inspirational workshops and demonstrations for the passengers.
Every cruise passenger no doubt agrees that flowers and plants enhance the feeling of luxury and comfort. Without their natural beauty, the atmosphere on board suffers. Fresh flowers raise the spirits of people in the various restaurants, libraries and suites, something that Kornman is particularly sensitive to.
"This means quality and freshness take on added importance," he says. "The flowers and plants are purchased at the internationally renowned Aalsmeer flower auction. Whether it entails bouquets for Bali or flowers for Melbourne, we can arrange it.
"We personally visit each cruise ship so that we can make the right choice of flowers and plants for each ship's interior. We offer a varied assortment - colourful bouquets, special vases and flowerpots, pleasant houseplants and giant subtropical plants."
Passengers can now purchase exclusive vases as a memento of their trip or as a gift. For the on-board sales, Annelies Aardenburg, art director at Dianthus, selected a series of vases from Royal Goedewaagen, a traditional company that has been producing ceramics and earthenware for more than 400 years.
Designed by celebrated Dutch designers, each vase has its own distinctive characteristic through a subtle reference to Dutch cultural heritage. As well as vases with Delft Blue images, for example, there are others with modest almond blossoms or profuse sunflowers from Vincent van Gogh.
The latest novelty is a line of vases with Dutch tulips painted by Aardenburg herself. For this original product, she worked closely with Royal Goedewaagen. She breathes life into her traditional subjects, granting them a free, modern elegance.
The results are stylish vases in different colours and compositions, with images of a single ornamental tulip or tulip bulb. The unique shapes, plain lines and clear, refreshing colours transform these vases into an irresistible gift to take back home.